February 17, 2003

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Millions Protest Pending War
French President Jacques Chirac said today that at this point, France would oppose any effort to draft a new U.N. resolution to explicitly authorize war against Iraq. This comes on the heels of massive anti-war protests worldwide this past weekend. In over six hundred cities across the world, protesters came out to tell their governments that a war with Iraq was not justified. People from all walks of life, following diverse persuasions and speaking different languages came together in one voice saying, no war on Iraq.

We begin our coverage with Ian Forrest in New York (2:32)
then Anastasia Kershaw takes us onto the streets of London.   (1:46))

Meanwhile, this past weekend in Baghdad a group of Japanese artists for Peace gave a concert calling for Peace while in the streets of Tokyo, more than 25,000 people rallied against a war in Iraq Friday night in downtown Tokyo. Miles Ashdown reports. (2:19)

Turks Delay Vote  (3:57)
The Turkish Parliament will put off a vote authorizing the United States military to use the country as a staging ground for a northern front for a war on Iraq. The vote had been scheduled for tomorrow. Free Speech Radio News Reporter Aaron Glantz explains why the vote was postponed.

Venezuelans Debate Media Law  (3:49)
The Media Content Law, which has been before the Venezuelan Constituent assembly for the past 2 years, last Thursday passed it’s first round of discussions. The Content Law aims to eliminate the aggressive misuse of the media during general viewing hours of content like sex and violence. While laws like these exist in many countries, including the US, Venezuela has had laws to regulate content on television, but the penalties have been so small that there has been no impediment to broadcasters. And as Johnny Moreno & Yajaira Hernandez report from Caracas, people have been mobilizing to have their voices heard as this Law is debated. Reading the English translation is Christopher Martinez.

Part 1: OIL and Imperialism: Colombia  (4:28)
Last week, when the US government plane that was presumably on an intelligence mission, crashed in deep in guerrilla-controlled territory in Southern Colombia, it served as another sign of US’s escalating involvement in the Colombian conflict.  Colombia is a part of the American campaign to secure oil resources and while purporting to end terrorism.  In January, 70 US Special Forces arrived in the state Arauca to train the Colombian army to help protect an oil pipeline.  The black gold that keeps four guerrilla fronts, two paramilitary fronts and the army and police intensely engaged in conflict in the northeastern state of Arauca was discovered in 1983. The Cano Limon-Covenas pipeline, co-owned by  Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum and Colombia’s national oil company Ecopetrol, was built in 1986. Since then, the 480 mile-long tube has been the strategic target in Colombia’s 39-year civil war for the guerilla groups who have bombed it more than 900 times. In the first segment of a two-part report, Nicole Karsin takes us to the oil-rich, war-torn state of Aruaca.


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