default.html Issue 127
Table of Contents

"Fahrenheit 9/11" Plays Cairo

by Garay Menicucci In Cairo, it was the haves who had the privilege of viewing Moore's socially critical cinema and chuckling at his in-your-face bashing of Bush and the Saudis, while the have-nots made do with mediocre movies whose messages reinforce the status quo

Belarus Election Surprise As Voters Get Discount Booze, Food

by Jan Maksymiuk An exit poll by the Gallup Organization/Baltic Surveys during the early voting found less than half of all eligible voters in the country said "yes" in the referendum to lifting the constitutional two-term limit on the presidency, so it came as a surprise that 3 out of 4 supposedly voted to give its head of state the right to stay in power virtually for life

Journalism Today: Ken Auletta

by John Elsasser The problem in journalism that has been worsened by two things: First is the corporatization of the media. These giant companies own journalistic entities but are run by businesspeople who are concerned about stock price or margins or declining ratings. For much of its existence, journalism had often been treated differently than other businesses. It was a public trust, but that has diminished. And increasingly people's attention is diverted, so newspaper circulation and television ratings go down, and the businesspeople behind those channels or networks or newspapers become alarmed. They say, "how do I get those ratings up or circulation up?" They resort to O.J. Simpson or Laci Peterson coverage.

Journalism Today: Orville Schell

by Orville Schell The Bush Administration had little esteem for the watchdog role of the press, in part because its own quest for "truth" has been based on something other than empiricism. In fact, it enthroned a new criterion for veracity, "faith-based" truth, sometimes corroborated by "faith -based" intelligence. For officials of this administration (and not just the religious ones either), truth seemed to descend from on high, a kind of divine revelation begging no further earthly scrutiny. For our President this was evidently literally the case. The Israeli paper Ha'aretz reported him saying to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Prime Minister of the moment, "God told me to strike Al Qaeda and I struck, and then he instructed me to strike Saddam, which I did."

The Failure

by Walter Williams No other administration has seen itself above the law or so disregarded the Constitution by attacking the venerable institutions created to uphold democracy. In addition, the Bush presidency pushed through its policies by employing a calculated lawlessness that featured both deception and secrecy

Fox News Shows How Satire's Done

by Steve Young While it's so difficult to find anything that outdistances talk radio and the Lords of Loud for great silliness in the guise of seriousness,╩Fox News╩has superceded broadcasting expectations. But that's because they changed the rules... the rules of satire╩we wish we had changed first, dang it. And now you can do it too

Who's Looking Up Your Skirt For You?

by Steve Young I'm not saying that all this makes O'Reilly a liar...technically. I'll leave that up to Al Franken, who, as yet, has chosen to keep staggeringly quiet on the story. It's a rather ingenious strategy for a guy who has made a nice buck out of O'Reilly's past alleged deceptions. Al will remain above the fray and his satirical literary jaunt into the dishonesty of the Right's fat mouths will be moved from the Border's humor section over to reference

Talk Radio: When Bullies Squeal

by Steve Young For a second, it almost makes talk radio worthwhile. Almost as good as Limbaugh on drugs, Bennett betting and losing millions, O'Reilly phoning in his sexual spin. But this is way better. The others got caught. They knew the news of what they had done had to be silenced as soon as possible. Dreier and his Republican hypocrites think no one notices how pitifully obvious their nonsense is

Central America Death Squads Murder Teens Suspected Of Gang Membership

by Diego Cevallos Every week, mutilated bodies bearing signs of torture appear in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the victims of an ongoing war between gangs -- to which around 300,000 young Central Americans belong -- and with those who are trying to exterminate them

Afghani Women Threatened Over Vote

by Ron Synovitz and Frechta Jalalzai 'We are Pashtun. Woman was created for this -- to accept everything that a man says. She must obey me. If she doesn't do what I say, I won't let her live'

Afghan Voters Charge Fraud, Ask Election Halted

by Ron Synovitz Scores of voters held up their voter registration cards with cancellation holes punched in them to show that they had voted. They also stuck out their thumbs to show that they had been able to easily wipe away the ink that is supposed to ensure that anyone who received multiple registration cards would not be able to vote more than once

High Afghan Vote Counts Don't Predict Democracy

by John Hickman If quality rather than quantity is what really matters in democratic elections, then the chorus of congratulation about high voter turnout for the presidential election in Afghanistan and the eerie silence about its irregularities is probably bad news for the future of democracy in the country

Afghanistan Covered In Election Posters

by Laura Winter A candidate's photo and logo are the most import images for average Afghans. For voters who know how to read, they can simply make a check mark next to their candidate's written name. But for those who can't read, they can mark their ballot next to their favorite candidate's photo or logo

Lack Of Observers, Ink Fiasco Puts Afghan Vote To Question

by Ashfaq Yusufzai Officials confirmed that independent election monitors were not allowed to observe in four provinces. Wardak, the head of the election board, said that decision was made to prevent overcrowding in the polling stations

Afghani Men Control Whether Or Not Women Vote

by Ashfaq Yusufzai A recent survey by the Asia Foundation, a U.S.-based development agency, found that 87 percent of Afghans said that women would need to get permission from their husband or the head of the family to vote

