default.html Issue 113
Table of Contents

Schwarzenegger Dodges Questions About Meeting With Enron's Ken Lay

by Jason Leopold It's unclear whether Schwarzenegger held a stake in Enron at the time or if he followed through on Lay's request. His spokesman, Rob Stutzman, hasn't returned numerous calls for comment about the meeting. For Schwarzenegger and the others who attended the meeting, associating with Enron, particularly Ken Lay, the disgraced chairman of the high-flying energy company, during the peak of California's power crisis in May 2001 could be compared to meeting with Osama bin Laden after 9/11 to understand why terrorism isn't necessarily such a heinous act

Karl Rove's Nightmare: Liberal Talk Radio

by Robert Gelfand Mike Royko was a reminder that the media can be effective, can be a stimulus for reform, at least on occasion, at least under some circumstances. It helps to have someone who can communicate the outrage with that subtle understatement that brings us, the readers, to feel outraged ourselves. It helps to have it come from someone who can be trusted to have his facts right. Then once in a while, some wrong will be righted

Bush, Blair To Whistleblowers: We Will Destroy You

by Steve Young David Kelly's death seems to be a clear cut case of suicide. But it may also be a clear-cut case of suicide by government. As surely as if Kelly had shot himself in the back, say, ten times, this would a crime of murder. A political murder to be sure, but murder all the same

The Cold War Between Europe And Bush

by Lucy Komisar The U.S. and Europe have never been so estranged. The widespread European hostility to U.S. policy on Iraq builds on anger provoked by the Bush administration's scuttling of numerous global accords on environment, weapons and international justice. The opposition to Washington policy exists on both citizen and high political levels. The rift between the U.S. and its European allies will damage America unless both sides act to heal it -- and unless the U.S. acts to deal with the causes of European anger

GOP Senators Blast Nature For Changing Climate

by J.R. Pegg Some Senate Republicans say there is considerable doubt that the climate is warming and if it is, humans are not responsible. Backing up statements he made on the Senate floor last month, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe told colleagues of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the science shows natural variability, not human activity, is the "overwhelming factor" influencing climate change

Africa To Bush: Thanks For The Visit, But Show Us The Money

by Badia Jacobs Africa's development has been dealt a savage blow by Bush's visit. They argue that Bush's African safari was all about oil and gas. Africa has oil reserves of just under 7.8 billion barrels. This is 6.4 percent of global output. The U.S. imports about 18 percent of its oil from Nigeria, Angola and Gabon. Over the next 10 years, this is expected to increase to 25 percent

Empty Promises To Africa As Other Nations Dig In To Help

by Jim Lobe Bush, who had embarked on his Africa swing to demonstrate his administration's "compassion," appeared to face a growing "credibility gap" as he made his way from Senegal last Wednesday to South Africa and on to Botswana, Uganda, and finally Nigeria which he left for home on Saturday

A Cynical "Good News Only" Tour Of Africa

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson On his five-day African visit, President Bush had an opportunity to propose real ways to help the continent solve some of its colossal problems, but on issues from foreign aid to debt relief to an African arms race, the president missed his chance

Bush Crowd Determined To Blame Saddam For 9/11

by Jim Lobe With demands for an investigation of the use or misuse of intelligence by the Bush administration mounting steadily, it seems clear that key officials and their conservative allies decided to use the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a pretext for war against Iraq within hours of the atrocities

CIA Director Tells Senators That Wolfowitz Group Manipulated Info

by Jason Leopold A Pentagon committee led by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, advised President Bush to include a reference in his January State of the Union address about Iraq trying to purchase 500 tons of uranium from Niger to bolster the case for war in Iraq, despite the fact that the CIA warned Wolfowitz's committee that the information was unreliable, according to a CIA intelligence official and four members of the Senate's intelligence committee who have been investigating the issue

Wolfowitz Group Twisted Info To Condemn Iraq

by Jason Leopold A half-dozen former CIA agents investigating prewar intelligence have found that a secret Pentagon committee, set up by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in October 2001, manipulated reams of intelligence information prepared by the spy agency on the so-called Iraqi threat and then delivered it to top White House officials who used it to win support for a war in Iraq

10 Years After Apartheid, Blacks Own Little In S Africa

by Farah Khan   For policymakers now the most pressing challenge in South Africa is to change an economy in which three-quarters of all property is still in white hands

No Evidence of Iran Nuke Weapon Program

by William O. Beeman and Thomas Stauffer The Bush administration argues that nuclear power generation makes no sense for an oil-rich country like Iran, implying that the country's power plants are for arms manufacture, but any evidence for such a program is scant. The great irony in America's accusations is that Iran's nuclear program was first developed on the advice of American specialists, who urged the government of the Shah to begin producing nuclear power in order to save oil reserves for more lucrative purposes than fuel. The prospect of an industrial base built on petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals never materialized, but the nuclear power program continued unabated

Europe May Donate To Iraq Fund -- As Long As Bush Can't Touch Money

by Stefania Bianchi In spite of the ongoing dispute with the U.S. over the war in Iraq, the EU is tentatively offering to help pay for the reconstruction of the country, provided that the funds are administered independently. European Union money for the reconstruction process in Iraq should be managed by a donors' trust fund, not the U.S. or Britain, says Chris Patten, EU commissioner for External Affairs.

