Albion Monitor Issue 124 JULY 2004

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Some 38 million people are now living with AIDS, 2 out of 3 living in sub-Saharan Africa. "We are now entering the globalization phase of the epidemic," UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot said. "So far the epidemic has been largely in sub-Saharan Africa. But now one in four new infections is being reported in Asia, and the fastest growing epidemic is in Eastern Europe." AIDS is also becoming more and more an issue for women. In 1981 AIDS was a phenomenon among white middle-class homosexual men. "Now half of all people infected with HIV are women," Piot said. "In Africa it is 60 percent and increasing." With one in four new HIV cases being reported from Asia, the sprawling continent is on the verge of an AIDS epidemic that could dwarf the devastation wrought by the killer disease in Africa. While Bush's administration has contributed substantially more money than any other donor government to the global anti-AIDS fight, the funds have been laden with conditions that AIDS activists say make it more difficult to defeat the disease

AIDS explodes
Geoffrey Owino of Kenya, the youngest of Christine Kanga's five children, is HIV-positive. His mother is dying of AIDS and unable to work (Photo: Vanessa Vick/WFP)
 + Mixed Feelings At End Of AIDS "Talkfest"

 + AIDS Mainstream Now Talking The Talk Of Activists

 + Hecklers Accuse U.S. AIDS Czar Of Lying

 + Big Pharma Ignoring AIDS Children
 + Bush's AIDS Relief Plan Will Delay Drugs, Reward Big Pharma FREE!

 + Condoms A Women's Rights Issue In AIDS Fight

 + UN Warns Asia It Faces AIDS Catastrophe

 + AIDS Explodes In Asia, E Europe
 + AIDS Pandemic Sweeps Africa FREE!

 + Bush Gives Cold Shoulder To World AIDS Conference

 + AIDS Groups Ask Bush For More Money, Less Ideology

No Nation Offers Troops To Protect UN Staff In Iraq
Most UN employees operating out of Jordan and Cyprus
Doctors Without Borders Pulls Out Of Afghanistan After 24 YearsFREE!
Blamed U.S.-led coalition for putting independent aid workers in danger
Sudan Warns Foreign Troops To Stay OutFREE!
"If we are being attacked... we will retaliate and hit back"
Pentagon Admits Ties To U.S. Mercenaries In Afghanistan FREE!
U.S.-led antiterrorism operation worked with group on trial for kidnapping and torturing suspects

Take Intel Operations Away From Pentagon, 9/11 Panel Says
Most money goes to spying on foreign militaries rather than on suspected terrorists

Secrecy Is CIA's Secret Weakness
Reforming the internal culture is key to healing a broken system

Bush Again Blocks Funds To UN Population Fund
Has cancelled a total of $93 million appropriated by Congress for UNFPA since 2002

Who Will Defend Saddam In Court?
The issue now has become a legal, social, and political hot potato

Arab Nationalism Will Be On Trial With Saddam
Trying Saddam may be a double-edged sword for Bush

Now That Iraq Arms Embargo Lifted, Countries Vie To Sell It New Weapons
50,000 handguns already purchased

Top CIA Man Says Iran, Not Iraq, Gassed Kurds in 1988
Would be diplomatic disaster for U.S.

Iraq War Has Cost Average U.S. Household At Least $3,000
Equivalent to salaries of nearly 3 million elementary school teachers

Supreme Court Rules "Enemy Combatants" Have Rights
Major defeat for Bush conduct in "War on Terror"
Few Militants Surrender As Saudi Arabia Amnesty Expires FREE!
Only one was on Saudi Arabia's list of 26 most wanted

Expect Lots Of "Dead Time" At The Baghdad Embassy FREE!
Doing everything but acting like an actual embassy

Iraq: Archives, Libraries Devastated By War, Looting FREE!
Records lost dating back hundreds of years

Spiral Of Revenge Killings In Baghdad
"Our society changed from one regime to another, so there are many revenge killings now"

China Using Terror War As Excuse To Repress Muslim Minority
Among many governments using terror label to arrest, event execute opponents
The New Afghan Crisis: Who Owns What? FREE!
Warlords set up kangaroo courts to settle land disputes going back decades

