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Table of Contents

The Dictator's Fall

News and Analysis Hundreds of trucks and buses brought students to the capital for the Wednesday rally where one million were expected; but faced with such populist opposition as well as calls for him to resign from his own party, dictator Suharto steps down, leaving Indonesia to an uncertain future

Indonesian Media Courageously Helped Anti-Suharto Forces

by Andreas Harsono Though 10 journalists suffered serious injuries and were even hospitalized after being beaten or shot by the military, Indonesian newspapers demonstrated unusual courage by defying government pressures and self-censorship to publish news of student protests and calls that President Suharto to step down immediately

After Student Shootings, No Turning Back

News and Analysis When Indonesian police fired into the backs and heads of unarmed students at an elite business college last Wednesday, killing six and wounding 20, it brought to a dramatic end the peaceful phase of nationwide demonstrations against the Suharto government.

Army Ordered to Shoot Rioters in Early May

by Andreas Harsono The Suharto government on May 8 ordered soldiers to shoot looters and arsonists in the riot-torn city of Medan, the third largest city in Indonesia, as about 20,000 students clashed with police in another city, chanting "Hang Suharto, hang Suharto"

Suharto Faces Angry Nation

by Kafil Yamin In his first directive aimed at quelling the unrest, Suharto revoked price hikes for fuel and electricity prices, which triggered the rash of demonstrations which turned bloody last week

Shootings Rally Anti-Suharto Forces

by Farhan Haq "With the student killings, I believe we do not have to wait any longer" for the end of the nearly 33-year Suharto dictatorship, said an opposition leader. "It maybe can take just weeks or months, not years...I think it is beyond the power of the military to control"

Protesters Compare Situation to Titanic

by Andreas Harsono "It's like the Titanic. First-class passengers were prioritized while the economic-class travelers were even prevented to escape their flooded cabins," said the 22-year-old student. she quickly continued, "But the most important is how to read the film: the poor are always left behind and the rich are constantly saved."

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The U.S. press badly failed in its reporting of recent events in Indonesia

New Pesticide May be Deadly to Cystic Fibrosis Victims

by Claire Bowles Companies in North America want to spray crops with a pesticide that might cause a deadly lung infection in people with cystic fibrosis, but experts on the bacterium are calling for a ban on its use until it is proved safe

Prop 226 Could Handicap Nonprofits

by Robyn Wexler Dubbed the "paycheck protection" measure by supporters, Prop. 226 is mainly aimed at unions. It requires unions to get annual written permission from each member before using membership dues for political purposes. Nevertheless, the wording is broad and will cover all employee wage deductions, not just union membership dues. Therefore, Prop. 226 would directly impact all nonprofits receiving funds from workplace giving programs -- such as Catholic services contributions. In fact, an estimated $7 billion in workplace giving to nonprofit social services will be affected

Blood Money

by Monte Paulsen Scientists like the Scottish biologists who successfully cloned an adult sheep named Dolly are re-engineering life at the genetic level, and their lucrative patents are attracting massive funding from investors such as corporate raider Carl Ichan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. This is the prospect that shakes Gate's critics to the bone. They note that Bill of Redmond has always been a monopolist, never an innovator: What if Gates -- or someone like him -- were to similarly accumulate and monopolize the patents to 90 percent of the human genome?

USDA Listens to Consumers About "Organic" Label -- For Now

by Donella H. Meadows Over 200,000 furious consumers expressed outrage about plans to label as "organic" genetically engineered life forms, foods preserved by irradiation, and crops grown on land fertilized by sewage sludge. The USDA got the message. It has announced that the "dirty three" will not qualify for the label "organic." Hurray for democracy, I thought when I heard that. Then I heard more and restrained my enthusiasm

Pharmaceuticals Found in European Drinking Water

Pharameuticals of all kinds are turning up in European water supplies: Cholesterol-lowering drugs, antibiotics, analgesics, antiseptics,and beta-blocker heart drugs, are just a few of the drugs in the drinking water, lakes, rivers, and streams of Europe

FDA Needs Drug Safety Office, Say Doctors

Three leading advocates of safer pharmaceuticals have called for a national office of drug safety to monitor the adverse effects of prescription drugs, which they say could be the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States

