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Table of Contents

France Charges UK With Spying For U.S.

by Eric S. Margolis French investigators are examining claims by industry that the wicked Anglo-Saxons are using Echelon to eavesdrop on details of their major international arms and commercial deals. According to the French, information from Echelon intercepts passed on to U.S. and British defense and telecom firms was used to underbid French companies

Are Tire Blowouts a Case of Corporate Homicide?

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman More than 150 deaths around the world linked to Firestone tread separations; what did Ford and Firestone know about these tires and when did they know it? Ford and Firestone knew of at least 35 deaths and 130 injuries before the federal government launched its probe earlier this year. They knew about these cases, because they were being sued by the families of the victims. And as a condition of these settlements, Ford and Firestone were demanding that the lawyers who bring these cases not speak to anyone about what they found out during discovery

Re-militarizing El Salvador

by George Thurlow With the United States kicked out of Panama, shunned by Costa Rica and Mexico, and mired in a guerrilla war in Colombia, is El Salvador the new American station house for Central American "police actions?" Seeking a Central American beachhead in the drug war, the United States is planning a new round of military buildup in this war-shattered country

Behind Bush

by Pratap Chatterjee Is what Bush believes is good for Texas, good for the United States? Texas has one of the worst environmental records in the country, particularly in the field of air pollution. And its education record is not much better. Unfortunately, the Bush platform for the country is very similar to the kinds of programs that he has worked on with Enron, cutting corporate taxes, deregulating industry and replacing social programs with private sector volunteerism. In addition Enron is invested in energy projects around the globe -- some of which have been tainted by charges of human rights abuses

Bear Lincoln Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

by Nicholas Wilson "Bear" Lincoln, who was acquitted in 1997 of murdering a deputy sheriff, last week was sentenced to five years in state prison for firing a shotgun at the home of his cousin. In an exclusive Monitor interview just before entering the courtroom for sentencing, Lincoln said he had acted out of pent-up anger against his cousin for shooting at his mother while he was in jail for two years awaiting trial on murder charges

Clinton Waives Human Rights Clause, Approves Colombia Drug War Money

by Yadira Ferrer The law passed by Congress to authorize assistance for Plan Colombia stipulates that military personnel suspected of committing human rights violations or of collaborating with right-wing paramilitary squads must be dismissed. The memorandum Clinton sent to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright states that this requirement has been waived "in the national security interest of the United States"

High Gas Prices Are Chance to Cut Reliance on Oil

by Danielle Knight AS skyrocketing petrol prices fuel unrest across Europe, environmentalists are highlighting the need to move away from reliance on fossil fuels and turn toward renewable energy. According to Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute here, the solution to high petrol prices and global warming can be one and the same. He argues that the answer to both conundrums lie not in reducing taxes on petrol, but in fundamentally restructuring government tax systems in order to begin moving away from reliance on fossil-fuels

Error 404: News Not Found in Your Daily media

IN THIS ISSUE: The greatest financial scandal in U.S. history; mainstream press bashes Ralph Nader; patriotic plagarism; top papers exclude critics in exchange for "scoop"

Texas Drug Sting Became Racist Roundup, Critics Say

by Katherine Stapp The blue-collar Texas town of Tulia has seen 10 percent of its African-American population rounded up and jailed in a drug sting that many residents say was a blatant example of racial profiling. Like anyplace else, people say, Tulia had its share of drug users. But were there really 46 cocaine dealers -- 32 of them black -- in a town of just 5,000?

