May 07, 2002

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Negotiations Stall in Bethlehem (3:28)
The U.N. General Assembly scheduled an emergency session today as a draft resolution introduced by Sudan on behalf of the Arab Group of nations and by South Africa on behalf of the Nonaligned Movement of developing countries would ask Secretary-General Kofi Annan to submit a report on events in Jenin and other Palestinian cities within two weeks. This as the Israeli military said today that an end to the 36-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity was being delayed because no country was willing to take in 13 suspected Palestinian militants holed up in the shrine. Negotiators had said the preferred destination for the 13 was Italy. However, the Italian government complained that it had been largely kept out of the loop. International Peace Observor is still inside the Church of the Nativity.

Sharon Comes to Washington (3:46)
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon is on his way back to the Middle East after meeting this afternoon with President Bush at the White House. The United States is trying to arrange a peace summit for the Middle East this summer, but Sharon says he’ll only attend on the promise that Israel doesn’t have to make any concessions to the Palestinians. And Sharon continues to refuse to deal with Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat. While Sharon’s conditions are at odds with White House policy, President Bush is again pledging unflagging support for Israel. Joshua Chaffin reports from Washington:

Gay Far-Right Candidate Murdered in Holland (2:43)
The Dutch right-wing politician Pim Fortuyn was shot dead yesterday in the parking lot of a radio station in the central Dutch city of Hilversum. Fortuyn was shot six times and suffered multiple wounds in the head, chest and neck, and died shortly afterwards. Fortuyn was a far-right candidate who provoked public indignation by calling for the Netherlands’ borders to be closed to immigrants and by describing Islam as a ‘backward’ religion. He was bidding to be the countries first gay prime minister. After an emergency session, the Dutch Government today announced that the scheduled May 15th national election for Prime Minister, for which Fortuyn was campaigning would still go ahead. Politicians across Europe joined in condemning the assassination. FSRN correspondent Rupert Cook has been following the situation from Holland.

Western Shoshone’s Campaign Against Nuke Dump at Yucca Mountain (3:36)
While Congress is preparing to vote tomorrow on whether to override the Nevada governor’s veto of the nuclear waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, people across the country have begun a campaign against the proposal. But in the area immediately surrounding Yucca Mountain, an area known as Newe Sogobia, the People’s Earth Mother, to the Western Shoshone people who live there, the opposition has been going on for years. Jenka Soderberg of the Independent Media Center has more from southeastern Nevada.

Peace and Elections in Sierra Leone (5:38)
Life in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, has been traumatic over the past ten years because of the civil war that raged in the West African nation. The city was captured twice by rebel forces, and both times countless buildings and homes were destroyed and the population terrorized. The war pitched the Revolutionary United Front, or RUF, rebels against government troops. The RUF said they were fighting to end corruption. But most observers say they were more interested in getting rich from the country’s diamonds. Tens of thousands died in the conflict. But peace has returned to Sierra Leone, and Freetown is getting a new lease on life. Reporter Rory Mulholland visits the capital ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14 to see how the city is being regenerated after the dark years of the war.

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