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Like Banquo's ghost in Shakespeare's Macbeth, the spectre haunting this weekend's NATO summit is "bloody and muddy"

Bombs Unleash Toxic Clouds Over Belgrade

A combined petrochemicals and fertilizer factory and oil refinery in the Belgrade suburbs was bombed by NATO forces April 15, releasing large amounts of toxics into the air and water

After the Bombs, Eco-disaster and Hunger

by Vesna Peric-Zimonjic Apart from the razing of Yugoslav industrial sites and infrastructure, NATO air attacks are causing an ecological disaster that could endanger the Balkans as a whole, Serbian officials and ecology experts warned. Important rivers, lakes and agricultural land are now contaminated with chemicals and depleted uranium, while the country's fertilizer plants have been destroyed at the height of the seeding season. The result, experts say, might be widespread hunger

End Eco-Destruction, Yugoslav Scientists Plead

Scientists are warning that the NATO bombs being dropped on Yugoslavia are destroying not just military targets but the entire ecology of the region. One of the healthiest areas in Europe is turning into an environment hazardous for human health as land and water are being irreversibly polluted, they report

KLA Donations Likely Going to Drug Biz, Germany Warns

by Yojana Sharma Funds continue to flow to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), often to buy arms, despite warnings by Germany's credit agencies that Kosovo Albanians could be using accounts in Northern Europe to launder the gains of heroin-trafficking gangs operating around Europe

Spectre of Ground War Haunts NATO Summit

by Jim Lobe

Russian Threats Begin to Disturb U.S.

by Jim Lobe With Moscow and Washington at loggerheads over NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, Russian specialists here are urging Clinton to be cautious. Their advice follows warnings by Russian President Yeltsin that a NATO decision to send ground troops into Yugoslavia could prompt Moscow to intervene militarily in the conflict

U.S. Trying to Block UN Censure for Kosovo Eco Destruction

by Thalif Deen The United States and its allies at the United Nations are trying to head off a Russian resolution critical of NATO for causing environmental destruction in Yugoslavia

To Serbs, It's Now the NATO War

by Vesna Peric-Zimonjic NATO countries may be fighting their war against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, but in the eyes of ordinary Serbs, six weeks of air raids have systematically destroyed the works of many generations.

NATO Bombs Unite Serbs

by Vesna Peric-Zimonjic Western military analysts seem startled and confused by the Serbian reaction in front of their country's devastation. In view of now massive "collateral damage," Western media are also airing doubts and looking for explanations, some of them wild

Dancing on the Bridge

by Randall Major Internet essay claimed to come from U.S. ex-pat states, "The very fact that NATO is blowing up Yugoslavia's bridges is symbolic in a way. Each time a bridge goes down, a tie with the West is broken. A childhood memory is obliterated. Loved ones are separated. And anger grows towards the ones who have done it. By blowing up the bridges, NATO countries are cutting all ties between themselves and the ordinary citizens of Yugoslavia"

Is China Playing a Hidden Role in the Kosovo Crisis?

by Franz Schurmann When countries break diplomatic relations with each other they usually set up temporary quarters in a friendly embassy. It seemed natural for the Serbs to have gone to the Russian embassy. They didn't and instead went to the Chinese embassy. If Belgrade had decided that a "long haul" war is in the cards, as Clinton has warned, then it makes more sense for them to go to the Russian embassy. But if Milosevic feels there is a chance for peace then China poses some advantages Russia doesn't have

Anti-Environmental Riders on Kosovo Relief Bill

One introduced by Alaska Republican Senator Frank Murkowski would open Glacier Bay National Park to commercial fishing, including waters designated as wilderness by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, without any federal safeguards or regulation. Another would provide royalty relief of up to $123,000,000 for the owners of marginal oil wells that are barely productive, often owned by the same large oil companies

Bush Raking in the Bucks

by Jim Hightower Bush is putting together a campaign-finance structure that's a pyramid of wealth. "The 200 pioneers" at the top have national financial networks of their own, including other corporate executives, their country-club pals, people who owe them favors, companies that do business with them

Why Pundits are Never Wrong

by Jeff Grabmeier Study suggests that political leaders and others may have a hard time learning from history -- or at least learning lessons that don't fit their existing beliefs and ideologies. When experts were wrong, they interpreted events to fit their preconceived notions, rather than change their notions to fit reality. Some of the popular defenses used by incorrect experts included "I was almost right" (The predicted events didn't happen, but almost did) and "I was just off on timing" (The predicted events have not occurred yet, but they eventually will)

The Latest S&L Scandal

Public Campaign Without a single hearing or debate, Congress has voted to hit the public with another bill that could reach $30 to $50 billion, not counting interest. Last fall, at the urging of industry lobbyists, The New York Times reports, members of Congress "tucked into appropriations legislation a two-paragraph provision....[requiring] taxpayers to pay such sums as necessary to satisfy all final court judgments" stemming from the 1989 bailout law that brought the Looting Decade to a halt

