July 27, 2004

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WTO Troubles
The so-called G-20 nations of the developing world are holding fast at the World Trade Organization’s meeting this week in Geneva.  India’s commerce minister said today that for the multilateral treaty to have any power, all members must have equal participation in its creation. Yesterday, European Union representatives strenuously challenged the current draft that focuses on forcing the EU and the United States to cut back on farm subsidies – a major demand from the G-20 and other African and Latin American nations.  According to Oxfam, about 96-percent of the world’s farmers live in the developing world.  The breakdown of the WTO negotiations in Cancun in September last year was attributed to the debate over the subsidies.  Delegates are now  concerned about meeting this Friday’s deadline.  Unless they come to an agreement, proponents of what they call “free trade” will have to wait months, if not years for another opportunity to create a global marketplace.  WTO’s chief said today, there’s a lot of work to be done if the world’s rich and poor nations are to strike a deal.

US Sells Guns to Wrong People
17-million guns were purchased in the United States over the past 2 years. According to the Justice Department’s Inspector General more than 7,000 people who were prohibited from buying guns got them anyway. Kéllia Ramares has the story.

Right to Die Case in FL Court
A law giving Florida’s governor the ability to make decisions in right to die cases is now being challenged in the state’s court. Andrew Stelzer has more from WMNF.

Salt Lake City Mayor Pushed Living Wage
Pushing a living wage, one Utah mayor is attempting to circumvent the state legislature’s efforts to block it.  Alan Nauman reports from Salt Lake City.

East Timor Wants Control of Gas
Australian politicians are playing politics with the national income of East Timor.  East Timor has yet to ratify natural gas and oil profit sharing deals with Australia hoping the international community will force what they consider a more just redefinition of maritime laws. Currently Australia is sticking to a maritime agreement signed with occupying Indonesia, weeks prior to East Timor’s independence. John Miller, with the East Timor Action Network says Australian aid is a poor substitute for just control of their resources.

Democratic National Convention – Sound Collage
The Democratic Convention officially convened in Boston yesterday. Mainstream media coverage kicked off at 7 PM – but numerous speakers took the podium before the television cameras began to roll. Yesterday – 20 speakers addressed the delegates before prime time coverage began. We bring you a short audio collage of some of those voices – including  Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabanow,  the Honorable Robert Menendez, NY Representative Gregory Meeks, Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro, and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack from Iowa.

Delegates to Approve Platform
The Democratic delegates at the convention are set to unanimously adopt the draft platform on which Democrats will be running in the November elections.  With the platform focusing on the war on terror, homeland security, and health care, the Democrats are trying to appeal to moderate voters who will likely tilt the election.  But as Mitch Jeserich reports, some delegates and demonstrators feel that issues affecting poor and diverse communities are largely being ignored.

“Free Speech Zone?”
The City of Boston and the Democratic Party have created a “free speech” zone to accommodate protestors at the DNC in Boston – the fenced off area confines and encloses demonstrators. Bill Hamilton is there.

More Money for Haiti – Help or Hindrance?
A recent donor’s conference in Washington has pledged a total of 1 billion dollars in aid to Haiti. While headlines have lauded this sum as surpassing the amount requested by the interim Haitian government, Oxfam is criticizing the conference, saying that this aid – much of which will be in the form of loans – will only dig Haiti into deeper debt. Other organizations are saying the international community shouldn’t be supporting what they say is an illegal regime. From KBOO in Portland Oregon – Jacob Fenston reports.

Congolese Refugees Flee
An International Criminal Tribunal (ICT) delegation arrived in Kinshasa on Monday for it’s first-ever investigation into the war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past two years.  The delegation, which will be in the country for five days, will hold meetings with the DRC government, civil rights groups and representatives of international organizations in the DRC. According to the UN nearly 20,000 people are in a “critical humanitarian state” in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after fleeing renewed fighting between central government forces and dissident troops around Lake Kivu. Over 2000 Congolese refugees have moved into the Nebbi district of Uganda after two days of renewed fighting between Lendu militia and FAPC rebels in the Ituri region of DR Congo. Joshua Kyalimpa reports From Uganda.

Mumia Commentary: Four Years of Hope, Four Years of Hell


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