January 08, 2003

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Venezuelan Banks Stop Work For 48 Hours  (4:13)
Early this morning all banks in Venezuela, except the state run bank, declared a complete stop work for 48 hours. After Oil executives shut down their operations 38 days ago demanding that President Chavez resign before they re-opened their operations, Venezuela has suffered many shortages and many workers of the big corporations leading this so-called “strike” have been forced to stay at home because their factory executives have shut down operations. Adan Chavez, brother of President Chavez and the president of the National Land Institute says that while the President is stabilizing the situation, today’s banking shutdown is a set back. Deepa Fernandes speaks with Adan Chavez.

Troops Build Up on Iraq-Turkey Border  (3:03)
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz today said that the US and Britain want to subjugate the middle east with a war that would “devastate” millions. This as British Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday defied growing opposition among his own MPs by pledging total support for Washington in the looming war on Iraq. Meanwhile, as Aaron Glantz reports from Ankara, massive troop build-up on the border continues daily, signally to many that war on Iraq is inevitable.

Peace Groups Prepare to March Jan 18th  (3:33)
Meanwhile, today in Washington D.C. a coalition of peace groups called for Americans to march against the impending war. Organizers of last October’s marches in dozens of U.S. cities say hundreds of thousands will convene again for the Martin Luther King Weekend, Saturday January 18th. Josh Chaffin reports from D.C.

Bush’s Economic Plan Protested  (3:30)
Speaking to an exclusive forum of corporate officials in Chicago yesterday, President Bush outlined his plans for a six-hundred seventy-four billion dollar economic stimulus package. If approved, the plan would lower taxes for millions of Americans, though almost half of the relief would go to the wealthiest one percent. Outside the forum, frustration with the President’s economic policies – and plans for war – boiled over into protest. John Hamilton has more.

Participants Evaluate Asian Social Forum  (5:20)
Over 20,000 people turned up for the first Asian Social Forum which ended yesterday in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. The forum brought together hundreds of organizations and peoples movements from 42 countries in a bid to hammer out a common strategy for a new world order. More from Sputnik Kilambi in Hyderabad.

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