One Thing You Can Do To Make A Difference This Election Year

by Randolph T. Holhut Can debates make a difference? Ask Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. In the 1998 governor's race, he was at 10 percent in the polls and was considered merely a curiosity entering into the first of a series of televised debates that gave him credibility and gave the voters a glimpse of an alternative to the major party's candidates. It was the decisive moment in his ultimately successful campaign

Nader, Buchanan, and Gore Debate -- Sort of

by Jennifer Bleyer On a sunny morning hours before a full roster of star musicians took the stage at Farm Aid 2000, Buchanan, Nader and -- representing Al Gore -- Democratic Senator Bryon Durgan (D - N Dakota) were in Bristow, Virginia, explaining their respective proposals for solving the farming crisis in America

How The Presidential Debate Commission Stacked The Deck

by Janet Reynolds After the first 1988 debate, the candidates presented the League of Women Voters with the rules they had negotiated with the more cooperative commission. Among those rules: allowing candidates to review the moderator's script and barring follow-up questions. The hall also had to be stacked with candidate supporters, rather than the public, as had been the league's procedure. The candidates said that if the league didn't like the rules, the candidates would go elsewhere -- i.e., back to the commission

Bush Must Face Free Speech Lawsuit

by Brian Hansen A Texas judge has rejected a motion to dismiss Republican presidential nominee Governor George W. Bush from a civil rights lawsuit brought by environmental groups and individual protesters. The suit was filed against the Texas governor by citizens who were arrested and jailed last spring for protesting Bush's environmental policies on the public sidewalk in front of the Texas Governor's Mansion

Nader Blasts NOW On Women's Issues

by Matt Welch Criticized by the head of the National Organization of Women as being "ill-informed about abortion rights," presidential candidate Ralph Nader Thursday accused the group of ignoring key women's issues in favor of "political expediency." Nader was responding to NOW president Patricia Ireland's stinging accusation in Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle. In a voice rising with irritation, he argued Ireland's active campaign against his candidacy is typical "politics of fear" rhetoric common among powerful liberal organizations

Asshole, or A**hole, or @$#&*!

by Erik Deckers The New York Daily News blasted a huge headline, "That guy's an @$#&*!" and followed it up with the opening statement "George W. Bush launched his fall campaign sprint yesterday by telling voters 'we need plain-spoken Americans in the White House' -- moments after he was caught calling a reporter a barnyard epithet." The New York Post only referred to it as "Bush's X-rated barb" (protecting their readers' Victorian-era sensibilities, I imagine), while the Los Angeles Times buried the comment deep in a campaign story. National Public Radio even got in on the no-bleeping act, playing the comment in its entirety. Way to go, NPR!

Liberals Attack Nader

by David Corn Nader's candidacy has been widely defined by its impact (real or imagined) on the Gore campaign, and much of the commentary regarding Nader has fixed on whether he will "steal" votes from Gore and hand Bush the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania. Theoretically, Nader could attract enough Gore-leaners to cost the Vice-President the election. But that is not the only theory to consider

Aid to Colombia: What Do Bush and Gore Think?

by Arianna Huffington When President Clinton signed a waiver of the human rights provisions imposed by Congress on the $1.3 billion drug war aid package to Colombia, not a single reporter bothered to ask the candidates -- one of whom, after all, will have to deal with the consequences -- what they thought of it

Bush Can Run, But Can't Hide From Debates

by Steve Chapman It may seem unfair to choose a president on the talents required for debating, but the presidential forums don't exactly demand Stephen Hawking's brains or Winston Churchill's command of the language. Keep in mind that in 1992, Al Gore fought a battle of wits against Dan Quayle and emerged second best. We are reduced to this: Bush is afraid he may not be able to meet the high standard set by Quayle

Conservatives Declare Class War Over Gore "Populism"

by David Corn No sooner had Al Gore's convention speech been dubbed "populist" -- because he assailed "powerful forces and powerful interests" -- was he accused of engaging in class warfare. Anytime a politician suggests that monied interests are screwing consumers and citizens and that an appropriate response is anger and resistance, he or she is whacked for being divisive, backward-looking, and politically naive

Repubs Call For Heavy Logging to Stop Wildfires

by Matthew Koehler Montana's Congressman Rick Hill recently called for the Clinton administration "to put forth new measures for the emergency recovery of vulnerable and affected timber to help prevent further devastation." In other words, Congressman Hill's proposed solution is to "recover" -- or cut down -- any forests that are "vulnerable" to wildfire or "affected" by the current wildfires. At last count, that is all the forestland in the western United States