Burma Finds Itself With Fewer And Fewer Friends

by Priscilla Koh The cards are not on the side of the Burmese generals at the moment, given pressure from foreign governments and critics in the wake of the May 30 re-arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In the weeks and months after she and her followers were seized in northern Burma, an attack critics say was done by pro-Rangoon vigilantes, countries like the United States have slapped or threatened a series of economic and political sanctions on Burma

U.S. Seeks Exemption From Possible War Crimes -- In Liberia

by Thalif Deen A U.S. proposal before the UN Security Council to immediately deploy multinational troops to Liberia includes a controversial provision exempting peacekeepers from prosecution for war crimes in the International Criminal Court (ICC)

UN Has Share Of Blame In Liberia Bloodbath

by Bernard Otabil Greater bloodshed is what is feared by many analysts and observers who also believe that the international community, especially the joint UN-Sierra Leone Special Court investigating the war crimes in Sierra Leone, was wrong to indict Taylor at a time of crucial peace talks. Now, many claim, it is difficult to see how peace can be achieved in Liberia if the indictment of Taylor remains. Yet it appears that the Special Court is committed to ensuring that the indictment remains in force

Japan Sending Troops To Iraq

by Suvendrini Kakuchi In stark contrast to the situation today, Japan in the first Gulf War restricted its role to economic aid -- $2 billion -- to the U.S.-led troops ousting Iraq from Kuwait. The change in the nature of SDF activities overseas has caused discomfort against a backdrop of unrest in Iraq and international opinion against Washington for going to war there without legitimate reason

Clueless In California: Neither GOP Or Dems Have Recall Strategy

by Jill Stewart Over the years the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled that the backgrounds of the gatherers of petitions are not important. The court says that as long as signatures on petitions are verified as being from registered voters, the courts cannot interfere with the will of those voters. Such petitions are good. But the Democrats have been getting great media spin from their attacks on the icky petition-gatherers. So what did Mulholland really say that day? He attacked the homeless

LA Talk Radio Plays Leading Role In Gray Davis Recall Campaign

by Robert Gelfand The recall campaign and its proponents have been given a chance to participate on the show routinely. For example, the Friday (July 18) program included an on-air progress report from the director of the recall campaign, who gave effusive thanks to John and Ken for their support and went on to brag about a recent court victory in favor of getting the recall on the ballot. He publicly credited John and Ken for coming up with the idea for the lawsuit. In other words, a political campaign is now a part of the show

Cruz Bustamante, Blacks, And The "N-----" Word

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson California's Democratic Congressional delegation recently declared their support for Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante as gubernatorial replacement should Gov. Gray Davis be recalled. Bustamante, however, has an Achilles' heel -- he makes many black voters nervous, for reasons that go beyond an off-hand remark made two years ago

Funding Woes Plague Superfund Clean Up

by J.R. Pegg The federal government is failing to fully fund the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program and 42 percent of Superfund clean up efforts could be slowed down or stopped as a result, environmentalists say

Gale Norton, Environmental Terminator

by David Helvarg A veteran of the small but influential "Wise Use" movement, Norton helped Bush through his environmental tutorial as a Presidential candidate, providing the intellectual arguments that deregulation, devolution, and free markets are the best ways to achieve environmental goals

Poll: Support Dropping For Iraq War, Bush

by Jim Lobe Public support for the U.S. military operation in Iraq has eroded significantly over the past two months, as has confidence in President George W. Bush and his administration's credibility, according to two new polls released July 1

Blame Anger At U.S, Not "Saddam Loyalists" For Iraq Violence

by William O. Beeman A U.S. operation to stop attacks on American soldiers in Iraq is based on the fictitious assumption that Saddam Hussein or his "loyalists" still haunt the countryside. But in fact, widespread anger at the ongoing mismanagement of the occupation lies behind the violence

Bush Punishes 35 Nations For Supporting International Criminal Court

by Jim Lobe Raising its war against the International Criminal Court to a new level, the administration of President George W. Bush Tuesday cut off military aid to 35 friendly countries in retaliation for their support of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and refusal to exempt U.S. soldiers from its jurisdiction

California Recall All About National Politics, Natural Gas -- And Empire

by Franz Schurmann Old political rules change when a country morphs into an empire. California's volatile recall election reflects the ruling party's need for complete control -- and a weakened Democratic governor's misunderstanding of new, imperial priorities

Japan's Hidden Agenda In Iraq

by William O. Beeman The Bush administration, in encouraging Japan to send troops to Iraq and break its longstanding post-World War II prohibition against troop deployments on foreign soil, may have helped open up a can a worms in East Asia

Bush Forest Plan: Log 190 Million Acres

by J.A. Savage Forests as large as three states must be logged in order to save them from being unhealthy fire magnets -- at least that is the consensus of six Western governors and the timber industry. The Department of Interior and the U.S. Forest Service back this massive logging in the cause of fire hazard reduction. Environmentalists agree, however, that it's a sop to the timber industry, even though it might produce some crumbs to the hard-working community-based sustainable foresters

UN War Crimes Court Wants Liberia's Exiled Taylor

by Lansana Fofana Taylor is facing a 17-count indictment for "war crimes, crime against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law." Alan White, the chief investigator of the court, says Taylor would be prosecuted for "bearing the greatest responsibility for war crimes committed during Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war," which ended in 2001. Taylor is accused of backing rebels of the Revolutionary United front (RUF) in neighboring Sierra Leone, who are accused of hacking of limbs of civilians and disembowelling pregnant women, among other forms of atrocities.

In Israel And Palestine, A Guarded Optimism

by Peter Hirschberg Cajoled, pressured and squeezed, both the radical Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups announced a three-month truce June 29 without preconditions, saying there would be no attacks inside Israel or on soldiers and settlers inside the West Bank and Gaza. They were joined, hours later, by the mainstream Fatah movement of Yasser Arafat, which declared it was ending attacks for six months

Palestine Bitter Over Israel's Release Of Few Prisoners

by Peter Hirschberg Israel gave the media free access to the five drop-off points -- four in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip -- where the prisoners were taken by bus and freed. With the cameras rolling as ecstatic families greeted newly released sons and fathers, the world saw the pictures the Israeli government had hoped it would. Up to a point. The Palestinian Authority refused to play along, announcing it would not hold any official welcoming ceremonies. There were no spontaneous celebrations in the territories either

House Bars Secret Search Provision Of PATRIOT Act

by Katrin Dauenhauer Taking a clear stand against anti-privacy provisions in the Patriot Act, the House of Representatives in an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort last night agreed to an amendment that would bar federal law enforcement from carrying out secret "sneak and peek" searches without notifying the target of the warrant

Alaska Exploited At Every Turn

by Molly Ivins Global warming, as the scientists predicted, is affecting Alaska first and worst. Alaska has warmed by 5.4 degrees in three decades, and by 8 degrees in winter. This has dramatically affected every part of Alaska. The ecologists and conservationists are desperately worried. The sea is rising, the salmon runs are getting earlier, and in the permafrost, the oceans and the geology, the changes are unambiguous and demonstrable. Bark beetles are attacking more forests, parasites are attacking wildlife. The polar bear is an unlikely canary in the mines, but the largest predators on earth are becoming dangerously skinny and have to be killed because they keep moving south