Nepal Nearing Collapse As Maoists Winning Civil War

by Mike McPhate In recent weeks Maoist rebels, who control most of the countryside, have made bold moves in the capital Kathmandu. They clamped a weeklong blockade on the city, forced the closure of 35 major businesses, and were blamed for a bomb attack on the American information center. The U.S. Ambassador responded by ending Peace Corps activities in the country and seeking consent from Washington for the families of embassy personnel to evacuate

Nuclear Experiments In South Korea Raise Concern

by Marwaan Macan-Markar The IAEA suspects South Korea's past experiments with small amounts of plutonium and uranium may have been connected to a nuclear weapons development program that Seoul pursued in the 1970s. Japan's Kyodo News Agency reported that the watchdog organization believes the South Korean government might have continued the secret research to maintain basic nuclear weapons technologies

India Outsourcing Centers Hiring Hi-Tech Workers From West

by Siddharth Srivastava During the boom a few years ago, India mourned the loss of its best and brightest to the West. Now, Indian headhunters are talking of foreigners -- Americans, Europeans, Japanese, Filipinos and just about any other citizen of the world-- coming to India looking for employment

Kerry Learned From Gore's Mistake: Don't Take Blacks For Granted

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Kerry had to pull a page from the past and make special appeals to blacks, even at the risk of being tarred by Republicans as pro-minority. He promised to increase spending on jobs and education, strengthen and protect civil rights, and civil liberties, and appoint moderates to the Supreme Court. He also did something that the Democrats hadn't done in the past three elections: he publicly embraced civil rights leaders and black elected officials. That ignited the missing spark among blacks, and considerably bumped black registration numbers up

Native American 'Shadow Wolves' Helping Train Easterm Europe Guards

by Eugen Tomiuc The "Shadow Wolves" are a group of U.S. Customs officers who are Native American trackers, experts in using footprints, broken branches, and other clues to follow trails across difficult terrain. Recently members were in Eastern Europe where they helpied train local border guards

Kerry:Bush Contest A Replay Of Humphrey:Nixon

by Stephen Zunes Both Hubert Humphrey and John Kerry were once considered leading liberals in the Democratic Party. They took great political risks early by taking highly principled positions (Humphrey in his support for civil rights and Kerry in his opposition to the Vietnam War), only to estrange their supporters by backing an unnecessary, illegal, immoral and disastrous U.S. military intervention in the Third World

UN Unions Want Staffers Out Of Iraq

by Thalif Deen Elections in Iraq, scheduled to take place before the end of January 2005, are now jeopardized by two powerful UN staff unions demanding that no more UN employees be sent to the violence-ridden country

Campaigns Braced For Last Minute Dirty Tricks

by Jim Lobe Another factor that bears directly on turnout is "dirty tricks," according to the experts, who predict that they are likely to play a bigger role in this campaign than any in recent memory, precisely because the vote is expected to be so close

Bush Trying To Scrap Laws That Bar Export Of Toxics

An attorney for two conservation organizations told a federal judge October 15 that the Bush administration's plans to export obsolete naval vessels from Virginia toEngland for scrapping violates U.S. and international laws that ban or regulate the export of toxics

Kidnapping Becomes Iraq's Growth Industry

by Charles Recknagel Several companies in Kuwait and Jordan are reported to have paid ransoms of unspecified amounts to free drivers abducted on Iraq's roads. Often the kidnappers have also required the companies to promise they would stop working with coalition forces in the future

Plan To Bury Greenhouse Gas Won't Work, Experts Say

by Bob Burton A report by leading energy consultants has dismissed plans by the Australian government to promote the burying of greenhouse gases as the solution to climate change and has labelled the idea as an expensive and technologically uncertain strategy

New California Law Allows Domestic Violence Defense

by Sandy Kobrin California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that gives real hope of release to battered women (and men) who can prove their abusers coerced them into committing violent crimes

Absentee Voting Too Easy, Too Much Fraud

by Dick Meister Absentee voting does increase overall voter turnout, as its advocates argue, by enabling people to vote at home, at their own time and pace. These are attractive features, especially for the elderly and disabled. No standing in line to vote, no need to face poor weather, no need to take time out from work. But the dangers posed by the growth of absentee voting far outweigh any possible benefits

Israel Split Over Gaza Withdrawl Plan

by Ferry Biedermann Israelis are concerned primarily with scenarios such as the prospect of civil war, rabbis calling on soldiers to refuse orders, and settler leaders comparing the proposed evacuation of occupied territory to the Nazi retreat in World War II. Dire predictions of the security consequences of unilateral withdrawal still play a role in the right's resistance against the plan

Bush Admin Pleads For Other Nations To Fund Iraqi Water, Power Reconstruction

The Bush administration now is asking international donors to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq's electricity and water infrastructure, after last year excluding countries that did not support the U.S.- led effort to oust Saddam Hussein from bidding on $18.6 billion in reconstruction contracts

Bush No Champion For Afghan Women, Groups Say

by Dan De Luce Although women's rights activists cheered the downfall of the Taliban regime and its cruel restrictions on Afghan women, they are increasingly critical of the Bush administration's policies and say the United States has neglected the women they take credit for liberating

Central American Migrants Ride "Train Of Death" To U.S.

by Jose Eduardo Mora The so-called 'train of death' heads north to Mexico City from the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border. Once the train is moving, hundreds of migrants try to climb aboard. But many don't make it, and fall under the train or are caught in the wheels, losing a leg -- or their life -- in the attempt

