default.html Issue 49
Table of Contents

Chiquita - Newspaper Controversy Still Growing

by John Fox, Cincinnati CityBeat The Cincinnati Enquirer had hoped to make journalism history with its year-long investigation of Chiquita Brands International. It now looks like they have. What began as an unprecedented allocation of resources and space -- with the paper's top two investigative reporters traveling to Central America and Europe to produce an 18-page special section that had "Pulitzer Prize nominee" written all over it -- has turned into an unprecedented capitulation to Chiquita that's thrown the entire media world upside-down

Chiquita Coverup: Money and Power Beats Integrity and Truth

by Anna M. Busch and Larry Burns Gallagher stands accused of merely stealing tapes, while Lindner, on the other hand, absconded with a U.S. foreign policy by donating a half million dollars to the Democratic party the morning after the Clinton White House surprisingly introduced on his behalf a complaint against the European Union before the World Trade Organization

Dancing in the Treetop

by Nicholas Wilson Join 300 marchers as they climb a mountain to honor the young woman whose courage has rejuvenated spirits of environmentalists around the world

I Feel so Blessed to be Here

by Nicholas Wilson MONITOR interview with Julia "Butterfly" Hill, as she explains how the experience has changed her life forever

New Report Slams Clinton, Industry Commitment to AIDS Vaccine

by Don Hazen One year after President Clinton declared the goal of finding an AIDS vaccine within a decade -- and that he was "prepared to do all [he could] to make it happen" -- the government's AIDS vaccine research program has continued at the same unhurried pace as before with only nominal achievements and developments, and corporate commitment is at an all-time low

Third World AIDS Continues to Skyrocket, UN Says

by Gustavo Capdevila The HIV/AIDS epidemic is far more brutal in poor countries than in rich nations, the United Nations report edin the first country- by- country analysis of the epidemic, saying the gap is mainly the result of differences in prevention efforts and uneven access to the latest therapies

OKC Bombing Grand Jury May Be Near End

by Bill Johnson The county grand jury investigating the federal building bombing apparently is working its way through the mass of information it has received in the past year while still waiting for a chance to talk to federal agents. but the main question is when -- or whether -- FBI agents will be allowed to appear

Seller of Native Human Remains is Jailed, Fined

Searches of New York City store and interviews revealed that man planned to sell or had already sold the remains of at least 20 Native Americans, with skulls and bone fragments priced from $200 to $1,400 each

Indonesian Press Struggling Despite New Freedoms

by Andreas Harsono Indonesia's TVRI station ran interviews with several opposition leaders, including Megawati Sukarnoputri and Amien Rais, whose images had previously been banned. Indonesia's six channels also praised the students and showed images of the anti-Suharto street protests as radio stations started to hold talk shows. Despite some positive responses, many journalists point out that the new ruling still authorizes the government to issue publishing licenses and to freeze the licenses as well

Error 404: Information Missing From Your Daily News

Children stalked on the Internet -- by corporations; Disney search program blots out child labor; Christian right group censored as hate speech; "Gulf War Syndrome" and uranium bullets, Clinton ignores Chinese sweatshops, Yeltsin overthrow might be imminent

End of Congressional Session, Riders Run Amok

by Donella Meadows It happens at this time every year when we are approaching the end of a Congressional session. Complicated money bills full of large numbers zoom around Washington, bills that MUST be passed by Congress and signed by the President if the government is to function. Dirty games abound, including the game of riders

Airlines, FAA Ignore Safety Recommendations Says Study

by Robyn Wexler Since 1987, the airline industry has invested more than $43.8 million in congressional campaigns. As far as the airline industry is concerned, the investment was clearly a good one. The industry has gone virtually unregulated

Medicine's Deadly Toll

by Harold Stearley Roughly 1 American in 100 will have a problem with medications prescribed by a doctor or other health professional. If you're in that unlucky one percent, chances are 1 in 20 that you will die

