August 21, 2003

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Headlines Produced by Randi Zimmerman
Portland Protests Bush Fundraiser – Andrew Stelzer
U.S. Urged to Give Fair Trials At Guantanamo – Anastasia Kershaw
Monsanto Pay millions for PCB pollution – Sehvilla Mann
Texas Democrats Against Redistricting – Ernesto Aguilar

Powell Meets Annan
Today the United States reiterated its call for international support to help police the occupied state of Iraq.  U.S. officials are using the bombing of the UN building in Baghdad, in which at least 23 people were killed, to tell the international community it owes it to the people who died to help US & UK forces thwart ongoing attacks in Iraq. Secretary of State Collin Powell met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to draft a resolution encouraging international support, which Powell made clear would in no way supersede the US role. However, many countries on the UN Security Council  reiterated the message that the international community must have a larger role in rebuilding Iraq. Mitch Jeserich reports.

Israel Assassinates Hamas Leader
Following Tuesday’s suicide bombing in West Jerusalem, the Israeli military today assassinated Ismail Abu Shanab, a founder of Hamas and one of its top three political leaders. Israeli helicopters fired five missiles at Abu Shanab’s car on a busy Gaza street. Witnesses said women, children and construction workers at a nearby site were among dozens injured. Israeli tanks also rolled into the West Bank cities of Nablus, Tulkarem and Jenin and closed Ramallah off entirely. Israeli officials say they are looking for suspected Palestinian Militants. Israeli officials have also indicated that this current operation in the West Bank will last at least 3-4 weeks. In the aftermath of the assassination of the Hamas leader, the group announced an end to their ceasefire. Deepa Fernandes brings us reaction from Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Rumsfeld in Colombia
US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s official visit to Bogotá this past week emphasized that the US’s global battle against terrorism is also transpiring in Colombia.  The Bush administration reasserted support for Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe and his war against leftist guerrilla groups who are pitted against the military and paramilitaries in a 40-year civil conflict. Colombia is the third largest recipient of US military aid after Israel and Egypt, and last year, more Colombian soldiers and police were trained by US officials than in any other foreign country.  From Bogotá, Nicole Karsin has more.

CA’s Recall Election Update
The major candidates on California’s October 7 recall ballot ratcheted-up their campaigns this week as Democratic Governor Gray Davis, Democratic Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante and Republican Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger gave addresses this week laying out their plans for the future of the state. Meanwhile, a Federal Judge in California rejected an ACLU lawsuit seeking to move the election to March. Max Pringle reports.

Pakistan Parliamentary Crisis
In a crucial session of Pakistan’s National Assembly, yesterday the opposition staged a walk out. For the last nine months in Pakistan, the Parliament has not undertaken any public-interest legislation because of a political stand-off between the opposition parties, both liberal and Islamist, and President General Pervez Musharraf. If the stalemate continues any longer it is likely to push the country into political disarray. Both the United States and Musharraf, for their own reasons, are looking at ways of preventing civil disorder.  But as Masror Hussain reports from Islamabad, options before them are running out and poor Pakistani’s are suffering.


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