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Table of Contents

A Short History Of April 19, 1995, 9:02

by Jeff Elliott Just days after he graduated high school, Timothy McVeigh embarked on a journey into America's heart of darkness that would lead to the Oklahoma City Bombing

Israel Policy Shaped By Fears Of Retribution

by Ben Lynfield Security anxiety is already shaping the stances of Israelis on how to resolve the conflict, pollsters say. A survey last week in the Ma'ariv newspaper showed that for the first time Israelis, by a margin of 48 to 45 percent, favor a U.S.-imposed ceasefire in the conflict with the Palestinians. "The message is 'come save us, the main thing is to get us out of this trouble,'" wrote Chemi Shalev, the paper's diplomatic correspondent. "The public is ready to clutch any straw that might get it out of its distress"

Mammoth Dust Storm Sweeps China

by Danielle Knight It was one of the largest dust storms recorded in history, stretching up to 2,000 kilometers in length and 800 kilometers in width. It began as a cyclone in northwestern China and moved eastward. As it moved east, it was visible by satellite over eastern China, Japan, and Russia's Far East, where it closed airports, slowed traffic, obscured the sun and reduced visibility. Two weeks later, the mammoth dust storm reached North America where it blanketed parts of western Canada and the United States

Israel Shuns Investigation of Army Killings

by Ben Lynfield Allegations by Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups that the Israeli army uses excessive force, endangering the lives of Palestinians, are a central issue in the current confrontation. Scrutiny of the army intensified last week with publication of a report by an international commission headed by former U.S. senator George Mitchell, which says Israeli forces caused many "avoidable" deaths. Pointedly, the report also took the army to task for not conducting investigations of misuse of weapons. There have been more than 444 fatal shootings of Palestinians and about 15,000 wounded since the uprising. Eighty-eight people have been killed on the Israeli side

NIKE Failed On Sweatshop Reform Promises

by Kristina Canizares A new report, "Still Waiting for Nike to Do It" finds that the company's three-year, $3 billion public relations campaign seems to have silenced many of Nike's former critics. Nike has skirted around the problem of labor abuses by promoting its reforms without providing proof they are being instituted. And most media organizations have accepted Nike's PR as news

Enviros Blast Bush Energy Plan

by Danielle Knight Oil, gas and coal companies welcomed the recommendations. Green groups also dismissed as token offerings, the plan's calls for tax incentives to promote conservation, renewable energy, and efficiency

U.S. Energy Plan Casts Long Shadow Around The Globe

by Abid Aslam Bush energy strategy envisions "deep water offshore exploration and production in the Atlantic Basin, stretching from offshore Canada to the Caribbean, Brazil and West Africa."The plan takes an expansive approach in which energy is treated as a domestic imperative and as a means to project U.S. influence in the world

World Bank Worried About Fossil Fuel Investments

by Jim Lobe The World Bank Group, which has invested some $2 billion annually in oil, gas and mining and other non-renewable energy projects in developing countries over the past decade, is increasingly concerned about the public relations and environmental risks created by these projects, according to recently leaked documents

Bleak Future For Ex-Soviet Republics

by Gustavo Capdevila The economic decay of the former Soviet republics has reached such an extreme that they are, on average, 40 percent below their wealth levels of 1989, the year the region's socialist regimes collapsed

Africa's Race To Save The Great Apes From Extinction

by Katy Salmon The closest relatives to humankind, the great apes, could be extinct in five to 10 years if nothing is done to stop the destruction of their habitat and their slaughter for meat

African AIDS May Alter Human Evolution

by Robert Sanders The AIDS epidemic in Africa might affect the course of human evolution, say three biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, as people with the disease who also carry a particular gene live slightly longer

Mexico's Ambassador To Citizens In U.S.

by James E. Garcia Love of the motherland is all good and well, but the $11 billion in cash remittances that Mexicans in the U.S. send home every year are Mexico's economic lifeline. To his credit, Hernandez isn't shy about letting his audience know that Fox considers the dollars they send home a critical source of revenue. He calls it a "gift" for which Mexico should be eternally grateful

Bush Won't Support Bioweapons Treaty

by Gustavo Capdevila The United States has thrown another wrench into multilateral disarmament talks by blocking one more international treaty, the verification protocol for the biological weapons convention (BWC)

Tax Reform Just Start Of Economy Upheaval

by Geov Parrish According to an interview with a senior Bush cabinet member, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, the tax cuts were just the beginning of the Dubya Administration's vision to radically remake the American economic landscape by funnelling our wealth to the pointlessly wealthy

