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US forces questioned about journalist killings

31 August 2005
On Sunday, Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled, was killed by five shots fired by US snipers in Iraq. His colleague, cameraman Haidar Kadhem, survived a shot in the back, but has now been detained by American forces without explanation. According to the International Federation of Journalists this brings the number of journalists killed by American troops to 18. And it's caused all the major international freedom of the press organisations, including IFEX, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committe to Protect Journalists to raise questions about not just the killings, but the "wall of silence" they are met with whenever they demand inquiries into their deaths. A statement from the IFJ on Monday says: "The IFJ acknowledges that many of the incidents may have been unavoidable in the context of the war, but in a number of cases there are serious questions still to be dealt with that have given rise to suggestions of deliberate targeting of media staff." It would be nice to know what's going on. Ever since a US missile hit Al Jazeera's offices in Kabul in 2001, it's hard not to suspect the worst. Then again, if you look at the high number of soldiers killed in "friendly fire" or "fratricide" maybe something else entirely is to blame.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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