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Table of Contents

Thousands March for Free Speech at KPFA

by Nicholas Wilson "Whose station? Our station!" Chanted thousands of KPFA supporters outside the padlocked radio station in Berkeley, California on July 31, bringing to a dramatic climax a march that drew 15,000 in support of free speech at the nation's first listener-supported radio station

Untreatable Form of AIDS Spreading in Africa

by Zarina Geloo People living with AIDS in Zambia are experiencing a new resistant strain of HIV virus that does not respond to any available drug. Zambia is one of the first African countries to be subjected to the life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) trials a decade ago. Studies show that those who use the drugs inconsistently, or stop using them when they cannot afford them, develop resistance to the medicine. At $15,000 a year, the drugs, a combination of three or more drugs -- collectively called protease inhibitors -- are out of reach of many HIV infected Zambians who earn less than $200 a month

Increase in Japanese TB Cases Worry Officials

by Suvendrini Kakuchi Japan is grappling with a sudden tuberculosis alert, following an alarming rise in the number of patients detected with new strains of the life-threatening disease. Toru Mori, director of the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association's TB Research Institute and a leading authority on the disease, says the recent increase in cases shows a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to all known drugs

Massive Arms Sale to Gulf Arab Nation in Offing

by Thalif Deen Cardamone said the Clinton Administration is capitulating to UAE demands for computer source codes that run all of the F-16's electronics systems at a time when the U.S. Congress is clamoring about the national security implications of stolen nuclear secrets. "Yet, no one seems concerned that some of our most advanced conventional weapons technology is up for sale," he said. Cardamone said that these source codes, so far, had been given only to NATO allies such as Britain and Germany. If the UAE deal went through, it would be the first Third World nation to gain access to these sensitive codes

Scientists Mull Kansas Boycott After Anti-Evolution Decision

by Samuel J. Scott Some members of the scientific community and academia have proposed an "intellectual boycott" of Kansas following the decision of the state's Board of Education to ban the teaching of evolution there. The major proposals being circulated for the boycott are for scientists and teachers to refuse to work in the state, for scientific groups and societies not to hold conventions there and even for universities not to admit students from Kansas

IMF Rushes to Avert Russian Loan Default

by Abid Aslam The IMF has approved its first loan to Russia in nearly 12 months, saving the former Soviet state -- and itself -- from certain default. Russia "always is going to be bailed out somehow," according to Clifford Gaddy, a Russia expert at the Brookings Institution. "The Russians have 30,000 nuclear weapons, and that's 30,000 reasons why they won't be allowed to go under"

Four Retailers Settle in Saipan Sweatshop Lawsuits

by Keri Hayes In a landmark development in the legal battle to end sweatshop conditions on the U.S. territory of Saipan, four apparel companies named in lawsuits have agreed to independent monitoring of their Saipan contractors. Under the out-of-court settlements, the four companies -- Nordstrom, J. Crew, Cutter & Buck and Gymboree -- also agreed to ban the use of "recruitment fees" in the factories

Expect More Rightwing Violence as Y2000 Nears

by Farhan Haq According to some hate group monitors, the U.S. racist right wing has become particularly active -- sometimes for theological reasons, or out of concern about the impact of the "Y2K" computer bug -- as the millennium approaches. "There are people openly talking about the year 2000 having great significance," says Chip Berlet, senior analyst for Political Research Associates, a Massachusetts organization which tracks hate groups. For many on the racist right, he says, the next few years will be important because they see the coming of the millennium as the advent of a "racial war"

Humanitarian Aid For Yugoslavia Urgently Needed

by Vesna Peric-Zimonjic Destroyed infrastructure and the loss of capital in NATO air raids was estimated at around $4.1 billion, while human capital loss accounted for an additional $2.3 billion, Mladjen Dinkic, the G-17 coordinator told IPS. The remaining $23.2 billion comprise opportunity losses for the whole economy, based on the current value of lost gross domestic product (GDP) and assuming that the "negative effects of war will be felt over the next 10 years," Dinkic said

God and Greenbacks

by David Corn The money chase is no surprise; it has been accelerating in recent years, and Congress has failed to do anything to counter the trend. Then there's the God chase. Given what the body politic has gone through the past year and a half, it's not completely surprising that piety is on the rise on the hustlings. God has become the running mate of most presidential candidates.

