August 30, 2002
Marches Planned in Johannesburg This Weekend (3:13)
As thousands of environmentalist activists prepare to march in Johannesburg this weekend to demand action to save the planet, negotiators at the UN Earth Summit are deadlocked on a blueprint some say will empower the desperately poor of the world and reduce mankind’s ravages of the planet. The splits on 14 key issues in the 71-page “Plan for Implementation” pit rich countries against poor and the United States against Europe. The US wants a weak agreement, or none at all, activists say to essentially leave it free to act as it will. The EU briefly withdrew all its officials from discussions last night in protest at the American position. However as Patrick Bond, professor at Wits University in Johannesburg told FSRN, these debates going on inside the official UN conference are too closely tied to business interests to truly have the interests of the world’s poor and the environment at heart.
Violence a Daily Experience for Palestinians (4:24)
Israeli tanks rolled back into the Jenin refugee camp around 2am this morning with reports from the scene telling of IDF gun fire throughout the day. Six residents of the refugee camp were wounded in the operation, one of them seriously, and electricity to the town was cut off after the IDF destroyed the main power station in the area. This as Israel’s defense minister expressed regret today that shells fired from Israeli tanks killed four members of a Palestinian family and destroyed their small house in the Gaza Strip. Many consider the shelling to be the deadliest attack since the start of a plan, announced 11 days ago, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. They say the shelling could derail further implementation of the plan calling for Israeli troops to withdraw from its positions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Today, Hamas held a funeral for the four who died and vowed revenge. As FSRN’s Awad Duabes reports from Ramallah, Palestinians say the death of the family in the Gaza Strip highlights the violence of life in the occupied territories experienced daily by the Palestinians.
China Supports Iraq Against US Attack (3:45)
As talks between EU foreign ministers got underway today in Denmark, the chorus of world leaders opposing any US unilateral attack on Iraq is growing, late yesterday French President Jacques Chirac added his voice of opposition. From Asia to Europe, Washington’s friends and foes alike are steadfast in their in their opposition to war on Iraq and concerned that President Bush will seek to go it alone. Washington has pledged to consult its global allies before launching any military strike. Growing European concern comes as Iraq secured the support this week of China in opposing any US military action against their country. The Iraqi foreign minister visited China for a three-day meeting, and as Alain Lefkowits reports, Chinese opposition to an attack on Iraq is vital as China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto power.
Boeing Workers Put Strike on Hold (3:34)
Machinists at the aerospace giant Boeing won’t be hitting the picket lines when their contract expires on Tuesday – though the possibility of a strike by the 26,000 machinists continues to loom large. Yesterday a federal mediator ordered the sides to return to the bargaining table after the most contentious round of contract talks since the machinists union struck in 1995. From Seattle, John Hamilton has more.
Four Wives Killed at Fort Bragg (4:24)
The military announced yesterday that U.S. soldiers will be screened for psychological problems before they leave Afghanistan and commanders will watch out for symptoms of depression and anxiety among their troops. This new focus on mental health comes after the wives of three soldiers who had served in Afghanistan were killed this summer at Fort Bragg, N.C.- allegedly by their husbands. In total four women were killed at Fort Bragg this summer leading to harsh criticism from women’s rights groups and pacifists. Jim Hickey has more from Fort Bragg.