Corporations Sue Massachusetts Over State Ban on Burma

by Jim Lobe Human rights activists responded quickly: "By filing this lawsuit, the companies... are attacking the very fabric of local democracy in the United States while defending their ability to do business with a brutal, narco-dictatorship," said Simon Billeness of the Franklin Research and Development Corporation in Boston

Right Wing Pushing For "Religious Persecution" Sanctions

by Jim Lobe A proposed U.S. congressional bill that would impose sanctions against foreign governments accused of religious persecution in some areas of Asia, Africa and the Arab world is causing its own concern within political and business circles

National Parks in Crisis, Says Teddy Roosevelt IV

Pointing out that less than one percent of the total 1998 federal budget was allocated to care and upkeep of public land, the great -grandson of former President Theodore Roosevelt said the budget resolution passed by the Senate just before the spring recess represents even worse "trickle down to nothing funding" for natural resources.

Chiquita Takes Reprisals Against Striking Banana Workers

by Silvio Hernandez More than one-third of the 4,500 workers who participated in a 57-day strike on the banana plantations of the U.S.-based transnational Chiquita Brands in Panama were dismissed last month, although the workers faced a Catch-22: Return to work or risk a settlement that would have forced the strikers to pay Chiquita Brands millions of dollars in damages

Europe Joins Biopiracy Race With U.S.

by Dipankar De Sarkar New directive cleared by the European Parliament in Strasbourg puts the right to patent life forms into European law for the first time, and brings Europe in line with the extensive freedom to patent for commercial exploitation already allowed in the United States and Japan

Civilization Destroying Amazon's "Great Pharmacy"

by Mario Osava Native shamans met in Brasil to approve a "Declaration on the Principles of Indigenous Wisdom" and announced a "closing of the heart" after 500 years of "robbery and devastation." At the same time, they sought respect for their calling in return for the help they are willing to give to white society

Thailand Fights U.S. Fake "Jasmine" Rice

by Prangtip Daorueng Thailand's rights to its famed jasmine rice are threatened by a U.S. firm's use of the name "Jasmati" as a brand for a Texas-grown copy. "The company can patent it like what they did to basmati. If they find the gene for jasmine aroma, they can claim a monopoly on it just for identifying it"

Little Chance of U.S. Paying UN Dues in 1998

by Jim Lobe Republicans tie payment to Reagan-era abortion restrictions, and U.S. may lose membership if dues aren't paid -- which could be ultimate right wing objective

Human Rights Campaign Targets Sports Fans

by Robyn Wexler Sports fans who tuned into the NBA playoffs caught a rare glimpse of a high-class public service announcement. Tucked in between the ads for cars, beer, soft drinks and running shoes came Amnesty International's star-studded call for the defense of human rights

Heart of Darkness

by Robert Lang Journey to Pailin, a former Khmer Rouge stronghold in the jungles near the border of Thailand. Nearly two million people died and no one -- not even Pol Pot -- is blamed here. Pailin was united in hating the Vietnamese and denying responsibility for the genocide. Every former Khmer Rouge soldier I talked with in Pailin denied his guilt. "I was only following orders;" "If I objected, they would have killed me too; ""I didn't know about the killings until years later"

Child Asthma Deaths Rates Double

by Diane Duke Despite new treatments for asthma, the death rate for children with the disease has nearly doubled in the last 20 years -- caused, researcher Robert C. Strunk believes, by a rise in families that don't function or communicate well

Activists Beg Mining Co. Stockholders: Stop Human, Enviro Abuses

by Danielle Knight At annual shareholders meeting of the Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold mining company, activists accused the company of complicity in the murder of hundreds of the local Native peoples and the destruction of hundreds of hectares of rainforest in Indonesia

Radioactivity Jumps Near Submarine Junkyards

by Andrei Ivanov and Judith Perera Environmentalists have secured top secret details on the level of radioactive contamination caused by Russia's rotting nuclear submarine bases on the Kola Peninsula, and some radioactivity levels are up by 1200 percent

