March 23, 2001
BOEING BOLTS — SEATTLE JOLTED
In an abrupt announcement this week, Boeing said it would move its headquarters away from Seattle, where the company has done business since 1916. Boeing CEO Phil Condit said the company is considering Chicago, Denver and Dallas as possible locations. City officials and union leaders in Seattle expressed shock at the announcement, for which they were given almost no warning. Although the move will initially affect only 500 employees, many believe it will have a ripple effect on the city’s economy and may be a precursor of bigger job cuts to come. From Seattle, Martha Baskin has this report.
PROFITS AND PROTESTS AT STARBUCKS
While Boeing announced its departure from Seattle, one of the city’s newer corporate giants, Starbucks announced another stock split to cheering investors at its annual shareholders’ meeting. But outside, 30 demonstrators joined 99 other Starbucks protests nationwide asking for workers rights, and an end to the retail coffee giant’s sale of genetically modified foods. Thatcher Collins reports from Seattle.
QUEBEC CITY BRACES FOR HEMISPHERIC TRADE MEETING
From April 20th to 22nd, Canada’s Quebec City will host the Summit of the Americas. The summit will bring together 34 heads of state for the third in a series of meetings aimed at creating a free trade zone throughout the western hemisphere, excluding Cuba. The agreement they plan to negotiate in Quebec City is the FTAA – the Free Trade Area of the Americas. From Montreal, Stephen Cooperman reports on the issues and tactics which are coming to the fore in the lead-up to the Summit of the Americas.
SPRING BREAK? RADICAL!
Thousands of college students across the country are celebrating Spring Break, and may of them are venturing to Florida for a week of drinking and sunbathing. But at one campground in the central part of the state, a group of activist students took a decidedly alternative approach to spring break. Mitch Perry reports from Arcadia, Florida on the camp, which was created to train a new generation of protesters in the techniques of direct-action civil disobedience.
WILL THE COAL TRAIN ROLL ACROSS THE PLAINS?
The Bush Administration has used the energy crisis in California to build support for its long-term energy plan, which will be released next month by Vice-President and former oil industry executive Dick Cheney. That plan is expected to recommend new oil drilling from the Arctic National Wildife Refuge to the West Coast — it’s also expected to call for the construction of new coal-burning plants — which may be one of the reasons Bush recently abandoned a campaign promise to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide from power plants. New coal-fired plants will require an expanded transport infrastructure to bring them coal, such as the proposed Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Rail Line, which would stretch from Wyoming across the northern plains and bring Western coal to power plants in the East. The ambitious plan has drawn opposition from environmentalists, who believe improved access to cheap coal will add to the mounting threat of global warming, as well as from Native American communities and ranchers, who say the rail line itself will be destructive to the land. Charles Michael Ray files this report from Rapid City, South Dakota.
WILL FOOT & MOUTH STOP THE BRITISH ELECTIONS?
Great Britain has been gearing up for months for the 2001 general election, which had been expected to be called for May 3rd. That was before the highly contagious disease known as Foot and Mouth swept across the country last month, bringing a halt to the livestock industry, and affecting almost every aspect of rural life . As Patrick Beckett reports from London, there is now growing concern that a May election is impractical.