Nothing Funny About Texas Legislature Hide And Seek

by Molly Ivins Basically, the reason 12 Democratic senators from Texas are on the lam in New Mexico is BECAUSE IT'S NOT FAIR. You may think that's childish, but there are some important principles at stake here. Like, you're supposed to play by the rules. And you're not supposed to change the rules in the middle of the game. And then, just a minor point, there is the small matter of democracy

Blackout Of 2003 A Wake-Up Call For Modern Energy Policy

by Molly Ivins The Republicans are refusing again to pass stand-alone transmission-grid improvements. They insist on including the rest of the Cheney rip-and-run plan, including drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and other economically marginal and environmentally disastrous schemes

Blame Repubs For Blackout Of 2003

by Molly Ivins Before we all get lost forever in the finger-pointing, let me point out the fundamental question here. Given that our economy, security and basic services are totally dependent on the electric grid, do we really want to turn our electric system over to those who only seek short-term profits?

Ashcroft Now Investigating Judges

by Molly Ivins Really Bad Idea of the Week: Attorney General John Ashcroft is now investigating judges. He is requiring prosecutors to report cases where the judge hands down sentences that are less than the federal guidelines suggest. This is part of a concerted effort by both Congress and the Justice Department (part of the executive branch) to pressure judges to follow rigid sentencing guidelines

A Kind Of "They're doing WHAT?" Month

by Molly Ivins Covering this administration gets more and more like the Sovietology of old: People actually study group photos to see who is standing where. The possibility of losing Colin Powell, who mostly seems to have his head screwed on straight, is daunting enough. What sent me into the YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!! mode was the word of who is under consideration to replace him. Quick, who would be worse: Paul Wolfowitz or Newt Gingrich? Yep, that's the list, and even your worst nightmares didn't prepare you for that one, did they?

Dishonest Defense Of Disgraceful Judge

by Molly Ivins William Pryor Jr., attorney general of Alabama and a right-wing anti-abortion nominee to the federal appeals court, is under attack because he's a hopeless dipstick. That he also happens to be Catholic and anti-abortion has nothing to do with his unfitness for the federal bench

Notes From A Country In Trouble

by Molly Ivins "American officials are considering a plan to use Iraq's future oil and gas revenues as collateral to raise cash to rebuild the country. Several U.S. companies, including Halliburton and Bechtel, which are jostling for the lucrative reconstruction contracts, are reportedly pushing the scheme to expedite the commissioning process." That means there's no Marshall Plan, we're not going to rebuild Iraq, we're going to going to take their oil to pay our corporations to fix what we messed up

Sept. 11 Report Shows Little Accountability By Anyone

by Molly Ivins Much attention is being paid to the selective editing of the Sept. 11 report, apparently to protect the Saudis. I think an equally important piece of the report is on the bureaucratic tangle that prevents anyone from being accountable for much of anything

With Each Day, Iraq Looks Like Vietnam II

by Jim Lobe The 'Q' word -- for quagmire -- not to mention the 'V' word, for Vietnam -- is back in mainstream discourse as each day appears to bring the killing of at least one more U.S. or British soldier, and U.S. troops and officers in Iraq tell television cameras that they are stretched far too thinly to impose order on a country the size of California with a population that grows less and less appreciative of their presence, and appears to be harboring people who actually want them dead

Bush Pick For AIDS Czar Draws Concern And Anger

by Jim Lobe Bush's surprise pick of a former top executive of a major U.S. pharmaceutical company and major Republican contributor as his global AIDS coordinator has drawn expressions of concern and even outrage among activists on Africa and AIDS

Latino Voter's Clout On Rise As Black Political Power Fades

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson Though Latinos now outnumber blacks as the nation's largest minority group, conventional wisdom says blacks still wield greater political power. But Latinos' rising political clout comes precisely as black political power is faltering in some key states

Without Any Real Power From U.S, Iraq Council Begins Meetings

by Peyman Pejman "Look at the council members," says Fatima Mohammed Jasim, 45, a housewife and mother of two daughters. "They are mostly middle-age men who have lived most of the time outside Iraq. They are rich businessmen. What experience do they have in running a country? Government is not about money or being smart in business. It is about giving people the services they need. Which one of them has that experience?"

Independent Group Tries To Tally Iraq War Deaths

by Peyman Pejman The Pentagon has so far adamantly refused to carry out its own investigation into how many civilians died in the coalition attacks. Unofficial estimates have put the range between 5,000 to 10,000 civilians and as many as 75,000 Iraqi military personnel. While a full implementation of the congressional mandate clearly depends on coming up with indisputable civilian casualty figures, Ruzicka says the extent of civilian and human suffering is not a numbers game

U.S. Asking UN For Iraq Troops

by Thalif Deen U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell came to the United Nations on Thursday to explore support for a new U.S. resolution that would convince reluctant member states -- including France, Russia, India, Pakistan and Turkey -- to provide troops for a proposed multinational force for Iraq. But the proposed resolution -- still in draft stage -- might be a non-starter because Washington has signalled it will not relinquish any of its military authority to foreign troops

U.S. Bans Import of "Conflict Diamonds" From Africa

by Varsha Gupta d'Souza Bush has signed an executive order to ban the import of rough diamonds used to finance civil wars in Africa

Bush To Nigeria: Leave OPEC, Give Us Your Oil

by Toye Olori "It is purely an economic trip. It is to persuade President Olusegun Obasanjo to opt out of OPEC to ensure that the U.S. has a hold on the country's oil," claims Segun Jedege, program director of the Lagos-based Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR). Nigeria, the world's sixth-largest oil producer, and a member of the powerful Vienna-based Organization of Petroleum Producing Countries (OPEC), enjoys huge U.S. investments, especially in the oil sector. "Bush's visit is not going to benefit the poor masses of Nigeria. The trip will further impoverish the masses through promoting unpopular economic policies like privatization and removal of subsidies," says Jedege

