January 02, 2003

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Lula Inaugurated!
Today has been the first day of a new dawn for Brazil with the Lula Administration officially taking power yesterday. In a ceremony attended by Cuban President Fidel Castro, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Argentinean president Dualde, yesterday, Brazil’s new president, left-wing Worker’s Party leader Lula Da Silva was inaugurated in the Brazilian capital Brasilia. Brazilians have high expectations for Lula’s term of office, during which he has promised radical social and economic change. Giancarlo Summa was Lula’s campaign press secretary and is now coordinating press for the World Social Forum.

Iraq Sanctions Hurt Turkey Too
The Iraqi government lashed out at the U.N. Security Council for adopting a U.S.- backed resolution that tightens controls on imports to Iraq, saying the measure would inflict “deliberate damage and harm to our people.” The resolution, passed Monday by a 13-0 vote with Russia and Syria abstaining, puts new limits on purchases of communications equipment and antibiotics. The Bush Administration claims the antibiotics could be used by the Iraqi military in a war. Human rights groups are sharply critical of the US-UN Sanctions on Iraq. The United Nations Humanitarian Agency estimates the sanctions kill 5000 children every month. And – as Aaron Glantz reports from the Turkish Iraqi border the sanctions are also having a devastating effect on the economy of Iraq?s Northern neighbor.

Zapatista’s Break 2 Year Silence
The indigenous-led Zapatista movement of southern Mexico broke a two-year period of silence yesterday with a march and rally that commemorated the 9th anniversary of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. The rally was held on the day that farm tariffs between Mexico and the US are lifted under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a move that small farmers in Mexico worry will flood their markets and devastate their livelihood. Jenka Soderberg reports from Chiapas.

More Urban Sprawl Less Cheap Housing
With cities throughout the west sprawling out of control, Portland, Oregon’s Metro government beat their year-end deadline for completing its five-year ritual of evaluating the urban growth boundary. The boundaries are Oregon’s way of keeping sprawl in check. The latest expansion has proven to be the largest by far in state history, but what that means for affordable housing and sprawl is still up for debate. Rob Manning reports from Portland, Oregon.

Argentina – Another Year of Crisis
This past year has marked a turning point in Argentinean history with the extreme government cuts to jobs and social care, and coupled with the deaths of many activists protesting in the streets. And as this year draws to a close, with the social crisis escalating, this past weekend again saw protesters take to the streets. Sebastian Hatcher and Pablo Biolo have more from Buenos Aires.

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