Freed Egyptian diplomat returns to work; mortar
attacks kill Iraqi worker
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — A sensor Egyptian diplomat
returned to work Tuesday a day after being released by
militants, while a Baghdad mortar barrage killed an Iraqi
garbage collec¬tor and injured 14 coalition soldiers.
Gunmen also killed a hospital official south of the
The release of Mohammed Mam¬douh Helmi Qutb, the
third ranking diplomat at the Egyptian mission here, came
as two different militant groups threatened to kill four
new foreign hostages in an increasingly audacious wave of
kidnappings In haq.A third group threatened attacks to out
off the highway between Jordan and Baghdad, a key supply
route for the U.S. military.
As Qutb arrived at the Egyptian Embassy in Mansour,
northwest of Baghdad, he thanked "all the people concerned
in securing his release." "Thanks to God, we are going to
perform our most at the embassy, there is no problem," Qutb
Four or five mortars were fired early Tuesday toward
Baghdad's Co. called Green Zone, the site of Iraq's Interim
government and the U.S. and British embassies, said the
One mortar hit the Salhiya district just outside the
Green Zone, killing an Iraqi garbage collector and injuring
another, according to an 'Associated Press Television New?
cameraman at the scene.
"This poor guy was lust doing his lob and he has been
killed by a mortar ... intended for the coalition," said
local reside. Muthana Joma Hassoun to APTN.
A military spokesman, speaking
on condition of anonymity, said mortar fire injured 14
soldiers, but their nationalities, the exact location of
the attack and the seriousness of their wounds were not
South of Baghdad, gunmen assassinated the assistant
director of Mahmoudiya Hospital, the hospital's chief said
Dr. Qassem el-Obaidi was shot dead by assailants in a
car as he was driving home from work late Monday, said the
hospital's director, Dr. Daoud al-Ta'i. Mahmoudiya is about
25 miles south of Baghdad. The violence has deeply
ham¬pered efforts to rebuild Iraq and made countries
reluctant to send troops to assist the new government.
In the southern city of Basra, about 50 armed members of
fire¬brand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's personal
militia snatched about 20 people Monday during raids
against people selling and drinking alcohol, said police.
The detainees were later handed over to police. During the
raids, militiamen dragged men out of their houses and
smashed cartons of canned drinks, apparently beer,
"Al-Arabiya TV. showed In broadcast footage.
The Egyptian diplomat's kidnappers said they had seized
him to deter his country from giving security aid to Iraq.
An Egyptian official In Cairo said no ransom was paid and
the kid-nappers released Qutb after realizing Egypt was not
sending troops. When asked by reporters outside his embassy
Tuesday how he was heated by the militants, Qutb said
Study to protect migrant agro workers
sea DIPLOMAT page 4Mobile equipment measures bodily effects of heat
NICK HENNE SENIOR WPM.
In response to past heat stress job-related injuries of
Mexican farm workers, the North Carolina Agro. medicine
institute is conducting a study measuring the physiological
effects of heat on the workers in an effort to reduce the
The department of labor approached the North Carolina
Agromedical Institute and requested this study be done
after several past incidents of migrant farm workers being
killed or put into vegetative states and sent home due to
heat stress related injuries. The North Carolina
Agromedical institute Is entering their fourth and final
year of the study, said John Sabella, Interim director of
the North Caro¬lina Agromedicine Institute.
"For too long we've focused heavily.... agricultural
production and have not paid enough atten¬tion to the
emotional and physical welfare of the workers who make up
the backbone of our industry,. said Sabella.
Workers go out and test the migrant workers during the
months of June September when the workers are working
under the most extreme heat. The study measures a number of
aspects Including physiological effects on the workers'
cognition and productivity, Sabella said.
Carol Maxwell, research associate at the North Carolina
Agromedicine Institute, said the team conducting the study
goes out into fields and does a number of tests on migrant
farm workers who are exposed to intense heat for prolonged
periods of time. The test measures the bodily responses to
the heat using mobile equipment that follows the workers
from field to field.
"We have instruments out In the fields that produce a
heat index every two seconds, that may we can coordinate
exactly what kind of environment they, been in and how
their body is responding," said Maxwell.
Sabella said the workers are first assessed early in the
morning and then put through another assessment every two
hours throughout the day as they work
Sabella said the tests not only take into account what
Is going on with the workers physiologically, but also the
environmental factors when measuring a worker's bodily
reaction to the environment.
"We can correlate their physi¬ological responses to
what was going on environmentally at that precise moment,"
As part of the study, the work¬ers are questioned
about what they recently had to eat and drink, how much
sleep they got the night prior and if they consumed any
alcohol recently. These factors are also con¬sidered
when looking at the final test results, Sabella said.
Sabella said the institute will take allot the
information once the study is completed and produce useful
information on safety in field prac¬tices for both
growers and workers. Sabena said one of the purposes of the
study is to educate the farmers on the safest and most
productive time of day for their workers to be working.
The farmers also need to know how to recognize the
symptoms of heat stress, how to respond to a worker
experiencing heat stress and must not hesitate to pull
their possibly workers from the fields. Maxwell said it's
important for the farmers to know when to pull their
workers from the fields because the workers often overwork
themselves In an effort to make more money and are
sometimes reluctant to leave the fields.
Sabella said this study differs from heat stress related
studies done in the past.
.411 other heat related studies have been done In human
performance laboratories in very co trolled environments
... we're out in the real world, we're in the field,"
Sabella said the Agromedicine Institute is bringing the
medical profession and the agricultural profession together
to Increase the welfare of farm workers.
"We're helping the medical world better understand the
realities of agriculture and the risks so that they'll be
able to do a better lob of diagnosing and accurately
focusing on the special concerns —in
agricul¬ture," Sabella said.
Maxwell said doctors are not always aware of how the
agro workers may influence their health and it is important
to check for certain things when examining these workers.
In addition to heat stress, farm workers suffer sound,
vibration, chemical exposure and machinery-related
Injuries, Maxwell said.
The Agromedicine Institute's purpose is to ensure the
safety of agricultural farm workers, their families and
communities through research, education and intervention,
Maxwell said the Institute col¬laborates with other
researchers outside the institute to achieve these
"This is lust one study of many studies that we
support," Sabella said.
Sabella said the institute has received positive
feedback with. the farming community.
"It's in the best interest of the workers and their
health, its good for the farmers who need a good healthy
labor supply, and it's good for the state," Sabena
This writer con be contacted at
For people Interested In working with the Agromedlcine
institute, there will be a luncheon Sept 16, with a tour of
the site and a meeting to discuss research collaboration
Ideas. For more Information, call 7444210..