The Australian development has been hailed as one of the biggest advances in women’s health since the contraceptive pill.
The vaccine is known as Gardasil.
Final trials show it to be 100 per cent effective against the most common strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) which cause an estimated 70 per cent of cervical cancers.
But the dreaded pap smear won’t be consigned to history just yet.
Women will still need pap smears even if they have been vaccinated, but not every two years, as doctors currently advise.
The vaccine was developed by Australian scientist Ian Frazer and
his University of Queensland colleagues in the early 1990s.
Scottish-bred Dr Frazer began the research 20 years ago working out of a basement at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.
He switched his scientific focus from hepatitis to cervical cancer.
“When I came here … in 1985, we worked in the basement of the dialysis unit and I worked in a cupboard,” he joked in a recent interview.
Two decades on, his research is being described as Nobel Prize-winning stuff that will revolutionise women’s health.
It has the potential to save many millions of dollars in medical costs worldwide.
The latest study of more than 12,000 women from 13 countries found Gardasil prevented early stage cervical cancer and pre-cancerous lesions.
Half the women received three doses of the vaccine and half were given a placebo, or inactive treatment.
No pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix were found in those who were given Gardasil.
However 21 women in the control group developed lesions during the two-year study.
Gardasil is based on Dr Frazer’s 1991 discovery of a way to create artificial HPV in the test tube, minus any infectious material.
The vaccine works by provoking an immune response to HPV, which
is sexually transmitted.
“What we did was make the skin of the virus without the insides,” he explained from New York today.
“It looks like the virus to the immune system … but it’s not infectious and it can’t cause any disease.
“It’s just the shell of the virus.”
That breakthrough, using genetic technology, was almost 15 years
“It’s been that long since we thought of the idea and put it into the test tube, if you like,” Dr Frazer said.
“It’s been very exciting watching it develop from there but obviously, 15 years is a long time and we’ll be very pleased to see the vaccine out there next year.”
Applications to licence the vaccine were expected to be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia’s Therapeutic Drugs Administration by the end of the year.
Gynaecological oncologist Gerry Wain from Westmead Hospital in Sydney described the trial results as monumental.
“We’ve already had one Nobel Prize in Australia this week. This is Nobel Prize winning stuff. This is a huge step forward for women across the world. I’m one of the people who sits there and watches these women die. I’d love to be out of a job,” Dr Wain said.
He said ideally women would be vaccinated before becoming
“It will be of most benefit for younger women but it’ll also be beneficial for older women as well, assuming they haven’t been in contact with the strains of the virus targeted by the vaccine,” he said.
Gardasil was developed by Merck and Co, based on technology licensed from Australian pharmaceutical company CSL Ltd.
Around 300,000 women worldwide die from cervical cancer annually.
The cancer killed 227 Australians in 2002.
Many of the other women live in countries with no pap smear programs and where a vaccine would save lives.
“If they pull out it would be catastrophic for the people of Iraq and the cause of democracy and it would be a win for terrorists,” he told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London.
Mr Blair vowed that the roughly 8,000 British troops would remain, saying: “We intend to stay with you for as long as you need us and as long as you want us.”
Blair accuses Iran
Mr Blair also warned Iran not to interfere in Iraq, saying his government suspected explosives used to kill British troops in the south of the country may have come from the across the border in the Islamic republic.
“There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in
Iraq,” he said.
But Mr Blair admitted there was no proof at present of such interference.
Prodi’s withdrawal plans
In Italy, opposition leader Romano Prodi promised a detailed timetable for pulling his country’s forces out of Iraq if he wins elections early next year, describing the US-led invasion as a “colossal error.”
“The day after I’ll win elections, I’ll set a detailed calendar for troop withdrawal,” Mr Prodi told the daily Corriere della Sera. “Italy’s sole commitment will be for reconstruction and aid.”
In Baghdad, campaigning for the planned referendum continued despite the violence, and Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said he was confident of a high turnout on October 15.
“The experience of January 30 showed that attacks, even in the heart of Baghdad, have no effect on the running of the polls,” Mr Jaafari said, referring to the first general elections in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
“In some countries, even rain can cause abstentions. But the Iraqis have shown they can vote under gunfire and under attack,” Mr Jaafari told a news conference.
