March 14, 2003

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A Way to Halt War?
The Bush Administration has suffered a setback in its efforts to win a second United Nations Resolution authorizing war with Iraq. A majority of Security Council members made it clear they wouldn’t support the measure, forcing postponement of a vote President Bush insisted would be held this week. At an emergency sumit this weekend, the Administration and its closest Allies will decide whether to pursue diplomatic negotiations or withdraw the resolution and launch an attack within days. But as Susan Wood reports from the UN, there may still be a way to halt the drive towards war.

Marches Planned This Weekend – Dems Start to Dissent
Frustrated with their failure to gain support in the UN for an invasion of Iraq, and facing overwhelming condemnation from the world public, President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair today changed the subject.  But leaders gave speeches calling for a two state solution in Israeli – Palestine.  But both governments continue to threaten the use of force in Iraq.  In the US, even the mainstream Democrats have begun to dissent, as anti-war marches are planned in cities worldwide this weekend. Josh Chaffin reports form DC.

Women’s Role on Indian Society
At least 10 people died, eight of them women when a bomb blew apart the segregated women’s first class car and a general compartment car while in the station at Mumbai, commonly referred to as Bombay, yesterday. Thursday was also the tenth anniversary of the serial bomb blasts which targeted financial centers in Bombay—attacks blamed on Muslims as a retaliation for the destruction of a 16th century mosque by Hindus- resulting in the death of some 257 people. With these latest deaths and violence, Indian women had little to celebrate last weekend on International Women’s day – despite the laws and the campaigns and a vibrant women’s movement, India is a dangerous place for women – all the statistics bear this out: the All-India sex ratio that was 972 females per 1000 males in 1901 dropped to 933 by 2001, plummeting to as low as 830 in some states.  The National Crimes Records Bureau said the growth rate of crimes against women would exceed the population growth by 2010. India’s pernicious dowry system, once known as an exclusive Hindu and upper caste phenomenon and blamed for much of the violence against women, has now become truly universal, cutting across caste, class, ethnic and religious barriers. Sputnik Kilambi reports form India.

Asbestos Insulation Case Examined
In a 5 to 4 decision Monday, the US Supreme Court said Asbestos workers can collect monetary damages based on the fear that they’ll get asbestos-related cancer, Even if they don’t yet have the disease. Dissenting Justices argued that awarding the damages might dry up funds for those hwo can get sick later: up to 40 years after exposure. In coming weeks, Congress will once again try to write liability relief legislation for companies that make asbestos.  This comes after revelations that a planned E.P.A. emergency declaration about asbestos insulation in U.S. homes was nixed by the White House last year. The warning concerned a particularly deadly form of asbestos mined in Libby, Montana that’s in an estimated 15-35 million homes nationwide. Leigh Robartes has more.

The Battle Over Cypress Continues
The new Turkish Prime minister Tayyip Erdogan will have his hands full in the coming days, not only with Iraaq, but with the recent collapse of UN brokered peace negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. The Turks rejected a plan to unify the island proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.  Even so, the European Union says it intends to move forward to admit the island nation of Cypress. Cypress was a former British colony which gained its political independence in 1960 in the London and Zurich agreements. Greece and Turkey also signed the agreements, but violence between the two people erupted resulting in the death of countless Cypriots. The Turkish Army was deployed during the civil unrest and established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypress twenty years ago. The Greek Cypriot government is internationally recognized, only Turkey officially acknowledges the Turkish republic of Northern Cypress. Ezgi Siritas has more on the failed unification talks.


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