New Zealand bomb scare costly
It was all a joke - but no-one was laughing. Jokes of course
are all about timing. Apparently yelling 'It's a bomb' in an Auckland NZ
airport in October (2002) was seen as very poor timing, and has proven to be a
costly exercise in a world taking the threat of terrorism seriously. The
businessman involved has been banned indefinitely from Qantas flights, forfeited
his ticket and had to pay for a nights accommodation in Auckland before
purchasing an Air NZ ticket to get home -– a day late, charged with "communicating
false information affecting the safety of an aircraft" and now has been
convicted and has to pay a fine of $2000.
In Atlanta, another Kiwi has learnt the hard way that
airports and security issues are not to be taken lightly. Travelling businessman
and owner of 'Gun City' (Christchurch, NZ) Mr Tipple has been sentenced to
12 months in a US federal prison following his failure to declare that he was
carrying guns in his luggage. His lawyer said "The case involves weapons on an
airliner. It comes down to a safety issue. The airlines want to know what sort
of firearms are on their planes and whether they pose the possibility of
somebody accessing them in a flight or there might be accidental detonation of
munitions associated with the firearms".
Of far greater significance is the warning by the World
Health Organisation which is "real and current". The threat? The potential
for terrorists to contaminate our food supplies -– which are considered 'easy
options or targets'.
Herald 03.02.03 A report by the UN's health agency said "terrorists
could introduce chemical, biological or nuclear agents into food as a way of 'deliberately
harming civilian populations'...the 45 page report Terrorist Threats To Food,
provides guidance for countries on how to strengthen their surveillance,
prevention and response to food-borne diseases".
The disastrous effects of accidental food
contamination are known only too well to medical authorities already. "Unintentional
contamination of food caused an estimated 1.5 million deaths a year from
diarrhoea-related diseases alone, according to WHO. In the largest recorded case
of food-borne disease, 300,000 people fell ill with hepatitis A accidentally
caused by infected clams in Shanghai, China in 1991. And in Spain 800 people
died through contaminated cooking oil in 1981."
Those who put their trust in God have confidence, that He
sees everything, and He is our defence Psalm 7:10.