A "Moral Authority" For Bombing

by David Corn In the dark days of the Rwanda holocaust, the entire human rights brigade in Washington was beseeching the Clinton Administration to intervene. Try to jam the radios used to broadcast the killing orders, they pleaded. Try to place pressure on the French, who have influence in the area. Announce that war criminals would be pursued. Use the word "genocide" in describing the tragedy. The human rights activists were met with worse than silence. They received a shrug conveying the message, we know it sucks but we don't feel politically we can do much

Demos Roll Over For NATO Bombing

by David Corn Where have all the Congressional liberals gone? As bombs fell on Yugoslavia, commentators listened for the sound of antiwar protest from the left and discerned mostly silence. In the middle of last week, CNN's William Schneider pronounced: "There are no antiwar protests on the left; liberals can rally behind a war for human rights." He wasn't far wrong. All the rock-'em/sock-'em, in-the-media action had been on the right

Bear Lincoln Case Finally Over

by Nicholas Wilson The Deputy Attorney General told the Mendocino County Superior Court judge that his office had reviewed the case and decided that "at this time the charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and I would move to dismiss." The judge immediately dismissed the manslaughter charge "in the interest of justice." The Lincoln supporters who filled the small courtroom to capacity could barely contain themselves, and cheering erupted when the brief hearing was over

U.S. Refuses To Destroy Smallpox Stockpile

by Jim Lobe Clinton has decided against destroying the remaining U.S. stocks of smallpox virus, claiming that, to do so, could harm scientific, health, and national security interests. The decision, reached after lengthy internal debate, reverses a government pledge in 1996 to destroy the stocks by June as part of a plan by the WHO to achieve the final elimination of the smallpox virus

Protect Ecosystems, Not Species, Study Warns

by David Stauth Two new studies suggest that ecosystems can be far more vulnerable than often assumed, subject to disruption by fairly small environmental changes or loss of "minor" species not traditionally thought to be important -- and in considerable peril from global change

Few Cheer Oil Giant's Earth Day Award

by Danielle Knight The giant oil company BP Amoco picked up an award here on April 22 for its forward-looking approach to the problem of global warming, to the mixed applause of environmental groups

Error 404: News Not Found in Your Daily Paper

The media war over Kosovo; Europeans make emergency plans for biotech disaster; Project Censored on TV; Paul Robeson, Cold War martyr; Henry Hyde and the sock puppet

Demonstators Protest KPFA Firings, "Gag Rules"

by Nicholas Wilson With up to a thousand angry demonstrators blocking the Berkeley street in front of its studio, radio station KPFA unquietly celebrated its 50th birthday

Rebellion at Pacifica

by Alexander Cockburn Pacifica's bosses have imposed gags, brought in union busters and jimmied the rules so its governing body of 14 can preside over the $200 million to $300 million in Pacifica assets without accountability

Rwanda Copes With Murderous Past on "Genocide Day"

by Farah Stockman The story goes the same across the country, as a mostly peasant population explain why many of them tried to murder every member of their neighbor's household, down to the smallest child. Five years after the unimaginable happened in Rwanda, people are still sorting out who is responsible, who to forgive and what to forget

Central America a Cocaine Warehouse

by Nefer Munoz Writer-philosopher Helio Gallardo believes that the region's countries place too much emphasis on police repression and not enough on the public health aspect of the problem. "The joint patrol plan is doomed to fail," said Gallardo, who also believes that the region should think about legalizing drug use in the long term. "Drug consumption cannot be prevented in modern societies. What we can do, is keep the drugs out of the mafia's hands"

Stop Police From Stalling Trial, Judi Bari Lawyer Tells Court

by Nicholas Wilson Frustrated by delaying tactics by law enforcement, Cunningham had dramatically held up an exhibit binder during the hearing. "I showed these same photos (of the bombed car clearly showing the bomb was hidden under the driver's seat) here in this court in 1993," he said. "We're six years down the road now, with this appeal. The FBI will be in here next with their ... appeal, and it'll be another two years ... another six years. We're entitled to intervention (by the appeals court to stop these delaying tactics)"

Christian Identity and the Y2K "Conspiracy"

by Laura Maggi James Wickstrom, who operates out of Michigan, is the pastor and leader of a Christian Identity group called the Posse Comitatus, is hammering away that this would be on the one hand the collapse of this system that they say is controlled by an international Jewish conspiracy to enslave the American public, and white people in particular. The idea is that this whole Y2K thing is part of a conspiracy

Canadian Natives Sitting on Diamond Mine

by Mark Bourrie Native communities in Canada literally may be sitting on a diamond mine, possibly the second largest in the world

Vietnam Might Sue for Agent Orange Damage

by Sergei Blagov Sooner or later, the U.S. military could face huge compensation claims from the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, the wartime defoliant it sprayed in that Indochinese nation decades ago

Revolving Doors: Monsanto and the Regulators

by Jennifer Ferrara Traditionally, key figures at the FDA in particular have either held important positions at Monsanto, or are destined to do so in the future. Is it surprising therefore that Monsanto gets clearance for its often dangerous products?

