Raises Tax-Cut Issue in NJ Race
(CNSNews.com) - The anti-tax mantra of a New Jersey conservative helped
him seize the Republican nomination in New Jersey gubernatorial race Tuesday,
toppling an established moderate and former congressman. Bret D. Schundler
paints himself as a modern Ronald Reagan, who opposes abortion, supports the
Second Amendment and detests taxes -- an issue topping the list of concerns
among New Jersey voters.
Group Suing Bush Over Arsenic
(CNSNews.com) - Environmental activists plan to sue the Bush
administration Thursday for suspending a rule that would have required stricter
standards for arsenic in drinking water. Three days before leaving office,
President Clinton essentially laid a land-mine for incoming President Bush, by
announcing a ten parts-per-billion standard for arsenic in drinking water. The
Bush administration suspended the rule until it has time to gather more
information, which means the current 50 ppb arsenic standard remains in effect.
That was the cue for Democrats to launch radio ads blasting Bush for poisoning
America's drinking water. And now the Natural Resources Defense Council says it
will sue the administration for ignoring a congressional deadline to adopt lower
arsenic levels. Erik Olson, an attorney with NRDC, is quoted as saying,
"There is absolutely no scientific or legal excuse for delaying or
weakening protection of the public from arsenic." The Bush administration
says it fully intends to comply with the congressional deadline for lowering the
arsenic standard, but first it wants more information on much arsenic is too
much, before adopting a rule that could have a adverse financial impact on
America's cities and states.
Considers How to Fill Hole in Environment Report
(CNSNews.com) - After deleting interviews with children from a television
report on environmental education that is set to air Friday, ABC News is
considering how to fill a hole in an hour-long show in a way that will not be
seen as caving in to the demands of environmental activists. "We are not
going to use the images or the voices of the children, but we may paraphrase
what they're saying, or we may try to find other children to interview,"
ABC spokesman Todd Polkes told CNSNews.com. The New York-based network suggested
activists persuaded parents to withdraw their permission to use the segment with
their children after they learned the interviewer was John Stossel, a
conservative who has argued that environmental claims are exaggerated.
Pushing His Energy Plan; Teamsters Like It
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush will send his energy legislation to
Congress on Thursday, and congressional Republicans will fan out across the
country during next week's Fourth of July recess to make the case for spurring
domestic energy production by lowering regulatory barriers for new power plants
and pipelines, The Washington Post reported. The newspaper said the Bush
administration and congressional Republicans are increasingly worried that the
president's energy plan faces trouble on Capitol Hill and could end up hurting
Republicans in next year's election. But the Teamsters union, not a traditional
GOP ally, supports the Bush energy plan and it is calling on Congress to pass
the legislation. At its annual convention in Las Vegas this week, the Teamsters
resolved to support the enactment of a national energy policy that includes
opening a small part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration
and building 1,200 new power plants. "We must find a way to maintain
affordable energy sources for working families," said Teamsters President
James Hoffa. "The Teamsters are working to achieve a responsible balance
between the economy and the environment."
Slams GOP on Energy Price Controls
(CNSNews.com) - House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) accused the
Republican leadership Wednesday of stonewalling the capping of California energy
prices and announced he would try to get a Democratic bill imposing price caps
to the House floor for consideration. "We have had a horrible time here in
the House getting consideration of a temporary price cap bill that we have been
trying to get on the floor for weeks," Gephardt said. He added the
Democrats planned to announce a discharge petition to get that bill up later
Wednesday. Gephardt asserted that Republicans were delaying action on the bill
because of contributions from oil companies and their lobbyists.
Convention in Charlotte to Urge Legal Protection for Unborn
Charlotte, N.C. (CNSNews.com) - The abortion debate will intensify
Thursday as pro-lifers gather in Charlotte, North Carolina for the National
Right to Life Committee's 29th annual convention, one dedicated to restoring
"legal protection to the most vulnerable among us," according to
convention organizers. Among the speakers at this year's three-day conclave will
be singer Pat Boone, abortion and breast cancer researcher Dr. Joel Brind,
nationally recognized medical ethicist and author Wesley Smith, and conservative
television talk show host Sean Hannity.