A Mission For Trade, Oil, And Power

by Farah Khan The U.S.'s Africa Growth and Opportunities Act, AGOA, that allows African exporters of textiles and fabrics duty-free access to U.S. markets, and in return, allows U.S. companies unfettered access to African markets. But Oxfam says most of the products in which Africa has a distinct advantage are excluded. Even in textiles, access to the US markets is conditional on African exporters using imported U.S. yarns and fabric. The IMF states that protectionist loopholes such as these cost African exporters around $500 million a year

Bush Pushes Africa To Accept GM Food

by Katrin Dauenhauer In filing a formal complaint last month with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the European Union (EU) for banning GM products, U.S. officials said they were protecting the interests of Africans suffering from hunger, who could be fed with GM food. But the real reason for their claim is the oversupply of GM crops and the fact that the United States grows two-thirds of the world's GM crops, and views Africa as a potential market for them

Bush Attaches Strings To Africa AIDS Promises

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman Bush is doing a barnstorming tour of Africa to call attention to his administration's commitment to addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the continent. One problem: He's simultaneously trying to impose on African countries enhanced patent protections that would undermine their ability to gain access to affordable medicines

Israel Presses Ahead With Apartheid Wall

by Ferry Biedermann There is very little sympathy in Israel for Palestinians whose lives are being affected by the fence. Yuval Steinitz, chairman of the powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is almost offended by question about the fence. "Why is it that people always ask me about the viability of a Palestinian state?" he says. "What about the viability of Israel, what about our right to survival?" He maintains that there can be no return to the borders that Israel had between the end of the war of independence in 1949 and 1967 when it conquered the West Bank. "There have to be security zones," says Steinitz

Palestinian Economy Choked By Israeli Roadblocks

by Peter Hirschberg In September 2000, before the uprising began, some 128,000 Palestinians worked in Israel and in Jewish settlements in the territories. By the end of last year, their number was down to 16,000. All the indicators point to a dramatic decline in the Palestinian economy and in the standard of living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the 33 months of fighting

Bush Reportedly Made $10B Deal For New Zimbabwe Leader

by Badia Jacobs According to the unconfirmed report in the Independent, Bush will provide a reconstruction package worth $10 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe over an unspecified length of time once a new leader is installed

Bloody Attacks On 'Soft Targets' Spread Fear In Iraq

by Ferry Biedermann The attack on the UN mission in Baghdad fits in a pattern that has emerged lately with attackers increasingly picking non-military targets. Just ten days ago the Jordanian embassy was blown up. Sixteen people died in that attack. In the meantime water mains and oil pipelines have been attacked. Earlier this week even a prison holding opponents of the occupation was attacked. Six people died. Such attacks seem intended to create chaos and instability, and increase dissatisfaction among the population with American rule

Baghdad Bomb Attack Shows Iraqi Also Blame UN

by Thalif Deen The massive bomb attack on the UN compound in Baghdad on Tuesday was an assault on an institution that is increasingly perceived as a political mouthpiece of the United States, say some Middle East experts and U.S. academics. Many Iraqis associate the United Nations with "the devastating sanctions and food rations imposed on their country by the U.S. government." The UN also endorsed the U.S.-led war in 1991 in which an estimated 100,000 Iraqi soldiers and civilians died

In Turnabout, Bush Must Depend On UN For Help

by Jim Lobe To save his administration, Bush must now essentially abandon the aggressive unilateralism that has dominated his foreign policy since even before Sept. 11, 2001; ask forgiveness from U.S. allies who refused to join his "coalition of the willing" into Iraq; and return to the United Nations Security Council for a new resolution that will give the world body control over the occupation

White House To Asia: Let's Make A Deal For Troops In Iraq

by Thalif Deen Faced with a rising death toll among its soldiers in Iraq, the United States is trying to "buy" foreign troops for a proposed 30,000-strong multinational force in Baghdad, some observers say. "When they were seeking UN support for a war on Iraq, they were twisting arms," one Asian diplomat told IPS. "Now they are offering carrots in exchange for our troops"

Iraq Coalition War Crimes To Be Considered By Panel

by Marty Logan Experts will determine whether the weapons systems the attackers used were legal under international humanitarian law. Coalition forces have been sharply criticized for using cluster bombs in their attack, which can spread over an area as large as several football fields

50th Anniversary Of Last U.S. Regime Change In Mideast

by Mushahid Hussain President Dwight Eisenhower, who authorized the Iran coup, asked his people during a March 1953 meeting of the National Security Council at the White House: "Why can't we get some of the people in these downtrodden countries to like us instead of hating us?" Fifty years later, that question remains answered as U.S. policymakers again try regime change to politically reshape the Middle Eastern map with issues such as oil, geopolitics and Islam. Anti-U.S. sentiment casts a shadow over the U.S., which is still in search of a viable policy toward the Muslim world

State Dept. Neo-Con Attacks N Korea, Escalating Tensions

by Jim Lobe North Korea, which last week agreed to multilateral talks on its controversial nuclear program with its Northeast Asian neighbors and the United States, announced Sunday that it will have nothing to do with Bolton and will not even recognize his status as a U.S. diplomat. Bolton, who ranks fourth in the State Department hierarchy, described life in North Korea as a "hellish nightmare", and accused Pyongyang's leader, Kim Jong Il, of being a "dictator" or "tyrant" running a "dictatorship" or "tyranny" no less than a dozen times

U.S. Stretches Border 1,000 Miles To Block "Illegal Aliens"

by Michael Flynn In a case that highlights the growing U.S. effort to detain migrants long before they set eyes on this country's borders, five crew members of an Ecuadorian fishing vessel called the San Jacinto pled guilty in a federal court here this month to conspiracy to encourage illegal immigration

It's The Jobs, Stupid

by Randolph T. Holhut The dirty little secret in the American economy is how white collar workers are seeing their jobs outsourced to foreign countries. "Any function that does not require face-to-face contact is now perceived as a candidate for offshore relocation"

The Final Disgrace of Christine Whitman

by John F. Borowski Christine Todd Whitman, ex-chief of the Environmental Protection Agency seemingly cannot escape her destiny as an obsequious lapdog to the worst environmental administration in United State’s history. Her shameless and gutless attack on the environmental community is big on rhetoric, full of exaggerations and built on a foundation of bold-faced lies

Tons Of Litter Wash Ashore On Most Remote Islands

by J.R. Pegg Few beaches remain untouched as the system of currents sweeps in debris and trash from thousands of miles away. "There are millions of cigarette lighters that can be identified from all over the world," Cousteau said. "There is not one place where you can not see some sort of plastic debris. I was not prepared for that." When the crew arrived at Midway Island, 80 tons of discarded fishing gear greeted them at the pier

All this trash and debris is having negative impacts on wildlife and the marine ecosystems. The crew found scores of dead seabirds, some with 10 ounces of plastic in their guts, as well as coral reefs littered with trash and discarded nets.