The Gore Fundraising Fake-out

by David Corn Gore has conceded that he cannot win the personality face-off with good ol' George W. Bush ("I won't always be the most exciting"). Consequently, he has calculated his best bet is to portray himself as an advocate and defender of the commoner ("But I will work for you.") After eight years of Bill Clinton as Big Daddy, the choice is an affable buddy who you want to hang with or a brother you may not always like but who looks out for you. And Gore is willing to protect you from those special-interest bullies. That's not a bad way for Gore to frame the election. Perhaps it is his only chance. But besides his inability to convey any message, there are, at least, two other problems: history and reality

Native Americans Find Political Clout at Convention

by Koren L. Capozza Flush with gaming dollars, the once impoverished minority group has pumped millions into DNC coffers and attracted an all-star lineup of powerful political personalities to intimate gatherings with Native American delegates and tribal representatives. But the featured speakers weren't always at ease with the newest group to join the ranks of upper-echelon donors. By the end of the convention some Native American participants were learning that money is the quickest way to an attentive ear from Washington but acceptance into the very white world of national politics is a separate battle

Naomi Klein's New New Left

by Tamara Straus Like many on the street, Klein, a Canadian journalist and activist, is convinced that a new radicalism is underway. But Klein has reservations; she is not so certain that this movement of protests, however necessary, isn't just running in place. "Ever since Seattle, the American Left surprised itself by being alive," she said. "And now this weird psychology has set in where the Left is so afraid of losing the momentum of Seattle that they have to keep organizing the next Seattle or the whole thing will dissipate"

The Chinese Spy Scandal That Wasn't

by Randolph T. Holhut The Lee case would've have been just a laughable sideshow, if not for all the damage that has been done. The top federal officials that are responsible for the abusive treatment of Lee -- Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI Director Louis Freeh and Energy Secretary Bill Richardson -- will not apologize for their actions, which they claim were justified. We haven't seen an apology from the New York Times, which swallowed the government's lies and then gave them credence with their front treatment of a phony spy probe, or from the Republican lynch mob in Congress

Asian-Americans Want Investigation Into Wen Ho Lee Case

by Jim Lobe The judge's extraordinary apology may not be enough for many Asian Americans and civil rights groups, for whom the case has become a cause celebre. They have argued that Lee was the victim of "racial profiling" on the part of federal security personnel at the national laboratories and in the defence industries, and of anti- Chinese hysteria that has been whipped up as a result of recent tensions with China and the belief held by many in the intelligence establishment and Congress that Beijing has been systematically stealing U.S. weapons' secrets

Dr. Wen Ho Lee, Chinese Scapegoat

by Ling-Chi Wang The plea bargain agreement may settle the criminal case, but there is unfinished business, from security management to unfair treatment of lab employees. We want to know the truth behind this politically inspired case. We want the people who instigated the case, framed Dr. Lee, and leaked half-truths to the media and Congressional investigating committees, for whatever reasons, to be identified and held accountable for the torture inflicted upon him and his family

Highest-Ever Ice Sample Shows Accelerated Global Warming

by Earle Holland Ice cores drilled through a glacier more than four miles up in the Himalayan Mountains have yielded a highly detailed record of the last 1,000 years of earth's climate in the high Tibetan Plateau. Based on an analysis of the ice, both the last decade and the last 50 years were the warmest in 1,000 years

Melting Glaciers Threaten S America Ecosystem, Major Cities

by Abraham Lama A warming process in Peru's Andes mountains, where ice and snow is melting at an accelerated rate, is jeopardizing water supplies to farms and urban areas in the region and could eventually spark devastating mudslides. The glaciers of the Andes mountains in Peru account for a full 70 percent of the frozen surface area of the earth's tropical belt. They play a decisive role in the surrounding river system, and regulate the climate in the area under their influence

U.S. Corporation Wins Right to Build Toxic Plant in Mexico

by Danielle Knight An international trade tribunal based here has ruled that Mexico violated NAFTA and ordered the government to pay $16.7 million to a U.S. company. The tribunal's decision is increasing concern that trade accords and institutions like the WTO can be used to trump local and national laws