Meat Industry Blocks Food Safety Reforms

Each year, an estimated 9,000 Americans die and another 33,000,000 get sick from disease- producing agents in the food they eat. Yet Congress continues to turn back efforts to address this grave threat to public health. Since the beginning of 1995, individuals and PACs connected with the meat and poultry industry have given nearly $2.75 million to congressional candidates and party committees

China's Military - Industrial / Sweatshop Complex

by Joel D. Joseph Half of our trade with China is with the Chinese military, various segments of the People's Liberation Army and prison labor camps. The other half is with sweatshops, where workers toil 70 hours a week for 23 cents an hour

Police Brutality is Most Serious Rights Violation in U.S.

by Jim Lobe Report details "common failings" in the way police departments and prosecutors deal with officers who commit abuses. Although habitually brutal officers usually make up only a small percentage of a given city's police force, but that they usually receive protection from a system that fails to make them accountable for their behavior

Toxic Waste Problems Worsen on U.S. - Mexican Border

by Danielle Knight Efforts by Mexican and U.S. officials to track the disposal of large amounts of hazardous waste produced in the border region have not kept up with the massive growth of industry on the Mexico side, say environmentalists, who also warn that these current problems may worsen early in the next century when, under NAFTA, U.S.-owned maquiladoras will not have to ship their waste back to the United States

Birth Defects on Tex-Mex Border Twice That of Average

by Danielle Knight Continued high rates of birth defects have been reported in the industrial areas along Mexico's border with the state of Texas, despite promises that NAFTA would address such problems, and sparking accusations that industrial pollution is to blame

Nuclear Waste Dump Planned on U.S. - Mexican Border

by Danielle Knight U.S. law makers are pushing ahead with plans to allow construction of a low-level nuclear waste dump on the border with Mexico, despite opposition from the local community, environmentalists and Mexican officials. One resident of the poor, mainly Latino population said, "We were chosen because it is the path of least political resistance"

"Volunteer" Labor

by Daniel Burton-Rose "Volunteer" work does not carry the stigma of prison labor which might eventually arouse the opposition of the public and so faces limited growth potential as a source of cheap labor for businesses. "As people become increasingly aware of prison/slave labor I think there'll be a backlash against the companies that use it," says Paul Wright, coeditor of Prison Legal News. "My personal experience has been that upon exposing corporations using prison/slave labor, they usually don't want to be associated with it, there's really a public relations problem with it. Having demonized us and made us little better than wild beasts -- if not worse than that -- there's really a problem then saying 'This product was made using prison labor.'" This is what happened with Microsoft, which, once it was exposed, dropped its practice of using prisoners in Washington State to package products like Windows 95

Firing of Columnist Shows Integrity of Journalism

by Allan R. Andrews "For all her skill at writing," Boston Globe ombudsman Jack Thomas noted, "what Patricia Smith had done was to take the language she says she loves and twist it into something grotesque. She had manipulated readers, betrayed colleagues and made a burlesque of what is the soul of not only journalism, but all writing, and that is to write the truth"

The Differences Between Truth and Honesty

by Randolph T. Holhut What Patricia Smith did was a venial rather than a mortal sin. The essential truth of her work held up -- especially in her work that exposed widespread discrimination and racism at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and helped to bring about reforms in that agency. The sin was that she improperly cut corners in four recent columns and knew better, and it has unfortunately tainted the rest of her work

Wildlife Dying At The Doorsteps Of National Parks

by Stephen Sautner Hunting, collisions with automobiles and trucks, and diseases from domestic animals are killing grizzlies, tigers and other large predators at alarming rates when they leave the confines of national parks, and the study warns that regional populations of these animals may collapse if such mortality continues

Enviros Cheer Start of Russian Nuke Waste Cleanup

by Andrei Ivanov Russia finally is tackling the deadly legacy left to the Barents Sea by years of neglect and mismanagement of its nuclear submarine ports, and Western corporations already are angling for the multi-million dollar contract to clean it up