Many Sunni Arabs, who are believed to form the backbone of the insurgency, object to the draft constitution on the grounds its federalist principles will pave the way for the break-up of the country, handing oil-rich provinces to Kurds and Shiites.
Shiites main target
Hundreds of Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslims have been killed in recent weeks following the declaration of “all-out war” against them by Al-Qaeda frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Thursday’s string of bombings and shootings included the deaths of five members of Iraq’s oil protection force along with the wounding of four others when their car hit a homemade bomb near the northern city of Kirkuk.
Iraqi police also shot dead two men who had attempted to flee in a car in the capital. The vehicle was later found to be rigged with explosives.
US security sweep
Elsewhere, thousands of US soldiers continued a sweep against Al-Qaeda fighters in western Iraq along the Euphrates Valley in what the military said was an attempt to cut off insurgent supply routes from neighbouring Syria.
“We have been taking out portions of bridges with precision strikes,” US military spokesman Major General Rick Lynch told a news conference in Baghdad.
“One of the vulnerabilities of this insurgency is freedom of movement.”
The US military is trying to improve security ahead of the referendum, scheduled to take place just four days before Saddam was due to stand trial for a 1982 Shiite massacre.
It was the third attempt this week to storm the razor-wire fences around the outpost, a police spokesman said.
But this time migrants failed to get through, he added.
Police said an unknown number of police and immigrants were injured.
The Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta hold a powerful attraction for poor migrants hoping to eventually start a new life in Europe.
The latest attempt came hours after Spain announced extraordinary
measures to deter the migrants who mostly come from west Africa.
Spain said Wednesday that it would invoke a 1992 agreement with Morocco allowing it to return sub-Saharan Africans who had succeeded in getting into its enclaves.
Under the agreement, Spain can ask Morocco to readmit the
migrants even though they are not Moroccan.
Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said
some immigrants could be sent back to Morocco on Thursday.
Many migrants are from countries with which Spain does not have
a repatriation agreement so they cannot be sent home.
Instead they are often taken to mainland Spain and issued with
an expulsion order that cannot be enforced.
Some 500 African migrants charged the fences around Melilla
Wednesday, and many of the 65 who got through were injured.
Five died last week in a similar attempt at Ceuta.
News reports claimed all of them were shot but it was not clear by whom.
“You’re not afraid, because in Africa you have nothing … you
just keep thinking that you are entering Spain,” said Keta, a
24-year-old Malian who managed to cross the border on Wednesday.
His hands were covered in gashes and his jeans ripped and
spotted with blood from where he climbed over the border fence.
The Moroccan news agency MAP reported authorities in Nador, close to Melilla, arrested 85 sub-Saharan Africans, bringing the total arrested this week to more than 200.
Some 1,600 migrants are crammed into the Red Cross camp at
Melilla, which has space for 500.
Some immigrants try repeatedly to get over the border.
Hundreds of migrants live in the woods on the Moroccan side of
the 10km border, waiting to jump the fence.
The migrants build ladders from trees which they then use to
scale the double fences.
Spain has ruled Melilla and Ceuta since the late 15th century.
The government report found Australian immigration officials not only wrongfully deported Ms Solon to the Philippines, even though she was gravely-ill at the time, but also covered up the mistake.
She was deported as an illegal immigrant in July 2001, shortly after a car accident caused spinal injuries so severe her lawyers said she was unable to sign her name before boarding the plane.
The report was conducted by former Victoria state police commissioner, Neil Comrie.
Mr Comrie found at least three immigration officers first became aware of the mistake in 2003 but made no attempt to rectify it.
He said her physical and mental health problems had been ignored by poorly-trained immigration officers.
“The management of Vivian’s case was very poor, lacking rigour and
accountability,” his report said.
Ms Solon spent four years in a hospice for the dying in the Philippine capital, Manila before her identity was discovered in May.
She has two Australian-based children aged 17 and 9, and her estranged Australian had made persistent efforts to find her.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s report described the handling of her case as “catastrophic.”
“This report highlights some critical failures in public administration that had a dramatic adverse effect on an Australian citizen,” said Ombudsman John McMillan.