Haiti's Ex-Military On Rampage

by Judith Scherr Haitian police target supporters of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ransacking homes and churches, making arbitrary arrests and taking part in extra-judicial killings. Former military men and death squad members control parts of Haiti. UN "peacekeepers" stand by passively while chaos reigns and in some cases actively work with ex-military personnel. The United States is blaming the victim

Could Truce After Intensifying Iraq War Be October Surprise?

by Franz Schurmann Why is the U.S. intensifying the Iraq war? The simplest answer comes from the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In the final months of both wars the U.S. and its enemies recognized that neither side could win. But the U.S. also decided to inflict a final blast of death and damage. Why? There is no simple explanation. Maybe the Pentagon wanted to show the war was worth the huge budgetary outlays or they wanted to warn the enemy not to try another aggression

527 Groups Nearly Match All 2002 Political Donations

by Marty Logan 36 individuals or couples have given at least one million dollars to 527 groups during the 2003-2004 election cycle, led by Peter B Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, who contributed close to $19 million through Sept. 30 to committees opposed to Bush. Financier George Soros, who in September announced he would embark on a speaking tour to denounce the president, gave $18 million to many of the same groups

The Expert Class Abandons Bush

by Jim Lobe Increasingly concerned about a "faith-based presidency" under President George W Bush, normally Republican and non-partisan experts on a range of national and international issues have decided to either publicly endorse his challenger, Senator John Kerry, or make clear their opposition to the incumbent

Most Bush Supporters Still Believe His Story On Iraq

by Jim Lobe 56% of Bush supporters said they thought most experts currently believe Iraq had actual WMD, and 57% said they thought the Duelfer Report had concluded that Iraq either had WMD (19%) or a major WMD program (38%)

Duelfer Report Debunks Last Excuse For Iraq Invasion

by Jim Lobe While Hussein was hoping to rebuild a WMD program -- particularly one of nuclear weapons -- his ability to do so had actually deteriorated over the previous five years, in stark contrast to the administration's warnings and Bush's current campaign rhetoric that Hussein posed "a gathering threat" to thw United States and its allies

A Nation Of No Meek Opinions

by Molly Ivins Without fear of contradiction, I can say that George W. Bush has turned out to be a divider, not a uniter, for the past four years. Sheesh, if we get any madder at each other there will be fisticuffs, brethren, I say fisticuffs. Liberals, normally gentle as little kittens -- usually you can go right up to 'em and touch their soft, curly fur, they don't mind a bit -- are in an alarming state of righteous anger

The New Know-Nothing Party

by Molly Ivins In further unhappy evidence of how ill-informed the American people are (blame the media), the Program on International Policy Attitudes found Bush supporters consistently ill-informed about Bush's stands on the issues (Kerry-ans, by contrast, are overwhelmingly right about his positions)

The Bait And Switch, Photo-Op President

by Molly Ivins Bait and switch is a constant Bush tactic. Right after 9/11, Bush went to Ground Zero and threw his arm around a firefighter and assured him and other rescue workers he was with them. It was the photo-op seen 'round the world and was endlessly memorialized at the Republican convention. Except in August 2002, Bush pocket-vetoed $150 million in emergency grants for first-responders. The New York firefighters never got their money

The Scandal Of Sinclair

by Molly Ivins Sinclair Group is the perfect example of what's wrong with the concentration of ownership in media: Just a few companies now own almost all the major information outlets. Sinclair is the largest owner of local TV stations in the nation. It controls 62 stations in 39 markets and reaches at least 25 percent of Americans every day, all day

How Dumb Does Bush Think We Are?

by Molly Ivins How nice that 75 percent of 'key members' of Al Qaeda have been captured, according to Bush. According to independent terrorism experts, the figure has no meaning at all. As detailed in intelligence reports from around the globe, Al Qaeda has gained strength since 9/11, with our invasion of Iraq acting as its recruiting poster

The Bubble President

by Molly Ivins He never has liked being questioned about anything, going back to his years as governor, when he often snapped at reporters who asked tough questions during press conferences. As president, he practically never has press conferences, so he's really out of practice, and since the R's control Congress, he gets no challenge there

Running In The Wrong Direction On All Fronts

by Molly Ivins The price of a barrel of oil went over $50 for the first time early this week, and the price of gassing up my vehicle, Truck Bob the Ford, is now $36 a pop. According to oil-ologists, this is on account of the unrest in oil-producing countries and rising global demand destabilizing world energy markets. Don't you love the jargon? The petro experts also say this ain't gonna get better

Wishful Thinking Doesn't Make It True

by Molly Ivins We can't win a war by pretending it's going well when it's not. To further suggest that pointing out that it is not going well somehow endangers the troops or encourages the enemy is despicable. The troops and the enemy know how it's going. They're there

Did Bin Laden Really Offer Kerry Voters A Deal?

by Jeff Elliott Rush Limbaugh picked up a new spin that emerged over the weekend on conservative blogs and websites: The first translation of the tape was flawed. When Bin Laden closed his 18-minute speech by saying, 'Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn't play with our security has automatically guaranteed its own security,' he wasn't threatening the nation -- he was really offering a truce to individual U.S. states, Limbaugh breathlessly told his vast audience. A modern-day Hitler seeking statehouse Neville Chamberlains

