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Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

Defence chiefs admit radiation risks

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2008 at 8:36 am

August 04, 2008

BRITISH defence chiefs have admitted servicemen were exposed to dangerous radiation levels during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific in the 1950s.

The admission, made after years of denials, features in papers filed with the High Court in London by Ministry of Defence lawyers.

The Sunday Mirror newspaper said the court papers revealed that the ministry now believed that nuclear tests were responsible for the deaths of some British servicemen.

However, the ministry insisted that only 159 men were affected out of the 20,000 who were present.

About 800 former servicemen from Britain, New Zealand and Fiji earlier this year launched a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the ministry, claiming they had been exposed to dangerous levels of radiation during tests at sites including Maralinga in South Australia and Christmas Island.

While the case is not due to start until January, court documents seen by the newspaper show that two Royal Air Force servicemen, Eric Denson and John Brothers, were irradiated after being ordered to fly through mushroom clouds of nuclear bombs to collect samples.

Film badges worn by the men recorded the amount of radiation they were exposed to. “Eric had a dose equivalent to 190 years of background radiation,” the newspaper said. “John’s was 107. The (ministry’s) maximum safe dose was just 30.”

Mr Denson’s widow, Shirley Denson, who is part of the group suing the ministry, said she hoped the truth about the tests would finally be revealed.

“Hopefully this will mean they have to admit everything else,” she told the newspaper.

“There were 20,000 others there. They and their families suffered just as badly.

“In reality, they have no idea who had how much dose. Eric and John had records taken but most had none.”


US-based firm seeks Fiji guards

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2008 at 8:35 am

26 JUL 2008

An international firm has expressed interest in recruiting security personal from Fiji, according to the Fiji Embassy in Washington.

A statement from the embassy said RONCO Consulting Corporation representatives – Paul Brown, Director, Canine Services, and Isaac Evans, Director, Security Services – have approached Charge d’ Affaires Peni Lomaloma on the matter.

This came as a result of the public diplomacy programmes organised by the Fiji Embassy in Washington.

“They want to explore the possibility of including some Fiji security personnel in their company data base for future deployments all over the world.”

The statement said that through their experience in Iraq, Brown and Evans were made aware of the skills of Fiji service personal serving there.

Fijians have served in international peace missions in various hot spots around the world and have been trained in overseas military academies at all levels of command.

Lomaloma said Fiji soldiers are highly trained and can fit in easily with the personnel, procedures and equipments of those they will be working with at RONSON.

The Fiji Embassy Washington is now working with RONSON on identifying suitable local security firms the company can liaise with on its request.…