Ban Raises Constitutional Issues
(CNSNews.com) - Policy makers are making a federal issue out of human
cloning this summer as the technological potential for such an event becomes
ever more likely. In the midst of congressional hearings, competing bills, and
advocacy forums on the ethical and logistical problems associated with cloning,
some are questioning the federal government's constitutional authority to impose
a ban on human cloning. As the issue gains political momentum, conservatives may
find themselves at odds with libertarians, their sometime allies, over the
in Abortion Doctor's Murder Can Be Extradited
(CNSNews.com) - A French court ruled Thursday that James Kopp may be
extradited to the United States to stand trial for murdering an abortion doctor
in New York three years ago. Kopp, 46, made the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list for
allegedly shooting Barnett Slepian as he stood inside his suburban Buffalo home.
Wire services say the French court cleared the way for Kopp's extradition after
U.S. authorities said Kopp would not face the death penalty if he is convicted.
France refuses to extradite suspects in cases where they face execution. Kopp,
who was arrested in France in March, is expected to appeal today's court ruling,
something that could delay his extradition.
Call For Navy Withdrawal From Vieques
(CNSNews.com) - Delegates at the Teamsters 26th International Convention
Wednesday passed a resolution demanding the complete U.S. military withdrawal of
the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. "There is no need for the U.S. military
to continue these exercises in Vieques," said Teamsters General President
James P. Hoffa. "All working families deserve the right to live in safe and
healthy environments." The Teamsters allege that military exercises on the
island have led to high rates of cancer and other diseases related to
environmental contamination caused by the use of explosives and bombs. They
believe the presence of the military in Vieques has stunted its economic
development, especially agriculture, fishing and tourism and led to high
unemployment and poverty. "Teamsters believe there are no more important
rights than human rights," Hoffa said. "We urge the Bush
administration to halt all military exercises in Vieques immediately, so that
our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters may live in peace and prosperity."
is 'Right' in Philadelphia
(CNSNews.com) - A coalition of liberal groups is gathering in
Philadelphia this coming weekend, with the goal of revamping America's voting
laws. Specifically, the groups are calling for a "Voter's Bill of
Rights," which includes the abolition of the Electoral College; voting
rights for former prisoners; and statehood for the District of Columbia, among
other things. Organizers say the focal point of discussion will be the 2000
election in Florida and its impact upon African-American, Haitian-American,
Jewish and Latino voters. A website set up by the Pro-Democracy Convention says
the organization is "determined that what happened during the 2000
presidential election will never occur again in our country."
and 'Go' Traffic
(CNSNews.com) - A former traffic light installer is suing Palm Beach
County, Fla., for firing him because he is colorblind and couldn't distinguish
between red and green wires, press reports said. Cleveland Merritt's
$20,000-a-year job required him to work on traffic lights containing wires of 19
different colors. Merritt claims that his 1997 firing violated the Americans
with Disabilities Act and he is seeking lost wages. The EEOC previously ruled
that the county discriminated against Merritt by firing him. His attorney,
Sandra Bosso-Pardo, told the Palm Beach Post, "The county could have kept
him on the job by assigning him to other duties not affected by his
color-blindness." The county wants to have the case dismissed.
Bidding for Yates Web Address on eBay
(CNSNews.com) - A Web address bearing the name of the Houston woman
accused of drowning her five children last week had received bids up to $752,011
before eBay halted the auction. Bids for www.AndreaPiaYates.com started Tuesday
at $500,000 and closed 6 bids by Wednesday. Charles H. Ziegler III of Penndel,
Pa., said he was surprised that he had gotten the bids and had put up the
address name to guide potential bidders to another auction site where he was
selling another Web site, BonnyLeeBakley.com, named after the slain wife of
actor Robert Blake. EBay reports that the web site address was judged
inappropriate because of a May 17 decision to prohibit the auction of things
associated with killers and notorious crimes.