Liberals Hang On To Power In Canada
Conservatives were widely predicted to take control of Parliament

Revolving Door Between Pentagon And Arms Makers, Group Says
"Conflict of interest is the rule, not the exception"

Fahrenheit 9/11 criticism

Michael Moore is not an overt racist, but there are certainly racist elements in "Fahrenheit 9/11." First, there's the worst kind of ugly-Americanism as Moore mocks the Bush administration's "coalition of the willing," the nations it lined up to support the invasion of Iraq. More subtle and important is Moore's invocation of a racism to forge solidarity between American whites and non-white groups by demonizing the foreign "enemy," which these days has an Arab and South Asian face. And to raise questions about U.S. policy in the Middle East without addressing the role of Israel as a U.S. proxy is, to say the least, a significant omission. Ultimately, "Fahrenheit 9/11" is a conservative movie strong on tapping into emotions and raising questions about why the United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, but it is extremely weak on answering those questions in even marginally coherent fashion

Halliburton Fires Two Top Execs Over Kickback Scheme
A close associate of Cheney and until recently president of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR)

Uproar In S Korea After Beheading Of Hostage In Iraq
Kim Sun-il cried in English, "Korean soldiers, please get out of here. I don't want to die"

Philippines Did The Right Thing In Pulling Out Of Iraq
Mass return of millions of Filipino workers in Mideast would be disaster for Philippine economy

Despite Hostage Crisis And Ban, Filipino Workers Head To Iraq
At least 4,000 Filipinos working in Iraq mostly as contractors for U.S.

Saddam's Ex-Prisoners Feel Left Out Of Trial
"We have offered assistance but we haven't heard back"

Legacy Of Liberia's Civil War: Garbage, Shrapnel, Carcasses
Mountains of trash fill the capitol city of Monrovia

Court Rules Against Media Monopoly
Requires FCC to rethink rules on concentration of broadcast ownership

Israel Apartheid System Bars Marriage To Palestinians
Forcing choice between divorce or living in occupied territories

Native Americans Want Apology - As A First Step
Proposed U.S. apology for broken promises and treaties passed in Senate

Natural Gas Deal May Link Iran, India, Burma
Unocal wants to export gas from its fields in Bangladesh to India
Pakistan "Honor Killing" Of Women Lives On FREE!
Estimated 4,000 women murdered in Pakistan since 1998

Iran Youth Drug Abuse "Getting Out Of Control"
Opium production in neighboring Afghanistan is the single greatest factor

Caribbean Nations Uneasy About "Re-Engaging" Haiti
"Latortue was installed by the Americans. You do not have democracy in Haiti today"

Struggle between messianic vs. the militarist visions of a Greater Israel
Israeli wall
The Wall under construction in E Jerusalem

There is now a growing rift between two ideologies that for years had cemented Israelis together: the messianic vs. the militarist visions of a Greater Israel. Both factions were eager to build colonies on Palestinian land occupied after 1967, but for different reasons. The devout wanted to build colonies to fulfill a religious duty, while the militarists viewed the settlements as outposts to protect the state of Israel's security. The two sides worked in tandem whenever the legality of the colonies was challenged before Israel's High Court; "security concerns," not religious edicts, were used to justify evicting Palestinians. But the groups are divided over the future of the Gaza Strip: The first group believes that without Gaza, Israel will be destroyed; the military thinkers believes that Israel will be destroyed if it tries to hang on to Gaza. And all of Israel is increasingly isolated by The Wall being built in the West Bank; those who support the separation barrier neglect to see is that while the barrier imprisons the Palestinians, it is also encircling Israel, turning it into an island, as opposed to a state among states in the Middle East

200 Dead In Battles With Islamic Rebels In Yemen
Accused of setting up a group modeled on Hizbollah to re-establish monarchy in Yemen

U.S. Leads In Tying Poor Nation Donations To Expensive Trade Deals
Demands 4 out of 5 dollars be spent on buying products such as John Deere tractors

Coca-Cola Accused Of Draining Aquifers In Desert India Region
Pumping 5.2 million gallons a month during 3rd year of drought as wells go dry