Autistic Children May Retain Mercury

Autism may be a form of mercury poisoning brought on by exposure to the mercury based preservative thimerosal in vaccines, according to new research published in the current issue of "International Journal of Toxicology," the official journal of the American College of Toxicology

Prop. 13 At Root Of California's Budget Problems

by Robert Scheer An amazing thing happened on the way to the California recall: Someone spoke the truth about the state's financial predicament. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, ballyhooed as a top economic advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger, told the Wall Street Journal that property taxes in California are ridiculously low

Calif Recall A GOP Shell Game

by Robert Scheer The giddy media spectacle of porn stars and action heroes seeking to lead the world's sixth-largest economy should not divert us from the fact that the key black marks on Davis' resume -- the energy crisis and the budget shortfall -- were both messes created by deregulating, tax-cutting Republicans. Suddenly the Republicans care not a whit about those social values they have been prattling about, or anything else but defeating a prominent Democrat

Bush Plays Pope on Gay Marriage

by Robert Scheer It is one thing for the pope, a religious leader, to oppose gay marriage based on the theology that "homosexual acts go against the natural moral order." But the president of the United States, as the highest official in our secular government, is overstepping his bounds mightily when he lectures about "sin" and "the sanctity of marriage."

White House Cuts Back On AIDS Funding Promises

by Jim Lobe

Pointing to a letter sent to lawmakers by the director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, Joseph O'Neill, backers of an amendment that would have provided a total of $3 billion to the global anti-AIDS fight for fiscal year 2004, said Bush had violated his own promises in Africa to fight for full funding of his five-year $15-billion AIDS package

Drug Industry Tries To Kill Cheap Medicine From Canada

by Mark Bourrie

The huge U.S. pharmaceutical industry is trying to crush Canadian-based Internet companies that sell drugs at relatively low prices to U.S. customers, Canadian pharmacists say

The Undiplomatic Truth: They Lied

by Robert Scheer Nearly a year after Wilson reported back the facts to Cheney and the U.S. security apparatus, Bush, in his 2003 State of the Union speech, invoked the fraudulent Iraq-Africa uranium connection as a major justification for rushing the nation to war. The world is outraged at this pattern of lies used to justify the Iraq invasion, but the U.S. public still seems numb to the dangers of government by deceit

A Firm Basis for Impeachment

by Robert Scheer It is inconceivable that in reviewing draft after draft of the State of the Union speech, NSC staffers Hadley and Joseph failed to tell Rice that the president was about to spread a big lie to justify going to war. However, with the discrediting of the Niger buy and the equally dubious citation of a purchase of aluminum tubes (which turned out to be inappropriate for the production of enriched uranium), one can imagine the disappointment at the White House. There was no evidence for painting Saddam Hussein as a nuclear threat

Sept. 11 Report Shows Bush Diverted Terror War To Protect Friends

by Robert Scheer Newsweek reported Monday that the "connections between high-level Saudi princes and associates of the hijackers" included helping Al Qaeda operatives enter the U.S. and financing their residence in San Diego, where they plotted their infamous attacks. After all, is it really likely that career-conscious FBI and CIA officers would be willing to criticize possible Al Qaeda-House of Saud links when the president's father is out hustling business ties with the same family?

Witch Hunt Against the BBC

by Robert Scheer The Brits said — wrongly — that Iraq could deploy chemical or biological weapons in 45 minutes, a lie also employed by our president as one of his hysterical claims to justify the invasion of Iraq. In essence, we are now told to be happy with a rationale for war that we didn't find convincing before the war started

Protesters At UN Taunt New Iraq Diplomats

by Thalif Deen The three-member delegation to the Security Council included Adnan Pachachi, a former foreign minister, Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the London-based Iraqi National Congress, and Aquila al-Hashimi, a diplomat who served in the foreign ministry under the Saddam Hussein regime. Murphy said that it was common knowledge that Chalabi was indicted for embezzlement in Jordan. "If this is an indication of democracy -- as preached by the United States -- Iraq is in deep trouble."

GI Families Becoming Leaders In Iraq War Resistance

by Katrin Dauenhauer Founded last November to oppose war in Iraq, Military Families Speak Out now includes more than 600 military families. Galvanized by President George W. Bush's "Bring 'em on" challenge to the armed Iraqi resistance, the group, along with Veterans for Peace, Citizen Soldier and others, launched 'Bring Them Home Now', a campaign aimed at ending the U.S. adventure in Iraq

Support Iran Opposition? Bush Admin Can't Decide

by William O. Beeman Washington is split over the People's Mujahedeen. Those who dislike them include the State Department and some Congress members. Those who like them include sectors of the Defense Department and other members of Congress. (Iranian monarchists like them, while most Iranians regard them as traitors.)

U.S. Suffered Record Levels of Smog in 2002

by J.R. Pegg 2002 was the worst smog season in recent years, according to a report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Smog monitors in 41 states and the District of Columbia recorded unhealthy levels of air pollution on some 8,800 occasions in 2002, a 90 percent increase over the number of violations of the national health standard for smog in 2001

Pentagon, White House, Justice Dept. Stonewall Committee Investigating Sept. 11

by Margie Burns In a joint written statement and in question-and-answer with reporters on July 8, both Kean and Hamilton referred to difficulties that jeopardize the commission's ability to meet its deadline. The commissioners have loosely categorized levels of cooperation by government agency, saying the Department of State "has responded helpfully to all requests made so far," while "problems that have arisen so far with the Department of Defense are becoming particularly serious."