Black Voter Registration Breaking Records

by Glen Ford and Peter Gamble Although Republicans are vigorously signing up white voters in the suburbs and exurbs, it appears the GOP is being out-organized by Democrat-led drives in Black and Brown precincts across the nation

Australia Made Secret Deal With Oil Company To Sue Greenpeace

by Bob Burton In the last week of the federal election campaign Australian Prime Minister John Howard's efforts to woo environmental voters suffered a setback with the revelation that the government promised an oil company financial assistance but only on condition that it sue the environmental group Greenpeace

Bush, Kerry Make Last-Minute Pitch For Latin Votes

by Diego Cevallos John Kerry and Bush have spent around four million dollars on publicity exclusively targeting Latinos or Hispanics, who make up less than 14 percent of the total U.S. population, but is the fastest-growing minority in the United States

Sour U.S. Economy Could Be Factor In Tight Election

by Emad Mekay Kerry has charged Bush with being the first president in 72 years to preside over an economy that has lost jobs -- 1.6 million in the private sector

U.S. Has 'Disappeared' 11 Terror War Prisoners

by Marty Logan The United States has not only failed to register the detainees, but has also refused to disclose their fate or their whereabouts and thus removed them from the protection of the law, says a new report by Human Rights Watch

Cell Phone Use Linked To Brain Tumor

10 years or more of mobile phone use increases the risk of a benign tumor of a nerve in the brain. The tumors were found on the side of the head where the phone was usually held. Approximately one in 100,000 people develop acoustic neuromas. This type of tumor grows slowly and accounts for less than 10 percent of all brain tumors. Because these tumors do not involve invasive growth, they are not classified as cancer

Iraqi Ports Blocked, Polluted by Hundreds of Shipwrecks

Access to Iraq's two deepwater seaports is blocked and the marine environment of the entire northern Persian Gulf is threatened by hundreds of sunken ships that were wrecked in wars over the past 25 years

Very Few International Observers Will Monitor Afghan Election

by Ron Synovitz No international group has enough monitors in Afghanistan to provide a definitive assessment of ballot box activity across the country. The largest number of international monitors is from a Southeast Asian group which will send about 50 experts to remote polling stations

Colombia's Paramilitaries Quietly Taking Over Government

by Constanza Vieira Paramilitary expanding control throughout the country, taking over state institutions, the police, intelligence service, military forces, and municipal and regional governments, according to wiretaps

Many Fish Headed For Extinction Unless Action Taken Now

by J.R. Pegg Violent conflicts are increasingly becoming routine between small scale fishers and operators of large scale, commercial fish pens. The local fishers accuse the wealthy outsiders of having corrupt ties to the government and using destructive fishing methods. The commercial owners counter that the locals poach their stocks

500 National Security Experts Say Bush Policies Spur Rebellion

by Jim Lobe The Bush administration's failure to accept advice on Iraq from its military and foreign service officers has led to policies that have fuelled the insurgency against U.S.-led forces in the occupied nation, says a letter signed by some 500 national security specialists

Billion$ Needed To Stabilize Afghanistan

by Peyman Pejman The Afghan-born American envoy said aid from the international community can only rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure. To build the rest of the country, he emphasized, Afghans around the world must chip in. Organizers of the Dubai conference said the community has invested some $100 million into various projects in Afghanistan in the past year. Pessimists, however, pointed out that $100 million is far less than the billions of dollars Afghanistan needs

FBI Seizes Indymedia Servers In UK

by Annalena Oeffner Nobody seems to know why Indymedia was targeted. The seizure could be related to the publication of pictures on one of its French sites, showing Swiss undercover police photographing protestors

A 21st Century Book-Burning

by Steven J. Ross Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife and the former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has placed herself in the company of dictators and slaveholders. At her urging, the Education Department destroyed more than 300,000 copies of a booklet designed to help parents and children learn more about America's past

Who - Or What - Comes After Arafat Leaves The Scene?

by Ferry Biedermann Palestinian political analyst Hisham Ahmed unreservedly speaks of "chaos" in a post-Arafat era. "And it will be the Israelis who will regret most his passing away," says Ahmed who teaches at the Bir Zeit University near Ramallah. "There is no other Palestinian leader they can do business with."

Fate Of Hostages Becomes Wildcard In Iraq Crisis

by Stefania Milan More than 140 foreigners have been abducted in Iraq since the beginning of the United States-led invasion of the country. Of these, about 30 have been killed

House Repubs, Demos Unite Linking Iraq To 9/11

by Stephen Zunes On the eve of the third anniversary of 9/11, the U.S. House of Representatives -- by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of 406-16 -- passed a resolution linking Iraq to the al-Qaida attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This comes despite conclusions reached by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, a recent CIA report, and the consensus of independent strategic analysis familiar with the region that no such links ever existed

What To Do With Iraq "Garden Of Eden" Marshlands?

by Peyman Pejman Not all of the blame can fall on Saddam Hussein. His predecessors had developed plans since the 1950s to build dams to divert water from the marshlands. Many argue this was inevitable, others say that diversion of water has not delivered agricultural production where it was intended to

Endangered Animals Ending Up In Asia's Cooking Pots

by Sonny Inbaraj The biggest problem facing wildlife in Southeast Asia is its domestic consumption in China where endangered animals are eaten for their supposed health-enhancing qualities

