zoom The US food-processing company Archer Daniels Midland has added export terminals at the Romanian Port of Constanta on the Black Sea to its European origination and transportation network, through an agreement to acquire complete ownership of North Star Shipping and Minmetal.ADM, through its minority stake in North Star and through Minmetal—a separate 50-50 joint venture owned by ADM and North Star—previously owned approximately 45 percent of the Constanta assets.North Star and Minmetal operate grain elevators and bulk commodity storage and warehousing as well as port services, stevedoring operations and a shipping agency at the mouth of the Danube River.The export terminal in the Port of Constanta has ten vessel berths, including seven deep sea berths; port terminals with annual throughput capacity of up to 6 million metric tons; an on-site grain storage capacity of 330,000 metric tons; two floating cranes for direct barge-oceangoing vessel transfer; mobile shore cranes and equipment; a vacuum discharge and ship loader; and an iron ore and coal terminal located on 21 hectares.The Port of Constanta sits on the Black Sea at the mouth of the Danube River, making it the primary ingress and egress point for bulk commodities being traded into and out of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.”We’ve talked about the potential to double the volume of our grain business. Here, we’re taking a great step in that direction with this strategic expansion of our European network,” said Joe Taets, president of ADM Europe Middle East and Africa.”By becoming full owners of these facilities on the Black Sea, we’re building on the investments we have made in our Danube River network since 2011, which enhances our origination, logistics and export capabilities in Eastern Europe, and allows us to reach more customers around the globe.”Image: Port of Constanta
In a press release issued from Geneva, Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Benyam Mezmur, the Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and Juan Mendez, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, called on Pakistani authorities to reverse a decision regarding the execution of Shafqat Hussain, scheduled for 9 June. Mr. Hussein was arrested, tried and convicted at the age of 14 for kidnapping and involuntary manslaughter. According to his lawyers, however, Mr. Hussein’s confession was obtained after being tortured for at least nine days while in police custody. “To proceed with Mr. Hussain’s execution without proper investigation into the allegation that his confession was coerced under torture, and in spite of evidence that he was a child at the time of his alleged offence and of his possible innocence would be utterly unacceptable and in flagrant contravention of Pakistan’s national and international obligations,” the UN experts warned. “Under Pakistani law and articles 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and 37.1 the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the death sentence cannot be imposed on a defendant who was under 18 at the time of the crime,” they added. “Testimonies obtained under torture are also inadmissible.” Mr. Hussain was originally due to be executed in March 2015 but his sentence was stayed while authorities conducted an inquiry into his age at the time of the crime and on the torture allegations. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which led the investigation ultimately concluded that Mr. Hussain was not a child at the time of the killing however both the legitimacy of the inquiry and the initial trial has been contested. “In light of reports that the trial against Mr. Hussain and the FIA inquiry fell short of such standards, we call once again upon the Pakistani authorities to ensure a fair retrial of Shafqat Hussain, and to immediately halt the scheduled execution,” the three experts continued.In addition, they urged Pakistan’s Government to reinstate the country’s death penalty moratorium and carry out “serious investigations” all cases of children on death row. Since Pakistan’s moratorium was lifted in December 2014, 140 prisoners have been executed while reports indicate that more than 8,000 people are currently on death row of whom several hundred may have been sentenced for crimes they committed as children.