Tyrants We Like

by Manse Jacobi and Brian Drolet World leaders gathered in Rabat on July 23rd to mourn the death of late King Hasan II, who ruled the North African country of Morocco for 38 years. President Bill Clinton led the procession, calling the late monarch a "great survivor," a remark on Hasan's knack for surviving numerous attempts to topple his "iron-fist" tyranny. As the longest-reigning monarch in the Arab world, his subjects suffered extensive human-rights violations, including imprisonment of political dissidents, forced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions

From Top-Secret to Toilet Paper

by Jim Hightower Shred-it is a highly-successful, mobile shredding service that operates six trucks in the Nation's Capitol, servicing federal agencies, downtown lobbying firms, corporate offices, and others that are somewhere between prudent and paranoid

The $100 Million Candidate

by David Corn What's the one figure you need to know to understand this presidential election? The answer is $100 million. That's how much money George W. Bush, the one- and- a- quarter- term governor of Texas, may raise. He's already over a third of the way to becoming the first nine-figure presidential candidate. It's driving his Republican competitors nuts and, no doubt, freaking out Vice President Al Gore, who will have to spend many of his millions beating back ex-Senator Bill Bradley, while the Bush cash register will keep ringing

The Once and Future King

by Curt Guyette Think of attending the three-day convention as a prolonged political acid trip, a good strong hit of yellow windowpane that sends the senses into a chaotic, psychedelic swirl before lifting you to a peak of clarity. The Mind that used to be The Body. Big, bad Jesse Ventura, the man who captured Minnesota's governorship and, in the process, gave RP-ers nationwide hope that they were more relevant than Perot's last disastrous bid for the presidency. Forget that a guy who walked around wearing a "Head Geezer" T-shirt was elected the party's chair and that a woman with a leftist history that would make Che Guevara proud came close to being elected vice chair. No, the really crazy thing about all the collected disaffected who gathered in Dearborn, Michigan last month is that no matter how wacky they might be, they made a whole lot of sense

Moscow Faces War in Another Breakaway Muslim Republic

Russian military troops and Dagestan rebels have been involved in a series of armed conflicts over recent weeks. Moscow fears a repeat performance of its war with Dagestan's neighbor, Chechnya, which culminated in the virtual defeat of the Russian army

U.S. Stonewalls on Chemical Weapon Tests in Panama Canal

by Silvio Hernandez The U.S. Embassy in Panama provided incomplete and conflicting data, although FOR recently revealed that at least three tons of the lethal nervous gas VX, an agent of mass destruction, were shipped by the United States to Panama in 1964, according to records that fail to confirm that most of the material left the country. Besides testing mustard gas, phosgene and VX nerve gas, the United States reportedly experimented with the neurotoxic agent sarin (GB), chloride cyanogen (CK) and hydrogen cyanide (AC)

Error 404: News Not Found in Your Daily Paper

Nazi movements on the rise worldwide; spoof political web sites may become key Internet free speech issue; how "Adona" and NPR helped lead us into the Kosovo War

Drugs are New Pretext for U.S. Intervention

by Daniel Gatti Political analysts in the United States say the Clinton administration is divided into two camps -- one which fears that increasing military aid would escalate the conflict in Colombia, and the other, led by McCaffrey and others at the Pentagon, that would like to see increased military aid and training for Colombia's army. "The people who want more military aid are in the driver's seat now"

Dictatorships Get Billions From U.S.