Al Qaeda Now Unable To Match Sept 11 Attack, Commission Told

by Margie Burns In sessions marked by occasional disputes, however, the witnesses concurred that conflicts between the U.S. and elements in the Middle East are not a "clash of civilizations," but rather a struggle within Islam or within the Arab world

Was it a High Crime?

by Daniel Meltzer The question that must now be asked, as it needed to be asked back when it had become apparent that President Richard Nixon was implicated in the illegal cover-up of a burglary committed on his own behalf, is: What did the president know, and when did he know it?

Energy Bill Bankrupts Our Future

by Charles Sheehan-Miles In what may be the worst piece of legislation the Senate has passed in decades (and they've had some whoppers), the Senate voted last month for a huge corporate boondoggle that will not only help bankrupt our country, but will guarantee long-term environmental damage, a rise in cancer rates and thousands of years of monitoring of toxic and radioactive waste. They did this without a single public hearing, without a debate, and without much of a conscience

Dean's Lesson To The Dems: He Who Dares, Wins

by Randolph T. Holhut The rap on Dean is that he's too liberal, or at least that's what the Democratic Leadership Council -- the center-right faction of the party that gave us President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Sen. Joe Lieberman -- is saying. If the DLC believes that Dean is too liberal for suggesting that the billions spent on President Bush's tax cuts might be better used for providing health care coverage for all Americans, they aren't listening to the millions of people who either have no health insurance or have inadequate coverage

EPA Nominee Charged With Anti-Enviro Backroom Deals

Utah Governor Mike Leavitt has been nominated to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but it is his policies involving the Interior Department that have brought the most criticism from environmentalists opposed to his nomination. Critics say Leavitt's public lands record is one of backroom deals that favor development interests over environmental protection and warn that the Utah Republican's rhetoric does not match the reality

U.S. Maps Ambitious "Arab NAFTA"

by Emad Mekay The United States said June 23 it will negotiate free trade agreements separately with Arab countries as a first step towards setting up a U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Agreement (MEFTA) by 2013 that would include up to 20 of the region's nations. But many local and international observers view the plans as part of Washington's economic "imperialism" in the region, which they say is being revealed in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, where former President Saddam Hussein's regime fell in April after three weeks of little resistance

Study Finds High PCB in Farmed Salmon

by Katrin Dauenhauer A study released this week that found elevated levels of PCBs in fish-farmed salmon has been condemned by farmers but has led some U.S. retailers to promise they will replace bred salmon with wild fish

Prestige Oil Spill Was Costliest Sea Disaster In History

by Tito Drago The sinking of the oil tanker Prestige off the northwest coast of Spain last year will prove to be the most costly maritime disaster in history, according to new independent estimates

Iran Offers Bush A Deal He Can't Refuse -- But Won't Accept

by Jim Lobe According to a series of leaks by U.S. officials, Iran has offered to hand over, if not directly to Washington then to friendly allies, three senior al-Qaeda leaders and might provide another three top terrorist suspects that Washington believes are being held by Teheran. But its price -- for the U.S. military to permanently shut down the operations of an Iraq-based Iranian rebel group that is on the State Department's official terrorism list -- might be too high for some hard-liners, centred in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office, who led the charge for war in Iraq

Arafat Just Won't Go Away, To Dismay Of Israel, U.S.

by Peter Hirschberg Israel and the U.S. have worked strenuously over the last two years to marginalize Arafat. Israel clamped a travel ban on him, besieged his Ramallah compound, and demolished most of it. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dismissed him as "irrelevant." But the Palestinian leader, albeit embattled, partially isolated and grounded, still pulls many if not all of the strings he once did. "Israel cannot deport or kill Arafat because they know the consequences would be chaos for many years to come"

Support For Palestine PM Abbas Drops

by Ferry Biedermann The popularity of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is falling sharply as he joins hard negotiations over the release of prisoners from Israeli jails

Bush Indifferent As Guatemala's "Saddam Hussein" Moves To Return To Power

by Roberto Lovato The Guatemalan Constitutional Court has recently cleared the way for Efrian Rios Montt, responsible for mass killing in Guatemala in the 1980s, to run for president. But instead of pursuing justice against the 77-year-old retired brigadier general whom some call the "Guatemalan Saddam Hussein," the interventionist Bush administration responds to Montt's potential return to power with laissez-faire human rights policy

California Lags In Prison Reform

by Vincent Schiraldi If policymakers in conservative states such as Texas can pass prison reform and save millions, why are California's leaders still taking a "lock 'em up" view on crime?

Medical Journal Warns That Science Is Being Manipulated

by J.R. Pegg Universities are increasingly dependent on outside funding for research and there is a rising trend of the same academic institutions that are responsible for oversight of scientific integrity and human subjects protection entering financial relationships with the industries whose product evaluations they oversee

Russian Mafia Muscles In On Hazelnut Farms

by Tamuna Shonia Gali, the southernmost region of Abkhazia, has seen a lot of conflict between Georgians and Abkhaz over the years. Now there's relative peace, and local farmers are trying to cash in on one of the region's most precious commodities -- hazelnuts. Unfortunately, so are Russian gangsters

Herbicide Company Launches "Grassroots" Campaign To Fight Ban

by Baradan Kuppusamy Malaysia banned paraquat, classified here as Class 1(B) because it is a highly toxic poison, responsible for 70 percent of all cases of poisoning at workplace, and because there are less toxic alternatives available. Ingesting paraquat is also a common method of suicide. The 500,000 oil palm smallholders and 300,000 rice farmers say they prefer paraquat because it is cheap and effective compared to other herbicides, which also take longer to kill weeds.