Radioactive Russian Lake Called Possible "Global Catastrophe"

Top-level Russian nuclear safety official warns that radioactive liquid salts under the surface of Lake Karachai is moving towards the region's watershed, where it could contaminate the whole region of Western Siberia and the Arctic Ocean

Melting Peru Glaciers Threaten Nation

by Abraham Lama What will happen to Peru if its Andean glaciers melt? The possibilities are frightening. In the mountain regions, newly disjoined masses of ice would create new pools and lagoons which could leave some cities completely underwater. Coastal valleys, which are where most of Peru's inhabitants live, would turn into uninhabitable deserts because Andean glaciers function as their water reserves

One-Celled Ocean Plants Key to Stable Atmosphere, Climate

by Monte Basgall Not only generates most of the oxygen we breathe, they also play a profound role in regulating atmospheric carbon dioxide, in part by carrying vast amounts of the gas deep in the ocean when they die

Efforts to End Trade Sanctions Gathering Steam

by Jim Lobe Under the law, Clinton had no choice but to impose sanctions againsts India, including a cut-off on the sale of arms and so-called "dual-use" equipment (that which could be used for military, as well as civilian purposes) to both countries and cancellation of all government support, such as export credits, loans, or guarantees, for U.S. companies doing business in India

Saving the Last Survivors

by Dennis Meredith The goggle-eyed, bat-eared little ball of wiry fur was nicknamed "Starvin' Marvin" because he had been rejected by his mother, who had become ill immediately after birth last February. But the veterinarian and animal technicians resolved that Marvin wouldn't starve for long. They set out to save the creature, known as an "aye-aye," by hand-raising it -- the first time such a full-scale attempt had been made on an infant member of this endangered species

Media Error Retractions are Selective

by Norman Solomon Judging from the uproar about recent retractions by CNN and Time magazine, you might conclude that American journalism maintains high standards for war-related reporting -- and sets the record straight when those standards aren't met. But nothing could be farther from the truth

Media Treats China as Good Bad Guy

by Norman Solomon These days, even more than usual, the U.S. press coverage of China keeps oscillating between strong attraction and high anxiety. With its enormous population, China comes across as a beast that could be a great help or a terrible foe -- a fabulous marketing opportunity or a horrendous threat

Y2K and the Average Bite of Food

by Donella H. Meadows Now I'm taking Y2K seriously. What about that average bite of food, which presumably could be stuck on a stalled train or hung up by a bounced credit card or a missing Social Security check somewhere on its 1300 mile journey to the average American?

Murdoch Abuses Power of Media

by Randolph T. Holhut In return for benefiting so handsomely for legislation that benefits his goals of worldwide media domination, Murdoch delivers the anti-Clinton, anti-liberal agit-prop the conservatives love in his two remaining publications -- especially in the New York Post

Media Ignores Shameful Supreme Court Decision

by Alexander Cockburn News editors across the country plainly thought there was more juice in a story about government arts subsidies and Karen Finley's supposed First Amendment rights than in the court's view that an erstwhile coal company can cut loose from paying doctors' bills for retired miners and their families

The Myth of the Liberal Press

by Alexander Cockburn The citizenry is way to the left of the journalistic elite on health insurance and the issue of corporate power. No less than 77 percent of the huddled masses agree with the statement "Too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies." Only 57 percent of the journalists are able to summon up this basic populist response, which has been the core belief of muckrakers since the days of Ida Tarbell and Lincoln Steffens

The Dirtiest Secrets of Racist South Africa

by Alexander Cockburn The dirtiest secrets of South Africa's apartheid regime are now spilling out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Cape Town. It's a pity that the chilling stories haven't made much of a ripple here in the United States, whose own intelligence agencies have, down the years, traveled along the same path and possibly offered useful signposts to their South African colleagues

Comments? Send a letter to the editor.

Albion Monitor Issue 49 (

All Rights Reserved.

Contact for permission to use in any format.