May 20, 2002

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East Timor: First Days of Independence (4:57)
After 400 hundred years of colonization and brutal occupation, yesterday the people’s dream for a democratic republic of East Timor became a reality. Today, East Timor’s first cabinet was sworn in and the people were still celebrating in the streets.  For them this has been a long awaited victory. Host Deepa Fernandes files this report from Dili.

Palestinians in Jordan Speak Out (3:46)
Israel’s attacks on the Palestinian people are raising tensions and outrage throughout the Arab world. For Palestinian refugees living in other countries in the region, the conflict is dimming their hopes for a return to their homeland. Jordan is home to more of these refugees than any other country–some one and a half million. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Jeremy Scahill is in Amman, where he has been talking to Palestinians in Al Hussein refugee camp.

Makah Indians Still Free to Hunt Whales (2:42)
The annual plenary of the International Whaling Commission opened in Japan today, with nations divided over whether to expand whale hunting or further shelter the ocean’s largest creatures. Japanese agriculture minister Tsutomu Takebe used his opening address to promote Japan’s pro-whaling stance, claiming that “robust and healthy whale stocks” have rebounded to levels that justify a resumption of legal hunting. Meantime, a US District Court Judge in Washington State on Friday refused to impose an injunction on the Makah Indian Tribe leaving the Makah free to hunt the gray whale while the suit filed by the Fund for Animals makes its way through Courts. Amoshuan Toft has more from Tacoma.

High School Indian Mascot Controversy (3:59)
A small rural town in Northern Colorado is the latest battle ground in the Indian mascot wars. Yesterday was high school graduation in Eaton, home of the Fightin’ Reds and protesters converged on the town to demand an end to the school’s use of an Indian caricature as their mascot. They say that the mascot is racist and has a harmful effect on Native American children. From Colorado, Nell Geiser reports.

India Expels Pakistani Ambassador (1:45)     
On Saturday, India expelled Pakistan’s ambassador to protest a series of attacks by suspected Islamic militants in Kashmir last week, which claimed the lives of 34 people. Indian officials say the attacks are increasing in frequency and have long accused Pakistan of training and arming Islamic militants fighting for the independence of the Indian-ruled Kashmir. The Pakistani government denies the charge it arms and trains militants and says it can’t stop the cross border attacks by the militants. A.H. Nayyar is an anti-nuclear activist and physicist in Islamabad, Pakistan. He says many in Pakistan are frightened India’s move to expel the Pakistani Ambassador will lead to a war between the two countries.

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