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Monday, June 15, 1998

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  • Update On Chiapas Peace Process

    Last week, Catholic Bishop Samuel Ruiz of Chiapas Mexico stepped down in protest as mediator between the Mexican government and the Zapatistas, saying the government abandoned the path of dialogue. The Bishop also said that Zedillo’s government is promoting a constant and growing aggression against him and his diocese. In a recent statement, Bishop Ruiz noted that seven priests had been expelled from Chiapas over the past several years and that four had been jailed on charges that were dismissed in court. He also said that 40 churches had been destroyed or closed by pro-government factions. The government has also been expelling dozens of independent human rights observers over the past year.

  • U.S. Government Moves to Block Funding Needle Exchange

    An estimated 1 to 2 million Americans inject illegal drugs and the sharing of needles among intravenous drug users is a leading cause of HIV transmission. To respond to this there is a whole network of needle exchange programs that have popped up around the country. This past April, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shalala announced that there is conclusive scientific evidence that these programs are effective in preventing the spread of HIV and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs. Yet needle exchange programs have come under attack by the Clinton Administration and most recently on the floor of the Senate.

  • Healthcare Without Harm

    Are hospitals bad for your health? A new report released by Healthcare without Harm, a coalition of healthcare workers and environmentalists, says a lack of basic environmental practices at major U.S. hospitals is causing serious pollution problems and contamination of major foods, including baby foods. The survey of 50 major U.S. hospitals uncovered widespread failure on the part of medical facilities to take the measures needed to stop the contamination of milk, meats, and fish by dioxins and mercury.