Lottery Fever Spreads in Jamaica as Economy Crumbles

by Corinne Barnes Unemployment now stands at 16.3 percent, fuelled by the closure of dozens of garment factories here over the last three years as businesses fled to Mexico and the benefits afforded them under NAFTA. The financial sector deteriorated over the same time span

New Chomsky Book Calls U.S. "Rogue State"

by Kenneth Rapoza In his latest book, "Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs," Noam Chomsky notes that the global humanitarian condition has not improved much since the fall of the Iron Curtain. The Western powers, led by the United States, are still recklessly violating international law, all the while calling their victims "lawless, rogue nations" in need of discipline

Environment- Unfriendly Jobs Dwindle, Study Says

by Danielle Knight In the last few years, U.S. coal, oil and gas industries have reinforced the polarization between workers and the environment by proclaiming that the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement that limits the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases a country can emit, is a profound threat to jobs and economic prosperity. But according to a new report released here September 21, most mining and logging jobs are at risk even in the absence of tougher environmental laws. Increased mechanization and automation and companies moving operations overseas have been the real reason for job loss

Heavy Lead Contamination in SF Bay

by Tim Stephens The use of lead as a gasoline additive was phased out years ago in California, but an enormous reservoir of lead-contaminated soils and river sediments remains in the Central Valley and will continue to contaminate the waters of San Francisco Bay for decades to come

Outcry Over Conviction of Prominent Mexico Enviros

by Diego Cevallos and Danielle Knight Environmental and human rights groups in Mexico and the U.S. are condemning the conviction of two Mexican environmentalists, found guilty August 29 of drugs and weapons crimes in the southern state of Guerrero. The Sierra Club and Amnesty International believe that the arrest and conviction of Montiel and Cabrera stem from their efforts to stop illegal logging in the mountains around their village north of Acapulco

Fears of Coup Behind Fujimori's Call for Elections

by Abraham Lama Vladimiro Montesinos, the president's security adviser and a retired army captain was basically responsible for the military's support for Fujimori. And according to Mario Vargas Llosa, the arrested intelligence chief wields as much -- or more -- power as the president

Chief of Pinochet's Secret Police Worked for CIA

by Gustavo Gonzalez Chilean Gen. Manuel Contreras was a CIA informant from 1974 to 1977, and that he even received payment for his services in 1976

New Report Sheds Light on CIA Meddling in S America

by Jim Lobe As a paid informant of the CIA during the bloodiest years of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, Chile's former secret police chief Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda joins a long list of notorious human rights abusers who made money off the agency

More Ammonia in Air Linked to Cars, Not Cows

by Charmayne Marsh Researchers now suspect that cars may be the main source of haze-inducing ammonia, rather than livestock, as previously thought. In a study of 4,500 vehicles conducted on a southern California freeway ramp, researchers found unexpectedly high levels of ammonia in the exhaust of gasoline-powered cars. The levels were so high they estimate that cars are adding twice as much ammonia to the air of California's southern coastal basin as livestock do.

U.S. Refuses Compensation to Radiation Test Victims

by Marc Perelman During the Cold War, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) -- the forerunner to the Department of Energy -- funded, sponsored and supervised numerous radiation studies on terminally ill patients, aborted foetuses, mentally retarded children, poor people and prisoners

Enviros Blast Russia For Plundering Sakhalin Island

by Danielle Knight Located north of Japan in Russia's Far East, Sakhalin is seen by regional politicians as the ticket to economic prosperity for the Russian Far East because of huge deposits of oil and natural gas

Swap Pollution Credits for Fun and Profit

by Matthew Leising While there are still kinks to be worked out with the Kyoto Protocol, emissions trading is already having the effect of bringing all sides in the debate to the table

Hydroelectric Dams Stoke Global Warming

by Fred Pearce Far from being "green," many hydroelectric power schemes release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than large coal-fired power stations, because of the rotting vegetation they contain

UN Allies Itself with Big Business

by Naomi Klein New aper chronicles a set of policy decisions that are steering the UN away from its potential role as an independent regulator of transnational corporations and toward a model where the UN is just as entangled in corporate interests as all the other international financial agencies

