East Carolinian, 28 July 2004, page 3

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 capital.

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 told reporters.

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 U.S. military.

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 Immediately clear.

South of Baghdad, gunmen assassinated the assistant director of Mahmoudiya Hospital, the hospital's chief said Tuesday.

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 4

Mobile equipment measures bodily effects of heat stress


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 inhales.

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," Sabella said.

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 mid.

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, said Sabella.

Maxwell said the Institute col¬laborates with other researchers outside the institute to achieve these missions.

"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 said.

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..

East Carolinian, 28 July 2004, page 3
Page 3 of the East Carolinian, 28 July 2004 edition. The titles of the two articles on the page are Freed Egyptian diplomat returns to work; mortar attacks kill Iraqi worker and Study to protect migrant agro workers.
July 28, 2004
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