Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $

Rome Prepares For Massive Funeral for Pope

In Rome tens of thousands have begun lining up to see the body of Pope John Paul II lying in state at the Vatican. By Friday, Rome expects more than 2 million pilgrims to come to the city for the Pope’s funeral. 200 heads of states–including President Bush–will attend Friday’s funeral in what the BBC reports will be one of the largest gatherings of world leaders in history. Meanwhile the church’s Cardinals have begun making preparations for the conclave during which they will elect Pope John Paul’s successor.

Desmond Tutu Calls for Selection of African Pope

On Monday South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu called on the church to pick an African pope. The church hasn’t had a pope from Africa in 15 centuries. Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze is seen as one possible candidate to become Pope.

Gonzales To Suggest Minor Changes to Patriot Act

Back in the United States, in response to fierce criticism of the USA Patriot Act, the Washington Post reports Attorney General Alberto Gonzales plans to propose today making minor modifications to the Act. The move will mark the first effort by the Justice Department to address any concerns by critics of the legislation. Gonzales is expected to announce his support for limiting the use of secret warrants strictly for cases involving national security and to allow the targets to mount legal challenges to the search. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller are appearing today to defend the Patriot Act during Senate hearings on whether certain provisions of the Act should be renewed at the end of the year. Meanwhile Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho and Democrat Richard Durbin of Illinois plan to introduce joint legislation today aimed at scaling back major parts of the law. Over the past three years hundreds of local and state governments have passed resolutions criticizing the Patriot Act.

Sharon to Push Expansion of West Bank Settlements

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has pledged to move forward with plans to build 3,500 new homes in the West Bank. The construction is considered illegal under international law and the Bush administration has said the plan is "at odds with U.S. policy." Sharon also wants to form a corridor between the city of Jerusalem and Maale Adumim, the largest West Bank settlement. Palestinians have protested the planned construction because it will split eastern Jerusalem in two — effectively preventing it from becoming the capital of a future Palestinian state. Sharon is expected to meet with President Bush on Monday in Crawford Texas.

Israel To Dump 10,000 lbs of Garbage Per Month in West Bank

Meanwhile Israel plans to start dumping 10,000 pounds of garbage a month inside the West Bank. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports the project was launched despite international treaties prohibiting an occupying state from making use of occupied territory unless it benefits the local population. Palestinians fear the garbage dump will jeopardize water sources in the West Bank.

Iraqi General Kidnapped in Baghdad

In Iraq, gunmen have kidnapped an Iraqi general who commands a special armored unit. Brigadier Gen Mohammad Jalal Saleh was kidnapped while driving in Baghdad earlier today.

UK To Pull 5,500 Troops From Iraq

Meanwhile the Telegraph of London reports the British government plans to cut in half the number of troops it has in Iraq over the next year. The phased withdrawal calls for the British troop level to decrease from nine thousand (9,000) to thirty five hundred (3,500). At the same time Britain plans to send more troops to Afghanistan to aid in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

U.S. Citizen Held Without Charges in Iraq

In other Iraq news, the Pentagon has revealed that it has been detaining a U.S. citizen without charges in Iraq since last year. The Jordanian-born man is a naturalized U.S. citizen. His name has not been released. The U.S. has accused him of being a top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Nine Killed in Fighting in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia security forces killed nine militants over the past three days including two persons identified as Saudi leaders of Al Qaeda. More than 50 Saudi officers have been injured in the fighting. The killings marked the bloodiest incident between the Saudi state and militants in the past two years.

Civil Rights Activists Call for Reopening of1946 Lynching Case

Civil rights activists in Georgia are calling on law enforcement agencies to reopen the investigation into a lynching that took place on July 25, 1946 in Monroe Georgia. On that day a white mob of more than 50 men murdered four young African-American sharecroppers. The four were driving near the Apalachee River. They were stopped by the mob, pulled out of their car, dragged down a wagon trail and then fatally shot. On Saturday state lawmaker Tyrone Brooks led a march to publicize the case. Brooks said "This was the most heinous collective crime ever perpetuated against African-Americans in this state."

Amnesty: World Seeing Near Record Level of Executions

A new Amnesty International report has found that executions around the world are nearing record levels. Last year at least 3,800 people were executed. 97 percent of the executions were carried out in four countries–China, Iran, Vietnam and the United States. China carried out the vast majority of the executions. Meanwhile a total of 120 countries have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

ChevronTexaco to Buy Unocal

In business news, the country’s second largest oil company, ChevronTexaco, has announced it is buying Unocal in a deal valued at $18 billion.

Emails Showed Yucca Mountain Scientists Made Up Data

Newly released emails show that government scientists working on the proposed nuclear waste dump site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada knowingly fabricated records in order to help the project move forward. In one email a scientist admitted "I’ve made up the dates and names... I will be happy to make up more stuff." In another message the scientist wrote: "In the end I keep track of 2 sets of files, the ones that will keep QA happy and the ones that were actually used." QA apparently refers to "quality assurance." The emails were written in 1999 and 2000–during the Clinton administration. Yucca Mountain is the proposed site of an underground repository to hold some 77,000 tons of nuclear waste and used reactor fuel from commercial nuclear power plants. The project has been met by widespread fears that the plan to bury the nuclear waste is too risky.

Nation Launches Largest Mock Terror Drill

The Department of Homeland Security has launched the country’s largest mock terror drill ever on Monday. The drill began with a mock biological attack at Kean University in New Jersey and a simulated chemical weapons explosion in New London Connecticut. 10,000 people will participate in the mock attacks.

GOP Links Courtroom Violence to "Unaccountable" Judges

On Capitol Hill, Republican Senator John Cornyn yesterday suggested that the recent surge in courtroom violence may be a result of judges being "unaccountable to the public." Senator Cornyn said, "I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception...where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people... engage in violence."

Cheney’s Son-In-Law Nominated for Homeland Security Post

And in Washington, President Bush has nominated Vice President Cheney’s son-in-law to become the general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security. Philip Perry is married to Cheney’s daughter Elizabeth Cheney Perry.


Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.