Democracy Now! March 29, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! March 29, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Israel attacks Yasser Arafat headquarters in Ramallah, Justice department will seek death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, accused of being the 20th hijacker in the September 11 attacks. an exclusive interview with Moussaouis mother, Aicha Elouassi. U.S. army will incinerate deadly nerve gas weapons in a metropolitan area of Alabama, but civilians arent to worry: the government will buy them gas masks.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES STORY: ISRAEL LAUNCHES ALL-OUT DRIVE TO ISOLATE "ENEMY" ARAFAT Israel has formally declared Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat an enemy and invaded his headquarters in Ramallah. Troops, tanks, and helicopters moved in this morning, killed several people, and began shelling Arafats headquarters. The invasion came shortly after the Arab world unanimously offered Israel peace and recognition for the first time. The offer came at the Arab summit in Beirut, and specified that Israel would withdraw from all the Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war and recognize a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem. In response to the historic declaration, Arafat announced he was prepared for an immediate cease-fire. But Israel denounced the offer and announced it is calling up 20,000 reservists to free regular forces for an operation in the Occupied Territories that could last a long time. Meanwhile, a female suicide bomber detonated explosives at the entrance to a Jerusalem supermarket today, killing herself and injuring about 20. Earlier, a Palestinian gunman killed four Israelis on Thursday after infiltrating a Jewish settlement near the West Bank city of Nablus. The Arab League also engineered an unprecedented reconciliation between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq agreed to recognize Kuwait as an independent state and not to invade it again. In return for this support, Arab leaders vowed that any American military attack on Iraq would be considered an attack against all Arab states. Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia publicly embraced and kissed Iraqs representatives. The New York Times reports: The message from the Saudis seemed clear. They coordinated an unprecedented Arab peace initiative toward Israel on the very day they also pushed through a surprise Kuwaiti-Iraqi reconciliation, suggesting that if the former problem could be solved, the Iraqi issue could, too. GUEST: MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committee, in Ramullah GUEST: HUWAIDA ARRAS, the coordinator for the International Solidarity Movement, in Ramullah 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 THE ARMY WILL INCINERATE NERVE GAS WEAPONS IN A METROPOLITAN AREA OF ALABAMA, BUT CIVILIANS ARENT TO WORRY: THE GOVERNMENT WILL BUY THEM GAS MASKS The Army is moving ahead with a plan to incinerate deadly nerve agents in a metropolitan area in Alabama. But people shouldnt worry about their safety: the federal government announced on Wednesday that it will spend some $7 million for gas masks and training for the thousands of civilians who live near an incinerator. Bunkers in Anniston, Alabama hold over 2,000 tons of rockets, artillery shells, land mines and bulk containers of chemical weapons. Some of the obsolete munitions date back to World War II, and contain mustard, Sarin and VX gases. The weapons must be destroyed under terms of an international chemical weapons treaty. But this will be the first time the Army has attempted to incinerate the weapons in a heavily populated area. The Alabama Governors office filed a lawsuit to block opening of the chemical weapons incinerator several months ago. But the office relented when the government said it would pay for gas masks and training. GUEST: CRAIG WILLIAMS, director, Chemical Weapons Grouping Group CONTACT: GUEST: MIKE ABRAMS, spokesman for the Anniston Army depot's incinerator facility CONTACT: GUEST: RUFUS KINNEY, Families Concerned About Nerve Gas Incineration. teach English at Jacksonville State University CONTACT: GUEST: TED HOSP, legal aid for Alabama governor Don Siegelman (filed the lawsuit) CONTACT: 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 THE GOVERNMENT HANDS OUT GAS MASKS TO CIVILIANS: THE ARMY PREPARES AN ALABAMA TOWN FOR THE BURNING OF DEADLY NERVE GAS AGENTS 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUIS MOTHER AS THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES IT WILL SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY FOR THE ACCUSED HIJACKER The Justice Department announced yesterday that it would seek the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, the French citizen accused of being the 20th hijacker in the September 11 attacks. The trial will be held in Virginia this September. The French justice minister responded by saying that France would refuse to provide evidence to support the charges against Moussaoui that carried the death penalty. The 33-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent, who converted to Islam while living in London, was in jail on immigration charges at the time of the attacks. He is the only person so far to stand trial for the attacks. We have just gained an exclusive interview with the mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the 20th accused hijacker. GUEST: AICHA ELOUASSI, mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the French citizen accused of being the 20th hijacker in the September 11 attacks. TRANSLATOR: SPUTNIK KILABMI, reporter for Free Speech Radio News 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
March 29, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
March 29, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. March 29, 2002
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