Blaming Everything Except Guns

by David Corn The NRA recruits for its gun-centric world, and aims quite young. At a 1998 convention, a gun enthusiast could buy NRA baby bibs and infantwear and children's products featuring Eddie Eagle, the group's mascot. (Think of a Joe Camel who is packing.) According to a study produced by the Violence Policy Center, which advocates gun control, the NRA in 1997 announced a $100 million campaign to reach children, and its youth magazine, InSights, routinely contains ads for firearms with violent-sounding names, such as the Savage Arms Predator, a combination rifle/shotgun. Two of the four guns used by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were Savage shotguns

Media Rushes to Exploit Littleton Tragedy

by Judith Gorman CNN sent 70 staffers to Littleton, and NBC and ABC counterpunched with another 50 apiece. With a hearty anchors aweigh, Rather, Jennings, and Brokaw arrived on the day after the shootings to offer low seriousness and live standups in front of Columbine High. A mobius strip of Dateline, 20/20, and Inside Edition squeezed excruciating sound bites out of grief stricken relatives and hospitalized victims, in what has become an obligatory exercise in televised vivisection

Media Finds Easy Monster in 'Goth' Subculture

by Malcolm Howard It wasn't just national TV tabloids that marched with klieg lights in hand in a quest to find a modern-day Frankenstein in today's growing goth scene. That same night, one local Colorado report segued to coverage of last week's concert by heavy metal band Slayer, referring to those waiting for the show as "members of the Goth cult." Never mind that the ominously named death-metal group is not a "goth" band per se -- and that most goths aren't particularly impressed with Marilyn Manson either -- such distinctions were missed by a mass media intent on lumping almost anyone who wears black into some pop-music doomsday cult

The War Comes Home Again

by Alexander Cockburn In the aftermath of the Littleton shootings in Colorado, there's been collective determination among editorial writers to omit from possible motivating factors the U.S. bombing of Serbia. The typical editorial response has been "keep guns out of the hands of troubled youngsters." Of course, the institution most adept at putting guns into the hands of youngsters, many of them troubled, is the U.S. military, which insists on the right to accept teenagers at an age younger than most nations

Littleton Signals Death of the "Public" School

by Richard Rodriguez After the ribbons fade, after the dead are laid to their rest, after the reporters drift away, the last casualty of the massacre at Columbine High may turn out to be the idea of public school

There is no Epidemic of Teen Violence

by Randolph T. Holhut If one divides the number of violent crimes by the number of people living in poverty, the so-called epidemic of teen violence disappears. Adjusted for poverty, the crime rate for 13-19-year-olds is almost the same as people in their 40s, and is lower than those in their 20s and 30s

Just Never Good Enough

by Lyn Duff The response to Columbine will be metal detectors, or more police at schools, or gun control, or limits on Internet freedom -- anything that "protects" kids by demonizing them and putting more distance between them and the adults in their lives

Rush to Internet Judgment in Littleton Tragedy

by Donna Ladd The whole Net conspiracy nonsense peaked Wednesday evening. By then, second-tier Denver radio host Peter Boyles had gotten a field promotion to MSNBC "expert" commentator. He talked ominously about how the "Trenchcoat mafia" were in a number of schools. And they had a big Internet presence

Ban Shrimp Farms, Enviro Groups Tell UN

by Danielle Knight Vast areas of the coasts in tropical Asian and Latin American countries, particularly mangrove forests, other wetlands, and agricultural lands, including rice paddies, have been stripped away to build shrimp farms

Researchers Find History of Rainforest Told in Birdsong

To human ears it may sound like music -- but to the birds, birdsong represents survival. It decides not only differences between species, but also success in the unending battle over food, territory and mates. It may mark the distinction between survival and genetic death for an individual bloodline

What Makes The Birdies Sing? Melatonin

by Gary Dorsey About 20 years ago, it was discovered that a portion of a bird's brain involved in the control of song actually increases in volume as days grow longer. The longer daylight hours of springtime, they found, causes songbirds' gonads to grow from the size of pepper flakes to marbles. It was almost as if birds entered puberty every spring, and then the gonads shrink again every fall

Mexican Army Destroying Chiapas Rainforest

by Diego Cevallos The fragile 500,000-hectare Lacandona jungle represents 50 percent of North America's tropical rain forests. It is home to most of Mexico's tropical trees, 33 percent of the country's species of reptiles, 80 percent of butterfly species and 32 percent of bird species.

