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Police may withhold report on officer hired by News Corp

Scotland Yard says it is considering keeping secret a report detailing questions about the conduct and integrity of a police chief who went on to be hired by part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

Former Scotland Yard commander Ray Adams was head of UK security for the software company NDS, owned by News Corp, which allegedly cracked the smartcard codes of rival company ONdigital. The codes then appeared on a pirate website. NDS denies any wrongdoing.

The Guardian has formally sought the release of the Operation Russell report under freedom of information legislation. But the Met says it may seek to keep the report secret using an exemption.

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Vikram Dodd | The Guardian | 27th April 2012

Freedom of Information requests 2011: how many were there and which were turned down?

The Freedom of Information Act of 2000 is very British Institution – it allows anyone to request data from government departments – and to be entitled to a response.

And today, the latest figures, published by the Ministry of Justice, show that FoI requests are up in the UK – 47,141 in 2011, a 7% increase on 2010. The increase is in requests to central government, but not to monitored quangos.

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Simon Rogers | The Guardian | 26th April 2012

Group to appeal after US judge blocks release of dead bin Laden photos

Judicial Watch told FOX News Channel there was “no provision under law to keep documents secret because their release might offend our terrorist enemies.”

The group launched the legal bid after asking the CIA and the US Department of Defence to publicly release photographs and footage of the May 2011 raid.

It filed a Freedom of Information Act request the day after the daring operation took place at bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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NewsCore | 27th April 2012

Soaring rate of Kent grammar school offers to private pupils

Nearly 500 children from more than 80 fee-paying independent schools were offered places at grammar schools in Kent this year, according to figures obtained by the KM Group.

In some cases, pupils from private schools accounted for more than a third of the offers while at others, places were offered to pupils at schools in East Sussex, Surrey and London.

The startling figures, revealed for the first time under the Freedom of Information Act, underline the impact schools in the private sector have on the competition for places at some of the county’s highest-performing state schools.

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Paul Francis | Kent Online | April 27th 2012

Faults with Terminator mean 26,000 tonnes of rubbish go to landfill

Rubbish weighing as much as an aircraft carrier has been sent to landfill instead of being recycled because of faults with a £42 million waste-shredding machine.

Cambridgeshire County Council has had to cough up £1.45 million extra in landfill tax because the giant machine at AmeyCespa’s Waterbeach site has not been operating at top capacity, the News has discovered.

The mechanical biological treatment plant, dubbed ‘the Terminator’, which is the length of three football pitches, should have been operating at full speed 18 months ago but that is yet to happen.

A Freedom of Information request revealed in that time 26,574 tonnes of rubbish were sent to landfill which could have been recycled if the machine was working at full capacity, the same weight as two-and-a-half Eiffel towers, a small aircraft carrier, or 1,772 guided busway beams.

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Chris Havergal | Waste Management World | 27th April 2012

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