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Table of Contents

404 Special: The Missing News of 1998

The real scandals overlooked by the mainstream press

1998 Was Hottest Year on Record

It's official: 1998 was by far the hottest year since at least the American Civil War, and the 20th consecutive year with an above normal temperatures

Oklahoma City Grand Jury Says No Conspiracy

by Bill Johnson County grand jury concludes 18 months of investigation and finds no evidence that the federal government had advance knowledge of the bombing or that there were additional suspects involved in the conspiracy

Los Angeles Defies Court, Forbids Trade With Dictatorship

by Jim Lobe The Los Angeles City Council, defying a recent federal court ruling and pressure from big business, has voted unanimously to ban companies that do business in Burma from bidding for city contracts

Attorney General To Take Over Bear Lincoln Case?

by Nicholas Wilson The Bear Lincoln case has taken a new twist with the California Attorney General's office possibly set to take over prosecution. Deputy A.G. Michael O'Reilly confirmed Tuesday that he will travel from his San Francisco office to be at Friday's hearing in Ukiah

Clinton's Worse Case

by David Corn As nasty as the impeachment crusade has been, there is the potential for it to become nastier. A GOP whispering campaign over an alleged 1978 sexual assult by Clinton is based on one line in the Starr report. If desperate Republicans do push this material, overtly or covertly, then the trial may come to show that the GOP is even crazier in its get-Clinton obsession than the public realized

A Week Beyond Bizarre

by David Corn As the Republican Party becomes known as the party of fornication and broken vows, it will have a tougher time pursuing its crusade against Clinton and arguing that he cannot be trusted. Yet the GOP is blind to its own foolishness

Impeachment Escalates the Partisan War

by Steven Hill and Rob Richie It is easy to vilify Republicans or Democrats without recognizing the real culprit: our "winner take all" electoral system, which fosters such negative politics. It's a zero-sum game; if I win, you lose. Political operatives know that it pays to run against a demon, and Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich have filled this role nicely

Trying to Have it Both Ways

by Christopher Caldwell Hyde sneered at the Democrats who "suggest that to impeach the President is to reverse the result of a national election, as though Sen. Dole would become president." Those Democrats are right and Hyde is wrong. There's nothing more alarming than the willful obtuseness, the glibness with which Republicans ignore that overturning an election is what impeachment is all about

Wellstone For President

by David Morris Wellstone, who won a come-from-nowhere grassroots campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1990, has fashioned a remarkably consistent record on behalf of the little guy and against concentrated power

New GOP Speaker was "Contract With America" Point Man

by Jim Hightower Latest GOP Speaker-to-be Dennis Hastert was a point man for pushing Newt's "Contract with America," and especially for defending HMOs and insurance companies from any serious consumer protections and regulations on behalf of patients (for example, he was the chief negotiator trying to kill legislation giving moms a 2-day stay in the hospital with their newborn babies, rather than the 1-day-and-out rule mandated by HMOs)

Mobil Oil Implicated in Army Atrocities

by Pratap Chatterjee Mobil, the giant U.S. oil multinational, is keeping a low profile as investigators probe allegations that it helped Indonesia's armed forces carry out massacres near Mobil drilling sites in the province of Aceh in northern Sumatra

Ozone Hole Might Develop Soon Over Arctic

by Mark Bourrie The Arctic is becoming so polluted that the Northern hemisphere soon will have the kind of ozone holes that exist over Antarctica, warns a new Canadian government report. The report, released by Environment Canada, says the Arctic ozone holes could increase ultraviolet radiation that is "highly damaging" to life and cause the protective layer of the upper atmospheric layer over the rest of the northern temperate zone to become thinner

India is Major Exporter of Killer Chemicals

by Dev Raj India is not only poisoning its own people with toxic chemicals but also exporting large quantities to neighboring countries in South Asia

Every Picture Tells a Story

By Michael L. Jones When the picture surfaced in a contest at the Kentucky State Fair in August, it caused enough of a stir that the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children fired Alicia Pedreira from her job. Because the photograph made KBHC officials aware of something many of her co-workers already knew: Alicia Pedreira is a homosexual

