August 26, 2003

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Headlines Produced by Randi Zimmerman
Israeli Army Attacks Gaza – Mohammed Ghalayini
India Rejects Pakistan’s Condemnation – Binu Alex
UN Staff March for their Own – Susan Wood
Day laborers in Chicago – Tom Rob
Cheney’s Energy Task Force – Hasan Merzah

Half Trillion Deficit for Year 2004
While the United States grapples with a 401 billion dollar budget deficit, today the Congressional Budget Office projected at least a half trillion deficit for year 2004.  The Office says that the deficit is not that damaging to the current economy, but it could have lasting damage if it is not corralled by the time the majority of the country’s baby boomers retire. The cause of the mammoth deficit: the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, large tax cuts for the country’s wealthiest, and sluggish economic growth.  President George Bush says the deficit will be cut in half in 5 years if Congress limits discretional spending, which could mean less funds for programs that aid the poor.  Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington D.C.

Another Homeless Shelter Closes
And as the Congressional Budget Office today projects at least a half trillion deficit for year 2004, today 300 homeless and public housing residents marched in Washington D.C. to protest the closing of a shelter.  Tom Gomez has more.

CEOs Benefit Workers Are Laid Off
Meanwhile, a new report released today says that CEOs at companies with the largest layoffs, most under-funded pensions and large tax breaks were rewarded huge increases in their paychecks. The report, released by The Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy documents that median CEO pay skyrocketed 44 percent from 2001 to 2002 at the 50 companies with the most announced layoffs in 2001. Host Deepa Fernandes has more.

Pakistan’s Parliament Urge Musharraf to Go
Pakistan’s parliament exploded with cries of “go Musharraf go” yesterday, as opposition party members continued their protest against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Parliament members thumped on desks until the house was adjourned in the latest chapter of the ten-month stalemate that has paralyzed Pakistan’s government. Under growing pressure to step out of his military uniform or resign as president, Musharraf refuses to address Parliament or set a date to step down as army chief. The loudest voice against his military rule comes from the alliance of six religious parties, the MMA, which controls the government in the conservative frontier province bordering Afghanistan. From Peshawar, the capital of the frontier province, Miranda Kennedy reports.

Part 1: EPA Investigation
The Environmental Protection Agency will soon change a portion of federal clean air law that will exempt old power plants and oil refineries from having to install pollution control devices. An EPA document leaked late last week and confirmed by the agency over the weekend, revealed the Bush administration plan that will save industry billions of dollars while causing the unregulated release of millions of tons of pollutants. From Houston, Texas reporter Erika McDonald files this first of a two part EPA investigation report.

Bush Pushes Healthy Forests & Healthy Profits
President George Bush has been promoting his so-called Healthy Forests Initiative around the West in recent weeks, hoping that the Senate will pass the bill. It’s designed to reduce the damage of the catastrophic fires which have been consuming millions of acres in drought-ridden states like Arizona, California, Montana, and others. Yet environmental groups express strong doubts about how well the bill will help forests recuperate to their natural conditions and how accommodating it is to the timber industry. With a closer look at the bill and the ecology of western forests, Joe Gardner Wessely reports from New Mexico.

83rd Anniversary of 19th Amendment
And as we go out today, we at FSRN want to remember that today, 83 years ago the suffragette movement won the right for women to vote. The amendment, which guarantees women their say at the ballot, was passed on August 26, 1920.


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