The 200,000 Skeletons in Richard Holbrooke's Closet

by Sunil Sharma A little-known chapter in Richard Holbrooke's career in the U.S. government is his complicity in Indonesia's campaign of genocide against East Timor. On December 7, 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, which it continues to occupy today, killing over 200,000 Timorese in the process -- approximately one-third of pre-invasion population. The U.S. supported Indonesia in ways which are already well known; there is no doubt that the invasion, ongoing occupation, and genocide could not have been possible without U.S. support

11,000 or Not, Signs of a Bad Dow Crash

By Mark Scheinbaum The most horrifying thing about these vignettes is not in the telling (since some of them are actually quite humorous), but in the truth of the telling. Yes, they are all true stories, with the names changed or abbreviated to protect the guilty

PBS Promotes the "Stock Market" Game

By Jim Hightower A recent feature on public radio's "All Things Considered" news show told about a new game called the "Stock Market Game." This is a blatant piece of Wall Street propaganda being directed at 11 and 12 year olds -- just the kind of thing that PBS was created to expose and lampoon. But, no, the new, corporate-friendly public radio network broadcast the feature without an iota of journalistic skepticism, much less criticism or outrage

Gun Zealots Promote Discredited Study

by Kathryn Eastburn University of Chicago economist John Lott released his study to the press, drawing rapid attention to such statements as: "If the rest of the country had adopted right-to-carry concealed handgun provisions in 1992, about 1,500 murders and 4,000 rapes would have been avoided." Anti-gun organizations like the Violence Policy Center met Lott's findings with skepticism and quick attacks on his integrity as an academic researcher. As a result of the attacks, however, Lott became a poster child for pro-gun activists who labeled him a victim of the PC crowd. But in months to follow, Lott's study came under more serious scrutiny. Academics uncovered serious enough flaws in Lott's analysis to discount his findings completely

The Hard Business of Telling False Science From True

by Donella H. Meadows So goes science, back and forth, up and down, maybe, maybe not, that's an interesting finding but let's see if we can repeat the experiment, let's see if there are other explanations, let's put it in the perspective of all these other findings. And so goes column-writing, a handmaiden of politics, which likes to seize any shred of evidence to support what one already thought and hit everyone over the head with it. A difficult combination, science and politics. Especially in a democratic society where the public is charged with figuring out what to believe

In Praise of Asking "Wrong" Questions

by Norman Solomon In late April, at a glitzy hotel in New York, the Overseas Press Club held its annual awards dinner. For the journalists who show up -- and particularly for those being honored -- the event is usually perceived as an opportunity to preen and be seen. But this time around, two independent-minded journalists -- Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill of Pacifica Radio -- chose to take advantage of a different sort of opportunity. Rather than bask in the limelight, they decided to speak out for human rights and journalistic integrity

Worthy and Unworthy Victims of War

by Norman Solomon Central to U.S. news coverage is a paradigm as old as the macabre art of propaganda itself. Routinely, media reports make a huge distinction -- sharp yet cloaked -- between worthy and unworthy victims. Policy-driven from the White House, the coverage emphasizes some suffering and downplays or ignores other suffering

Martin Luther King, War Protester

by Norman Solomon The war coverage is becoming routine. Missiles fly, bombs fall. Live briefings from the Pentagon -- featuring talkative generals, colorful charts and gray videos -- appear on cable television like clockwork. The war on Yugoslavia is right in front of us and very far away. The media atmosphere is numbing. Early this month, the anniversary of the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. came and went. In the media world, he's presented as a dreamer, a martyr on a postage stamp

To Serbia From Vietnam

by Alexander Cockburn Being a peacenik is definitely out of style. Liberals are learning once again -- did they ever truly forget? -- that it's fun to be a warmonger and cheer the high explosive as it falls. After suffering indigestion toward the end of the Vietnam affair, they got the taste for war again in the mid-1990s, with Bosnia

Driving While White

by Alexander Cockburn The DEA took up Vogel's profiling in 1987. It wasn't long before cops in every state were using the vehicle laws as the pretext. Dirty license tags, a brake light burned out, almost anything you could dream of. So you get stopped. The cop sizes you up. Let Webb tell it: "At the moment your license and registration are returned, you are technically free to leave. Now, you and Officer Friendly are just having a 'consensual' chat. And your new friend is free to ask anything

The Televised Revolution of Michael Moore

by Kathy Newman In his new series, The Awful Truth, Moore successfully uses irony, derision and wit to expose of the folly and wickedness of corporate America. Moreover, under the Moore microscope, corporate America looks hapless, hostile, and humorless


Kosovo, the wrong war; the death of Steve Kangas; cancer link to rBGH; KPFA protests; Kevin Mitnick

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