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Table of Contents

Pepper Spray Trial Begins

by Nicholas Wilson Trial began August 10 in a federal civil rights suit filed last October by nine activists who were swabbed or sprayed at close range. Dubbed the Headwaters Forest Defense, et al. vs. Humboldt County, et al., the suit charges officers used excessive force. The activists seek an injunction against using chemical weapons on peaceful protesters plus damages for pain and suffering

Canada Makes Landmark Concessions To B.C. Natives

by Mark Bourrie The Canadian government has signed a landmark treaty deal with the Nisga'a First Nation of northern British Columbia giving Indians self-government and control of a huge area of forests and mountains. The agreement, the first one reached this century between Native communities in Western Canada and the federal government, grants sweeping powers to the 5,000-member Nisga'a First Nation

Capitol Police Shot Protecting Gung-Ho NRA Congressman

by Randolph T. Holhut It was just dumb luck that Russell Weston chose the entrance near House Majority Whip Tom DeLay's offices in his attempt to shoot his way into the Capitol building. He had a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver and a pocket full of extra ammunition. Even though he had a history of threatening government officials, even though he was an ex-mental patient who had been institutionalized and was off and on medication for years, Weston still had an Illinois gun ownership authorization card

Pentagon Charged With Developing Banned Laser Weapons

"'Dazzling' or glare-producing lasers, have as their primary function attacking human eyes, (and) are intended for anti-personnel missions," says Human Rights Watch, noting that some dazzling lasers described as "eyesafe" have been found by military health officials to damage parts of the eye, and that experts, including biophysicists, believe that any laser which can dazzle can also blind, depending on the circumstances in which it used

118 Arrested at Jabiluka Uranium Mines

Opponents of the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Kakadu tropical World Heritage Area shut down construction work on July 22 in one of the largest protests yet

Native Land Rights at Core of Jabiluka Uranium Mine Controversy

by Andrew Nette A shy, 36 year-old Aboriginal woman is leading a battle against one of Australia's largest mining companies and has been instrumental in forging a coalition between Aboriginal Australians and environmentalists, a 'green-black' alliance which observers claim is unprecedented in the nation's history

Historic Enviro - Native Alliance To Stop Jabiluka Mine

by Andrew Nette A plan to expand uranium mining in Australia's World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is shaping up to be the biggest environmental showdown in the country's recent history, pitting the area's traditional aboriginal owners, the Mirrar, and an alliance of environmental and anti-nuclear groups, against the money and power of one of Australia's largest mining companies

$100 Million Per Month Spent on Lobbying

by Monte Paulsen Lobbying is big business: $100 million-a-month big. That's the rate at which the nation's largest corporations, together with a handful of citizen groups, poured money into Washington, D.C.

All God's Lobbyists

by Monte Paulsen A torrent of conservative Christian money flows into politics. The Christian Coalition -- which claims 1.9 million members, a figure its critics dispute -- outspent the 33 million-member American Association of Retired Persons

How the Pentagon Lobbies Congress From Within -- and Undercover

by Monte Paulsen Roughly 100 career military officers shadow the staffs of senators, representatives and committees each year. They're on the Pentagon payroll, but they work out of uniform and outside the chain of command. They work inside Congress, but neither are they elected nor wholly beholden to anyone who is. They are, in effect, temporary workers loaned from the Pentagon to Congress at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $12.5 million a year. (SIDEBARS: Newt and the military, scenario for coup in year 2012)

Lawmakers Devolve To Become Lobbyists

by Jim Hightower Congress has become a training ground, where one can learn how the system works, figure out where the bodies are buried, gain expertise in certain legislative areas, become buddy-buddy with key lawmakers -- then sell all of this to a Washington lobbying firm

Growing Alarm Over Antibiotic Resistant Germs

by Alice Tallmadge From all around the globe -- Japan, the U.S., Europe, South America -- reports of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are surfacing: urinary, respiratory and ear infections that don't respond to usual courses of antibiotics; resistant strains of pneumonia and tuberculosis bacteria. In addition, some bacteria strains transmitted only in hospital settings are also showing resistance

Bear Lincoln Retrial Delayed Until January

by Nicholas Wilson Bear Lincoln's retrial on manslaughter charges has been delayed until January 1999, and the November elections may bring changes that could result in the case being dropped

Beyond the AIDS Conference Hype

by Brian Smith The recent conference chillingly brought home to conference participants the block of world economic disparity through ostentatious displays of wealth by the drug companies. "For the doctors from poor nations, the dinners, the shows and the food being sponsored by these companies was insulting and they became angry," said Project Inform Director Martin Delaney. "Something needs to be done about this before the next conference, which will be held in Africa. The pharmaceutical companies cannot behave this way again"