Ms Solon’s lawyer George Newhouse said she would return to Australia if a satisfactory compensation package could be negotiated.
But Mr Newhouse has said that “heads should roll” in the federal government.
“It’s not for me whether Amanda Vanstone or the Attorney-General Mr (Philip) Ruddock have paid a suitable price (but) as far as I can tell they’ve paid no price at all,” he told reporters.
Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, has announced a A$230 million (US$175 million) program to fix her embattled department.
“I also want to repeat the Australian government’s apology to Ms Alvarez
and her family,” she told reporters.
Amanda Vanstone said one of the officers implicated in the cover up
had resigned and the other two were under investigation.
But no criminal charges were expected to be laid.
The minister also said she had no intention of resigning over the bungle.
The Alvarez Solon case came to light after it was revealed another
Australian, German-born Cornelia Rau, was wrongfully imprisoned for 10 months as an illegal immigrant.
Since then, the immigration department has admitted wrongfully detaining more than 200 people who were in the country legally and revealed many had received compensation packages in return for not going public with their cases.
Police in the US State of Pennsylvania said yesterday’s attack on Valerie Oskin was stopped before her baby was taken after a teenage boy came across the women in the woods.
Oskin, 30, later underwent an emergency Caesarean section at a hospital.
She was reported to be in a critical condition and her baby in a stable condition.
She was believed to have been in her third trimester of pregnancy, authorities said.
Peggy Jo Conner, 38, of Ford City, Pennsylvania, has been arraigned on charges of attempted homicide and aggravated assault and was jailed without bail.
Conner had told her live-in partner before the attack that she was pregnant, and investigators found baby-related items in her trailer, Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said.
“Clearly, she was expecting a child coming in shortly,” Andreassi said. “There’s nothing to indicate she was pregnant.”
The assault began Thursday morning, when Conner hit Oskin several times with a bat, Andreassi said.
Conner then put Oskin and Oskin’s seven-year-old son in her car, dropped the boy off at a family member’s house and drove the pregnant woman about 24 kilometres to a secluded area, some 80 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh, Andreassi said.
There, Conner cut Oskin across her abdomen with a razor knife, authorities said.
“She was sliced over an old (Caesarean) scar and severely bleeding,” Trooper Jonathan Bayer said.
A 17-year-old boy spotted Conner kneeling next to the pregnant woman on the ground, Bayer said.
The boy went home and told his father, who called authorities, who arrested Conner at the scene.
The pregnant woman “probably would have bled to death if this young boy had not discovered her when he did”, Bayer said.
Last December, Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant, was strangled at her Missouri home, and her baby was cut from her womb.
Prosecutors said Lisa Montgomery showed the baby off as her own before her arrest. She is awaiting trial.
About 1,000 relatives and villagers walked behind the coffin, draped in a Syrian flag, in the village of Bhamra where black banners hung from some buildings, witnesses said.
Mr Kanaan was buried at a family cemetery.
Mr Kanaan reportedly killed himself yesterday according to officials, three weeks after he was questioned by UN investigators probing the assassination of Lebanese former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Damascus Attorney-General Mohammed al-Loji said forensic examination and a search of his office concluded that Mr Kanaan shot himself in the mouth with his revolver.
He said Mr Kanaan’s assistant heard a faint shot and called the office manager who entered to find him lying on the floor behind his desk, still breathing, with his pistol in his hand.
The 63-year-old major-general died in hospital.
Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara, speaking to reporters from a Damascus hospital from where Mr Kanaan’s body was taken for burial, said a “media smear campaign”, not the government, pushed Mr Kanaan over the edge.
“When the media uses words, it’s like using bullets,” he said, hinting at an anti-Syrian campaign by Lebanese media.
The death of Mr Kanaan, Syria’s top official in neighbouring Lebanon for 20 years until 2002, occurred just over a week before UN investigators are due to present their findings on Mr Hariri’s killing in a truck bomb blast in Beirut in February.
Already under pressure from the United States, which accuses it of allowing fighters to enter Iraq, Syria has grown increasingly nervous over Lebanese and international charges that it is linked to Mr Hariri’s death.
