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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending April 5, 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 April 10, 2002.

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

Escalating Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians
Interferes with Bush Plan for War Against Iraq

Interview by Scott Harris

For several months now, the Bush administration has threatened to launch a new war against Iraq. Washington's justification for an attack on Baghdad is based on the unproven allegation that Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction and may be developing nuclear capability.

Vice President Dick Cheney's recent visit to the Middle East, designed to gain regional support for future U.S. military action against Iraq, fell short when some Arab heads of state publicly announced their opposition to the war plan. Leaders of the 12 nations Cheney visited were more focused on the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians -- expressing hope that progress for peace can be made at the Arab League's summit meeting in Beirut -- where Saudi Arabia unveiled their peace initiative.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Hussein Ibish, communications director with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, who discusses the relationship between a possible future U.S. attack on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Contact the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee by calling (202) 244-2990 visit their Web site at

Congress Passes Campaign Finance Reform Bill;
Activists Continue Push for Overhaul of Electoral System

Interview by Scott Harris

After seven years of hard-fought legislative battles members of the U.S. Senate -- by a 60 to 40 vote -- followed the House in passing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The legislation sponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) -- along with Reps. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) and Martin Meehan (D-Mass.) in the House -- will ban unregulated "soft money" contributions made to political parties by corporations, unions and individuals. The measure will also restrict TV and radio issue advertising referring to specific candidates within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election and double individual hard money contribution limits from $1,000 to $2,000.

Although President Bush has said he will reluctantly sign the bill into law, a coalition of opponents of campaign finance reform vowed to fight the legislation in the courts. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), along with former White Water independent counsel Kenneth Starr and attorney Floyd Abrams declared the bill unconstitutional and believe the Supreme Court will eventually rule in their favor.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Stephen Hill, Western Regional director of the Center For Voting and Democracy. Hill looks beyond the recent campaign finance reform victory in Congress to a national grassroots movement working to overhaul the U.S. electoral system and strengthen democracy. Their recent successes include public financing of elections in several states and the adoption of instant run-off voting in San Francisco and 49 towns in Vermont.

Contact the Center For Voting and Democracy Center by calling (301) 270-4616 or visit their Web site at

Strike Against Pacifica Network News Ends,
But Future of News at Progressive Network Uncertain

Interview by Denise Manzari

On Jan. 31, 2000, over 40 freelance reporters launched a strike against Pacifica Network News to protest the network's censorship of coverage of its own internal disputes. The strike marked a turning point in the national battle to save the progressive character of the Pacifica Radio network, which critics charge was under assault from within by a corporate clique on its national board.

Over the last two years, the global picket-line of freelancers grew to over 150, as progressive reporters around the world refused to work for Pacifica News. The strikers joined together to produce Free Speech Radio News as an alternative to Pacifica's nightly newscast. Last December, an out of court settlement ended several lawsuits filed by dissidents at Pacifica and created an interim board representing all factions.

At its March meeting, the new Pacifica board unanimously passed a resolution it negotiated with the strikers to end the 26-month-old strike that rocked the nation's oldest progressive news service. Randi Zimmerman is headlines editor for Free Speech Radio News, as well as a programmer at WMNF in Tampa, Fla. She was part of the negotiating team and spoke with Between the Lines' Denise Manzari about the settlement and the future of news at Pacifica.

For more information Free Speech Radio News visit their Web site at

Related links

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

  • Global warming finds first victims in Pacific island state of Tuvalu. ("Going Down in History," New Internationalist, January/February, 2002)
  • Human rights workers report growing number of cases of mistreated detained immigrants after 9/11 terror attacks. ("Ill-Treatment on Our Shores," by Anne-Marie Cusac, The Progressive, March 2002)
  • Bush administration moves to the hard right in naming members to the president's advisory council on HIV/AIDS. ("Hardliners," In These Times, March 18, 2002)

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

... MORE ...

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)

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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