January 06, 2003

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Is North Korea a Threat?
Senior US, South Korean and Japanese officials are meeting in Washington today to work out a solution to the crisis over North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction. North Korea has offered to negotiate unconditionally with the US in exchange for a non-aggression pact, but the Bush Administration says it won’t talk directly with Pyong Yang unless it agrees to scrap it’s nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile in Iraq, UN weapons inspectors are stepping up pressure on the Baghdad regime ahead of a Jan 27 deadline. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein today accused the weapons inspectors of engaging in weapons work at the behest of the US. Some Bush Administration critics question the administration’s two approaches to the crisis. Susan  wood has more from the UN.

Turks Still Suffer from First Gulf War
Turkey’s Prime Minister Abdullah Gul is in Amman today meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah. It’s Gul’s third high level meeting in three days and its being trumpeted as a major diplomatic offensive by the Turkish government designed to prevent the war. Over the weekend Gul met with Syrian president Bashar Assad and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. All three leaders said they are against the war but at the same time continue to prepare for a US lead assault. As Aaron Glantz reports from Nusyaibin, Turkey’s Kurdish population is still suffering from the last Gulf War waged by George Bush Senior.

Congress Back – Who Profits?
The 108th US Congress starts work tomorrow under Republican control, and with a Republican in the White House. Josh Chaffin reports from DC on who paid for the 108th Congress, and what they can expect to get for their money.

Impeach Bush?
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates ruled that Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and 31 other Democratic Representatives did not have standing to sue George W. Bush, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld to challenge Bush’s withdrawal, without the approval of Congress, from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. In ruling that the treaty termination issue was a political question best left to the political branches of government, the judge added that Congress has many ways to influence a President’s actions, including impeachment. That’s exactly what some people feel Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft deserve for their plans to wage war on Iraq and for their imposition of what many are calling a police state in America. A distinguished legal expert is standing by to help any member of Congress who is willing to initiate the impeachment process. Kellia Ramares has more.

Coca-Cola Consumes India
For the last eight months, the indigenous people and the local peasantry in a forest hamlet in India has been fighting US multinational Coca-Cola. The bottling plant of Coca-Cola, in the words of locals “has been digging our graveyards ever-since it came to our locality.” Coca-Cola’s bottling plant in the southern Indian state of Kerala, was set up three years ago in the middle of fertile agricultural land. It encompasses one of the hottest biodiversity spots in the world, home to numerous species unseen in any other parts of the world. The Coca-Cola plant extracts 1.5 million liters of groundwater per day has sucked the local dams dry and thousands of indigenous people and small farmers are furious. Fighting under the banner of Janakeeya Cheruthunilpu Vedi, or People’s Resistance Forum, today is the 253rd day of their strike. Our correspondent, Vinod Jose reports from Plachimada village in South India.

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