February 19, 2003

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Bolivian Cabinet Resigns
The Bolivian President’s 18-member cabinet resigned today after a week of protests capped off by a march yesterday where tens of thousands again took to the streets angry at President Sanchez de Lozada’s adherence to IMF economic austerity plans. The IMF recommended Bolivia create a new tax on salaries so the country would able to pay the interests on its external debt. The past week has seen massive demonstrations, a police strike, riots, official buildings burned, attacks on private property, looting, and retaliatory state repression. The army has been blamed for killing 32 people and wounding 150. Tomas Moreno and Sebastian Hatcher report from the streets of La Paz, Bolivia. Reading is Jim Bennet of KPFA.

Israeli Army Kills 11 in Gaza
40 Israeli tanks joined by armored personnel carriers rolled into Gaza for the second time in 2 days leading to the highest death toll since Jan 26th when 12 Palestinians were killed in another neighborhood of Gaza City. In yesterday’s incursion 11 Palestinians died and twenty more were wounded. The Israeli military also cut the electricity supply to Gaza City, home to at least 300,000 Palestinians. Irris Makler has more from Gaza.

Oil Series: Jordan’s Dormant Pipelines
As we continue our special series on FSRN looking at Oil and Imperialism, today we take a look at the country of Jordan where many oil pipelines lie dormant, an under reported fact that FSRN reporter Aaron Glantz who has been investigating oil in the region says is very convenient as the US pushes for war on Iraq.

Weapons Inspections in Arizona
During a phone conversation today, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian leader Vladimir Putin reinforced that the UN Weapons inspections should continue and that the international community should continue to make efforts towards solving the Iraq issue through diplomacy and within the UN Framework. Meanwhile 8 weapons inspectors were arrested at the gates of the Raytheon artillery plant in Tucson, Arizona last week and charged with trespassing as they attempted to inspect the facility. Evan Davis reports from Tucson.

Juvenile Justice in DC
Issues of juvenile justice are currently being debated in many states around the country. In Florida, State senators are trying to decide if they will cut funding from juvenile justice programs to the tune of $4 billion dollars, while in South Carolina, the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the confirmation of William Byars as head of the state Department of Juvenile Justice. Byars says he wants the agency to concentrate on keeping offenders out of the state’s juvenile prisons. And in Washington DC, where for more than 16 years, the juvenile justice system has been the subject of countless lawsuits and public outrage juvenile justice advocates are stepping up their struggle for reform.  Last year, a junior high school student was strip-searched during a school-sponsored tour of the jail, and a 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at the Oak Hill juvenile detention facility. Despite the work of juvenile justice advocates, and the recommendations of the Mayor’s juvenile justice commission, there has been little reform. A new generation of social justice activists believe that only by mobilizing the young people impacted by the system, will real change occur. Ingrid Drake reports.

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