Democracy Now!

Program Title:
Democracy Now!
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PRA Archive #: 


9:00-9:01 Billboard: Toxic clouds, floods, heat-waves and landslides, plagues from god or god awful corporations?: We ll look at the (un)natural disasters from Bangladesh to Nepal to Prague. An Indonesian court acquits 6 military and police officers from the carnage during the 1999 independence vote in East Timor: A first-hand account from a young Timorese human rights lawyer. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: type 9:07-9:20 FLOODS, LANDSLIDES, HEAT-WAVES AND TOXIC CLOUDS: PLAGUES FROM GOD OR GOD-AWFUL CORPORATIONS? Floods in eastern Germany that have killed at least ten people rose to a record high today in the historic city of Dresden, driving thousands from their homes. The tide of murky brown water also swamped other towns along the River Elbe and prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands. In the Czech capital Prague, waters retreated today from their record levels allowing some residents to return home, but flooding continues elsewhere in the country and damge estimates are rising rapidly. As Western attention focuses on the unprecedented floods in Europe, Asia faces a far more serious humanitarian crisis. In India, the flooded Brahmaputra River has cut a vicious swath through India s remote northeast, killing hundreds of people, leveling homes, washing away schools and leaving millions homeless. Over 1560 people have died in neighboring Bangladesh. In Nepal, over 400 people have either been swept away by swirling floodwaters or crushed under mudslides in remote mountain villages. Environmentalists have for years warned that man-made pollution is changing global weather patterns leading to more frequent and extreme weather events including floods, heat waves, windstorms, droughts and disruption in water supplies. Climate change may also lead to the spread of serious diseases like malaria and yellow fever. Natural resource industries such as agriculture, fishing and forestry may be impacted. As polar icecaps melt and sea levels rise, entire island nations could disappear and coastal flooding will leave hundreds of thousands homeless mostly in poor, developing countries. But Climate Change is essentially off the agenda at the Earth Summit set to kick off next week in Johannesburg, South Africa. Guest: Anjana Shakya, human rights activist from Nepal Guest: ROSS GELBSPAN is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist. He publishes a website which tracks extreme weather events and is the author of a book on global climate change. Contact: Guest: AMIT SRIVASTAVA, is Climate Justice Coordinator of CorpWatch, a San Francisco-based organization promoting corporate accountability. He is joining us from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Contact: Guest: ROBERT MUSSEL, is author of The Politics and Public Health Implications of Global Warming. He is the executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He joins us from Washington DC. Contact: GUEST: CAROLINE SYKORA, with the Prague Post and the New york Independent Media Center Contact: 9:21-9:40 FLOODS, LANDSLIDES, HEAT-WAVES AND TOXIC CLOUDS, CONT D 9:41-9:58 AN INDONESIAN COURT ACQUITS 6 MILITARY AND POLICE OFFICERS FROM THE CARNAGE DURING THE 1999 INDEPENDENCE VOTE IN EAST TIMOR: A FIRST-HAND ACCOUNT FROM A YOUNG TIMORESE HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER This week an ad hoc Indonesian court acquitted 5 Indonesian military and police officials of crimes against humanity in East Timor. A 6th --former governor Abilio Soares-- was given 3 years for his role in overseeing the territory s destruction and the death of more than a thousand Timorese in 1999 alone. Four of the Indonesian officers were acquitted in one of the worst massacres after the refendum on independence the Suai massacre. A month and a half ago US War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld justified the resumption of US military aid to Indonesia saying that the country was making steady progress toward respect of human rights. This as the state department was intervening to crush a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil that charged the corporation and the Indonesian military with massive human rights abuses in Aceh. One of the congressional requirements for the resumption of US military aid to Indonesia which was banned in 1999 after East Timor s vote for Independence was that Indonesia would have to be held accountable for human rights abuses in Aceh, West Papua and elsewhere before military aid could be resumed. But now 3 years later, the Indonesian forces that razed Timor to the ground are getting off scott free. Guest: ADERITO SOARES, is a Timorese human rights lawyer. Guest: JOHN MILLER, East Timor Action Network Contact: ---

Date Recorded on: 
August 16, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. August 16, 2002
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