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HeadlinesFebruary 25, 2003

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U.S. Diplomat: War Decision Is Ours, and We Have Already Made It

Feb 25, 2003

According to a report in The Washington Post, a senior U.S. foreign diplomat said the U.S. is sending a message to fellow members of the U.N. Security Council: “You are not going to decide whether there is war in Iraq or not. That decision is ours, and we have already made it. It is already final. The only question now is whether the Council will go along with it or not.” Yesterday, the U.S., Britain and Spain put forward a new resolution declaring that Iraq missed its last chance to disarm. The U.S. is also warning that the future of the United Nations is at stake if the Security Council does not back Washington’s plan. In response, France, Russia and Germany called for four more months of strengthened inspections. A vote on the U.S. resolution is expected in the second week of March. White House officials hinted military action could follow immediately.

U.S. Already Takes Steps to Award U.S. Corporations Reconstruction Contracts

Feb 25, 2003

Time magazine reports the U.S. government has already taken initial steps toward awarding nearly $1 billion in contracts to private U.S. corporations to rebuild the Iraq that the U.S. will destroy. Time reports that the likely recipients will include Kellogg Brown & Root, Bechtel, Fluor Daniel, Perini, Parsons and the Louis Berger Group. Kellogg Brown & Root is a subsidiary of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company Halliburton, and Bechtel is one of two dozen U.S. corporations listed in Iraq’s weapons report, because it helped build Iraq’s chemical weapons capacity in the 1980s. One official told the Los Angeles Times, “We’ll put it to them simply: Do you want to be part of reconstruction and all that means, or leave it to us?”

Gazans Mourn Victim of Home Demolition Victim

Feb 25, 2003

In Gaza, thousands of mourners filled the streets of Beit Hanoun today, despite a rare snowstorm, for the funeral of a Palestinian man killed when Israeli forces demolished his home with him inside. Israel claimed he was a wanted militant. The man was one of 43 Palestinians who were killed by Israel in the past week.

Newsday: Bush Misled Reporters on Economic Growth

Feb 25, 2003

Newsday is reporting last week President George Bush misled reporters by claiming Blue Chip economists predicted the economy would grow by over 3% if Congress passed the president’s sweeping tax plan. The Blue Chip economic forecast had predicted the economy could grow under some stark circumstances by over 3%, but that prediction was made before Bush unveiled his controversial tax plan that was opposed by many of the nation’s leading economists.

Pentagon Has Deployed Troops to Jordan to Operate Patriot Anti-Missile Systems

Feb 25, 2003

The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time yesterday it has deployed several hundred U.S. troops to Jordan to operate Patriot anti-missile systems and to coordinate search and rescue missions in Iraq.

North Korea Fires Short-Range Missile on Same Day as South Korean President Takes Oath of Office

Feb 25, 2003

On the same day the South Korean president took the oath of office, North Korea fired a short-range missile into waters off its coast on Monday.

Peace Activists Organize Virtual March on Washington

Feb 25, 2003

A federal judge in Boston yesterday rejected a lawsuit filed by six members of Congress that aimed to prevent the Bush administration from attacking without a declaration of war from Congress. Meanwhile, in Washington, peace activists are taking a different approach to stopping the war by organizing a virtual march on Washington tomorrow. The web-based group MoveOn.org is asking supporters to log on to its website, MoveOn.org, to be assigned a time to call their representative in order to flood the congressional switchboard with antiwar voices. In antiwar protests in Britain, Greenpeace activists shut down over 100 Esso stations and the British headquarters of Exxon.

FCC Admits It Was Wrong to Fine Radio Station for Playing Sarah Jones Song

Feb 25, 2003

The Federal Communications Commission has admitted it was wrong to fine the Seattle community radio station KBOO $7,000 for broadcasting the song “Your Revolution” by the New York hip-hop poet Sarah Jones. The FCC claimed the song had “patently offensive sexual references.” In fact, the song was a response to the often misogynistic lyrics of some rappers within the hip-hop community. In an appeal to the original FCC ruling, her lawyers wrote Sarah Jones “believes that the appropriate response to the objectionable and disturbing elements in hip-hop is not to walk away from the art form, but to answer back with something more sophisticated and meaningful.”

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