U.S. Newspapers Ignore Iraq Civilian Deaths

by Mohamad Ozeir International, Arab and even U.S. news services have reported and counted the deaths of Iraqi civilians since the official end of hostilities in Iraq -- but U.S. newspapers continue to ignore the story

UN Blames Bush For Attack On UN Iraq Compound

by Thalif Deen Less than 48 hours after a deadly bomb attack on the UN compound in Baghdad, Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized the United States-led coalition for failing to provide security for the United Nations and its workers in highly volatile Iraq

Saudi Radical Wahhabis Moving Into Iraq

by Peyman Pejman U.S. officials in Iraq are getting uneasy about increased activity by the Saudi government and by radical Wahhabi groups in Iraq. Some of this is welcomed, the rest is not

U.S. Asking Arab Nations For Troops To Fight Iraqi Resistance

by Emad Mekay The United States is turning to Arab regimes for military support against spreading armed resistance in Iraq. Most Arab regimes have publicly said they cannot accept U.S. forces ruling Iraq because this would legitimize U.S. occupation

Chance Of Breakaway Asian Islamic State Fades

by Marwaan Macan-Markar Jemaiah Islamiyah's concept of a pan-Islamic state -- one that would include Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippine island of Mindanao and southern Thailand -- fit perfectly into the image the U.S. government had by then created of Southeast Asia -- as the second front in its 'war against terrorism'. Yet this corner of Asia, which is home to over 190 million of the world's 1.2 billion Muslim population, has on offer another reality that succeeds in exposing the notion of a pan-Islamic state for what it is: a mere fantasy of a few vocal extremist Muslims

Japanese Culture To Change As Foreign Workers Pour In

by Andrew Lam Racial purity still looms large in the Japanese mindset. When Japan's economy was booming, politicians celebrating homogeneity warned against immigration as the main cause of social destabilization. Japanese know, however, that they need foreigners. "In Japan, foreigners do the "three d's" very well," says Watanabe. The three d's: difficult, dirty, and dangerous

13 Million In Afghanistan Need Urgent Medical Aid

by P V Unnikrishnan Between March and September 2002, some 1.7 million refugees streamed back into Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan and Iran as part of what critics have said is an unrealistic repatriation program. At the hospital there is an unending stream of patients arriving on foot, by donkey, horses and by bus and car from distant places, so that the doctors are never able to cope with the added pressure on the already poor health infrastructure

Iraq Special Ops Sounding Like Iran Contra

by Jim Lobe The picture emerging from the latest reports about the manipulation of intelligence in the drive to war with Iraq, as well as efforts by administration hawks to deliberately aggravate tensions with Syria, Iran, and North Korea in defiance of official State Department and U.S. policy, suggest a similar but much more ambitious scheme at work

Pentagon Office Is Center Of Neo-Con Plotting

by Jim Lobe An ad hoc office under U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith appears to have acted as the key base for an informal network of mostly neo-conservative political appointees that circumvented normal inter-agency channels to lead the push for war against Iraq

Pentagon Scuttles "Bet On Terrorism" Plan

by Jeff Milchen If anyone even suggested publicly the idea of putting a bounty on the head of a Bush administration official you can bet they'd at least be jailed on felony charges promptly. Yet incredibly, the Bush administration initiated and then cancelled in the face of immediate opposition a scheme that could have provided financial incentives for would-be terrorists to assassinate political leaders in the Middle East

Repub Congress Blocks Money For UN Population Fund

by Katrin Dauenhauer and Jim Lobe Anti-abortion forces led by New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher Smith stripped a provision from the 2004 State Department authorization bill that would have granted UNFPA a total of $100 million over the next two years

Schwarzenegger Twists Adam Smith

by Norman Solomon Adam Smith was no champion of workers. Yet, in the context of present-day politics, it's a good guess that he would dissociate himself from Schwarzenegger and other free-marketeers who claim to be walking in his footsteps. While Schwarzenegger proclaims that policy-makers in Sacramento should become more friendly to the corporate sector, such ideology flies in the face of Smith's actual words

Jon Lovitz, Bush's Other Brain

by Steve Young National security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who first said that the President using the statement, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa," was a mistake, followed it up a day later by saying "the statement that he made was indeed accurate." Yeah, when I said "mistake, I was saying that it was, uh, an "accurate mistake." You're allowed to do that when you're a president because, uh, all the Presidents are doing it. Yeah, that's what I meant."

In Colombia, Bush Did The Right Thing -- For The Wrong Reason

by Christopher Brauchli Those who thought we had no business protecting private oil interests in Colombia will be delighted that Colombia supports the ICC and that the Bush administration will no longer spend taxpayers' money defending an oil company's pipe line. Those who like heroin and cocaine will be pleased that their export should now be considerably easier

Killing Saddam's Sons -- Or Saddam -- Does Not A Nation Make

by William O. Beeman The drama of the hunt for Saddam Hussein and the recent killing of his two sons can't hide the fact that taking out an evil dictator may paradoxically bring more ruin to the Iraq

Hello, Rumsfeld? The Occupation Isn't Working

by Molly Ivins If this thing turns into Vietnam simply because that man is too vain and arrogant to admit that Gen. Eric Shinseki was right when he said we would need "several hundred thousand soldiers" over there, I hope Rumsfeld rots in a hell worse than the one he's making

Colorful Charlie Wilson Wins The Cold War

by Molly Ivins The thesis of George Crile's book "Charlie Wilson's War" is that Wilson, by brilliantly leveraging his position on the Defense Appropriations Committee, funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, where they gradually bled the Red Army to death and caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. End of Evil Empire, all courtesy of Charlie Wilson

Here's To Everybody

by Molly Ivins I'd like to begin by thanking rural Texans for their natural assumption that Osama bin Laden is called "Osama-Bin," as though he had two front names, like Billy Bob or Jerry Jeff. The virtue czar turned out to be a gambling addict. The House of Representatives decided to rename French fries Freedom fries. Fox News calls itself "fair and balanced." Fifty-one Texas legislators fled to Ardmore, Okla., to break a quorum, where they were sought by the Homeland Security Department. Bushism of the Year (so far) on May 19: "First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're wiling to kill." In other words, only the normal lunacy

Supreme Court Hissy Fits

by Molly Ivins We can count on the religious right to mount a great fuss now over the proposition that "Gay marriage is coming." I see no causal connection between this decision and gay marriage -- again, the law is full of distinctions. Justice Scalia's intemperate outburst -- he said the Court has signed on to "the so-called homosexual agenda" -- brings up the question: What the heck is the homosexual agenda? I hear people on the right talk about it all the time, but as I far as I know, gay groups have not signed on to any master plan or series of proposals

