Between The Lines

News and Analysis
For The Week Ending July 21, 2000

Listen to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking here or any of the individual interview segments below (All in RealAudio, needs RealPlayer G2, 7 or 8).

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Stakes high in Middle East Summit as Palestinians promise to declare statehood
Interview by Scott Harris.

After the breakup of his governing coalition and surviving a "no confidence" vote in Israel's parliament, Prime Minister Ehud Barak flew to Washington, D.C. to begin another round of peace negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and President Clinton. Because of Barak's weakened political situation, Clinton's lame duck status and Arafat's age and infirmity, many observers see this summit as the last and best hope for a breakthrough in finalizing a Middle East peace agreement.

But Barak, well aware of the strength of his political adversaries who oppose any further concessions in peace talks, has pledged to grant no ground to Palestinian territorial claims on Jerusalem, to resist calls for repatriation of Palestinian refugees, and to reject further dismantling of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Hussein Ibish, communications director with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, D.C., who assesses the chances for success and the price of failure at the Camp David peace talks.

Contact the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee by calling (202) 244-2990 or visit their Web site at

Journalist predicts no change in anti-labor policies under new Mexican president
Interview by Scott Harris.

The striking results of Mexico's July 2 national election saw the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or P.R.I. fall from power after controlling the presidency for 71 consecutive years. The incoming president, Vincente Fox of the conservative National Action Party, capitalized on the dissatisfaction of many Mexicans who blamed the ruling party for widespread corruption and mismanagement of the nation's government and economy.

But the National Action Party or P.A.N, which gained seats in both houses of Mexico's legislature failed to win a majority in either body. In order to make good on campaign promises for sweeping changes in the state bureacracy and national police force, Fox, a former Coca-Cola executive, will be forced to forge alliances with representatives of other parties including the PRI and the center left Party of the Democratic Revolution.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with freelance labor journalist David Bacon, who discusses the results of Mexico's national election, and what policies to expect from president-elect Vincente Fox.

David Bacon's articles can be read on his Web site at

Test failure not likely to deter Democrats and GOP from pushing National Missile Defense System
Interview by Scott Harris.

As the White House and the news media looked on, a July 7 intercept test of the Pentagon's proposed $60 billion National Missile Defense System proved to be a dramatic failure. The high-tech inner workings of the targeting system were never activated as the booster rocket failed to separate just minutes into the launch. This was the third trial for the anti-missile prototype and the second failure -- the results of the first test were ambiguous.

This latest test was to have provided critical information to President Clinton upon which he was to base a decision on whether or not to deploy the anti-missile system. The July 7 failure comes as concerns about the system's viability have been expressed by growing numbers of scientists, including 50 Nobel laureates who recently signed a statement condemning the missile system. Further doubts about the need for such a system have been voiced by arms control advocates worldwide who fear the deployment of this second generation Reagan-era Star Wars program will spark a new global nuclear arms race.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Tom Collina, arms control and international security program director with the Washington, D.C.-based Union of Concerned Scientists, who examines the latest failed anti-missile test and the political motivation which may be driving the project.

Contact the Union of Concerned Scientists by calling 1-(202) 332-0900 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled from alternative media sources by Bob Nixon

  • Impoverished citizens of India and Pakistan suffer deprivations as their governments pursue a costly nuclear arms race. (World Press Review)
  • The FBI has waged a 40-year covert campaign to disrupt Puerto Rico's political independence movement. (In These Times: July 10, 2000)
  • Citizens from former steel mill town Youngstown, Ohio, now say that the privately run prison built by Corrections Corporation of America to create jobs was a mistake. (Mother Jones: May/June 2000)

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