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HeadlinesJune 19, 2002

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Israel Announces It Will Seize New Palestinian Land in Response to Future Attacks

Jun 19, 2002

Israel announced early today it will seize new Palestinian land in response to every future attack and hold it as long as violence continues. Israeli forces invaded the West Bank cities of Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya and Hebron overnight, with helicopter gunships firing from above. The action comes after the latest suicide bombing, which killed 20 people in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat says Ariel Sharon is trying to foil any international effort aimed at reviving the peace process before such an effort begins. Erekat said Sharon wants to “end the peace process, destroy the Palestinian Authority, replace it with the [Israeli] civil administration and to press ahead with the occupation.”
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s inner Cabinet decided against sending Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat into exile, after intelligence experts strongly warned against the move. But Israeli radio is reporting today officials are preparing to expel senior figures in the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is reporting President Bush plans in the coming days to propose the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional boundaries. Negotiations over permanent borders would be completed within three years. An international conference would adopt the plan in September. But all of this is provided the Palestinian security forces are revamped, and violence against Israeli civilians reduced.

Attorneys Say Court Should Throw Out Coerced Statements of John Walker Lindh

Jun 19, 2002

Attorneys for John Walker Lindh say a court should throw out statements he made in Afghanistan because U.S. officials coerced the information out of him while he was confined in a shipping container and prevented from seeing a lawyer. Lindh is a 21-year-old Californian man captured in Afghanistan while fighting with the Taliban. The lawyers charge the government intentionally prolonged his imprisonment and blocked messages from his attorneys, specifically in order to interrogate him unchecked, without Lindh knowing whether any neutral party or advocate would ever intercede. The lawyers say at the U.S. military’s Camp Rhino in Kandahar, Lindh was stripped naked, blindfolded, taped to a stretcher, held in a metal shipping container without light or heat.

F-16 Pilot Mistakenly Bombs Canadian Soldiers

Jun 19, 2002

A military investigation has found that an F-16 pilot mistakenly bombed Canadian soldiers because he did not follow official procedures and take time to assess the threat properly before striking. Four Canadians were killed in the bombing. The pilot, Major Harry Schmidt, is a seasoned former Navy pilot and instructor at the Navy’s elite Top Gun school.

Kurds in Northern Iraq Refuse to Cooperate with U.S. Covert Action to Topple Saddam Hussein

Jun 19, 2002

A Kurdish leader said Tuesday Kurds in northern Iraq will refuse to cooperate with any U.S.-inspired covert action to topple Saddam Hussein. Masoud Barzani said the Iraqi issue won’t be solved by military or covert action, and called for transparency and clarity and reform efforts. Barzani’s comments came in response to a Washington Post exposé revealing the CIA has launched a new covert action to topple Hussein, with explicit permission from the White House to assassinate him.

Studies: Western Governments Exacerbate World Poverty and Suffering

Jun 19, 2002

Two new studies by international agencies blame rich Western governments for sending the world’s poorest people into increased poverty and suffering. A new U.N. study reports that more than 100 million people will be dragged below the basic subsistence level of a dollar a day by 2015 as they become ensnared in globalization’s poverty trap. The report rejects claims that globalization is good for the poor, and argues the international trade and economic system is part of the problem, not the solution. Meanwhile, a new study by the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent reports developing countries face increasing danger from natural disasters because of the arrogance and myopic vision of aid donors. The World Disaster Report accuses Western governments of wasting vast amounts on often self-aggrandizing rescue operations in response to disasters that are preventable. The reluctance of donors to finance preventive measures means the number of people affected by disasters is expected to rise sharply. The number of disaster victims has tripled since the 1970s.

Peru: Anti-Privatization Protesters Call National Strike

Jun 19, 2002

Peruvian anti-privatization protesters have called a national strike as prosecutors investigate allegations that the Belgian buyer of two state-owned electrical plants bribed former President Alberto Fujimori with $10 million. Five days of protests have spread across most of southern Peru. Protesters say the privatization will cause layoffs and increase utility prices. President Alejandro Toledo promised in writing during his campaign not to privatize the electrical plants.

Big Pharma Shell Out for Republican Fundraising Gala

Jun 19, 2002

Pharmaceutical companies are among 21 corporate donors paying a quarter of a million dollars each for a multimillion-dollar Republican fundraising gala to be hosted by President Bush in Washington tonight. This comes two days after Republicans in Congress announced a prescription drug plan backed by the industry.

WH Submits Legislation to Require Intelligence Sharing with DHS

Jun 19, 2002

The White House has submitted to Congress legislation that would require the FBI and CIA to turn over intelligence reports on terrorist threats to the proposed Department of Homeland Security. The bill would also remove the State Department’s traditional authority to issue visas and transfer it to the new department.

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