The Bush Payback, Big Time

by Mark Weisbrot The Bush Administration's energy proposal is the latest in a series of initiatives that give "transparency" in government a whole new meaning. Campaign contributors are cashing in on their investments, and every week is "payback" week

Moakley's Last Crusade: Closing "School Of Assassins"

by Randolph T. Holhut Moakley's work eventually led to the arrest of several members of the Salvadoran military. He also helped to cut off U.S. aid to the Salvadoran military, which led him to his next big crusade: closing down the place that trained the killers, the U.S. Army's School of the Americas

Jeffords Is Casualty Of GOP Divisiveness

by Randolph T. Holhut Party discipline may be important, but considering that Bush got virtually everything he wanted in his tax cut proposal, there didn't seem to be any point in targeting Jeffords -- particularly when he voted with Bush on everything else in the first weeks of his administration. With a bit more tact, Jeffords might have been persuaded to stay. Instead, the back room talk of "hardball" and "payback" forced Jeffords to reexamine the place of a New England moderate in a party dominated by Sun Belt conservatives. The Bush team's desire to maintain party discipline ultimately cost them control of the Senate

Repubs Should Pull The Plug On Strom Thurmond

by Steve Chapman His gross incapacity is hardly news to his colleagues, who are used to treating him like a potted plant. Even Thurmond's friends admit he's no longer fit for the job. " But this year, his conspicuous deficits had to be overlooked by fellow Republicans for one simple reason: The chamber was perfectly divided. Keeping Thurmond alive and in office was the difference between keeping control of the Senate and losing it. So Lott and Company saw no choice but to play along with the ruse

Drug Warriors Stonewall Probe Of Downed Plane

by Arianna Huffington When long-time drug warriors like Congressmen Dan Burton and Mark Souder start blasting American anti-drug efforts in Latin America, you know that something is rotten in Peru. And Colombia. And Washington

A Rogue Nation Accountable To No One

by Editorial Staff, The Nation As the hyperpower, with interests around the world, America has the largest stake in law and legitimacy. But the ingrained assumption that we are legislator, judge, jury and executioner mocks any notion of global order. From the laws of war to the laws of trade, it is increasingly clear that Washington believes international law applies only to the weak. The weak do what they must; the United States does what it will

Ten Reasons the Senate Should Oppose John Walters

by Don Hazen "President Bush has somehow found ... the one guy who's going to be more extremist than Attorney General John Ashcroft when it comes to drug policy," said Ethan Nadleman, director of the Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation, on CNN. "John Walters has stood very firmly for the proposition that drug policy should have absolutely nothing to do with public health or science or, for that matter, the facts. It's all about punishing people for their sins"

The Hidden, Accepted Horror Of Our Prisons

by Steve Chapman When Human Rights Watch did a confidential poll of prison guards in an unnamed Southern state, they estimated that one in five inmates were victims of prison rape. Inmates said it was more like one in three

W. Gets His Win

by David Corn Would You Trade a Cranky Senator for Several Trillion Dollars? You Sure Would

A Quiet Win for Bush, Inc.

by David Corn Senate Democrats got riled up over Ted Olson. But Graham poses greater danger, for he will be operating in an obscure-but-influential corner of the administration. If Graham is installed at OIRA, the Bushies and their sponsors in the business community will have won a significant (and damn too easy) battle in their war against health-and-safety standards that protect workers, consumers and the environment

Broadcast McVeigh's Execution

by David Corn Would this lead to a further coarsening of the culture? Ponder that CBS poll that indicates most death penalty supporters accept wrongful executions. How coarser can you get? Let these capital punishment backers see what it would look like when an innocent person is strapped in and killed by bureaucrats

Let The Investigations Begin!

by David Corn If the Democrats had the creativity and bloodlust of the Republicans -- who felt compelled to investigate every swallow that dropped during the Clinton years -- gobs of fun could be had. An investigation into George W. Bush's missing year in the National Guard? Too much ancient history? Then how about an investigation into the use of inaccurate felon lists in Florida during the last election, a move that kept an unknown number of Florida citizens -- including many African-Americans -- from casting a vote?

Untouched Peru Rainforest Becomes National Park

A 5,225 square mile stretch of pristine Andean rainforest in Peru became the world's newest national park last month. Slightly bigger than the state of Connecticut, the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul lies in one of the last large areas of virgin forest and is still undeveloped and largely uninhabited.

