Jan 06

Russia, China, the EU and allies among the Arab and developing world offered all-expenses-paid visit


Senior Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh gestures during a press conference. Photograph: Roland Schlager/EPA

Iran has invited Russia, China, the EU and its allies in the Arab world and developing world to tour its nuclear sites, in an apparent move to gain support prior to a fresh round of talks with six world powers.

In a letter made available yesterday to Associated Press, senior Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh suggested the weekend of 15 January for the tour, and said meetings “with high-ranking officials” were envisaged.

While no reason was given for the timing of the offer, it comes weeks before Iran and the six powers follow up on recent talks that ended with agreement on little else but to meet again.

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Oct 11


Pig transport

One in ten pigs gets the MRSA bacterium in livestock transport trucks, while sixty percent of pigs in slaughterhouses have the bacterium. Wageningen University veterinary researcher Els Broens finds this ‘very disconcerting’.

Broens trailed 117 pigs from the farm to the slaughterhouse. She inspected them for the presence of MRSA before and after the journey to the slaughterhouse, and after they were sedated before the slaughter. While none of the pigs had MRSA before the journey, 10 percent of them tested MRSA-positive afterwards. After the sedation in the slaughterhouse, the bacterium was found in sixty percent of the pigs. This research work was carried out jointly by Wageningen UR, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Animal Health Service (GD).

Waiting area

The pigs en route and in the slaughterhouse were not infected with MRSA, implies Broens. ‘The resistant bacterium was lodged in their noses but infection did not take place.’ The livestock trucks were cleaned after every journey. The animal waiting areas in the slaughterhouse were cleaned daily, but not throughout the day. Therefore, one batch of pigs could have infected another. In contaminated livestock trucks, twenty percent of the pigs became contracted the bacterium. In trucks which were not contaminated, no such cases occurred.

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