Wal-Mart Target Of Sweatshop Protest

by Farhan Haq A US-based labor group intends using the winter holiday shopping season to force the nation's largest retail chain Wal-Mart, to open its doors to independent monitoring of its overseas factories

The GOP's "Kinder, Gentler" Gay Bashing

by Tate Hausman Veiling the far right's latest attack on the gay and lesbian community with rhetoric suggesting that homosexuality is a curable disease or a sinful lifestyle choice, conservative Republicans have initiated a new, different, and very subtle anti-gay agenda

Indonesians Face Austerity From Food Shortages

by Kafil Yamin Before the financial crisis struck, the price of rice was hardly a problem for Indonesian farmers because they had their own harvest. But the drought and other factors changed all that; now they have no choice but to buy from the market, where the price of the commodity has been rising

Unemployment In Asia Alarms U.N.

The annual U.N. Survey says that unemployment has been rising sharply in a number of Asian countries, and is expected to get worse this year. The increase in the numbers of people without jobs is attributed to massive lay-offs of both skilled and unskilled workers, particularly in four Asian countries

Error 404: Information Missing From Your Daily News

The poor quality of international news coverage in the U.S.; starvation in Indonesia; Britian takes drastic steps to keep Mad Cow disease out of blood supply; Forest Service finally admits logging on public land is loss; Fortuna Alliance

Billions Loaned To Russia Are Wasted

by Grigory Yavlinsky Up to 75 percent of the Russian economiy runs on barter, promissory notes and other money surrogates. In such a duty-free economy, the main problem is not the failure to collect taxes but the absence of an economy itself from which taxes could be drawn. The government covered its deficits by foreign and domestic loans at exceedingly high interest rates. Now the government cannot meet its bills. It cannot pay its staggering debts or even its severe interest payments

Hospital Mistreatment Added to Heat Stroke Deaths

A new analysis of deaths from a 1995 Chicago heat wave finds that medical professionals and hospitals badly mishandled treatment of heat stroke, and 50 percent more people died than was reported at the time

IRS Reform Bill Loaded With Favors For Political Contributors

The "Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998" has been touted as providing relief for average taxpayers who have suffered from bureaucratic abuse in their dealings with the agency. But average taxpayers are not the bill's primary beneficiaries. Instead, members of Congress have just voted to bestow two new tax breaks on a very select group: the wealthiest five percent of all Americans. It cannot be a coincidence that these people dominate the ranks of Congress' campaign contributors

First-Ever Attempt to Organize Maquiladora Workers

by Maricel Sequeira Thousands of women who have suffered abuses and labor-rights violations in Central America's free trade zones but remained silent in order to keep their jobs, now have a chance to organize themselves to improve their situation

Clinton Forest Protection Failing, Groups Say

Old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest are not being protected by the Clinton administration's 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, 13 conservation groups from Washington, Oregon and California allege in a lawsuit, although the Plan only requires the Forest Service and the BLM to provide for "retention of old-growth fragments in watersheds where little remains"

The Breathing Earth

by Richard R. Hofstetter, Esq. The concept that carbon dixoide is constantly being buried in the earth and living plants is poorly understood, even in the environmental community. Author Richard R. Hofstetter provides an overview, which we expect to become a standard reference on the topic

Deregulated Power May Increase Smog

Deregulation of the electric power industry now taking place across the country could aggravate smog and other pollution problems unless "effective safeguards" are put in place. Pollution rates vary widely among the power companies, and some put out pollution at more than 10 times the rate of others

Energy Deregulation Puts Heat on Small Producers

by Elaine Hopkins Large utilities are driving small producers out of business by refusing to pay an adequate rate because the large utilities consider the small producers a nuisance. "If they bankrupt us, they can purchase us for 10 cents on the dollar, then say they're environmentally friendly"

Poverty Causes Early Death, Mental Illness

New studies from Britian and Michigan add further proof that poverty itself is a cause of some of the most serious hardships faced by the poor, both damaging their health and limiting their opportunities to create better lives

Genetic Engineering Test Produces Superweeds

by Pam Frost Weeds can easily cross-pollinate with genetically-altered crops to create superweeds that are resistant to many herbicides, according to an Ohio State University study

Burmese Urged To Overthrow Military Junta

by Teena Amrit Gill For the first time since Burma was admitted into ASEAN last year, a fellow member has strongly condemned the military regime by urging the Burmese to rise up against it the way Filipinos did against Ferdinand Marcos. But for some, these tougher words, which could even indicate some change of heart on ASEAN's part, may be too late to influence conditions within Burma