Bush Sends Anti-Feminist Group To Iraq For 'Women In Politics' Project

by Jim Lobe A U.S. group opposed to government-provided childcare, equal pay for equal work and quotas for women in government service will train Iraqi women in political participation and democracy prior to the scheduled January 2005 elections in that country

CIA Won't Release Damning 9/11 Report Until After Election

by Robert Scheer The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election, and this one names names

Kerry Most Liberal Senator? We Wish

by Robert Scheer Kerry is one of those New Democrats who rejects the 'liberal' label that I find so honorable. After all, Kerry, as he bragged in the debate, voted for the atrocious 1996 welfare reform bill, which has contributed to the 4 million additional people, mostly children, pushed below the poverty line during Bush's tenure

The Skeptic's Election - Or Not

by Robert Scheer The Iraqi nukes snow job, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice and the president himself, was alarmingly effective because it conflated highly technical jargon and teasing hints at classified information with the most fearsome image in the modern psyche: the mushroom cloud

The Dangers of a 'What the Heck' Vote

by Robert Scheer Don't kid yourself that the Cheneys, Ashcrofts and Rumsfelds who mold Bush's thoughts will suddenly moderate their radical vision for remaking the world or dampen their attacks on our treasury and civil liberties. It won't happen: Reward their rampage of the last four years with a new mandate to rule and they will only be emboldened

It's Cheney's Administration, And It's Shameful

by Robert Scheer Whatever one thinks of George W. Bush -- do you see a smile or a smirk? -- it is now patently obvious that the most powerful vice president in U.S. history is in charge of the White House. Cheney's ultra-secretive, anti-democratic and crony-capitalist instincts have defined this administration

Iraq Christians Ask Bush For Special Protection Zone

by Jim Lobe Plea to the Bush administration to create a safe haven within Iraq specifically for Iraq's estimated 800,000 Christians, or 'Chaldo-Assyrians,' 40,000 of whom are believed to have left the country since the U.S. invasion in the face of growing persecution by Muslims

Illegal Gold Mining Ruins Nigeria Farmlands

by Toye Olori For more than 12 years of its operation at the mines near Igun, the company dug up trenches which now form pools of undrinkable brackish water that constitute health hazards to both villagers and livestock. The illegal miners followed in the company's footsteps digging up trenches in search of gold, creating more pits

Swing Voters Hunted By Both Parties

by Sandip Roy The key to being a swing voter, of course, involves residing in a swing state. Ever-increasing swathes of the country are being unceremoniously dumped as states-that-don't-matter, as the hunt for the swing voter closes in. Kerry and Bush are almost colliding with each other as they crisscross smaller and smaller areas, hoping to stumble on the last swing voter as she waits to cross the stree

The Afghan Election That Wasn't

by M. Nazif Shahrani Karzai was also the only candidate who enjoyed access to U.S. military aircraft for campaign travel as well as round-the-clock protection by a private U.S. security firm. The report also found ambient suspicion that the U.S. had allocated $30 million for the registration of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, who are primarily Pashtun, to enhance Karzai's chances for reelection

Neo-Cons Plot Groundwork For World War IV

by Jim Lobe Sidelined for their failed predictions on Iraq and President Bush's efforts to reassure voters he is not a warmonger, prominent neo-conservatives and their Christian Right allies are nonetheless trying hard to prepare the ground for future U.S. adventures in the Middle East

International Election Monitors Here To Scrutinize U.S. Voting

by Peter Costantini At a polling place open for early voting in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood, monitors from Nicaragua, South Africa and England watched as mainly Haitian-American and African-American voters waited in line for up to six hours to vote

Wal-Mart: Mega-sales Trump Culture, History

by Laura Carlsen Excavation on the site has revealed archaeological relics from the layers of civilizations that have populated Teotihuacan. Wal-Mart construction workers told the national daily, La Jornada, they had orders to hide any pieces they find. The presence of relics often requires that further excavation be carried out painstakingly or halted altogether. These are processes that the booming Wal-Mart clearly has no time for

Global Warming Will Decimate Arctic, Scientists Warn

by Stephen Leahy Climate change will soon make the Arctic regions of the world nearly unrecognizable, dramatically disrupting traditional Inuit and other northern native peoples' way of life, according to a new report

Spain At The Forefront Of Gay Rights

by Alicia Fraerman Once it passes into law, the bill approved by the cabinet of socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will put Spain among the handful of countries and provinces in the world where same-sex marriage is legal, like the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada's three most populous provinces, and Massachusetts

Unions Prohibited For Airline Baggage Screeners

by David Bacon The right to form a union might be the bedrock of U.S. labor protection laws, but baggage screeners find they can be fired for exercising that right, thanks to the specter of terrorism

Deserting GOP Moderates Could Sink Bush Hopes

by Jim Lobe The erosion of Bush's Republican or conservative base appears to be part of a national phenomenon best illustrated by the fact that Kerry is securing considerably more newspaper endorsements than the president. Historically, local newspaper publishers have been Republican. Bush, for example, scored more than twice the number of endorsements as then-Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 election