by Jim Lobe The United States provided a record $8.3 billion in military support to undemocratic regimes in 1997 -- the latest year for which statistics are available. The assistance ranged from arms sales to training programs and joint exercises

Smokestacks From Ships at Sea Effect Global Climate

Scientists creating models of global climate change have concentrated on the effects of humans on land. Researchers knew that there was a great deal of sulfur in the air over the oceans, potentially affecting climate change, but assumed that natural forces had produced the sulfur. "What has been miscalculated is how much has been contributed by humans"

Indonesian Famine Was "Manufactured Crisis," Group Says

"Time and again we have found (food aid) to be a self-serving act on the part of donor countries, in the guise of charity," said Peter Rosset. "Local food production is undercut in recipient countries, as farmers cannot compete with free imports and have to abandon the land," he said. The report charged the United States, Canada, Australia and other donors with seeking to open long-term markets for their surplus wheat and rice. It assailed Japan for dumping excess rice stocks in the form of a "soft loan" payable in kind within the next 40 years

Some 50 "Dead Zones" in Oceans, Researchers Say

Humans have gravely altered the chemistry, biology and physical structure of the Earth's land and water, according to the latest findings on the "human footprint on Earth." The data showed that nearly half of the land surface of Earth has been changed, and some 50 'dead zones' (areas with little or no oxygen) have developed in the Earth's coastal waters

Chile Tries to Circumvent Pinochet Trial

by Gustavo Gonzalez Attempts agreement with families of the "disappeared," which would have reinforced government's campaign to try to bring Pinochet back to Chile before proceedings begin in London on Sept. 27 for his extradition to Spain

India Moving Toward Outright Fascism

by Andrew Robinson With 720,000 Indian troops massed at the Pakistani border, and democracy in a kind of patriotic suspension since this round of fighting over Kashmir began, India is beginning to resemble a fascist state. The core of this movement are recruited when very young and drilled in the martial arts. They carry lathis (hard cane sticks), wear Gestapo-like uniforms and salute their superiors. Many of them, including high-ranking politicians, openly worship Hitler

New Scandal at Former CIA-Contra Airbase

by Thelma Mejia Still fearful, local residents speak in hushed tones about one of the most painful periods of the history of this Central American country -- the time when the Nicaraguan "contras" set up shop in Honduras. The role played by the El Aguacate military base during the Cold War was propelled into the limelight once again after a dispute between peasant organizations and the army over some 2,000 hectares of land. The farmers claim the military forced them to sell the land at less than $500 per hectare and then "lease" it for $3,000

Researchers Find Why Siberian Forests Not Growing Faster

by Lori Stiles Tree ring scientists have discovered why forests in northern Siberia have not been growing faster even though Siberian summer temperatures have warmed during the past few decades. Meteorological instruments at their tree sites have recorded not only a temperature rise during this century, but also a slow, gradual increase in the amount of snow. Greater snowfall is keeping the ground frozen longer, delaying 'spring greening' for this high-latitude forest

Surprising Explanations For Crime Drop

by Jeff Elliott Crime rates for both violent and property crimes are down, and you can credit the booming economy of the '90s, availability of abortion services, the aging of the baby boomer generation -- and maybe, the increase in drug trafficking crimes

Southeast Asian Press Under Attack

by Johanna Son When offended by free-wheeling newspapers, government officials no longer lock up journalists or shut down their papers -- they employ goons, or get their pals to take over ownership or pull out precious advertisement revenue

The Dirty Truth About Lyme Disease Research

by Stefanie Ramp It's baffling that a creature barely larger than the period halting this sentence has compromised thousands of lives and instigated an acrimonious rift in the medical community. The tiny deer tick, which hosts and transmits the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease, is also at the center of an elaborately twisted power struggle that challenges the established myths about the disease