President Bashar al-Assad said in a CNN interview conducted shortly before the apparent suicide that Syria was not involved in Mr Hariri’s death and that he could never have ordered it.
However, if the United Nations concluded Syrians were involved, they would be “traitors” who would face an international court or the Syrian judicial process, he added.
An ambulance adorned with flowers had taken Mr Kanaan’s body from the Shami hospital in Damascus to his birthplace of Bhamra, in northern Syria.
Senior military and security officials, with Prime Minister Naji al-Otari and Mr Shara, paid their respects before the body left in a convoy of cars for its final resting place.
In Muslim tradition, suicide victims get low-key funerals.
Lebanese media blamed
Many of the villagers at the funeral blamed the Lebanese media or his death, saying a smear campaign against him led to his suicide.
“We blame the Lebanese press for his death. They exerted moral pressure on him,” said Marina Rashed, a relative.
About an hour before he died, Mr Kanaan called Voice of Lebanon radio apparently to give his last testimony.
He denied a news report that he had shown investigators photocopies of cheques signed to him by Mr Hariri and defending Syria’s role in Lebanon, where it kept troops for 29 years until April.
Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi rebuffed the charges, saying Lebanon was a country where the media was free.
“This continued accusation of the Lebanese media … is something we cannot accept,” he told reporters in Beirut.
Strong ties to Lebanon
But at Mr Kanaan’s grave it was difficult to miss the strong ties that once linked Mr Kanaan to Lebanon.
On his tombstone there were medals he had received from the
Lebanese army, witnesses said.
An old rifle that had insignia showing it was a gift from the Hizbollah guerrilla group was also placed there.
The village of about 2,000 inhabitants lies in the mountain heartland of the Alawite sect, 330km from Damascus, and four kilometres from Qordaha, home town of the ruling Assad family.
Syria was the main power broker in Lebanon after the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.
It was forced to relinquish its grip amid an international and local uproar over Hariri’s killing.
The virus is also suspected to have reached Romania, and test results are expected to reveal whether this is the case on Saturday.
Friday’s emergency meeting of the European Commission’s food and animal health committee will examine the risk that migratory birds might pose for the EU.
The EC has already banned the import of live birds from both Turkey and Romania, and the World Health Organisation said it is likely that the Romanian birds did carry the strain.
“We don’t want to create a panic at this point … it’s a highly pathogenic aggressive virus, but we in the European Union have to deal with that,” said EU health and consumer protection commissioner Markos Kyprianou.
EU foreign ministers will also discuss the bird flu threat when they meet next Tuesday.
Friday’s meeting will look at ways to reduce the chance of contact between wild birds and poultry in high-risk areas, which could include requiring some birds to be kept indoors.
The Turkish decision to ban hunting wild birds follows test results confirming that an outbreak of bird flu in the northwestern village of Kiziksa last week, suspected to have been caused by migratory birds, was the H5N1 strain of the virus deadly to humans.
Thousands of birds were slaughtered in a sealed-off zone around the village in efforts to contain the virus.
While the H5N1 strain does not spread easily between people, humans who come in contact sick birds can contract the virulent disease, which has killed more than 60 of the 120 people infected in southeastern Asia.
The EU has scrambled to stockpile anti-viral drugs and prevent a pandemic.
While warning against panic, the bloc’s executive branch immediately urged European governments to ensure that “at-risk” people are vaccinated against regular flu.
The head of the WHO earlier warned that it is just a matter of time before a global bird-flu epidemic broke out, saying results would be catastrophic.
“Such an outbreak would bring about disastrous results, which will be huge enough to dwarf those from SARS,” Lee Jong-Wook told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
Bird flu confirmed
The call to the EU’s 25 nations to stockpile anti-viral drugs came after tests confirmed that the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
If confirmed in Romania, it would be the virus’ first entry into Europe.
The EU commission slapped on a ban on live bird imports on
Turkey on Monday after it found bird flu there but before it had confirmed the particular strain.
It took a similar measure early today against Romania after the presence of bird flu was confirmed, although further tests are under way to determine if that is also the H5N1 strain.
But only hours later came the bombshell: “We have received now confirmation that the virus found in Turkey is avian flu H5N1 high pathogenic virus,” Mr Kyprianou said.