Violence-Torn Haiti Again Becoming U.S. Crisis

by Thalif Deen A sudden wave of violence in the nation in September, reportedly led by supporters of ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has threatened to spark a new civil war. A UN force, which was sent to keep the peace, is now in danger of battling rebels, some heavily armed

U.S. Lifts Haiti Arms Embargo As Violence Grows

by Jim Lobe The decision appears designed to begin supplying weapons to the 2,500-man police force that has carried out gun battles with militants loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was flown by the U.S. into exile earlier this year

U.S. Military Presence To Double In Colombia

by Bill Weinberg With little media attention, the U.S. Congress recently doubled the number of U.S. military advisors allowed in Colombia. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Colombians marched for an end to the Western Hemisphere's longest-running and bloodiest war

Both Bush, Kerry Endorse Return To The Braceros

by David Bacon Support by both Sen. John Kerry and President Bush for a guest-worker program for undocumented laborers would likely bring back the abuses of the bracero programs of old

Voter Intimidation Will Be Factor In U.S. Election

by Jim Lobe Secretaries of state -- usually the chief election official at the state level -- in the battleground states of Michigan, Missouri, Florida and Ohio have taken top campaign posts for Bush and have been accused of manipulating election laws to restrict voter access on behalf of Republicans

Russia Gains Economic Boost By Ratifying Kyoto

by Sanjay Suri Clearly Russian President Vladimir Putin did not wake up one day and decide to do his bit to cool down a warming atmosphere. Ratification had its reported opponents within Russia but few can argue that at least for the next eight years Russia has much to gain and little to lose

Berkeley Looks To Decriminalize Prostitution

by Kristin Bender If the measure is approved by voters, Berkeley would be the first city in the nation to decriminalize prostitution. (A few counties in Nevada have legalized the sex trade.) The city would be mandated to redirect at least some of the $1 million it spends annually on prostitution enforcement to social services for prostitutes. The law would also direct the city council to lobby state leaders in favor of repealing current prostitution laws

Burma's Hardline Generals Now In Control Of Country

by Larry Jagan In the face of growing international pressure, including sanctions, and persistent demands for the immediate release of the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's top general has opted for the military's traditional approach of self-imposed isolation

Did Saddam Really Try To Kill Bush Sr? Apparently Not

by Jim Lobe As portrayed by both the alleged assassins and the Kuwaitis who grabbed them, the plot was itself deeply amateurish, dependent on a dozen Iraqi whiskey smugglers led by a 33-year-old owner of a coffee shop in Basra

Will California's Harsh 3-Strikes Law Finally Be Fixed?

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson There's good reason to shave the rough edge off the three strikes law. Locking up petty thieves and drug users, the overwhelming majority of whom are black and Latino males, for 25 years without the possibility of parole is a blatant violation of the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Currently, repeat petty crime offenders make up nearly 60 percent of those serving three strikes sentences in California prisons. About 42,000 people are serving time in California under three strikes laws

Italy's Berlusconi Problem

by Paolo Pontoniere He toes the U.S. line of not dealing with terrorists, yet his government may have secretly paid a ransom to free two kidnapped Italian aid workers. These are some of the darts critics throw at Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Yet, none seems to matter to the Italian electorate as Berlusconi has managed to hold onto power. What explains his mystique?

Fears In Chile That Pinochet's Allies Making A Comeback

by Gustavo Gonzolez On the 31st anniversary of the Sept. 11, 1973 coup d'etat in Chile, the centre-left governing coalition is growing increasingly worried that the civilians who backed the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet will return to power in the December 2005 presidential elections

Uruguay Won't Extradite Ex-Generals Tied To Operation Condor

by Dario Montero Uruguay's Supreme Court threw a new obstacle in the way of efforts to prosecute retired military officers for alleged crimes against humanity during the U.S.-backed dictatorships that ruled South America's Southern Cone region in the 1970s and 1980s

Dick Cheney's El Salvador Lie

by Mark Engler The most relevant fact that the Vice President omits here is that the 75,000 people were killed not by the guerillas, but by the government that Cheney was supporting and its paramilitary death squads

Argentina Using Ad Money To Squeeze Local Media

by Marcela Valente Provincial authorities often threaten to cancel official advertising contracts to get a newspaper to transfer an annoying journalist to another section, or remove columns or editorials that are critical of the regional or local administration

There's Something About Mary (Cheney)

by Sandip Roy Dick Cheney is now an angry father. Lynne Cheney called John Kerry a 'bad man.' She might claim this is personal, not political, but Lynne Cheney hasn't taken on Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for Senate from Illinois, with the same fire. In early September, Keyes described homosexuality as 'selfish hedonism.' When asked if Mary Cheney fit that description, he said, 'Of course she is, that goes by definition.' At the time, the Cheney campaign described his comments only as 'inappropriate' and not worth dignifying with a response

"Granny D" Fights Uphill Battle For Senate Seat

by Elizabeth Mehren Doris 'Granny D' Haddock came to her candidacy after the previous Democratic nominee abruptly dropped out of the race. Burt Cohen was forced to step down when his campaign manager departed along with most of his campaign cash. Most New Hampshire Democrats were loath to face the popular Republican incumbent, but Haddock jumped right in