Says Sharon Will Make Key Decision on Violence Level
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - It will be up to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to
decide when Palestinian violence and terrorism has subsided enough to declare
the start of a "cooling-off" period, Secretary of State Colin Powell
said in Israel on Thursday.
Meeting with Israel's ceremonial head of state President Moshe Katsav in
Jerusalem, Powell said that there had not been enough progress towards calming
the situation on the ground since CIA chief George Tenet brokered a ceasefire
understanding two weeks ago. The Secretary, who will meet Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser in Ramallah and then Sharon later in the day, urged the two
sides to do everything in their power to stop the violence that has claimed more
than 550 lives over the last nine months.
Says Arafat Made Him A Failure
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Former President Clinton blames Palestinian
Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat for his failure to bring peace to the Middle
East. Speaking at a party hosted by former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrook this
week, Clinton told the guests that three days before his term of office ended
Arafat called to wish him well, according to Newsweek. "You are a great
man," said Arafat. "The hell I am," Clinton said he answered.
"I'm a colossal failure, and you made me one." Clinton openly blamed
Arafat last year for the collapse of the Camp David summit. Arafat rejected the
far-reaching concessions offered him by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Clinton also said he told Arafat bluntly that he knew the ancient Jewish Temple
was buried under the Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount. The issue of Jerusalem
and specifically the Temple Mount, holy to both Jews and Muslims, was thought to
have been the main stumbling block in the talks. But Clinton said it was
actually the issue of the return of Palestinian refugees that scuttled the peace
process. Two months after Camp David the current Palestinian uprising broke out.
Ends Short-Wave Broadcasts To North America, Pacific
London (CNSNews.com) - Sixty-nine years after it first took to the
airwaves, the World Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation will no
longer be available on short-wave radio in North America and Australia,
effective at the end of this week. The BBC says its decision to scrap the
service follows a shift in media consumer trends in highly developed countries.
From now on, the World Service will be available in developed countries only on
the Internet and, in some areas, it will be relayed by local FM radio stations.
It will also be available at some point and in some areas on digital satellite
radio.The announcement caused a storm of protest from listeners in the affected
regions, and it prompted an Internet-driven campaign for the decision to be
Warns Of Bin Laden Asian Bombing Plans
New Delhi (CNSNews.com) - The Central Intelligence Agency reportedly has
warned the Indian government that Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden may be
preparing to bomb a range of American installations in India. Officials of the
Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) agency Wednesday confirmed receiving a message
from the CIA saying that bin Laden was incensed by the recent arrest of several
of his associates by New Delhi police and was planning to attack U.S. embassies
and other facilities in retaliation. Following the CIA communication, Indian
intelligence operatives said they have been monitoring telephone numbers of
suspected associates of bin Laden's Al-Qaida group.
South Africa Running Out Of Graveyard Space
Durban, South Africa (CNSNews.com) - While world leaders at the United
Nations Conference on AIDS in New York look for ways curb the spread of the
disease, in South Africa authorities are faced with the grim task of finding
burial space in overflowing graveyards for the more than 250,000 AIDS victims
who die each year. More than four million of South Africa's 40 million people
are infected with AIDS and the death toll is likely to double by 2008. With the
increase in AIDS deaths local cemeteries are filling up, forcing officials to
resort to unusual techniques like grave recycling and upright coffins.
