October 09, 2003

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Syria Warns the US: No Sanctions
Syria hit back at the United States today saying it is further degrading its reputation in the Middle East after the U.S. Congress yesterday took a step towards slapping sanctions on Syria. The Syrian Accountability Act passed a House Committee, and appears to also have support in the Senate and White House. Sponsors of measure, numbering more than 275, accuse Syria of sponsoring terrorism, occupying Lebanon, and seeking weapons of mass destruction. Syrian officials say the sanctions will have little effect on its people and will mostly hurt the American oil companies in the region. And as Mitch Jeserich reports, Syria also warned that the sanctions would be a step back in Syrian-American relations.

Gov. Jeb Delays Corporate Cleaning of Everglades
In Florida, arguments over cleaning up the Everglades are stirring again. Florida governor Jeb Bush signed legislation this session that extends the deadline by 10 years—from 2006 to 2016– for the U.S. Sugar Corporation to meet acceptable levels of phosphorus in their runoff water. The deadline was set in The Everglades Forever Act of 1994. Environmentalists, congressional representatives and the Miccosukee Indians who live in the Everglades are contemplating their next move. From St. Petersburg, Sally Watt reports.

Demands to Alleviate Homelessness
As the cold weather begins to set in some parts of the country, concern is growing for the rising levels of homeless people around the US. Just this week, the State’s Veteran Affairs Commissioner of Connecticut announced that in one week 15 vets, including a National Guardsman who served in the recent war on Iraq, declared themselves homeless and sought shelter at the veteran’s home. Meanwhile hundreds of activists from cities across the country joined the Homeless Poets Project this week in DC to demand that the government do something to end homelessness. Activists called on elected officials to make into law pending legislation called the Bring America Home Act. They say the new legislation would make great strides to ending homeless in the United States. Tom Gomez has more from DC.

Rising Religious Tension in Pakistan
Pakistan today test-fired a surface-to-surface nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of 700 kilometers as joint naval exercises between Indian and American forces concluded in the Arabian Sea close to Pakistan’s coast. The Indian government said the exercises were part of an operation to head off potential threats from terrorists. The naval exercises coincide with the visit of US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Christina Rocca and Chief of the US Central Command, General John Abizaid to Pakistan. This as the situation in Pakistan is tense after an extremist Pakistani politician and Sunni militant chief Azam Tariq was killed in a drive-by shooting on the outskirts of Islamabad. The killing of Tariq, a bearded Islamic cleric who led the violent Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) Sunni extremist group, comes days after six men from the rival Shia Muslim sect were killed in a drive-by shooting in the southern port city Karachi. Masror Hussain reports from Islamabad.

Presidential candidates speak to DC
As most eyes have been squarely focused on the California recall election, residents of Washington DC have been all but shut out of the national political arena. With no senators or representatives and only three electoral college votes, DC citizens have long called for representation, the lack of which is most acutely felt in times of presidential election campaigning. Yet this past week, two candidates did the unusual, and whereby presidential candidates normally bypass the District of Colombia, as Sarah Turner reports, a large DC crowd got to hear from these two presidential contenders.


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