March 06, 2002

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Democrats Waver on War On Terror
The war in Afghanistan intensifies in Gardez, 96 miles south of Kabul. US troops killed hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaida fighters last weekend and eight U-S soldiers died. Some members of Congress began to speak out against the Bush administration’s handling of the war. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle criticized the direction of the war. However, Daschle is now spearheading a Congressional Resolution to reiterate congressional support for continuing the war until al-Qaeda is conquered. Can other members of Congress be expected to speak out against the Bush administration’s war on terrorism? Kata Mester reports from Capitol Hill.

Arundhati Roy Gets Prison Time
The Indian Supreme Court today convicted Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy of contempt of court. The high court sentenced her to a one-day symbolic imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 rupees — about 42 dollars. She risks a three-month jail sentence if she doesn’t pay the fine. Meanwhile, the Hindu extremist VHP again said it will not be bound by the expected Supreme Court decision regarding the disputed site where Hindu extremists destroyed the Babri Mosque in 1992. There are mounting calls for a ban on the extremist Hindu groups who were behind last week’s anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat and the dismissal of that state’s government. More from Sputnik Kilambi in India

Federal Court Rules Army Affirmative Action Unfair
A federal district court judge struck down the Army’s equal-opportunity policy this week on grounds that it is unfair to white males. The Court said the policy undeniably establishes a preference in favor of one race or gender over another, and therefore is unconstitutional. The judge’s ruling finds that Army policies emphasizing race and gender considerations were not justified because the agency failed to show any history of discrimination against women or minority officer candidates. Yet personnel files show women and minorities make up less than a third of Army officers. Joshua Chaffin reports from Washington.

Chemical Weapons, Death, and Disease in Southern Sudan
Two decades of civil war in Sudan – between the predominantly Christian southern Sudanese and the radical Islamic government has caused massive suffering for the southern Sudanese population. More than 2 million people have been killed in the conflict since 1983. Beyond the litany of human rights abuses, there are allegations that the Sudanese government regularly deploys chemical weapons against both rebels and southern Sudanese civilians. Rupert Cook is in Southern Sudan.

GMOs Infiltrate Organic Corn in Maine
A new study released by researchers at the University of Maine confirms that cross-pollination between genetically modified corn and organically grown corn can occur. Researchers recommend organic growers take up the burden and protect themselves by creating a buffer zone around their fields. From Blue Hill, Maine, Emily Bernhardt reports.

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