February 10, 2003

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Inspections and the US No Fly Zones (5:00)
Iraq has approved the use of U2 surveillance planes as part of the effort to determine if the country has weapons of mass destruction. While Washington still insists Iraq is not cooperating chief inspector Hans Blix this weekend returned to Iraq to continue the inspections where reports say that in fact inspectors are hampered from doing their work because of the US and British imposed no fly zones. FSRN’s Jeremy Scahill has this report from Baghdad where he asked Blix about the no fly zones.

French-German Resistance to War (4:01)
This past weekend with War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in Germany, French-German resistance to a US led war in Iraq has been gaining momentum, and infuriating American diplomats. A secret Franco-German plan for the peaceful disarmament of Iraq was announced this weekend and afterwards France beefed up its resistance by vetoing, along with Belgium and Germany, NATO plans to protect Iraq’s neighbor Turkey. Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting in Paris with the French president to consolidate the peace camp. Nick Champeaux reports from Paris.

New Revisions to Patriot Act (4:00)
The D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity broke a story late Friday that the Justice Department has plans for revising the USA Patriot Act — plans that would further restrict Americans’ privacy, legitimize the practice of secret detentions, and strip Americans of their citizenship, if the President decides they have ties to so-called “terrorists”.  Josh Chaffin reports from DC.

Terrorism Hotline Promo-ed in News (3:28)
Meanwhile, this past weekend most of the major media around the country kept broadcasting the Bush Administration’s increased terror alert, with Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge giving advice to people that they should make emergency meeting plans with their family members and even think about what to do with their pets in case of a terror attack. While critics have called these actions alarmist, many in the corporate media have reported the Homeland Security tips as leading news. A New Mexico television station is even running a terrorism tip-line as a public service announcement during its newscasts.  Civil libertarians say the hotline does not belong in a newscast and is more divisive than helpful and as Jeremiah Johnson reports from member station KUNM in Albuquerque, next month the New Mexico department of safety will review the effectiveness of the terror hotline and then decide whether or not to keep the program running.

India – Pak Tensions Rise (3:15)
This weekend relations between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan reached a new low. On Saturday India expelled Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner from Delhi, after Indian officials alleged that he had handed over cash to a Kashmiri separatist group. A few hours later, Pakistan responded by expelling its highest Indian official from Islamabad.  The expulsions come amid escalating warlike rhetoric between India and Pakistan, and a standoff over the issue of so-called Pakistani sponsored cross border terrorism. From Delhi, Miranda Kennedy reports.


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