Plenty Of Real News Not Being Covered

by Norman Solomon Contrary to media cliches about “the silly season,” this is a time of very serious -- and probably catastrophic -- political maneuvers. From California to the UN building in New York City to the sweltering heat of Iraq, the deadly consequences of entrenched power are anything but humorous

Media Still Giving Bush A Free Ride

by Norman Solomon From a media standpoint, the war on Iraq presents the administration with much bigger problems. Since this summer began, the Bush team has felt appreciable heat because of 16 words in the President's State of the Union speech: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." While journalists highlight the fact that President Bush's statement was false, deeper and broader questions have been scarce

Green Party Taking 2004 Presidential Plunge

by Norman Solomon The Green Party is now hampered by rigidity that prevents it from acknowledging a grim reality: The presidency of George W. Bush has turned out to be so terrible in so many ways that even a typically craven corporate Democrat would be a significant improvement in some important respects

Images And Regarding The Pain Of Others

by Norman Solomon It would be bad enough if the leaders of the Washington-London axis of "anti-terrorism" were merely duplicitous in their rationales for going to war. Or it would be bad enough if those leaders were honest about their reasons while ordering their own activities that terrorize civilians. But flagrant dishonesty is integral to broader and deeper problems with basic policies that tacitly distinguish between "worthy" and "unworthy" victims -- that encourage us, in effect, to ask for whom the bell tolls

Time For Pro-War Media Pundits To Eat Crow

by Norman Solomon Ten months ago, George Will led the media charge when a member of Congress dared to say that President Bush would try to deceive the public about Iraq. By now, of course, strong evidence has piled up that Bush tried and succeeded

The Money Primary Already In Full Swing

by Norman Solomon Journalists should focus a great deal of attention on political fund raising. But the usual reportage does little to expose the power of money in politics. News stories routinely tote up the dollars without explaining which financial interests are writing the checks, what those interests stand to gain, and whether the candidates already have a record of serving them

UN Official Knew Iraq WMD Were Gone In 1995 -- But Kept Quiet

by Alexander Cockburn For playing the game, the way the United States desired it to be played, Ekeus got his rewards: a pleasing welcome in Washington when he arrived there as Swedish ambassador, respectful audiences along the world's diplomatic circuits. To this day he zealously burnishes his "credibility" with long, tendentious articles arguing that Bush and Blair had it right. He betrays no sign of being troubled by his horrible role. He will never be forced to squirm in hearings by Democratic senators suddenly as brave as lions. He won't have to sit in a hospital in Baghdad watching children die or ride in a Humvee and wait for someone to drop a hand grenade off a bridge on top of him

Death Of Saddam's Sons Is Bad News For Bush

by Alexander Cockburn Though Saddam's sons deserve everything they got, and more, the news of their demise should not be cause for great rejoicing in the White House and 10 Downing Street. In the event that Saddam soon follows his sons into the Great Hereafter, that would not, in anything other than the short term, be great news for Bush and Blair either

Declassified Report Shows Thin Basis for Iraq War

by William M. Arkin We knew to the millimeter where communications facilities, oil wells, regime homes, barracks and factories were located, but we couldn't identify a single site that harbored the things we said justified war

Where Are The Missing WMD? Asks Top Iraq Weapons Expert

by Bob Burton   The former head of the UN weapons inspection team in Iraq, Richard Butler, testified August 22 that he was puzzled that the U.S. government has not revealed what it has learned about claims of weapons of mass destruction from its interrogation of captured Iraqi leaders

Ignoring The Humanity, Making Cultural Judgements

by Alexander Cockburn Alfred Kroeber, eager to identify American anthropology in terms of "millennial sweeps and grand contours," had little patience with that shorter chronological span encompassing the extermination of most of the California tribal groups he was presuming to study. As he put it, "the billions of woes and gratifications of peaceful citizens or bloody deaths" were of no concern. He visited the desperate Native Americans of California, writing these tranquil ethnologies, sometimes after only a couple weeks with the group, all but ignoring the end of history elapsing before his eyes

Judy Miller's War

by Alexander Cockburn Lay all of Judith Miller's New York Times stories end to end, from late 2001 to June 2003, and you get a desolate picture of a reporter with an agenda, both manipulating and being manipulated by U.S. government officials, Iraqi exiles and defectors, an entire Noah's ark of scam artists

Good And Bad Days For The Empire

by Alexander Cockburn Advised by the CIA, the Shah's secret police drew up their lists of those nationalists and Communists to be arrested, tortured and killed. Generations of young Iranians fled the country, often to the United States. In Iran, it wasn't until 1979 that a truly bad day for Empire arrived, in the form of the Ayatollah Khomeini

That "Anti-Semite" Slur

by Alexander Cockburn The fact of the matter is that anyone putting in a good word for the Palestinians learns swiftly to await the "anti-Semite" slur. Over the past 20 years I've learned there's a quick way of figuring out just how badly Israel is behaving. You see a brisk uptick in the number of articles here accusing the left of anti-Semitism. These articles adopt varying strategies, but the most obvious one is that nowhere in them is there much sign that the author feels it necessary to concede that Israel is a racist state whose obvious and provable intent is to continue to steal Palestinian land, oppress Palestinians, herd them into smaller and smaller enclaves, and ultimately drive them into the sea or Lebanon or Jordan or Dearborn or the space in Dallas Fort Worth airport between the third and fourth runways

Gray Davis Not The Lesser Of Two Evils

by Alexander Cockburn Gary Davis' only enthusiasms are for raising money and endorsing the death penalty. His main achievement has been to ransom California off to the energy Mafia. He represents the End of Politics as anything remotely honorable or idealistic

Russia Slowly Abandoning Siberia, Other Northern Regions

by Sergei Blagov This is the coldest place in the northern hemisphere, and only parts of the Antarctica ever get colder. It is hardly surprising that so many Russians are beginning to move out; what is surprising is that they stayed so long. People have been living through winters when electricity and heating systems have begun to collapse. Now instead of taking heating to the north, the Russian government is working out plans to move the people south

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