Don't Buy Rumors of China Invading Taiwan

by Eric Margolis Much as China would like to invade Taiwan, it clearly lacks the military capability to do so. So it's more likely Beijing will continue to bombard Taiwan with threats and perhaps a few missiles to underline its point. Behind all the threats, China and Taiwan still need one another, Taiwan has over $30 billion invested in mainland China. Taiwan has many friends in the U.S., notably in the Republican Party. Threatening Taiwan could backfire on China by producing an embargo on its important exports to the USA

NRA Firing Back With "Eddie Eagle" Gun Program for Kids

by Samantha Berman Much of what critics object to revolves around the program's use of a cartoon character mascot -- a life-sized eagle dressed up as a superhero -- who talks to kids about guns. Prescott said this method only serves to put guns in a "warm-fuzzy light rather than a dangerous light"

Whom do We Blame, as We Watch Nature Dry Up?

by Donella Meadows My darkest thoughts whisper to me that this isn't a random bad year; it's a portent of climate to come. I look back through 27 years of farm records and see a trend of hotter, drier growing seasons. If this is global warming, it will not only go on like this, it will get worse. I couldn't stand that. Watching a farm dry up is like watching a loved one die in extended agony. I can't stand it. It would be better to move to the city and be heedless, enjoying the sunny days until the food supply stops

Day Trading Firms Thrive on Addictive and Impulsive Behavior

by Gregory J. Millman We'll never fully understand why Mark O. Barton went on his murderous rampage in Atlanta. But the bitter truth is that the day trading firms he targeted probably deserve to share the blame

How Mumia Gets Declared "Guilty" in the Media, Part II

by Linn Washington Jr. Death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, bracing for a new execution order, recently beat back an orchestrated hoax proclaiming new evidence of his guilt. This hoax centered on a claim that Abu-Jamal admitted killing a Philadelphia policeman -- a claim that followed a well-worn pattern I have observed in this case since I first began covering it hours after the December 9, 1981 murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner

Drug Story Shows Bush Hypocrisy

by Molly Ivins Harsh laws do not stop young people from trying illegal drugs. So what does Bush do when he gets to be governor? Increases the penalties and toughens the system so it's harder on young people. Signs a memorably stupid bill making possession of less than a 20th of an ounce of cocaine punishable by jail time. Are there people who are now in Texas prisons for making "youthful mistakes?" There are thousands of them

"Tort Reform" Benefits Big Corporations

by Molly Ivins Republicans are owned by the big corporate interests that get sued by trial lawyers. Trial lawyers cost the big corporations a lot of money, so the corporate interests have banded together in Texans for Tort Reform, and its offspring, to put trial lawyers out of business. So far, the corporate money is winning. The "tort deform" passed by the Texas Legislature in 1995 tilted the legal playing field, which had been pro-trial-lawyer in this state, way over in the other direction. We missed level in that swing, and Texans for Tort Reform has even more ambitious plans to make it almost impossible for anyone to sue a corporation

Arguing With the Gun Nut Lobby

by Molly Ivins My friends in the gun-nut lobby tell me they are sick and tired of people like me using this rash of multiple killings to make points in favor of gun control -- and I can sure see how they'd be getting upset about that. So, let me use the latest unpleasantness, at the Jewish community center in Los Angeles, to make one of their points, instead. My gun-nut friends often tell me these mass shootings wouldn't happen if more people carried concealed weapons. How right they are: If those 5-year-olds in Los Angeles had just been packing, none of 'em would have gotten hurt"

"Funeralgate" Scandal for George W.

by Molly Ivins An SCI spokesman said Waltrip was just "exercising his constitutional right" to take his protests "up the ladder." Under our charming system of legalized bribery, a $35,000 contribution seems to buy some citizens more constitutional rights than others. That well-known right to "go up the ladder" doesn't come cheap

The GOP $1 Million Club

by Molly Ivins In one of the funniest statements heard in years, Julie Finley, chair of the Republican Team 100 program (these are the pikers who give only $100,000) explained to The New York Times what the million-dollar donors will get for their money: "What they get is they are left alone. They don't get calls to buy a table at the gala, they don't get calls to give to the media program. They have a pass that lasts all year." And, by George, if that's not worth a million bucks, what is?

