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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending March 30, 2001


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 7 or 8.)

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

White House Signals an End to North Korea Negotiations as Bush Administration Pursues National Missile Defense Program
Interview by Scott Harris.

In recent meetings between George W. Bush and South Korean president Kim Dae Jung it was apparent that the new Republican administration is cool to the idea of further negotiations with North Korea to rein in that nation's missile program. Bush characterized North Korea as "untrustworthy," signaling an end to negotiations begun by the Clinton administration. Long viewed by Washington as a dangerous rogue state, both the Clinton and Bush White House have used the potential future nuclear missile threat from North Korea as one of several rationales for building a controversial U.S. national missile defense program.

In the view of many observers, North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, facing drought and starvation at home, is open to negotiations that could lead to halting his nation's missile development program in exchange for sorely needed Western aid. If President Bush decides to end negotiations, South Korean officials fear their efforts to normalize relations with the North will be undercut and lead to increasing military tensions in the region.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Nick Berry, a senior analyst with the Center for Defense Information, who examines the Bush position on future negotiations with North Korea, and how this policy could trigger a new global nuclear arms race.

Contact the Center for Defense Information at (202) 332-0600 or visit their Web site at

Bush Betrays Campaign Pledge to Limit Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Nation's Power Plants
Interview by Scott Harris.

On March 13th, President George W. Bush announced his decision to reverse a campaign pledge to seek mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants. This carbon dioxide is one of the principle causes of global warming, which most scientists predict will result in catastrophic climate change and coastal flooding across the globe. The administration's EPA chief, Christy Todd Whitman, was blindsided by the Bush announcement, having just told a meeting of the G-8 environmental ministers that the U.S. was committed to the goals of the 1997 Kyoto accords.

Bush said he backed away from his campaign promise to place a cap on greenhouse gases because regulation would increase energy prices and hurt consumers. But news reports indicate that a full-tilt lobbying campaign by energy and electric utility companies, which had collectively contributed millions of dollars to the Bush presidential campaign, was the deciding factor in the White House policy flip flop.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kert Davies, director of Greenpeace USA's Global Warming Campaign, who takes a critical look at the Bush policy reversal on carbon dioxide and what this may mean to future international global climate change agreements.

Contact Greenpeace by calling (202) 462-1177 or visit their Web site at

Campaign Finance Reform Legislation Faces 'Poison Pill' Amendments and Phony Alternative Bills
Interview by Scott Harris.

For the first time since 1995, when the GOP took control of Congress, Republican leaders are allowing a full-fledged debate on the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The legislation, named for Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz. and Russell Feingold, D-Wisc., would ban so-called unregulated "soft money" contributions made to political parties by corporations, unions and individuals. The measure would also restrict TV and radio issue advertising referring to specific candidates within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.

While McCain-Feingold has gained support in the Senate since the 2000 election, the bill faces strong opposition from most Republican Senators and President George W. Bush. Passage of "poison pill" amendments, such as one which would prohibit unions from collecting membership dues for political expenditures without permission, could potentially kill the bill. Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. is sponsoring another campaign finance measure backed by the White House, which many advocates of reform characterize as a sham that's deliberately too weak to be effective.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Weissman, legislative representative with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, who examines the obstacles ahead for the McCain-Feingold reform bill and the larger job of overhauling a political system damaged by the corrupting influence of big money.

Contact Public Citizen's Congress Watch by calling (202) 546-4996 or visit their Web site at

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

  • Labor unions struggle to meet organizing goal in order to stop erosion of membership base. (In These Times, March 5, 2001)
  • Prosecutors use same-sex orientation against defendants in many rural and conservative states when seeking the death penalty. (Village Voice, March 20, 2001)
  • Seed bank established in Great Britain to preserve plant species of which 25 percent could become extinct in the next 50 years. (International Wildlife Magazine, November/December 2000)

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

... MORE ...

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD Between The Lines Special Report on Protest Against White Supremacists in Wallingford, Conn.

"Protesters Confront World Church of the Creator Founder Matthew Hale" Between The Lines report, Week Ending March 23, 2001

April 17-22, 2001 FTAA Summit Protest Resources

"Labor, Environmental and Human Rights Groups Organizing to Oppose April Americas Free Trade Treaty Summit in Quebec City" Between The Lines interview with Alliance for Responsible Trade's Karen Hansen Kuhn, Feb. 26, 2001

"Quebec City Crackdown,", by Darryl LeRoux, Feb. 20, 2001

People's Summit of the Americas II, Grassroots coalition Schedule of Events for people's forums, teach-ins, rallies, mass demonstration. (

Quebec Independent Media Center

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

Between The Lines/WPKN Report on Pacifica Radio Network-WBAI, N.Y. Crisis
Jan. 8, 2001 Interviews with Utrice Leid, Leslie Cagan, and Bernard White

Foreign Reports on the U.S. Election Cover-Up

"Silence Of The Lambs: The Election Story Never Told", Whistleblowers Section, by Greg Palast, March 1, 2001

Post Inauguration and Electoral Reform Resources

"Making Every Vote Count", The Nation Magazine, Special Section

"Hailing the Thief," The Nation Special Web Exclusive Report, by Ben Ehrenreich

Between The Lines/WPKN 'Profiles Bush Cabinet Nominees' Archive:

"John Ashcroft Sought White Supremacist Political Support"

Interior Department Nominee Gale Norton at Odds with Public Support for Protecting the Environment

"Attorney General Nominee's Career Marked by Opposition to Reproductive Rights and Civil Rights Law"

"From Vietnam to Florida's Disenfranchisement of Black Voters: Unheroic Moments in Secretary of State Nominee Colin Powell's Career"


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