Plains Indians Were Tallest, Healthiest People In World

Native tribes on the American Plains in the late 1800s were the tallest people in the world, suggesting that they were surprisingly well-nourished, a new study found. These results contradict the modern image of American Indians as being sickly victims succumbing to European disease

Human Rights Group Too Negative, Colombia Says

by Yadira Ferrer Colombian authorities are complaining loudly over the latest Amnesty International report which cites on-going abuses of civilians by paramilitary groups. Army commander General Nestor Ramirez, meanwhile, blamed the allegations of ties between the army and the AUC on "the legal and political war waged against the armed forces" by organizations that are "keen on discrediting and minimizing the successful actions" of the security forces

Corporations Exploited Welfare Reform Workers, Study Shows

by Alicia Rebensdorf Welfare reform was a hot topic five years ago. Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, opening welfare's door to privatization. Corporations welcomed the opportunity to receive government money and, through decreased bureaucracy and increased efficiency, promised to create social services that would help former welfare recipients get their lives in order. Little is known about how well those corporate promises panned out, largely because there was no monitoring system written into the 1996 welfare act. However, a recent study reports that while corporate bankrolls may have profited, those living in poverty often did not

Herbicide-Resistant Weeds Appearing In GM Fields

Reliance on the Monsanto herbicide Roundup to kill weeds in fields of genetically engineered Roundup Ready soybeans has led to increased herbicide use because the weeds have become herbicide resistant, according to a new study

Study: Non-Blacks Quick To Link Blacks With Weapons

by Gerry Everding Participants were presented with an array of images that included photos of blacks and whites and either tools or weapons. When shown a series of photos showing black faces, participants were much faster to identify later images of weapons. Those primed with a selection of white faces were faster to identify non-threatening images, such as tools

Plan Columbia Implicates U.S. In Executions Without Trial

by James E. Garcia Americans should find disturbing that the U.S. has and continues to take part in the wholly non-judicial practice of convicting and executing people who are merely suspected of drug trafficking

The "White Denial" Firestorm

by Tim Wise What began as a simple 1100 word article, posted on an alternative website, had metamorphosed into the talk of the electronic nation. Within two days it was being sent around on hundreds of listservs, and the e-mails just kept on coming. What was it about this piece that touched such a nerve? I wish I knew for sure

China's Execution, Inc.

by Erik Baard and Rebeccah Cooney In China, human rights groups say, citizens have been executed for nonviolent offenses like taking bribes, credit card theft, small-scale tax evasion, and stealing truckloads of vegetables. Political dissidents have also been sentenced to death. Chinese embassy officials did not respond to requests for comment, but in the past the government has denied promoting the for-profit organ trade

McVeigh's Twisted Warrior Culture

by Molly Ivins One of the more puzzling aspects of McVeigh's warped sense of the warrior culture is that he so clearly loathed the "country" for which he claimed to act. I rarely venture into the realm of parlor psychology, mostly because I am hopelessly unqualified, but McVeigh is not just an aberration. Exactly how a supposed code of honor could drive someone to murder 168 people is beyond me, but it is obviously not unique to McVeigh

The Tax Cut: A Typical Bush Mess

by Molly Ivins Congress is getting most of the blame for this mish-mash, but it has the unmistakable Bush hallmark -- loyal legislative minions try to carry out one of Bush's unworkable ideas and in the process create a disaster. The problem with Bush's tax cut, in addition to its basic unfairness, is simply that it was disingenuous and dishonest to begin with. By back-loading a 10-year plan -- i.e., phasing it in so that most of the actual tax relief doesn't appear for years -- Bush was able to hide the true cost of the thing, which is now estimated at $4 trillion when it takes full effect

Down And Out In The U.S.A.

by Molly Ivins Forty years ago, Michael Herrington dubbed the poor "invisible." Today, when those at the top of the heap are so much farther removed from those at the bottom, "invisible" barely begins to cover the extent to which they don't get it

Energy Execs, The New Robber Barons

by Molly Ivins Ken Lay of Enron Corp., the country's largest electricity trader, appears to have been studying J.P. Morgan. The New York Times reported last week Lay had called the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and told him he would support his continuing as chairman if he changed his stance on energy deregulation to coincide with Enron. Lay denies there was a quid pro quo and says the decision about the chairman will be made by the White House. However, there is considerable evidence that Lay and the White House are as one

Texas Suffers In Wake Of Bush Tax Cuts

by Molly Ivins The 77th session of the Texas Legislature was not, ah, productive. Because, of course, there was no money. The reason there was no money is because George W. Bush pushed two major tax cuts through the 75th and 76th sessions. But at least, you may think, the people of Texas are enjoying having a little more change in their pockets. Well, no. You see, as soon as the state cut taxes, the school districts raised theirs. Most citizens of this state never a saw a nickel from the Bush tax cuts