“We will work today … with the assumption that this is also the case in Romania,” he added.–>
Bird flu toll
While avian influenza primarily affects birds, the H5N1 strain has killed more than 60 people in South-East Asia since 2003.
Scientists have warned that millions of people around the world could die if that virulent form of the virus crosses with human-flu strains to become highly contagious among people.
In Ankara, Turkish Health Minister Recep Akdag also urged calm.
“The well-prepared and timely intervention of the agriculture ministry has brought the bird-flu case … under control,” he said.
“Naturally, our country has to be cautious, careful and ready (for a possible pandemic), but there is nothing beyond that at the moment.”
A senior official underlined that no human cases have been reported in Turkey so far, and the health ministry has ordered fresh stocks on the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu in a bid to prevent a flu pandemic.
But in a sign of public alarm, Romanians were reported to be flocking to pharmacies for flu jabs.
“In the absence of medicines against avian flu, people are massively buying vaccines against common flu,” said Mihaela Toader, a pharmacist in the capital Bucharest.
In Serbia people snapped up thousands of face masks, and in Germany pharmacists were reporting a surge in demand for Tamiflu and Relenza anti-virals.
In Bulgaria, farm minister Nihat Kabil said today that initial tests, ordered after the suspected outbreaks in Romania and Turkey, and after suspect bird deaths were reported near the Romanian border, had so far proved negative.
Pinter is renowned for his exploration of domination and submission, threat and injustice in his over 30 plays, and his increasingly vocal political activism.
The laureate “uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”, the Nobel Prize jury said.
Pinter, who began his career as an actor, restored theatre to its basic elements, an enclosed space and unpredictable dialogue, “where people are at the mercy of each other and pretence crumbles”, it said.
“In a typical Pinter play, we meet people defending themselves against intrusion of their own impulses by entrenching themselves in a reduced and controlled existence,” the jury said.
Another theme is the volatility and elusiveness of the past.
He is even credited with an adjective, Pinteresque, which is used to describe a particular atmosphere and environment in drama.
Pinter, who has just turned 75, was born in the London borough of Hackney, the son of a Jewish dressmaker.
During his youth he experienced anti-Semitism, which he said had been important in his decision to become a dramatist.
The jury, which awarded Pinter the prize on the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, said the experience of wartime bombing also never lost its hold on him.
He made his playwriting debut in 1957, with “The Room”.
His major breakthrough came with “The Caretaker” in 1959, followed by “The Homecoming” in 1964.
Enigmatic but coherent, Pinter was notoriously reluctant to explain the inner workings of his plays even to his actors.
“Mind your own business. Just say the words,” was a typical rejoinder to a request for illumination.
He wrote screenplays for successful movies, including “The French
Lieutenant’s Woman” starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons in 1981, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
His work for television is prolific and includes “Betrayal”, starring
Jeremy Irons and Ben Kingsley, which recounts a woman’s extramarital affair with her husband’s best friend.
Pinter has over the years become increasingly involved in politics. He was outraged by the US-backed coup against the Salvador Allende government in Chile in 1973, and was a vocal critic of the late US president Ronald Reagan and Britain’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
More recently, he opposed the US-led war in Iraq and the preceding sanctions, protested against the treatment of Kurds by Turkey, railed against the bombing of Kosovo and has spoken out against torture.
In a 2003 poem called God Bless America, Pinter wrote: “Here they go again, The Yanks in their armoured parade, Chanting their ballads of joy, As they gallop across the big world, Praising America’s God.”
Pinter’s reaction to winning the prize was not fit to print, said the head of the Swedish Academy, Horace Engdahl, who telephoned the playwright to give him the news.
“He was very moved and had a hard time saying anything. Nothing that he said is quotable, it was so totally unexpected for him. He was too delighted, one could say,” he told the Swedish news agency TT.
He was seen as a possibility for this year’s prize but not a favourite, and will now take home A$1.7 million on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Nobel prize founder Alfred
Last year, the honour went to controversial Austrian writer Elfriede
The Literature Prize was the last of the six coveted awards to be handed out this month.
However it is not yet clear whether the virus detected is the strain deadly to humans.