Julia "Butterfly" Hill, Tina Brown, Patricia Smith, Chiquita news sources

Starr Inquiry Is America's Shame

by Walter M. Brasch So far, the Republican-dominated federal courts have agreed that sex is a greater felony than ripping apart the Constitution, election fraud, theft of public money and federal land, and even treason

This Is Your (Media) Life, Bill Clinton!

by Norman Solomon Clinton's helped the news media to accelerate in the same direction they were headed anyway -- fixating the nation on a convoluted soap-opera plot instead of genuine political discourse. The spectacle is unfolding as some kind of mass hypnosis

Media Advised Clinton On How To Spin

by Norman Solomon When preparing for his testimony to a grand jury, Bill Clinton received plenty of pointers -- not only from lawyers and White House aides but also from the media. For weeks, news outlets provided a crescendo of advice for the president's day of reckoning

Presidential Scandals in Eye of Beholder

by Norman Solomon By now, we're accustomed to media debates that focus on the politics of personalities. So, vast amounts of ink and air time explore a president's "character" -- without delving into the character of the overall system that the president is serving

New Republic Purges Archives

by Allan R. Andrews The New Republic magazine is acting like an old despotic regime trying to rewrite or at least sanitize history in its handling of a reporter's fabricated stories. Not only has The New Republic apologized for the fabrications of one of its reporters, the magazine has now apologized to its online readers and is purging its online archives of the stories written by the offending writer, Stephen Glass

Fact Checking Becomes Obsessive

by Ted Rall Recent episodes at the New Republic, CNN, and Boston Globe have turned once-lowly fact-checkers into much-feared journalistic harpies, and even nonjournalists like myself have been sacrificed to their insatiable hunger for Truth

Fantasy Beats Facts For Drug Czar

by Steve Chapman Drug czar Barry McCaffrey said Dutch drug policy was an "unmitigated disaster," claiming it has turned the country into a pit of violence and depravity. "The murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States," he said. "The overall crime rate in Holland is probably 40 percent higher than in the United States. That's drugs." This news came as a shock to the peaceable citizens of the Netherlands, who do not live in the same constant fear of crime as residents of, say, Washington, D.C.

A Half-Hearted Defense of Tina Brown

by Joyce Marcel Tina Brown's intelligent sizing up of the American reader, taking note of his/her interest in celebrity, allowed the best reporters she could find to strip away the masks of image and unveil the behind-the-scenes characters and activities that make us the United States of Entertainment -- important reporterly work that should be done, and that frankly, no other magazine does regularly. At Vanity Fair, Brown licked and purred at the stars; at The New Yorker, she scratched and bit them

Grand Juries And Justice

by Alexander Cockburn The prospect of Lewinsky's testimony was so appetizing to Starr that he assented to her demand that her mother also be given transactional immunity. This may have been no small gift, since the Tripp tapes suggest that the mother may have been the intellectual author of a scheme to keep Tripp from giving a deposition in the Paula Jones case on her knowledge of the president's alleged groping of Kathleen Willey. In other words, Monica's promised testimony may have gotten her mother off a serious rap for obstruction of justice

Smoking Gun in CIA Drug Traffic Coverup

by Alexander Cockburn Down the decades the CIA has approached perfection in the "uncover-up," a process whereby, with all due delay, the agency first denies with passion then concedes in profoundly muffled tones charges levelled against it. One familiar feature in the "uncover-up" paradigm is the frequently made statement by CIA-friendly journalists that "no smoking gun" has been detected in whatever probe is under review. But in the Inspector General's report, we find an admission that the CIA had successfully requested $36,800, siezed by the police, be returned to a gang of Nicaraguan drug smugglers because the CIA had an "operational equity" in the gangs affairs. This is obviously a smoking gun

Environmental Wasteland in Gore's Backyard

by Alexander Cockburn Almost everything you need to know about the political contradictions of Al Gore are summed up in the condition of 30,000 acres in his home state of Tennessee where the Fall Creek Falls state park teeters on the verge of becoming an environmental wasteland, with acid-laced streams deadly to the trout which draw anglers from across the country and the neighboring hillsides hideously scarred

Dreaming Castaneda

by Celeste Fremon If anything, the controversies surrounding Castaneda are greater than ever. But some of those who knew him well have arrived at a provisional answer. "He had a genius for introducing people to the possibility of seeing other realities," says Gloria Garvin, a former member of Castaneda's inner circle, "but there was never a Don Juan. He knew shamans. He did a great deal of research over the years, often under other names. And he would journey and dream, and stimulate amazing journeys and dreams in the people around him"

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