The Left Adrift

by David Corn A few days prior to departure, a media reporter rang to ask for the inside dope on the cruise. The curiosity was natural: Many of the stars of this eight-day, sun-and-seminars holiday have recently been at each other's throats. Brit-wits Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Hitchens were feuding, Katha Pollitt and Eric Alterman were feuding, Cockburn and Pollitt were also feuding, and a group attack was waged by all columnists upon editor Katrina vanden Heuvel. More than a few non-voyagers made pretrip cracks about how they were glad they would not be prisoners on what would be a ship of ill will

Report Says Mexico Not To Blame For Chiapas Massacre

by Diego Cevallos An investigation into a massacre of 45 Native people committed a year ago in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas failed to get to the bottom of the incident despite yielding a 20,000-page report. In the meantime, violence, fear and impunity persist in the area of the crime

Worst Polluters to get $18 Billion Tax Break

Federal tax breaks for polluting industries, such as oil and gas, mining, timber and agribusiness corporations, are estimated to grow to $17.8 billion over the next five years

World Forests are Bargaining Chip in Greenhouse Debates

by Danielle Knight Plans to harness the ability of forests to absorb "greenhouse" gases as a way to combat global warming, could allow industrialized countries to continue polluting the atmosphere, say environmentalists

Chile's Election Year To Be Dominated By Pinochet's Shadow

By Gustavo Gonzalez Since being put under house arrest in London, Gen. Augusto Pinochet has cast a long shadow over Chile, where the 1999 political scene will inevitably be marked by the fate of the old dictator. Deep division is forecast for the new year, where the figure of Pinochet and the legacy of his dictatorship (1973-1990) will impact on the presidential elections set for Dec. 11

N Carolina Tribe Evolved Unique Native - English Hybrid Language

by Pam Smith The Lumbee, the largest Native American group east of the Mississippi, gave up their ancestral language to accommodate the political and economic pressures of colonial encroachment -- an accommodation that has severely hindered their pursuit of full federal recognition as a Native American group

Activists Fight Pro-Biotech Advertising

by Danielle Knight Environmentalists are counter-attacking Monsanto, the biotechnology giant that launched an advertising blitz aimed at convincing the world that its new seed and pesticide products are safe

Denmark Cancels Debts of Poorer Nations

by Thalif Deen Denmark, one of the world's most generous aid donors, has written off nearly $635 million in debts owed by the world's poorer nations

International Companies Violate Rights of Pregnant Workers in Mexico

by Thalif Deen The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) says these companies, located mostly along the U.S.-Mexico border, oblige women to undergo pregnancy testing as a condition of their employment. Women thought to be pregnant are not hired. The U.S. companies identified include Lear, Johnson Controls, National Processing Company and Tyco International, while international corporations include the Samsung Group of South Korea, Matsushita Electric Corporation and Sanyo of Japan and Germany's Siemens AG

Standoff Over U.S. Garbage Rejected by Haiti

by Ives Marie Chanel Uncertainty now exists in Haiti as to the fate of 4,000 metric tons of toxic incinerator ash from Philadelphia, dumped 11 years ago

No Enthusiasm For "Super NAFTA" Over All Americas

by Peter Costantini The FTAA would create a free-trade zone stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego by 2005, but both Mexican and U.S. public opinion have given NAFTA a resounding thumbs down

Compulsive Gambling is Partly Inherited

by Jim Dryden "We were able to estimate the specific genetic component for two of [the nine possible] gambling behaviors," says Seth A. Eisen, M.D. "One was gambling larger amounts than intended, and the other was repeated efforts to reduce or stop gambling. For those two symptoms, we found that about half of the gambling behavior was genetically mediated"

1998 Was Dismal Year for Ethical Press

by Randolph T. Holhut Between Matt Drudge's leak of Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff's relentless investigation into President Clinton's sex life and Larry Flynt's $1 million reward for information on Congressmen who had extra-marital affairs -- which led to House Speaker-designate Bob Livingston's stunning resignation -- were months of nasty and brutish behavior by the mainstream press

P.U. - Litzer Prizes For 1998 Journalism

by Norman Solomon In January, Fox News asked the public to rule on Monica Lewinsky: "average girl" or a "young tramp looking for thrills"? After seven months of focusing on little else besides Clinton's (sexual) morals, MSNBC announced a poll question in August. "Clinton's morals: Should it be a political issue, or should it remain a private concern?"