Colombia Launches Massive Offensive Against Rebels With U.S. Help
2000 Americans now in country, over 2x number officially allowed by Congress

Colombia Civil War At 40 Years
Now has the third-largest displaced population in the world

Forced Labor Still Common In Burma, Despite Junta's Vow
Some sentenced to death for even speaking to UN rights workers

The Pentagon's Secret Scream
Sonic devices that can inflict pain or even permanent deafness are being deployed

Starbucks Faces Angry Brew Of Workers And Activists
Less than 1% of its coffee is fair- trade certified, one reason for the poverty of coffee growers, say activists

UN, U.S. Won't Call Sudan Killings 'Genocide'
Powell calls situation "disaster" or "catastrophe" as holds talks with government

Soap Operas Play Role In Venezuela's Battle For Power
State-run TV show depicts life and politics in a poor neighborhood.

Embattled Venezuela President Chavez Popularity Grows As Recall Approaches
U.S. backed opposition offers no alternative

"Slave Conditions" For Asian Workers In Saudi Arabia
Saudis turning a blind eye to systematic abuses
Demolition of Most Dangerous Building in America Begins FREE!
Historic cleanup of first plutonium process building of its size and complexity
Bush Targets "Heart of Western Arctic" for Oil Drilling FREE!
Would leave only 4% of the 4.6 million acres protected

NY Court Rules Felons Have No Constitutional Right To Vote
Blacks and Latinos make up 87% of the population currently denied voting rights

Politics As Usual
Media Missed The Real Story At The Kerry Convention FREE!
The delegates were simply convinced that the biggest story on our planet was defeating the "Bush regime," after which most whom I talked to were either sure that the war would somehow miraculously end or were simply unwilling to face the question (or what it might do to a Kerry presidency). That was later, this is now. And don't think this isn't a story. Whatever its outcome, however you assess it, it was huge

Interview With Nader: "Watch What You Wish For"
"The politics of fear shuts down their brain"

Kerry Needs Big Turnout Of Blacks, Latinos
A single rip-roaring speech before NAACP does not enthusiasm make

Kerry: a Lighter Shade of Bush
Kerry accepts the central premise of the Bush administration: Terrorists are so threatening that we must sacrifice our liberties
House GOP Gives Lesson On How To Destroy Democracy FREE!
Breaking rules to protect the worst aspect of the PATRIOT Act

With Charm-Boy Edwards On The Ticket, Is Dour Cheney Out?
Only 17% have a "very positive view" of grumpy old Dick
Kerry Taps Into Enviro Anger at Bush FREE!
Calling on supporters to hold "Enviros Action Parties"

John Edwards Could Restore Demos Credibility Among Blacks
A strong civil rights message that can ignite passion

Pro-Choice Repubs Stake Claim To Be Party "Silent Majority"
"Moderates are coming out of the closet. They are so sick of what's happening to the party"

Yucca Mountain
Yucca Mtn tunnel
The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository site
Located 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository site was approved by Congress and Bush in 2002 as the intended destination for a total of 77,000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste from Defense Department sites and spent nuclear fuel from the 103 operating nuclear reactors across the United States. The Deputy Energy Secretary said he expects the facility will open and begin receiving shipments of nuclear waste in 2010.

But a court ruling July 9 left those plans in doubt. The appeals panel ruled illegal the 10,000 year compliance period for ensuring that radiation would not escape from the repository. The judges said the 100-century period selected by the EPA violates the Energy Policy Act because it is not "based upon and consistent with" the findings and recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences. In its ruling, the court acknowledged, "Radioactive waste and its harmful consequences persist for time spans seemingly beyond human comprehension. For example, iodine-129, one of the radionuclides expected to be buried at Yucca Mountain, has a half-life of seventeen million years." But the Bush Administration said it would continue the project, either appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court or asking Congress to intervene and pass legislation giving agencies permission to maintain the 10,000 year standard.

