September 29, 2003
Headlines by Nell Abram
Corporate Crimes Trials: TYCO trial begins. — Ama Buadi
White House OMB says Environmental regulations save money. — Recardo Gibson
Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors meeting convenes — Binu Alex
Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride
CIA Spy Leaked by White House?
The CIA has requested that the Department of Justice investigate allegations that White House Officials leaked the identity of a CIA undercover agent to six journalists. Exposing a CIA operative is punishable by up to ten years in jail. Conservative syndicated columnist Robert Novak is under scrutiny for his column that exposed the identity of the CIA operative as Valerie Plame, the wife of former acting U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Joseph Wilson, who is an open critic of the invasion of Iraq. Though Wilson now has no comment concerning the leak, he has said the White House is attempting to discredit him because of his 2002 report suggesting there was no proof that Saddam Hussein tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger. Mitch Jeserich has more from Washington DC.
Battle Ahead for Nigerian Women
Late last week a Nigerian woman, women across Africa and women world-wide celebrated what is being hailed as one of the biggest victories for the rights of women in many years. Amina Lawal, whose case became known worldwide after she was sentenced to death by stoning in her home of Nigeria for the crime of adultery, was last week vindicated as her death sentence was quashed by an appeals court. Yet, in the aftermath of the verdict, as our correspondent Sam Olukoya reports from Nigeria, for women’s rights groups, this victory only highlights that there is a big battle ahead.
3 Year Anniversary of Palestinian Intifada
As Israel marked the Jewish high holiday of Rosh Hashana this weekend, Ha’aretz reported on Friday that a seven-month-old girl and a man were killed on Rosh Hashanah eve, in an attack on the Negohot settlement, southwest of Hebron. Throughout the Rosh Hashana weekend, the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip were locked down by the Israeli military. This as thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip commemorated the third anniversary of the Palestinian Intifada, or “uprising” over the past few days. The intifada was sparked when the current Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the old city of Jerusalem with an escort of hundreds of armed police on September 28 2000. However, as Palestinians point out, the Intifada was also fueled by the failure of the final status negotiations at Camp David, when then Israeli Prime minister Ehud Barak made a much lauded “generous offer” that would have given Palestinians 80% of the Occupied West Bank as a Palestinian state yet with no common border to Gaza and protectorate status in relation to Israel. Mohammed Ghalyini has more from Gaza.
More Poverty in 2003 in the US
The Census Bureau released its poverty report last Friday. The bureau concluded for the second year in a row, by the US government’s own statistics, the number of people in poverty increased dramatically across the country. The report found 34.6 million people were living below the official poverty threshold, with 7.2 million families were in poverty, that children living in poverty numbered 12.1 million, and that the poverty rate for Blacks was 24 per cent. These figures represent an increase from 2001. Sarah Olson filed this report from Oakland, California.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister in Harlem
Brazil’s President Lula da Silva visited Havana this weekend where far reaching trade agreements were signed covering health, education and fishing. Agreements were also signed between Brazilian private companies and Cuban state-run firms to jointly build resort hotels in Cuba. Lula’s visit to Cuba is seen as an important move as the Bush Administration moves to further isolate the tiny nation, a topic which received plenty of attention this weekend in NYC when Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque, addressed a Harlem audience. Speaking in a wide ranging address at Harlem’s Church of the Intercession, Perez Roque spoke of the state of US-Cuba relations, and called for, among other things, the right of the Iraqi people to govern themselves. Ian Forrest was there and files this report.