When the Innocent Plead Guilty

by Steve Chapman Not only can police sometimes get a suspect to confess to a crime he didn't commit, they can sometimes get a suspect to confess to a crime that hasn't even happened. Ten years ago in Austin, Texas, a man brought in for questioning failed two polygraph exams before finally informing police that he had murdered his former girlfriend. That came as a surprise to the woman, who was quite alive in Tucson

FBI Calling the Kettle Black

by Tim Wise The new training spends a great deal of time discussing the passivity of German law enforcement in the face of growing repression under the Third Reich. But we needn't look to Hitler's regime for that lesson. After all, FBI agents were notorious for standing around, watching, and doing nothing while civil rights workers and freedom riders were beaten by racists throughout the South in the 1960's

Verizon Strike Historic Challenge to "New Economy"

by Mark Weisbrot The median wage in the United States today is the same as it was 27 years ago, measured in terms of what it can purchase; and the real wages of workers in the bottom 20 percent of the distribution have actually fallen by about 9 percent. There are many who see these changes as inherent in the "new economy," but this isn't true. The Internet may be new, but technological transformation and a changing mix of industries in the economy are not. What is new and different is the failure of the majority of the labor force to share in the gains from economic growth. The workers at Verizon have put their jobs on the line to try and reverse these trends

Mad Cows, Mad Sheep, Mad Elk, Mad People

by Donella H. Meadows I might be more impressed at USDA zeal if it were not the same bureaucracy that has for decades blessed the practice of raising meat animals in huge concentration camps and that still allows those animals to be fed with hormones, antibiotics, and dead animals

Media Targets Political Trivia, Ignores Nader

by Molly Ivins Far be it from me to imply that your alert watchdogs of the press are missing anything, but you might want to know about a couple of recent events in Portland, Ore. Gov. G.W. Bush held a public rally there attended by 2,300 citizens and a huge media pack, which gave said rally the national coverage that it so fully deserved. Two days later, the Green Party rented a coliseum that seats 10,000 people and charged them $7 a head to hear Ralph Nader, with droves of people being turned away for lack of room. This event received no coverage whatever beyond Portland, despite the fact that the crowd was so enthusiastic that the normally reserved Nader gave a speech that had the crowd standing and screaming

Bush Health Plan Invites Disaster

by Molly Ivins In general, you find Gore wanting to build on existing government programs and Bush wanting to turn away from government programs and push health coverage back to the private market, even subsidizing insurance companies

Wen Ho Lee Case Disgraces America

by Molly Ivins From the beginning, we had very knowledgeable sources saying the thing was a crock. We all know there's a problem with the spy agencies trying to find enough to do since the end of the Cold War, but the media should examine their own consciences over all those "Chinese spy" headlines

Deal With Global Warming or go Extinct

by Molly Ivins Aren't there some scientists who deny that any of this is happening, or at least that it means global warming is taking place? Yes, about seven of them, and in a remarkable act of journalistic irresponsibility, it took the media years to report that most of them are directly or indirectly in the pay of the oil companies. You can put the combined weight of climatologists around the globe against that

Bush: Education Good, Schools Bad

by Molly Ivins George W. Bush on education, supposedly his strong point, is making no sense. He is getting it all wrong and is dumbing down what could have been a really useful debate on how to fix the public schools. For political reasons, he needs to claim that his little nostrums have more to do with the improvement in Texas public schools than the fundamental reforms made long before he showed up

A Mostly Forgotten Labor Hero

by Molly Ivins You may not have heard of the Great Southwest Strike of 1886, the largest and most important clash between management and organized labor in 19th-century Texas history

Texas Gears Up For Even More Prisons

by Molly Ivins "Texas Tough" compares Texas to New York because the state's populations are relatively well-matched. While Texas had the fastest-growing prison system in the '90s, New York had the third slowest-growing prisoner population. Through the decade, Texas added five times as many prisoners as New York -- more than New York's entire prison population. Since 1995, the percentage decline in overall crime in New York was four times greater than the drop in Texas, and New York's crime rate dropped twice as much as Texas'