Lost In Suburban Sprawl

by Molly Ivins A major cause of suburban sprawl is that it's government-subsidized. We subsidize developments in the form of new roads, water and sewer lines, schools, and emergency services. And tax abatements. We give away hundreds of millions dollars in tax revenues to attract low-wage employers, sometimes with a price tag of $100,000 per job. This is Seriously Stupid -- especially when you consider that studies of why companies move from one place to another. The top factors are quality of life and the schools, both of which are harmed by the very tax abatements supposedly drawing the companies

What Energy Crisis?

by Molly Ivins Still another problem with the energy plan is media gullibility -- or laziness. It's pretty hard to miss the difference between what the administration is saying and what it intends to do, because we already have its budget. As y'all know, the Bushies got a hostile reaction when Dick Cheney, the real president, tested the energy plan in public. So before Bush made the formal presentation, the Bushies ginned up the "conservation" elements of the plan -- not by making any actual changes, but by upping their public relations offensive on the issue

Media Doesn't See Downside Of Globalization

by Molly Ivins A bizarre example of "fair and balanced" media coverage was the Summit of the Americas trade meeting in Quebec, Canada, in April. The first night of the trade summit, ABC spent four minutes covering the minimal violence created by a tiny fraction of demonstrators, whereupon Peter Jennings came on and asked his correspondent: "What are these people protesting? Or are they just looking for a fight?" The correspondent replied comprehensively, "They're against capitalism." So much for that argument

Journalism's Hazy Future

by Norman Solomon In journalism, the job is to be as truthful as possible. In public relations, the job is to be as misleading as necessary. Surely, we can find plenty of common ground. In any case, build your career by proceeding discreetly to scope out the limits. See what you can get away with

It's Killing Time In MediaLand

by Norman Solomon America is now in the midst of macabre synergy between ratings-driven TV news outlets and grief-stricken survivors of the explosion at the Murrah Federal Building. Perhaps each has some of what the other needs, or at least craves, right now. In any event, a huge media spectacle is approaching its grim climax

Electing Media Magnates

by Norman Solomon Now that Italy's voters have given the job of prime minister to media magnate Silvio Berlusconi, others may wish to follow his example on this side of the Atlantic

Keeping The Riff-Raff Away

by Norman Solomon Few media eyebrows went up the other day when the World Bank canceled a global meeting set for Barcelona in late June -- and shifted it to the Internet. Thousands of street demonstrators would have been in Spain's big northeastern port city to confront the conference

Pearl Harbor: FDR Knew It Was Coming

by Alexander Cockburn Foreknowledge by FDR of the "surprise attack" on Pearl Harbor has been demonstrated about every five years, ever since the Republicans made a huge issue of it after World War II. Each time there's a brief furor, and then we slide back into vaguer language about "unproven assertions" and "rumors." It's one of the great unsayables of our twentieth century history

The Shoot-Down Policy

by Alexander Cockburn n the end, Clinton characteristically tried to please both factions, while going along with the hawks. On June 21, l994, he secretly okayed U.S. cooperation with Colombia and Peru's shoot-down/forcedown policy, allowing U.S. aerial tracking data to be used in operations against suspicious aircraft "if the president has determined that such actions are necessary because of the threat posed by drug trafficking (sic) to the national security of that country and that the country has appropriate procedures in place to protect innocent aircraft"

Redford Snoots Norton

by Alexander Cockburn Robert Redford has given Interior Secretary Gail Norton the cold shoulder. Last week Norton sent an invitation to the movie star in his eyrie at Sundance in the Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City, asking if he would care to be present at the release of a condor raised in captivity. Now, when it comes to preserving nature's domain, Norton's nothing much to write home about, but neither is Redford. Indeed, you can forgive the Interior Secretary for thinking there might have been a soft spot in Redford's heart for her, considering what he has been ready to sanction and condone in recent years

Stones And Glass Houses, Part 2

by Alexander Cockburn Sontag accepts a prize from a group that's trying to boot Nusseibeh out of East Jerusalem -- the very same man whose detention she petitioned to end 10 years ago, during the first intifada! She deserves credit for condemning the occupation policies, but she could have gone a lot further

When Wal-Mart Comes to Town

by Tamara Straus Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the world, with 3,000 stores in the U.S. alone. It opens a megastore every two days. It is the U.S.'s largest private employer, and the second largest employer in general after the Federal government. The company also boasts the largest computer, surpassing the Pentagon's, and the world's largest fleet of trucks. So why should you be worried about them coming to your town?

Big Fish, Bigger Fish

by Jeff Elliott It is only a matter of time before the superstores are driven extinct by evolution's next logical step

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