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Esteban Torres speaks out: Regrets of a NAFTA supporter

The congressman who led the push among Latino legislators for passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement 12 years ago is now calling that legislation “a tragic failure” in an appeal for rejection of the Central American Free Trade Agreement now before Congress.

Whats behind predatory lending? Too much capital, too much debt

With too much money on their hands in the early 1990s, Citibank and other big lenders dropped the requirement for parents to co-sign for their children’s credit card accounts, determined to ensnare even teenagers into credit card debt. Young U.S. adults aged 18 to 24 devoted 28 percent of their income to paying off debts in 2001, up from 12.7 percent in 1992, the Boston Globe recently reported. Their average credit card debt jumped 104 percent in the same period, to $2,985. The average student loan rocketed 66 percent just between 1997 and 2002, to $18,900.

Taking action for national health care

ALIQUIPPA, Penn. — They lent faces, breath and passion to the statistics of pain and crisis in the country’s for-profit health care system. Over 200 workers and their families jammed the Aliquippa Croatian Club here May 21, with one thing on their minds — action to create national health care. Steelworkers, construction trades people and airline workers broke new ground by testifying at the first of a series of citizen hearings, hosted by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)

World Notes

Australia: University unions set Day of Action; South Africa: HIV/AIDS leading cause of death; China:Move to end forced confessions; Finland: Paper workers locked out; Cuba/Belize: MDs care for over 1 million

Galloway challenges war lies

On May 17, British MP George Galloway appeared before hearings held by the Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations on charges of corruption in the Iraq oil-for-food program.

Antiwar Briton takes Senate subcommittee to task

LONDON — It’s not often that you hear listeners of BBC London Radio’s John Gaunt phone-in plumping for a socialist. Callers’ positive reaction to British Member of Parliament George Galloway’s barnstorming performance on Capitol Hill last week spoke volumes. Even Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing rag The Sun was forced grudgingly to take a break from bashing “whining lefties” and reflect the public mood.

Bring the terrorist to justice vindicate the Cuban Five

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said May 22 that his country would consider breaking diplomatic ties with the U.S. government if Washington refuses to extradite Luis Posada Carriles.

Africa Day can help prevent repeat of history

May 25 is celebrated throughout the African Diaspora as African Liberation Day (ALD) and African countries commemorate it as Africa Day.

Massillon memorializes murdered strikers

MASSILLON, Ohio — A solemn crowd watched as Mayor Francis Cicchinelli Jr. dedicated a plaque on the town square here to the three steelworkers killed during the historic “Little Steel” strike of 1936.

End funding inequity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Thousands of students, educators and community leaders filled the Capitol rotunda here May 18 to protest the deepening crisis of state education funding. The protesters came from all over the state.

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