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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending March 22, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until March 27, 2002.

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

U.S. Uses Unprecedented Quantities
of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Afghan War

Grave health consequences feared for civilians and combatants
Interview by Scott Harris

Major news outlets reported recently that the Pentagon is in the process of developing new nuclear weapons and tactics for use against U.S.-declared enemies such as Iraq, North Korea, Libya or China. One element of the planning calls for the development of low-yield nuclear weapons that will be capable of destroying underground bunkers built to protect an enemy's command and control centers.

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has used depleted uranium munitions in Iraq and the Balkans to destroy tanks and other shielded or "hardened" targets. Deep penetrating depleted uranium-tipped shells or war heads burn extremely fast and hot enabling projectiles to easily destroy heavily-protected targets

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Robert James Parsons whose article titled, "America's big dirty secret," appeared in the March edition of the French publication Le Monde Diplomatique. In the piece, based on the research of Dai Williams, Parsons reports on the U.S. military's unprecedented use of large quantities of depleted uranium in the war against Afghanistan and the possible public health disaster which it may produce for both civilians and combatants.

Related links

African Continent Challenged by AIDS Pandemic,
Wars, and Unsupportable Debt

Interview by Scott Harris

For decades, the U.S. government and American-based corporate media outlets have either ignored or relegated issues facing the African continent to the back pages. While there are exceptions, such as the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, or the current dispute over elections in Zimbabwe, American citizens know very little about more pressing concerns like the continent's deadly AIDS pandemic, ongoing violent conflicts and worsening poverty.

The group Africa Action has recently released its annual summary titled: "Africa Policy Outlook 2002," where a range of important issues facing the people of Africa are examined. Among these are the struggle to gain access to affordable medicines to treat Africa's exploding population that have contracted HIV or AIDS; the increasing number of nations unable to make progress in development due to a suffocating burden of debt to the World Bank; and deadly conflicts that still rage on or remain unresolved in Angola, Burundi, the Sudan and Congo.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, who assesses the devastating crises challenging the people of the African continent.

Contact Africa Action by calling (202) 546-7961 or read the Africa Policy Outlook 2002 report online at:

NAFTA's Chapter 11 Provision Protects
Corporate Profits, Undermines Health & Safety Laws

Opponents fighting against similar measure
for proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas Treaty

Interview by Melinda Tuhus

The ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, ten years ago united Canada, the U.S. and Mexico in a continental trading block. Opponents of NAFTA focused attention on labor and environmental concerns, but in the end these areas were relegated to weak side agreements with no mechanism for enforcement. But, one important provision, known as Chapter 11, escaped the notice of many critics.

Chapter 11 gives corporations unprecedented power over governments because it spells out the terms under which investors -- that is, multinational corporations -- must be compensated for losses incurred by expropriation through government action. But the wording is so broad that it's been interpreted to mean corporations will be compensated for loss of profit for any reason, including the enforcement of health and safety regulations.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Dan Seligman, director of the Sierra Club's Trade Program. He discusses the impact Chapter 11 has already had on trade among NAFTA partners and the danger of a Chapter 11-type provision being included in the much larger Free Trade Area of the Americas -- a hemispheric-wide treaty now being negotiated.

For more information, call the Sierra Club at (202) 675-2387 or visit the group's Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • International aid agencies working in Sudan demanding protection against government attacks on civilians near oil fields. ("Concern Grows over Sudan Conflict," Financial Times, March 4, 2002)
  • Anti-biotech progressive activists now teaming up with conservatives to advocate congressional ban on cloning of human embryos. ("Fusion Biopolitics," by Jeremy Rifkin, The Nation, Feb. 18, 2002)
  • Over a year before Enron's collapse, former chairman Kenneth Lay purchased $4 million in lawsuit-proof variable annuities that will give him and his wife a yearly income of $900,000 starting in 2007. ("Ken Lay's Nest Egg," Mother Jones Magazine, Feb. 21, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
News reader: Elaine Osowski
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Barcelona EU Protests, March 15-16, 2002

500,000 Protest in Barcelona, Spain Against European Union's March Toward U.S.-Style "Cowboy" Capitalism

Hundreds of Thousands Challenge EU in Barcelona

World Economic Forum Protests, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2002

Between The Lines Report, Week Ending 2/15/02. With more related audio files.

Billionaires for Bush, at Columbus Circle, NYC preparing for Feb. 2 march against the elite World Economic Forum. Links to page with MP3 file.

John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO addresses a "Working Families Economic Forum" in NYC as activists prepare for protests against the elite World Economic Forum. 9MB in MP3.

Scott Harris reports on AFL-CIO Workers Forum in NYC for Free Speech Radio News 2/1/02

Global Justice's New Face, AlterNet's series on the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Economic Forum Conference and National Student Mobilization, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, Columbia University, New York City. See conference schedule.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Another World is Possible Coalition

Anti-Capitalist Convergence

New York Independent Media Center

Globalize This!

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

"The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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