February 07, 2003

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Powell Sites Plagiarized Document
“My colleagues, every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we are giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence…. “I would call my colleagues’ attention to the fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed yesterday which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.”

— Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council, Feb. 5

And as we reported yesterday on FSRN, it has been shown that Powell’s source’s for his UN speech this past Wednesday came out of material that was plagiarized by its British authors, leading to an outcry about dishonesty across the continents. While the US media has left these revelations uncovered, many critics are now questioning if the US and British push for war is not based on more untruths. Anastasia Kershaw has more from London.

Inspections Continue Despite Bush’s Threats
As the US government today raised the level of national alert to orange, indicating a high risk of a terrorist attack, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that any war with Iraq would be swift and not require a full US mobilization. This, as Rumsfeld faces massive protests when he arrives in Germany for an International Security Conference tomorrow – some 3,500 policemen have been deployed in Munich as authorities are concerned that Rumsfeld will face a hostile reception following remarks that grouped Germany with Libya and Cuba. And on the heels of President Bush’s remarks that time is up for Iraq, Chief United Nations Inspector’s Hans Blix and Mohammed El-Baradai announced today they’ll be heading back to Iraq this weekend. In Vienna, Hans Blix told reporters he hopes to go back to Iraq many times. Meanwhile, two dozen left-wing members of the European Parliament are on their way back home today after a week-long trip to Baghdad. From Amman, Jordan, Aaron Glantz has their findings.

Venezuelan Oil Management Continue Strike
Today the last remaining McDonald’s, one of the only hold-out’s of the 2 month Venezuelan shut-down of industry, reopened.  And while Venezuela’s so-called general strike officially ended this week, the strike of Venezuela’s oil industry management and administrators goes on. This strike has cost Venezuela tens of billions of dollars and will lead to one of the country’s worst economic crises ever. From Caracas, Greg Wilpert and Carol Delgado take us inside the battle for oil in Venezuela.

“Healthcare for All” Bill Unveiled
This week, Congressmen Conyers of Michigan and McDermott of Washington unveiled “the United States National Health Insurance Act” , which, If adopted, will guarantee universal access to health care to all residents of the US territories. This bill comes after the President’s State of the Union address which committed an additional $400 billion over the next decade to supposedly reform and strengthen Medicare, while under-funded States are cutting down in Medicaid assistance and Children’s Health Insurance Programs. Ryme Katkhouda in Washington DC has the story.

Global Banana Workers to Sue U.S. Multinationals in US Courts
Thousands of Banana workers from around the globe are awaiting the ruling of the US Supreme Court on whether to allow them to sue their employers for damages in US courts.  The workers claim that the transnational companies they worked for – companies such as Dole, Del Monte and Chiquita – forced them to use the pesticide dibromochloropropane, or DMCP, for years after it was discovered to cause sterility in men.  Now, tens of thousands of workers from Latin America, Africa and the Philippines, say that they cannot have children. The workers recently argued before the Supreme Court that they want their cases tried in the United States.  They claim that the judicial systems in their countries are not capable of giving them a fair trial.  FSRN Reporter David Pohl has more.

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