September 19, 2003

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Headlines Produced by Randi Zimmerman
The Turkish Military Finalizing Troops to Iraq Plans — Ezgi Saritas
Child Combatants in Colombia — Nicole Karsin
UN Children’s Fund Reports Gross Child Abuse in the Industrialized World — Haider Risvi
Bush’s Imported Steel Tariffs Hurt Industry — Mitch Jeserich
Mobile Phones Users Boycott in Nigeria — Sam Olukoya

South Korean Soldiers to Iraq?
Families of a Minnesota National Guard company plan to meet with state Guard officials this weekend for what they characterize as an “angry confrontation” over the extended tours of duty in Iraq. This comes as news of the death of another US soldier, as well as three others was reported overnight when two mines exploded near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Meanwhile today, South Korean opposition leader Choe Byung-yul who is visiting the US, indicated that his majority Grand National Party could consent to sending combat troops to Iraq if the government asks for parliament’s approval. Under the Assembly Act, when sending Korean soldiers overseas the president must obtain approval from parliament. The motion needs the approval of at least half the attending lawmakers and because the opposition party controls the 272 member National Assembly, South Korean troops in Iraq could be a real possibility. However as Eunji Kang reports from Seoul, the public is divided sharply on this issue.

Yale Strike Statement
Striking employees at Yale University are going back to work after a new contract was ratified on Friday afternoon. It’s a huge win for the 4,000 workers and for the national labor movement, but as Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven, some workers are left out of the agreement.

Sing for Coporate Profits
Despite a seemingly never-ending series of high-profile corporate scandals – most recently the resignation of New York Stock Exchange chair Dick Grasso over a lavish compensation package nearing $140 million – corporate America continues to sing its own praises. Sometimes literally. A little known sub- genre of music known as corporate anthems has flourished over the last several decades in the United States and John Anderson sampled some of this music and brings us this report

Vietnam to Join WTO?
International NGO’s Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders say Cambodia was railroaded into concessions as part of its membership deal into the World Trade Organization. The country agreed to immediately stop the use of generic cheaper versions of medicines, such as HIV/AIDS drugs, even though the country is in the midst of an AIDS crisis. The concession is a warning to other poor nations seeking entry into the global trade body. As Aaron Glantz and Ngoc Nguyen report, neighboring Vietnam has began to make trade-offs in preparation for its WTO bid in 2005.

ECOWAS: How Forward for Africa’s Children?
Yesterday a high-powered delegation of African leaders, known as ECOWAS, went to Guinea Bissau as part of efforts to restore constitutional rule in that country, following last Sunday’s military coup d’etat. The team included President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, the President and Executive Secretary of ECOWAS and Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The trip comes on the heels of a visit by an ECOWAS fact-finding mission, which returned on Wednesday from the former Portuguese colony after holding consultations with the military junta leaders. And as Ndiaga Seck reports from Senegal, ECOWAS leaders have also been discussing the conditions facing children in Africa after many years of war, drought and diseases. news is up, more later.


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