May 02, 2002

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International Activists Inside the Church of the Nativity (1:43)
This evening, a group of 24 international peace activists rushed past Israeli Defense Force roadblocks and entered Bethlehem’s Manger Square. 13 activists were caught by the Israeli Army and detained. But 11 of them eluded the Army and entered the besieged Church of the Nativity through service doors and delivered food to the 200 Palestinians who have been trapped in the church for almost a month. International Peace Observer Kristen Schurr is among those now inside the Church.

Yassir Arafat Walks Free (3:06)
Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, said last night that intends to disband the UN mission to investigate atrocities in Jenin rather than yield to Israeli pressure to change its make-up and mission. The news, which came after Israel’s security cabinet said it would refuse to co-operate until its terms were met, was greeted with anger behind the scenes by the Palestinian leadership, which believes Israel is attempting a cover-up. This, as early this morning, Yassir Arafat, emerged from confinement for the first time in months. Hundreds of Palestinians cheered as Arafat appeared at the door to his office building, steadied by aides. FSRN correspondent in Palestine, Awad Duabe, joins us with more news from the ground.

UN Chief Talks to Iraq (3:43)
Amid growing signs of a possible military action against Iraq by the United States, a new round of talks between a high-ranking Iraqi delegation led by Foreign Minister Naji Sabri and senior UN officials continued here for the second day today. UN officials say the two sides are discussing a wide range of issues including the question of how the UN can resume its work to verify Baghdad’s claim that it is no longer engaged in producing or stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. Haider Rizvy reports from the United Nations.

More US Money for the Colombian Military (3:15)
Yesterday, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced the Colombian military made substantive progress prosecuting human rights violators and cutting its ties with right-wing paramilitary forces accused of civilian massacres. That endorsement now releases 104 million dollars in aid to the Colombian military, which was suspended until it improved its human rights situation. But Human rights advocates are unconvinced say the Colombian military has done little or nothing to satisfy the human rights provisions. Kata Mester has more from Capitol Hill.

New California Report on Slave Insurance (4:39)
A new report shows that eight insurance companies currently operating in California sold slave insurance policies to slave owners. The report, issued by the states department of insurance, includes slave names, slaveholders name, and the insurance companies which had slave era policies. Such insurance companies include Aetna, new york life, and Manhattan life. The data from the report will go to Santa Barbara researchers who will calculate the economic value the insurance companies received with slave policies. California is the first state to release such data and it is likely to reignite the reparations debate. Mitch Jeserich reports in Sacramento.

South Carolina Doesn’t Want Plutonium (3:04)
South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges has filed a lawsuit that could prove to be a different kind of roadblock in his standoff with the federal government. Hodges sued the Energy Department on Wednesday to block shipments of weapons-grade plutonium that are scheduled to begin arriving in South Carolina later this month. Dave Lippman has the story

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