Wikinews Shorts: April 16, 2007
A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 16, 2007.
Benn criticises concept of 'war on terror'
UK Secretary of State for International Development and deputy Labour leadership candidate Hilary Benn, has criticised US President George W. Bush's 'war on terror' concept in a speech given to the Center on International Cooperation, a US think tank.
Benn's speech argued that the phrase 'war on terror' should be deprecated because it can't be won by military means alone as well as indicating that the 'war-on-terror' concept may have actually assisted terrorist groups by giving them a sense of belonging.
- "Benn criticises 'war on terror'" — , April 16, 2007
- Reuters. "UK minister rejects 'war on terror' phrase" — , April 16, 2007
Sadr ministers leave al-Maliki's cabinet
Six ministers in radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadrist Movement have resigned from the Iraqi government, because Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did not push for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
At a press conference, the head of Sadr's parliamentary bloc Nassar Rubaie, read a statement from al-Sadr:
"Considering the public interest, we found that it was necessary to issue an order to the ministers of the Sadr bloc to immediately withdraw from the Iraqi government," The statement continued, "The six ministries shall be handed over to the government itself, hoping that this government would give these responsibilities to independent bodies who wish to serve the interests of the people and the country."
Al-Maliki was happy the Sadrists respected the political process. The move could have threatened to topple his government, but so far the Sadrist Movement is still part of the ruling coalition.
- Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "Six ministers from al-Sadr's movement resign in Iraq" — , April 16, 2007
- "Sadr ministers quit Iraqi cabinet" — , April 16, 2007
Undercover reporter finds corruption and drugs at private prison
Investigations undertaken by an undercover journalist, unearthed corruption, intimidation of staff, as well as exposing issues concerning availability of drugs within HMP Rye Hill prison in Warwickshire, a class B facility which is privately run. The investigative journalist finds staff living in fear of their lives and a massive black market in the prison which is run by GSL Group. The company countered that the undercover reporter, did not follow his training as a guard.
- Eric Allison. "Drugs, bribe offers, staff in fear: life at Rye Hill jail" — , April 16, 2007
- "Private prison failings exposed" — , Monday, 16 April 2007
UK's Department of Trade and Industry may be restructured
Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alistair Darling said that some MPs have called for the scrapping of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). His statement came as a survey of 145 firms found that only 8% saw the DTI playing an important role. He has, however, said that DTI needed to continue for nuclear decommissioning.
A survey of British by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) found that British companies feel it more difficult to start and grow a business today than ten years ago. On a positive note, of the top 750 European companies, UK companies generated a third of total profits.
- "DTI 'may be heading for shake-up'" — , April 16, 2007
- Ashley Seager. "Business leaders say climate for startups worse than 10 years ago" — , April 16, 2007
Pipeline firms consolidate in Russia
According to Russian officials, Transneft and Transnefteprodukt(TNP) are to merge. The merger will create a "single network of oil and oil products via the pipelines and protect the economic interests of the Russian Federation," according to a Kremlin Statement. The move would give the companies concerned more power internationally, say analysts.
- "Putin Signs Pipeline Firms Merger" — , April 17, 2007 Moscow time still April 16 in Wiki time
- "Russian pipeline firms to merge" — , April 16, 2007
US still seeking missing ex-FBI agent in Iran
For the third time in a month, the United States has requested information about a missing former FBI agent believed to be in Iran. The State Department says Robert Levinson went missing while visiting Kish Island in March. He is retired and is said to have been there on his own business interests.
Iran's previous responses have been to request more information about Levinson. Each time, the inquiries went through Swiss diplomats.
- "U.S. again asks Iran about missing American" — , April 16, 2007
- "U.S. Renews Appeal To Iran Over Missing Former FBI Agent" — , April 16, 2007
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