Thursday, December 16, 2004

Round-Up of some recent things

I'm about to do that stereotype blogger thing of doing an unfocused round-up post for want of inspiration, so please bear with me. In the Ukraine, for example, more details are out from AP (via Neeka) about the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko. Apparently, he has the second highest concentration of dioxin ever recorded in a human being. The British toxicologist John Henry, one of the first people to suspect dioxin poisoning in the case, remarks that the chloracne only appeared late in his illness - suggesting that, had the poisoning killed him, it would never have been discovered.

Back in October, during the great RDX affair, I mentioned that John A. Shaw, Pentagon Deputy Undersecretary of Defence for International Technology Security and possibly the owner of the world's largest business card, had probably been lying when he fed the Washington Times a story that the Russian army had removed the missing explosives. I said that despite his exposure, he wouldn't be resigned. Rather to my surprise, though, he's been fired over a corruption scandal.

You may also remember this bizarre tale of mercenaries, business jets, fundamentalists and tax-evaders in Papua New Guinea. (more, here) The latest is that several people involved including the pilots were convicted of several offences in air law by the PNG courts, after a chaotic case that exposed the PNG authorities as not knowing very much about the realities of the position. Another case continues concerning attempts to have the plane released. The PNG newspaper The National has alleged that arms were aboard the aircraft.

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