September 17, 2002

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Iraq Opens Doors To Inspectors
Iraq is offering UN weapons inspectors unconditional access to  the country. The United States says it is a trick and continues to prepare for war, moving troops to the Persian Gulf area. On the international front, Russia’s foreign minister said today that no new U.N. Security Council resolution was needed following Iraq’s offer to allow in weapons inspectors. In a new estimate, the White House says it would cost between one hundred and two hundred billion dollars to fight a war with Iraq, which so far only the US and Britain are publicly supporting. Josh Chaffin reports from Washington.

Price of Gubernatorial Races Rise
Today is primary day around the country in various gubernatorial races. And despite efforts by Congress to reign in the big spenders, Nick Nyhart, Director of Public Campaign, says this year’s races have proved the most expensive yet.

Boeing Machinists Debate Over Contract
Twenty-six thousand Boeing machinists went to the polls this past weekend to vote on whether to accept the airplane maker’s latest contract offer – or whether to strike.  Despite the unpopularity of Boeing’s offer, a divided Machinists’ union failed to muster enough support for a work stoppage. As Martha Baskin reports from Seattle, the vote reflects rank-and-file frustrations with Boeing’s persistent outsourcing of jobs – and also with the failure of their union’s leadership to win a contract that protects job security.

Unions Meet in Raleigh
In the first national convention of a labor union to take place in the south in many years, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, UE150, are meeting in Raleigh North Carolina. Dave Lipman has this report.

Chinese AIDS Activist Disappeared
On Monday, a Chinese pharmaceutical company was given permission to begin producing a generic, low cost version of the anti-AIDS drug, DDL. This in response to a widening AIDS epidemic that the Chinese government has only recently begun to confront. According to official statistics, there are more than one million people with AIDS in China and the Health Ministry reports that this number could reach 10 million by the end of the decade if aggressive measures are not taken.  Meanwhile, Chinese AIDS activist, Wanyan Hai, is still missing.  A former health official fired for taking up the cause of gay rights and AIDS, Hai was last seen on August 24th.  Relatives and human rights groups claim that he’s in government custody, but so far the government has refused to release any information on his whereabouts. Alain Lefkovitz spoke to Wanyan Hai a few weeks before his disappearance from a Beijing movie house.

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