Court Rules Against US In Death Penalty Case
London (CNSNews.com) - The International Court of Justice in The Hague --
the U.N.'s highest legal body -- ruled Wednesday that the U.S. had ignored the
international legal rights of two German-born brothers executed in 1999 for
killing a bank manager during a 1982 robbery. Germany took the U.S. to court
that year, alleging American officials has violated the Vienna Convention by not
informing consular officials of the arrest and murder convictions of Walter and
Karl LaGrand. Had they done so, it argued, consular representation might have
saved their lives. Walter LaGrand was gassed to death in Arizona just hours
after the court issued an emergency order to stop the execution from going
ahead. His brother had been executed earlier, before the case began.
to action" from UN Secretary-General in fight against HIV/AIDS
MRS. MILDRED ARISTIDE TO ATTEND UN HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE
By Serge Beaulieu
UN Bureau Chief
United Nations, June 22, 2001 (CNS NEWS) -- More
than 15 African heads of state, prime ministers, and ministers will join other
dignitaries at the UN for a three-day conference from Monday, June 25 to
Wednesday, June 27. This conference was called as a matter of urgency to discuss
the problem of human immunodeficiency virus in all its aspects.
The conference will call upon governments, with the assistance
from UNAIDS and donors, to ensure that by 2005 at least 90 percent of the
worldís population will have access to information, education, and services to
reduce their vulnerability to this infection.
After 20 years, the world has suddenly become fully aware of
this catastrophe that has been devastating the continent of Africa. Countries
like Botswana, with more than 38 percent of its population infected, are on the
verge of a major disaster. Other countries in line are Zimbabwe, Swaziland,
Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, and Djibouti.
A total of 36.1
million adults and children are estimated to be living with HIV.
The Sub-Saharan Africa region
alone is estimated at 25.3 million.
South and Southeast Asia 5.8 million
North America 920,000
The Caribbean 390,000
Latin America 1.4 million
Western Europe has been calculated at 540,000
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 700,000
North Africa and the Middle East 400,000
East Asia and the Pacific 640,000
Australia and New Zealand 15,000
So far, no definite cure has been discovered, but some
medicines have been found to alleviate the suffering and prolong the life of the
One of the missions of the United Nations has been to
encourage the pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of the vaccine in
order to enable the African continent to use the drugs. So far, the
pharmaceutical companies have decided to go along with this. Experiments have
already started, particularly in Botswana, where the crisis is severe.
In the meantime, the United Nations Development Fund for Women
(UNIFEM) is calling upon world leaders to make womenís roles central in the
fight against HIV/AIDS. They claim there is a direct correlation between the low
status of women, the violation of their human rights, and HIV transmission.
Noellen Hayzer, executive director of UNIFEM, said, "This is not simply a
matter of social justice. Gender inequality is fatal. The reason that AIDS has
escalated into a pandemic is that inequality between women and men continues to
be pervasive and persistent. Too often, women and girls cannot say no to
unwanted and unprotected sex without fear of reprisal."
The statistics are
Last year 1.3 million
women died of AIDS.
Nearly half of all new HIV infections occur in women.
UNIFEM calls for a guarantee of womenís equal access to
prevention and treatment and that research be made gender sensitive. It even
placed a call to make female and male condoms affordable and accessible to all.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, almost 1.8 million people
live with HIV, including the 210,000 adults and children infected in the year
At 5 percent, Haiti has the highest HIV adult prevalence rate
in the world outside Sub-Saharan Africa. The rate in five other Caribbean
countries hovers around 2 percent of the adult population. It was perhaps for
this reason that Haitiís first lady, Mrs. Mildred Aristide, was chosen by the
United Nations Development Program to be part of a panel to discuss the
implications for poverty reduction and the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Points to be discussed:
How can essential public services be
maintained when human resources are lost, public revenues reduced, and
How can economic prosperity be achieved
notwithstanding the impact of the epidemic?
Among the other panelists will be Mark Malloch Brown,
Administrator of the UNDP; Rev. Gideon Byamugisha, Diocese of Namirembe, Rwanda;
Ernest Yonly, Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Burkina Faso;
and Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
It will be the first diplomatic assignment for Haitiís First
Lady, who is a member of the bar in Washington, D.C., where she met Jean
Bertrand Aristide while he was in exile. The couple was later married in Haiti.
All eyes will be on the performance of Haitiís first lady.
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