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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending May 10, 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 May 15, 2002.

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

Israel Blocks Access to UN Team Set to Investigate
Jenin Refugee Camp Human Rights Violations

Interview by Scott Harris

Weeks after President Bush demanded that Israel withdraw its forces from West Bank cities, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has launched several new attacks on Palestinian communities including Hebron inside the disputed territories. While negotiators made progress on ending the Israeli siege of Yassir Arafat's Ramallah headquarters - the stand-off at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity remained unresolved at production time - where more than 200 Palestinians were surrounded by Israeli troops and tanks. Israel claims that 25 of those inside Christianity's most holy site are wanted on terrorism charges.

Another stalemate continued in the United Nations effort to investigate the conduct of Israeli troops during their 8-day attack on the Jenin refugee camp. Allegations by Palestinians that Israeli forces had committed a massacre there are still unsubstantiated; but Prime Minister Sharon has blocked a UN team from entering the camp to begin its Security Council endorsed human rights investigation, and has also barred access to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mary Robinson. Israel has complained about the composition and mission of the UN team.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joe Stork, Washington director of Human Rights Watch Middle East and North Africa Division. He assesses the conduct of Israeli troops in their assault of the Jenin refugee camp, and the precedents which could be set in this affair for future international human rights investigations.

Contact Human Rights Watch at (212) 290-4700 or visit their Web site at

Possible White House Role in Attempt to Overthrow
President Hugo Chavez Goes Unreported in Venezuelan Media

Interview by Scott Harris

A coalition of conservative Venezuelan businessmen and sectors of the armed forces failed in their April 11 attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chavez. The 48-hour coup was quickly reversed by both a popular uprising and a mutiny by members of the military still loyal to Chavez. But the Bush administration's initial friendly reaction to the coup has fueled speculation that Washington had a hand in planning the coup -- owing to the CIA's well-documented history of undermining or overthrowing democracies in Latin America and around the world.

Since Chavez was restored to power, the U.S. press has published several stories that detail the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were funneled to the coup plotters by the Congressionally funded National Endowment for Democracy and the international arm of the AFL-CIO in the months before their grab for power. Other stories allege that the U.S. Navy may have provided signals intelligence to key members of the Venezuelan military involved in the overthrow attempt.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Edgardo Lander, professor of sociology at the Central University of Venezuela, who reports from Caracas on the Venezuelan media's coverage of the coup attempt and the speculation that the U.S. was complicit in the affair.

Related links:

Jim Hightower's Rolling Thunder Down-home Democracy Tour
Organizes Progressive Revival Meetings Across the U.S.

Interview by Scott Harris

Jim Hightower, a former Texas agriculture commissioner, author and populist commentator has for many years advocated that progressive groups come together in a grand coalition to provide the public with an attractive alternative to the stale ideas of Democrats and Republicans who have a virtual monopoly on U.S. politics.

On a sunny March day in Austin, Texas, Hightower, with the backing of 40 national organizations including the Communications Workers of America and the direct action Ruckus Society, kicked off a new initiative to "put the party back into American politics." The Rolling Thunder Down-home Democracy Tour, as it's called, is a traveling political carnival that features speeches, music, games and food, all designed to build a sense of community among activist groups who often operate in isolation from one another. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and moviemaker Michael Moore were among the luminaries who spoke to a crowd of more than 6,000 at the Rolling Thunder's Austin coming out party.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jim Hightower about the historical roots of the Democracy Tour, and what he hopes to achieve with this unique road show that will crisscross the country this summer.

For more information about the Rolling Thunder Tour and how to organize one in your community call (510) 645-1027 or visit the tour's Web site at

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

  • Sectarian violence continues to escalate in Gujarat, India. ("Muslims Trapped by India's Apartheid," The Guardian, April 23, 2002)
  • With Venezuelan coup reversed, President Hugo Chavez again supplies oil to Cuba in defiance of Bush administration. (Between The Lines report by Denise Manzari)
  • Pacific Lumber's operations in northern California accused of causing sediment pollution outflow in local outflows. ("Bleeding Away," Forest Magazine, Winter 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
News writer: Denise Manzari
Program narration: Archibald Currie
News reader: Denise Manzari
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 5/3/02

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Washington, D.C. Indymedia Web site April 20 Stop the War at Home and Abroad March on Washington. Independent Progressive Politics Network

Depleted uranium weapons use in Afghan War

U.S. Uses Unprecedented Quantities of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Afghan War Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert James Parsons, Week Ending March 22, 2002

"America's big dirty secret,"by Robert James Parsons, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2002 (English translation)

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

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

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 in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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