Saddam's Nuclear Weapon Toolbox Is Missing, UN Says

by Daisy Sindelar and Robert McMahon The United Nation's nuclear watchdog body is warning of the disappearance of specialized equipment and material in Iraq that could be used to build a nuclear or radioactive 'dirty' bomb. The agency added it has received little cooperation from either the United States or the interim Iraqi government in tracking the missing items

Breakthrough Anti-Malaria Drug Begins Tests

by Gustavo Capdevila Clinical trials of a new anti-malaria drug will begin before the end of the year, representing faster than expected progress in one of several scientific research efforts aimed at combatting a deadly disease that claims up to two million lives a year

Should The Media Broadcast Iraq Hostage Videos?

by Samuele Gabbio While questions arise about media as a tool for terrorists, they also arise about government suppression of media in the name of the fight against terrorism

Both Sides Blames The Other For Haiti's Bloody Violence

by Jane Regan On any given day over the past three weeks. The capitol has seen headless bodies, handcuffed corpses, rotting piles of cadavers at the morgue, battles with automatic weapons and generalized terror. More than 55 people, among them nine police officers, have been killed here since Sept. 30.

Arms Buyers Shun UN Registry

by Thalif Deen The UN's annual arms register, created about 12 years ago to ensure military transparency among member states, continues to be shunned by some of the world's biggest arms buyers in the Middle East and by key arms exporters such as China

Russia Endorsement Of Kyoto Treaty Adds Pressure On Bush

by Jim Lobe The Sept. 30 decision by the Russian government to endorse ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to curb greenhouse gas emissions has thrown a particularly stark spotlight on the degree to which President George W. Bush has isolated the United States on the issue of global warming, as well as other transnational problems

Polluters Face Fewer Lawsuits Under Bush EPA

by J.R. Pegg Bush has not vigorously enforced the nation's key environmental laws and has allowed polluters to escape litigation over alleged violations, according to a former top enforcement official at the EPA

Why Iran Wants Four More Years

by David Jagernauth The president got an unusual endorsement Tuesday; Hasan Rowhani, the head of Iran's security council, told local media that Tehran's best interest is served by the re-election of George W. Bush. Does it seem strange that a member of the 'axis of evil' would support our current administration? Not if you understand the circumstances surrounding our attack on Iraq

Israel's Attack On Gaza Aims To Stop Peace Process

by Ira Chernus If you are going to mount this kind of assault, it makes sense to do it in the middle of a tense U.S. presidential campaign, when neither candidate will utter a critical word, and Americans have other things on their mind. No doubt, Sharon and his advisors understood this.

The Hundredth Phone Call

by Paul Loeb It's easy to think of our individual efforts as so insignificant and inconsequential that they're hardly worth the effort. But when enough of us act in small ways, our combined impact can change history

An American Future In The Balance

by Huck Gutman Almost half of America has been lulled into accepting the rule of the oligarchs. Ignoring class interest, politically blind to their own economic distresses, millions will vote on who looks tough or who hates homosexuals or who will end a woman's right to an abortion. The good news is that there is another half, more than half, who see President Bush as a bully who lacks both vision and compassion, who speaks of leadership but leads the American nation nowhere but towards its own demise

Rumors, Conspiracy Theories Swirl Around Beslan Tragedy

by Valentinas Mite Conflicting theories and rumors are evidence that people don't trust the authorities and that the government itself has not done a good job of being open with the public

Soldiers Also Caught In GOP Voting List Purge

by Neelanjana Banerjee Republicans are now challenging thousands of voters across the country -- focusing, of course, on battleground states. On Oct. 22, the deadline for this move, the GOP challenged over 35,000 new voters in Ohio alone -- mostly on the grounds that mail sent to the voters' addresses had been returned

New Voters Face ID Demands, Intimidation At Polls

by Katherine Stapp Political parties and grassroots organizations have signed up more than six million new voters in the latest campaign, many of them immigrants. But they have also mobilized an army of poll-watchers to aggressively challenge voters' credentials -- especially those who are newly registered

Schwarzenegger Gets Failing Grade On Immigrant Issues

by Cristine Lacerna Among the rejected bills were proposals to prevent hospitals from overcharging the uninsured, to ensure the hiring of bilingual staff in state and local agencies to make their services accessible to non-English speaker populations, and a bill that would have authorized driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in California

The New York Times vs. Michael Moore

by Richard Blow Will the Times now start examining the politics of college professors who want to use its material? Will it tell MIT's Noam Chomsky or Princeton's Peter Singer, both foes of President Bush, that they can't include New York Times' articles in their course packets? Probably not. The truth is, it's just Michael Moore and his particular brand of agit-prop that the Times doesn't trust

With Cassini's Orbit, Science Trumps Ignorance

by Lynn Cominsky, Phil Plait, and David Walls Despite the minimal risk involved, Karl Grossman's argument was taken up by some activists from the peace, environmental and anti-nuclear movements

The Scandals Of Tom DeLay

by Christopher Brauchli DeLay said to reporters that the indictments were politically motivated and he had no knowledge of the committee's day-to-day workings. Unintentionally contradicting him, James Ellis, one of the men charged with money laundering said DeLay served on a five-member advisory board that decided which candidates to endorse

FBI Again Collecting Info On U.S. Muslims

by Lee T. Wang Scaring Arab and Muslim Americans away from the ballot box could have serious political implications. Although Arab Americans account for only about one percent of the electorate, they constitute half a million votes in four key battleground states. In Michigan, where polls show George W. Bush and John Kerry in a tight race, Arab Americans make up 5 percent of the population