1998 Decisions Show Why Things Don't Work

by Michael Finley Bonehead decisions from business and governments lead columnist to despair

The Fight For Journalism

by Lucy Komisar There was not a little irony at the fund-raising dinner for the Committee to Project Journalists. There I was hearing from journalists in Niger, Panama, Indonesia, Belarus and Eritrea how they braved threats, violence, jail and death to investigate and report on shady dealings in their countries. Next to me, a reporter for a major broadcast network griped. "They just want junk, sex, the lowest," he said

Building Media Democracy

by Peter Phillips As media corporations join the ranks of the corporate elite, questions arise -- such as, how can we trust the objectivity of the New York Times book reviewers now that book reviews are linked to profit sharing with a Barnes and Noble Web site, or how can we believe the objectivity of General Electric owned NBC's reporting on defense contracts or nuclear energy

Where Have all the Frogs and Toads Gone?

by Donella Meadows Around 1990 herpetologists (people who study reptiles and amphibians) began noticing an alarming drop in frog and toad populations. Some of the decreases were sudden, some had been going on for decades. Some species seemed all right, others were decimated. There was no obvious geographic pattern; frogs were failing in wilderness and farmlands, in mountains and valleys, in just about every part of the world

CBS Signs Deal With America Online

by Norman Solomon There's no doubt that America Online has become one of the most important media outlets in the country. At the end of last year, AOL's membership topped 15 million. Now, AOL is joining forces with CBS for an unprecedented alliance

Senate No Model Of Democracy

by Norman Solomon The media spotlight is now on the Senate as it prepares to follow up on the impeachment of President Clinton. Journalists tell us that senators tend to be restrained, deliberative and steeped in tradition. But one important detail gets left out: The Senate is extremely undemocratic

News Coverage of Bombing and Bombast

by Norman Solomon To hear the news media tell it, the recent assault on Iraq was profoundly significant because of possible impacts on partisan power struggles inside the Beltway. In sharp contrast, the people under the bombs were trivial to the punditocracy

Like Clinton, Gray Davis is Fake "Centrist"

by Alexander Cockburn There's never been the slightest mystery about Davis's beliefs. He exhibited them as lieutenant governor and freely vouchsafed them during his campaign. But since his victory in California is being advertised as the model for Democrats in the coming millennium, we should touch on some of their practical consequences. As with Clinton, centrism on Davis' terms means uncritical acceptance of the most abrasive of all ideologies: the belief that the role of government is to promote the corporate agenda

The Fate of Rigoberta Menchu

by Alexander Cockburn Long before she was awarded the Nobel peace prize in l992, Menchu had as secure a position in the pantheon of the world's moral witnesses as, say, Mother Teresa, albeit with an entirely different political cast. Whereas Mother Teresa preached accommodation with earthly social inequities, Menchu has been an avowed supporter of, participant in, Guatemalan's guerrilla movement

Skeletons Tumble From Closets

by Alexander Cockburn Just when Americans had decided adultery in their public servants might be offensive but is forgivable, Republicans have asserted the unforgivability of the whole business, (unless as a last desperate effort to save a failing marriage

Ranked 1,106,125 at Amazon Dot Com

by Michael K. Pastore "Look at this!" I shouted. "A new ranking system! Books rated by popularity, like contestants in a beauty pageant! It's a disgrace to Literature!" Out of Amazom-dot-con's database of more than 3 million items, my "best-selling" book had been ranked near the bottom, at 1,106,125

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