Earlier, EU veterinary experts said there was no avian influenza in Romania, but would remain on alert for the deadly virus after an outbreak in Turkey.
The commission said it plans to ban imports of live birds and poultry products from the east European country following the findings, which contradict the other test results.
“The three EU laboratory experts sent to Romania by the Commission last Monday have confirmed that avian influenza virus H5 has been detected in tests on two samples from a chicken and a duck taken in a suspected backyard farm in the Danube delta,” the EU commission said in a statement.
Suspected cases of avian flu in Romania and an outbreak in Turkey rang alarm bells in the EU.
Chief veterinarian Ion Agafitei said scientists detected the H5 virus in samples taken from three ducks.
Ban on Turkish poultry
The commission also confirmed the bloc would extend its ban on poultry products and pet birds from Turkey until April 2006.
Full results of tests for the exact strain of bird flu detected in Turkey are due on Friday.
Turkish officials said they had completed a mass slaughter of birds to combat an outbreak in the northwest of the country, although the area remained quarantined.
While avian influenza affects birds, one strain of the virus known as H5N1 has killed more than 60 people in South East Asia since 2003.
Scientists have warned that millions of people worldwide could die if the H5N1 strain crosses with human flu strains to become highly contagious among people.
Samples from infected animals in the area around the Turkish village of Kiziksa have tested positive for the H5 virus, but it was not yet known whether it was the H5N1 strain.
Germany tightens imports
Germany meanwhile plans to tighten controls at all points where imported poultry enters its borders in a bid to avoid a bird flu outbreak.
“The biggest risk is posed by the illegal importation of poultry and food,” the secretary of state for the consumer ministry, Alexander Mueller, said.
He said special attention would be paid to poultry coming from Asia and Turkey.
Experts have decided against drastic measures like quarantining poultry farms or ordering the mass slaughter of birds.
Mr Mueller said tests carried out on poultry and migrating birds in Germany have so far revealed no trace of the disease.
Australia bolsters defences
Australia will spend A$10 million helping Indonesia bolster its defences against bird flu.
A team of Australian experts visited Jakarta last week to assess how well the country could cope with the disease.
So far bird flu has officially claimed three lives in Indonesia.
Australia has already provided Indonesia funding for 50,000 doses of anti-viral medication to combat bird flu.
Under the Terrorism Bill, suspects can be detained without charge for up to three months.
Mr Blair said arguments made by the police for detaining suspects for 90 days instead of the current 14 days were “absolutely compelling”.
The legislation also calls for a ban on those who glorify terrorism, sell extremist books, receive or provide terrorist training, and prepare to commit attacks.
The laws were drafted in the wake of the July 7 bombings on London.
Critics slam legislation
But opposition parties, human rights activists and Muslim fear the changes will trample on civil liberties and fuel community anger.
Amnesty International denounced the bill as “clumsy, dangerous and ill-conceived” and said the proposed detention period as draconian.
It claimed that it handed a victory to the July bombers by crushing freedoms built over centuries.
Debate on the bill is due to begin formally on Thursday in the House of Commons.
On the eve of its introduction to parliament, Mr Blair was sticking to his guns on some of the most controversial proposals.
“What I have to do is to try to do my best to protect people in this country and to make sure that their safety and their civil liberty to life come first, and that is what I’m going to try to do,” Mr Blair told parliament.
Addressing Mr Blair in the House of Commons, Charles Kennedy, the leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, said the detention plan was “wrong” and questioned whether there was even a consensus within the Labour government.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke, who was in Europe on Wednesday, appeared open to concessions on the detention plan during a grilling by a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
London’s mayor Ken Livingstone expressed some reservations.
Mr Livingstone said any laws must pass what he called “Nelson Mandela test.”
The mayor said the changes must not be so tough that Mr Mandela, the activist who became South Africa’s first black president, and his supporters would have been banned under them.
The government’s own independent terror watchdog, Lord Alexander
Charles Carlile of Berriew, also expressed concerns.
Lord Alexander said journalists could be caught in the dragnet by simply attending a terrorist training camp.
He added that the extension of the detention period could be vulnerable to a challenge under the Human Rights Act.
However, he conceded that there had been occasions when plots had escaped prosecution because of existing time limits.