Kerry, Bush, Ignore The Core Issues In Terror War: Israel And Palestine

by Franz Schurmann It's as if President Bush and Sen. Kerry have a tacit agreement not to speak about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But longstanding U.S. policy toward Israel -- and toward Taiwan, a policy that began around the same time and grew out of similar Cold War concerns -- is powered by high Pentagon spending levels that both candidates know must end

Gays Still Being Booted From Military, Report Says

by Aaron Glantz Gay servicemen and women continue to be fired in more than 161 specialties critical to the 'war on terror,' such as Arabic language specialists; infantrymen; nuclear, chemical and biological warfare specialists; military police; security officials; engineers. Over the last six years, Belkin says, the Pentagon 'has actually fired more people in many categories for being gay than they are recalling now'

U.S. Bars Moderate Muslim Scholar From Teaching

by Jade Sanchez-Ventura The U.S. State Department's revocation, acting at the behest of the Department of Homeland Security, surprised his colleagues because Ramadan's work focuses on building bridges between Islam and the Western world. His books include 'To Be a European Muslim' and 'Western Muslims and the Future of Islam.' Time magazine named him one of 100 Most Influential People in 2003

Democracy Could Use Some Real Journalism Right About Now

by Norman Solomon Journalism is potentially a terrific clarifying force. During the days and weeks ahead, we'll see whether the news media are up to the challenge. The signs are not encouraging. So far this election year, under the guise of being evenhanded, the standard news reports just give us snippets of information, misleading assertions, speculation, claims and counterclaims

Preview of the Bush Campaign's Media Endgame

by Norman Solomon President Bush gained a temporary lead in the polls thanks largely to deceptive commercials aimed at discrediting Kerry's bravery under fire. Next came a fierce propaganda assault on the most laudable actions of Kerry's life -- his antiwar efforts as a Vietnam veteran

Beyond The Debates, A Bleak Future For Iraq

by Norman Solomon Realities of Iraq are now horrendous, and the future looks very bleak. Yet almost no one in a position of political power -- or media prominence -- seems willing to fully acknowledge that the United States cannot win this war. From all indications, the suffering has just begun

Iran Gas Pipeline Could Ease India-Pakistan Tensions

by Ranjit Devraj Of the many attempted initiatives to forge lasting peace between South Asia's squabbling neighbors, none can challenge the promise of Iran's proposed natural gas pipeline to India traversing through Pakistan

U.S. Rejects Saudi Plan For All-Muslim UN Force

by Charles Recknagel Washington has formally rejected a Saudi proposal for a Muslim force under UN control to guard UN election staffers in Iraq. The White House says U.S. commanders have strong reservations about such force because it would be outside the coalition command structure

Fears Of Military Draft Draws New Generation Of Voters

by Jim Lobe Younger voters historically have abstained from voting in greater proportions than other age groups, but, aided by special campaigns such as the star-studded 'Rock the Vote' effort, and the recent 'Vote for Change' tour led by superstar Bruce Springsteen, that may not hold true this year. Both campaigns have cited the military draft as reasons to come out to vote

Anybody But Bush Crowd Forgets '60s Movement

by Alexander Cockburn Flowers of the Sixties, now gone sadly to seed, have been coursing round the nation's courthouses, challenging Nader's efforts to get on state ballots. The older crowd hates Bush, that's for sure. But they hate Nader more

There Are No Innocents

by Alexander Cockburn An oppressive and beleaguered empire, a terrorist international, a storm raging in the international press about torture, right-wing Christians on the march against moral decline and the collapse of family values

U.S. "Diplomat" Killed In Iraq No Good Will Ambassador

by Alexander Cockburn Out of the blue, Seitz demanded to know where Osama Bin Laden was hiding. I knew where he was, he insisted. If I grew a beard, I would look like Bin Laden. I was holding back on telling him why I was going to the university and who I was going to meet there. If I didn't want to go to jail, it was time to tell him the real story

Typefaces, Forgeries, And Why The Nazis Banned Fractura

by Alexander Cockburn Amid the rubble of CBS's forgery debacle, one consolation for type buffs has been the flare of interest in typefaces

Why On Earth Is He Losing?

by Alexander Cockburn We are now witnessing the Democratic Party in very advanced decay. After the Clinton/DLC years, its street cred is conclusively shot. In formal political function the party is nothing much more than an ATM machine, spewing out torrents of cash, supplied by the unions and by corporations seeking favors, to the armies of consultants and operators who have lived of it for decades

Talk Radio Moderates Lose A Legendary Voice

by Steve Young October 15th is the final show of longtime talk Los Angeles radio host, Ken Minyard, and when those four hours are over, so might be whatever is left of civility on talk radio. It's also a tragically sad day for listeners on the right as they'll have absolutely no one on the air to call and disagree with

Talk Radio: Terrorist Polls Show They Want Kerry To Win

by Steve Young Hannity, Rush and the boys would have you believe that terrorists have a favorite in this horse race. As hard it is to believe, they say it's Kerry. No need to back that up with fact. Just throw the stink against the wall and hope that it sticks. Instead of giving their audience the truth, the Lords of Loud peddle in fear-mongering. The worst kind. They just make it up

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