Executing Larry Robison

by Molly Ivins On Aug. 17, the state of Texas is scheduled to kill Larry Robison, a paranoid schizophrenic whose insanity was diagnosed long before he committed a terrible crime. This is like putting someone to death for having cancer or being paraplegic. It is freakish that he ever stood trial at all

Our Hot, Wet Future, Part II

by Molly Ivins Cornelia Dean's discussion of "The Big One" -- the monster hurricane that could crash into Florida, wipe out the Gulf Coast and drown New Orleans -- is one of those "Holy gamoley!" deals. It's also sobering to reflect that it's not a "Oh- it'll- never- happen" so much as an "Amazing- it- hasn't- happened- yet." Whenever I write a column about the folly of the federal flood insurance program, I get lots of mail from angry readers. From now on, I'm going to insist that they read this book before I enter a dialogue about the merits and demerits of the program

Our Hot, Wet Future, Part I

by Molly Ivins To oversimplify (always an inviting option), we find a lot of people who know a fair amount about earth sciences seriously worried about what mankind is doing to the planet Earth. On the other hand, we have a lot of people with an ideological commitment to pure capitalism arguing that this is all hooey

Media, Democracy -- and Pacifica

by Norman Solomon Over 4,000 commercial radio stations have been sold since the bipartisan Telecommunications Act of 1996 became law. Radio mergers occur almost every day. The major media firms keep getting larger in size and fewer in number. For three years, we've had no national limits on how many radio stations a single corporation can own. In a big city, eight radio stations can belong to the same firm. And the Federal Communications Commission just ruled that one company can own two television stations in the same city

Washington's Media Fixation

by Norman Solomon What passes for media wisdom in Washington truly does surpass understanding. Big-name journalists may disparage the self-absorbed mania that prevails along Pennsylvania Avenue -- but they rarely challenge the fixations of Washington's movers and shakers

George, Bill And Buford Furrow

by Alexander Cockburn It turns out George W. Bush is an even more incompetent liar than Bill Clinton, which is saying a good deal. With Bill you can always tell that he's about to lay another stretcher on the American people. A rapt look creeps into his eyes, like a Baptist preacher in mid-flow. George W, doubtless after costly instruction from experts, seeks to achieve the appearance of honest disclosure by pausing and fixing his interlocutors with a bold gaze. It doesn't work. He looks like a man about to tell a lie

Hillary, the Therapeutic Cop

by Alexander Cockburn It's scarcely surprising that Hillary should have urged the First Man to drop cluster bombs on the Serbs to defend "our way of life." The First Lady is a social engineer. She believes in therapeutic policing, and the duty of the state to impose such policing. War is more social engineering, fixitry via high explosive, social therapy via the nose cone of a cruise missile

Is Colombia Our Next Vietnam?

by Alexander Cockburn The U.S. government is now preparing to escalate vastly the money and weapons going to the Colombian military, far beyond the $289 million in already-scheduled assistance this year, making Colombia the third largest recipient of American aid, after Israel and Egypt. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, director of the office of National Drug Control policy, is asking for an extra $1 billion for the drug war, said sum to go to the Andean countries, with about half to Colombia alone


Cockburn owes us an apology, the real China story, please help a good man about to be deported, KPFA whiners, embarassed to be in Kansas, give Y2K stockpiles to the needy

What Happened to Joe Wood?

by Robin D. G. Kelley The New York Times ran a brief article about the disappearance of Joe Wood, who had been missing for 8 days. Later that night, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and Lauren Bessette perished in a tragic plane crash, their young lives cut short in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Their disappearance, the search, and the awful realization that there would be no survivors spurred the entire nation into a state of mourning. Then Joe Wood really disappeared

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