Yucca Mountain was to be paid for by the "nuclear waste fund," a ratepayer surcharge that now holds about $15 billion. Unfortunately for the public, this account balance has been used to camouflage the federal deficit each year

 + Court Rejects Yucca Mtn. 10,000 Year Radioactive Safety Limit FREE!
 + Bush Forging Ahead With Yucca Mountain Project FREE!
 + Nuclear Waste Fund a $15 Billion Slush Account To Hide Fed Deficits FREE!

Fish Disappear From Egypt's "Toilet Lakes"
Dying lakes supported prosperous industry as recently as late 1990s
Severe Aral Sea Pollution Even Altered DNA In Central Asia FREE!
Shrinking sea results in concentrated cotton farming pesticides in resident's blood

Millions Of Children "Slaves" Behind Closed Doors
Toiling night and day outside of their family homes as domestic child laborers

Bush Seeks To Exempt Huge Factory Farms From Pollution Rules
Would pay a small fee to study contamination problem

Northern China Facing Water Disaster
$58 billion program to ship water from south in planning stage

Bayer Backs Away From Attempt To Suppress Pesticide Safety Data
Bizarre claim that enviro group had "read only" access to information

Iran Rife With Bribery, Kickback Demands
"Attempts to do something about corruption are official cliche"

Australia Right-Wing Demanding Full Disclosure Of NGOs
Seen as a Trojan Horse to harass contributors of non-profits
End of the Road for Old Cars in Baghdad FREE!
Many spent all savings on beat-up taxis that can't attract riders

When Lively Debate Turned Into Livid Hate FREE!
Media moguls discovered people arguing with each other could be great entertainment

The Lessons Of Whoopi FREE!
How to fight back against right-wing radio

Bill Cosby Rant Stirs Up Black Press
"Your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day"

Are Terrorists Hijacking The News? FREE!
Media attention has replaced negotiation as the terrorists' reward

The Democracy We Hate, The Fanatics We Love FREE!
Venezuela and Saudi Arabia: A tale of two countries

Remember Afghanistan? FREE!
Enriched by the booming opium trade, Bush's warlord allies will not surrender their power

Macho Politics: Schwarzenegger's "Girlie Men" And Dubya's "Bring It On"
Schwarzenegger's remark, as well as Cheney's "F-word," are dismissed by the media too casually

MOLLY     IVINS Molly Ivins

 + Iraq Missing From Topics At Demo Convention
 + Kerry Gets No Bounce From Beantown Bash
 + Repub Talking Points Hammer Away At Big Lies
 + Lots To Learn From Clinton Book
 + GOP Still Clueless About "Lady" Issues

 + An Excuse-Spouting Bush Is Busted by 9/11 Report
 + Homophobia and Apple Pie
 + Fact of the Matter Is That Facts Didn't Matter To Bush
 + Even a Tyrant Is Entitled to Due Process

 } Robert Scheer

 + Hope Is Not On The Way, But Hopefully Bush On The Way Out
 + Schwarzenegger's "Girlie Men"
 + The Most Dangerous Trial Balloon Of All
 + Corporate Media Fires Warning Shot At Edwards

 } Norman Solomon

 + Candidate Kerry A Yawner
 + Democrats Should Welcome Nader, But Won't
 + Political Defiance Dead Within The Two Parties
 + This Election Year Not Such A Big Deal

 } Alexander Cockburn

 + Michael Moore Could Learn From O'Reilly
 + Talk Radio: Not Half-Truths, No Truths
 + Sean Hannity, Talk Hunk
 + Jesus Wouldn't Survive The Scrutiny

 } Steve Young

Hiroshima mother and child When the atomic bomb fell on August 6, 1945, at least 92,000 people died in Hiroshima, but the exact figure is not known -- the true number could be over twice that, depending on how you count the many who died in the following weeks, months, and years. Here a mother and her infant wait for medical help. The baby died ten days later, and the fate of the mother is unknown

On this 59th year after Hiroshima, a year charged with no special meaning, perhaps we will think a little about the subterranean stream of emotional horror that unites us, that won't go away. For people of a certain age like me, Hiroshima is where it all began. So on this August 6th, I would like to try, once again, to lay out the pieces of a nuclear story that none of us, it seems, can yet quite tell

Albion Monitor
Issue 124

Editor: Jeff Elliott (
Publisher: Darryl Trujillo (

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