October 29, 2002

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Arafat Appoints New Cabinet
Israel is saying it will not accept a U.S.- backed peace proposal because it is based partly on an Arab plan that calls for withdrawal from all occupied lands and affirms the right of return of Palestinian refugees. The Arab plan, was approved by an Arab League Summit earlier this year, a step by Arab countries to bring peace. Ariel Sharon’s government meanwhile is facing its own internal problems with a growing dispute over Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that some observers say could threaten to bring down Sharon’s coalition government and force early elections. Sharon has said he will try to form a narrow coalition of hard line and Orthodox Jewish parties. And as Awad Duaibes reports, no such problems for Yasser Arafat with the Palestinian parliament today approving Arafat’s new 19 member cabinet after the vote had to be postponed from yesterday because Sharon barred travel for 13 members of the Palestinian legislature. The new cabinet convened today via satellite phone.

It’s About Oil! – A Report from Iraq
The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, today said that the new U.S. draft Security Council resolution that warns of “serious consequences” if Iraq fails to cooperate with weapons inspectors, is in fact an insult to the United Nations, saying it could only be describes as “a declaration of war” not only on Iraq but also on the United Nations  because the draft resolution undermines the basic principles of the United Nations Charter. Meanwhile, the voices of those who oppose the Bush Administration’s push for war are getting louder, many charging that this is yet another oil war. If there is one place in Iraq where people know what the Bush administration has to gain by seizing the country’s oil wealth, it’s the Iraqi oil ministry. In an exclusive interview with FSRN correspondent Jeremy Scahill, the General Director of Iraq’s oil program accused Washington of seeking to send the country into a state of Armageddon to capture the country’s oil fields. From Baghdad, Jeremy Scahill reports.

European Union To Include More Countries
This week the European Union took one step closer to becoming 10 countries larger. Leaders from the 10 candidate countries met in Copenhagen Denmark to discuss the final stage of negotiations. At the European Union Summit in six weeks, the Eastern European countries will be formally invited to enter the Union by 2004. While the details of enlargement are being hammered out at political summits in Brussels and Copenhagen, the people of Eastern Europe are looking toward the future.  In December, the countries of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia,  Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia,  Slovenia, and Cyprus will be invited to join the European  Union. But some of the most difficult economic negotiations  remain, and many important issues will not even be addressed until after the treaties are signed. Patrick Beckett has more from Copenhagen.

UN Meets on Climate Change – Indians Protest US Refusal of  Kyoto Protocol
One of the main purposes of the ongoing United Nations Conference on Climate Change, underway in New Delhi, is to negotiate with those developed countries that are continuously rejecting the Kyoto Protocol.  The Kyoto Protocol envisages reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions by 5.2 per cent by the year 2012, to bring it below the 1990 levels and sets specific emission reduction status for developed countries. The United States government and US Multi National Corporations alone are estimated to cause 40 per cent of the world pollution. Despite pressure from Third World countries and the European Union, the US refused to sign the protocol saying that it would impinge on its economy. Thousands of civilians and social workers demonstrated in New Delhi where the UN summit is being held, to protest the adamant stance of the US and it?s protection of big business interests. Our Correspondent Vinod Jose has more from New Delhi.

Cash for SF Homeless Threatened by November Ballot  (3:40)
There are estimates of up to 12,000 people now on the streets  of San Francisco. With the November elections drawing near, the homelessness problem is an important issue for voters. Gavin Newsom, current SF district supervisor, is running for Mayor of the city, and is endorsing Proposition N, also called the “Care Not Cash” initiative, which would replace cash assistance for the homeless with food and housing vouchers. As Pauline Bartolone reports, the Proposition’s growing opposition claims that the services that replace cash care NOT guaranteed, and the plan is similar to programs in other cities that have waged war on the homeless. Paul Bodin, Director of the Committee Against Increased Homelessness spoke at Saturday’s anti-war rally.

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