Book Ban Backfires

The leader of the New Zealand National Party, Don Brash, has resigned in the wake of a party backlash over his attempt to ban a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Last week Brash gained an injunction from the High Court of New Zealand banning anyone in the country from publishing the content of his emails. Hager's book, The Hollow Men: A Study in the Politics of Deception, was set to be released last Tuesday but was blocked by the injunction.


New Zealand Opposition Leader Retreats From Banning Book

The Leader of the New Zealand National Party, Don Bracks, has indicated that he may clear the way for the publication of a book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager, despite having obtained an injunction last Friday banning anyone from publishing the contents of leaked internal party emails.


Uranium Miners Want PR Push

With the Australian government supporting plans by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto for a major expansion of uranium mining, a recently released report proposes a major PR campaign to counter public concern. The Uranium Industry Framework report, written by a mining industry dominated group, notes that a majority of the Australian public oppose the establishment of additional uranium mines.


Degrees of Dependency: Drug Companies & Patient Groups

In a survey of 29 U.S. patient groups, New Scientist found only two ruled out drug company funding. Seven of the patient groups surveyed received less than 5% of their income from drug companies, while others were reliant on them for over one-third of their budget.


Why There Won't Be More Information on Reconstruction Corruption

It always pays to read the fine print. A clause buried in a military spending bill means that the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction will be closed in 2007. This office, originally part of the Coalition Provisional Authority before its dissolution, has since March 2004 referred 25 criminal cases to the U.S.


Deported Activist Wins Access to Spook's Assessment

The U.S.-based activist Scott Parkin has won a legal victory that requires the Australian government to provide his lawyers with access to the adverse security assessment used in September 2005 as the basis for revoking his visitors visa and deporting him. Justice Ross Sundberg granted Parkin and two Iraqi asylum seekers access to their adverse security assessments.


Good and Bad News on Government Information

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is the first international court to declare that access to government information is a human right. The recent ruling was reached in a case brought by Chilean environmentalists against the U.S.-based logging company Trillium.



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