Wednesday, May 11, 2005


A Rome court convicted a Vatican cardinal and a top Vatican Radio official Monday of polluting the environment with electromagnetic waves from a transmission tower, an official from Vatican Radio said. Cardinal Roberto Tucci, former head of Vatican Radio's management committee, and the Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo, the station's director general, were sentenced to 10 days in jail, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the station's program director.

The sentences for the two Jesuits were automatically suspended. In Italy, brief jail terms for first offenders are routinely suspended. After 1 1/2 years of trial and 30 minutes of deliberation, Judge Luisa Martone also ordered the two to pay court costs as well as damages in a civil suit linked to the trial. Those damages will be determined later.

Lombardi said the defense would appeal. "We're stunned," Lombardi said in a telephone interview. "We contend that our transmission is in line with accords between Italy and the Vatican." A third Vatican Radio official, the head of technical services, was acquitted. Prosecutors had alleged that the officials violated Italy's strict standards on electromagnetic emissions, charging that transmitting equipment in the Rome suburb of Cesano damaged the health of those living nearby. The exact charge was "dangerous launching of objects" -- referring to the electromagnetic waves reaching the town.

Cesano residents applauded the prosecutors as they left the courtroom. The prosecutors made no immediate comment. "It is a great success and a great victory, for those people who have been suffering for years," said Lorenzo Parlati, head of the environment group Legambiente for the Lazio region, which was part of the civil suit. "A mother whose child died of leukemia shouted out of emotion when the verdict was read out," he said. Cristina Tabano, a lawyer from Codacons, a consumer group that joined in a civil suit attached to the trial, said she was satisfied the court found there was criminal responsibility. The group also appealed to Pope Benedict XVI to see to it that Vatican Radio transmitters be removed from inhabited areas to safeguard health. Tabano said Cesano residents complained they could hear Vatican Radio broadcasts through their lamps because of electromagnetic disturbances.

In a statement, Vatican Radio described the convictions as "clearly unjustified, both on consideration of rights and of the facts." Vatican Radio said it "always followed international recommendations on electromagnetic transmissions, even before the existence of Italian laws, and from 2001, following agreement with the Italian government, carefully respects the limits set by the new Italian law." It said measurements taken for a bilateral commission back its claim of respecting the limits. "Given that it's a quite restrictive rule, there is no justified reason for worry by the population," Vatican Radio said, expressing confidence it would win on appeal.

In 2002, a judge threw out the case, which had been brought by environmentalists, saying the Vatican officials enjoyed immunity under a 1929 treaty between the Holy See and Italy that established the Vatican as an independent city-state. But Italy's supreme court later ruled that the Vatican Radio officials could be tried, and the case went ahead. Tucci, an 84-year-old who is now retired, was made a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II for his years of work in leading advance teams for the pontiff's many overseas pilgrimages.

More here


They throw fits when any company is similarly negligent

A jury found Greenpeace guilty Monday on two misdemeanor criminal negligence charges that were filed after the group's ship entered Alaska waters for an anti-logging campaign without required paperwork. Greenpeace's ship came to Alaska to conduct an anti-logging campaign in the Tongass National Forest. The ship was carrying more than 70,000 gallons of "petroleum products" at the time, court papers said.

Under state law, a large non-tank vessel must file an oil spill response plan application five days before entering state waters. Greenpeace had not, but said the oversight was quickly corrected.

State regulators charged Greenpeace, ship Capt. Arne Sorensen and ship agent Willem Beekman with multiple counts of misdemeanor criminal negligence last July for not filing the spill plan or having proof of financial responsibility in case of a spill. The six-person state District Court jury convicted Greenpeace on two counts of failing to have the oil spill prevention plan and acquitted the group on the two counts of failing to obtain a certificate of financial responsibility. Sorensen was convicted on three counts, and Beekman was acquitted on all charges.


An update on Endangered Species Act reform: "Senior members of Congress, including Representative Richard Pombo (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Resources Committee, and Senator James Inhofe (R-Ok.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, have once again begun talking about reforming the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Repeated failures over the past decade to enact any ESA reforms at all suggest that this isn't going to be easy. And it is not yet clear whether the reforms to be proposed are going to be worth the heavy lifting needed to push them toward enactment."


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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