December

Clean air or stone wall?

ARLINGTON, Tex. – Concerned North Texans found out how the state’s environmental regulatory agency manages to continue giveaways to corporate polluters while the proof piles in that we are slowly suffocating: they just pretend the data doesn’t exist! The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality let it be known that they would hold a public hearing in Arlington on Dec. 5, but the convenor let it be known from the outset that the state would not be providing any information at all.

November unemployment report: Not a pretty picture

The nation’s unemployment rate shot up to 6 percent in November, the highest level since 1994. The increase from 5.7 percent in October came as more than 300,000 additional workers joined the ranks of the unemployed, bringing the total number of unemployed Americans to 8.5 million, in what was a considerably worse-than-expected employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

No child left behind?

News Analysis As Americans focused on the Thanksgiving holiday and anti-war activities, the U.S. Dept. of Education held a press conference to clarify its policies on the final regulations for the No Child Left Behind Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by George W. Bush in January.

International notes

Venezuela: WFTU condemns ‘unconstitutional’ efforts to oust president / Turkey: Tens of thousands say ‘No!’ to war / Portugal: General strike against government assault on living conditions / South Africa: Minimum wage set for farm workers / Britain: Giant rally backs firefighters / Greece: Peace activists acquitted

S. Korean protest arrogant Bush

Reeling from a court martial acquittal of two U.S. soldiers in the deaths of Korean teenagers mown down by a U.S. military vehicle, South Korea warned U.S. Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage, Dec. 10, that public anger could affect relations between the two countries. Armitage is in South Korea drumming up support for Bush’s war policy towards Iraq.

Caribbean leaders: end blockade vs Cuba

Caribbean heads of state called for the “immediate lifting” of U.S. economic sanctions imposed four decades ago on socialist Cuba, at a 15-nation Caribbean Community summit hosted for the first time in Havana. The U.S.-imposed sanctions are designed to promote “regime change” in an attempt to oust President Fidel Castro after he led the 1959 revolution.

Israeli forces increase collective punishment

TEL AVIV – “Razing houses of terrorists is an effective deterrent for averting terrorist attacks,” a senior officer of the occupation army, told the Ha’arett daily. “It is a grave penalty for the next-of-kin of terrorists. It is not merely an economic blow to the family. A home has emotional value, which cannot be restored after demolition. The terrorists’ families are paying a heavy price for their sons’ activity …,” the officer continued.

NAFTA devastates Mexican farmers

Commentary When negotiations for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) were being finalized in 1993, the Mexican secretary of agriculture predicted that the pact would drive 13 million Mexican peasant farmers off their land.

Hearing focuses on wars impact

CHICAGO – Over 300 trade union and community activists filled Teamsters Auditorium on Dec. 7 for a public hearing on how a war with Iraq would impact working people.

National Clips

NEW ORLEANS, La.: Bush loses Bayou / SEATTLE: Peace, not war / RICHMOND, Va.: Governors demand change in Bush economic policy / WASHINGTON: Green Party wins in 2002 / STERLING, Colo.: WalMart sells donated Toys for Tots / WASHINGTON: Ugly fangs of racism

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