U.S. is Shipping Russian Nuke Waste to Scotland

by Judith Perera and Andrei Ivanov Washington is concerned to prevent the uranium from falling into the hands of terrorist groups or nations such as Iran and Iraq, suspected of having a clandestine nuclear weapons program

Secret Police Try to Intimidate Enviro Whistleblower

by Andrei Ivanov and Judith Perera The FSB, successor to the feared Cold War KGB, is harassing environmentalist Alexander Nikitin, who faces a trial on treason for his role in writing a report critical of the Russian Navy's Northern Fleet, saying that their careless handling of nuclear waste imperils the region

Enough of Sinatra, Already

by Joyce Marcel It is a shameful American truth that Sinatra, along with his good friend Jack Kennedy for a while, managed to glorify the kind of reckless lifestyle that treated with contempt at least half the population of the United States. After this degradation of women had become institutionalized in American life, can anyone wonder why the Women's Movement had such an impact?

FCC to Media Reformers: Drop Dead

by Danny Schechter A Rocky Mountain Media watch study of l00 stations on one day found that 20% of them carried no news at all, by any reasonable definition. Now that's something newsworthy: the no news show! What we have here is a case of ongoing false advertising -- promising news but delivering a concoction of celebrity fluff and the daily distortion. If Madonna has a bad hair day, that's news. If HMO's are cheating customers -- even driving one to a sick if spectacular suicide -- that's not

Respecting Our Elders

by Dan Hamburg Former Congressman writes from Ward Valley, where protesters have occupied the site where the state of California wants to construct a "low-level" nuclear dump

Press Aids CIA Coverup of Ties to India, Indonesia

by Norman Solomon The CIA and other accessories of American foreign policy played key roles in the carnage that took the lives of a half-million Indonesians during the "turmoil" of the mid-1960s. Along the way, the U.S. government supplied a list of 5,000 leftists to Indonesia's military, fingering them for assassination. Washington also supported Suharto throughout his subsequent brutalities, including the slaughter of 200,000 people in East Timor by Indonesian army occupiers

Forget India -- U.S. is A-Bomb Center

by Norman Solomon Condemnation of India's nuclear tests is certainly justified. But the story we're getting is quite partial. The plot narrated by the White House and echoed by the American media -- presenting the U.S. government as a principled foe of nuclear escalation -- is akin to a fairy tale

The Hypocrisy of Jerry Springer Bashing

by Norman Solomon These days, Springer appears to be the king of TV's amoral profiteers. But, despite his millions, he's just a little prince compared to guys like Barry Diller, the media mogul who has pioneered such televised innovations as home shopping channels

Looking for Fuel in all the Wrong Places

by Ted Rall In the proud traditions of the Gulf War and Vietnam, big oil companies are leaning on Washington to cozy up to an egomaniacal despot who squanders his country's wealth on palaces and monuments while its citizenry lives in staggering poverty. Welcome to Turkmenistan, which uses the same slogan as Hitler: "One Country, One People, One Leader" as the late fuhrer.

NY Times Hyped "Cancer Cure" Story

by Jack Breibart The New York Times' science writer, Gina Kolata, breathlessly reported two new cancer drugs "that can eradicate any type of cancer, with no obvious side effects and no drug resistance -- in mice." But what the article illustrates is the power of the New York Times and what happens when you hyperventilate a story

Schools Today: Fat Bureaucrats, Scraggy Teachers

by Alexander Cockburn Overall, the trends are similar from coast to coast. The cost of tuition is going up, and the quality of education is going down. Course offerings shrink, class sizes soar. The biggest single feature of the educational landscape is bureaucratic bloat

The Drug Money Trail Leads to Citibank

by Alexander Cockburn The U.S. share of the cocaine trade alone was worth $38 billion in 1995. The total world trade in all illicit drugs is worth $400 billion, and it's plain enough that U.S. banks covertly handle a large amount of that money. In the case of Citibank, the subsidiary of Citicorp, which is itself to be cocooned in Citigroup, the money trail has actually been excavated to a certain degree

The Last Great Wild River of the West

by Alexander Cockburn A vast lead, silver, zinc and gold mine in the heart of the largest unroaded watershed on the West Coast of North America, covering some 4.5 million acres

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