Texas Health Commish Blows It Again

by Molly Ivins Last time he got into trouble was for saying Texas has a high teen-age pregnancy rate because the state's Hispanic population does not believe that "getting pregnant is a bad thing." The Alan Guttmacher Institute says that Texas Hispanics have a higher pregnancy rate than Anglos or blacks, but that the white rate is among the highest in the nation, too

Cancer is Good for the Priorities

by Molly Ivins In one week and two days, I will be finished with nine months of treatment for cancer. First they poison you; then they mutilate you; then they burn you. I've had more fun. And when it's almost over, you're so glad that you're grateful to absolutely everyone. And I am

Gore's "Class Warfare"

by Molly Ivins The plump comfortable commentators pulling down $1 million or more a year cannot understand why Gore would spout populism when everyone is doing so well. Absolutely everyone they know

Despite Protests, Dr. Laura's on TV

by Norman Solomon Many of her fans have the impression that Schlessinger is some kind of doctor, but her degree is in physiology. Whatever her credentials, she excels at passing judgment, swiftly and rigidly. Dr. Laura condemns anyone whose sexual actions -- homosexual, heterosexual or whatever -- don't adhere to her line. And Dr. Laura's daily television show promises more of the same

Media Giants Mum on Their Own Lobbying

by Norman Solomon Time Warner figures prominently in "Off the Record," a carefully researched document from the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity. "No media corporation lavishes more money on lobbyists or political campaigns than Time Warner," the report explains. "The media giant spent nearly $4.1 million for lobbying last year, and since 1993 has contributed $4.6 million to congressional and presidential candidates and the two political parties." For Time Warner, which has shelled out $15.77 million for lobbying since 1996, the stakes are high along Pennsylvania Avenue

The Two-Party Media System

by Norman Solomon These days, politicians and pundits are working hard to explain how Al Gore and George W. Bush differ. Meanwhile, journalists are apt to bypass the many points of unity. In the media zone, if the major-party candidates agree, the matter is pretty much settled

The Disgrace of The New York Times

by Alexander Cockburn Guided by Safire, the Republicans in Congress pounced upon the Wen Ho Lee case with an ardor approaching ecstasy. By spring of 1999, their effort to evict Bill Clinton from office for the Lewinsky affair had collapsed. They needed a new stick with which to beat the administration, and the New York Times handed it to them

Al and Tipper's Culture Wars

by Alexander Cockburn Since Gore and Lieberman are now revving up a culture war far more sinister than anything proposed by Dan Quayle back in 1992, it's worth remembering what exactly Tipper and Al Gore got up to fifteen years ago in their campaign against explicit rock 'n rap

Lieberman's God Talk

by Alexander Cockburn The liberal response to Liberman's astounding assertions has been wretchedly feeble. If such words had come out of the mouth of Pat Buchanan or Pat Robertson, groups such as People for the American Way would have rushed to sound the alarm. But since Lieberman is a Democrat and furthermore a Democrat running as Al Gore's man, a decorous silence has mostly prevailed

Pentagon Auctions The Presidency

by Alexander Cockburn The modern equivalent of the Roman Praetorian Guards are licking their lips at the prospect of a delightful bidding war stretching over the presidential debates. We can look forward to Joe Lieberman chastising Dick Cheney for his temerity, as President Bush's Defense Secretary, in cutting the military budget and even canceling such egregious boondoggles as the A-12 Stealth fighter

The New Age of Prudery

by Alexander Cockburn If Gore and Lieberman are going to get serious about moral cleansing, why stop with "South Park" when the museums are filled with porn and violence? Sure enough, I was hardly inside the Getty Center's gallery of classical antiquities before I was confronted by an amphora depicting satyrs with enormous genitals all set to rape a passel of wood nymphs. I can't imagine Senator Lieberman approving of that kind of thing

Disappearing Trees Linked to Shortage of Wolves

by David Stauth By influencing both the total number and foraging behavior of elk, the wolf packs may historically have prevented extensive elk browsing in some of Yellowstone's aspen stands

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