Democracy Now! June 13 , 2002

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Democracy Now! June 13 , 2002
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9:00-9:01 Billboard: The age of Star Wars begins: as the 30-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty formally expires today, the Pentagon begins construction on a missile defense site in Alaska. We'll talk to Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is suing the administration for withdrawing from the treaty without congressional approval. But first, a conversation with Vandana Shiva as the World Food Summit in Rome draws to a close amidst charges that nations are pandering to the US and the Biotech industry. And, President Bush awards Dow Chemical the prestigious National Medal of Technology. Dow Chemical created napalm and agent orange, and recently bought a pesticide plant in India which killed thousands of innocent people. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 WITH THE UNITED STATES LEADING THE WAY, THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT ENDORSES BIOTECHNOLOGY AS A WAY TO ADDRESS HUNGER The U.N. World Food Summit ended today much as it began, with criticism about the proliferation of biotech crops and charges that too little has been done to end world hunger. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi presided over the closing ceremony. He proclaimed the summit ``extremely useful'' and dismissed criticism that the summit floundered because Western leaders stayed away. Delegates pledged to reduce the number of hungry to 400 million by 2015. But critics say this kind of pledge isn't enough, since the same goal was set at a similar summit in 1996, and the number of impoverished people has remained the same. The summit on Wednesday formally declared its commitment to studying and facilitating the use of biotechnology as a way to address hunger. The declaration came after U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman told the Summit the US Agency for International Development is launching a 10-year, 100-million dollar Collaborative Agriculture Biotechnology Initiative to advance research on crop varieties better suited to growing conditions in developing countries. She also announced the US will hold a ministerial-level science and technology conference next year to focus on the needs of developing countries in adopting new food and agriculture technologies. But the declaration is at odds with the goals of developing countries. Their leaders are urging the US and Europe to remove farm subsidies and open their markets. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said: " Protectionism is the enemy of the hungry, not lack of improved seeds." And representatives from hundreds of NGOs in a parallel meeting in Rome were stunned. We're joined now by one of the leading voices against biotechnology, renowned Indian author and activist Vandana Shiva. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, "Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit." She is currently in Rome for the World Food Summit.Guest: Vandana Shiva, Director, Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, "Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit." Guest: Emiliano Ezcurra, Greenpeace Argentina Tape: Alan Larson, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:30 A SUPERIOR COURT ORDERS OIL GIAN T UNOCAL TO STAND TRIAL FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN BURMA A Superior Court judge has ordered oil giant Unocal Corp. to stand trial for alleged human rights abuses related to a pipeline project in Burma. The lawsuit is on behalf of citizens of and refugees from Burma, who say Unocal ignored reports that Burma forcibly relocated people and used slave labor for the construction of the $1.2 billion Yadana pipeline. The pipeline was jointly commissioned by Unocal and the Burmese government, along with France's Total oil and Britain's Premier oil. Unocal denies the allegations. Villagers have long claimed that the company was aware that forced labor was used to build the pipeline. The suit also claims Unocal is partly responsible for human rights violations committed by Burma's military junta during the pipeline's construction. Villagers say that some of them were forced to help build the pipeline while others suffered abuse -- including sexual ring what they called "security" to the lucrative energy scheme. They claim one infant died after "being kicked into a cooking fire" by Burma military personnel. Guest: Rick Herz, attorney, Earth Rights International 9:30-9:40 AS PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BIOTERROR BILL, A LOOK AT ONE OF THE MOST NOTORIOUS CHEMICAL COMPANIES IN THE WORLD President Bush signed a multi-billion dollar bioterror bill Wednesday at a high profile ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House. The vaguely-worded bill provides grants to states for "planning and preparedness," and sets aside money to tighten security around water supplies and food producers. It also lavishes funds on pharmaceutical companies, giving them hundreds of millions to create vaccines and other drugs. The pharmaceutical lobby is among the largest, most powerful and well-financed lobbies in the country. The President signed the bioterror bill just hours before awarding the prestigious National Medal of Technology to one of the world's most notorious chemical weapons producers: Dow Chemical. Dow Chemical is the biggest chemical company in the world. It manufactured both Agent Orange and napalm during the Vietnam War. These chemicals killed untold scores of Vietnamese and left more than a million with severe disabilities and health problems. More recently, Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide, the corporation responsible for the 1984 Bhopal disaster. The deadly plant leak sent 40 tons of pesticide into the streets of Bhopal, India, burning people's lungs and searing their eyes. Nobody knows how many died but many environmental groups put the toll at 20,000. The plant continues to leak toxins, but Dow has refused to take responsibility for the damages or clean-up. But an international coalition of environmentalists and Bhopal survivors has formed to ensure that Dow does take responsibility for Bhopal's toxic legacy. This evening, activists and survivors will hold a vigil outside the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington where Dow Chemical will be receiving the National Medal of Technology award. Guest: Lisa Finaldi, campaign coordinator, Greenpeace USA Contact: Guest: Rajan Sharma, attorney, McCallion & Associates. He is the attorney for Bhopal Survivors organizations and other plaintiffs in the federal litigation Contact: One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 AS THE 30-YEAR-OLD ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE TREATY FORMALLY EXPIRES, THE PENTAGON BEGINS CONSTRUCTION ON A MISSILE DEFENSE SITE IN ALASKA: A CONVERSATION WITH CONGRESSMAN DENNIS KUCINICH The 30-year-old Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty expires today, six months after President Bush invoked a provision allowing either side to withdraw. The treaty has long been hailed as the cornerstone of world nuclear stability. The Pentagon will mark the treaty's death with a ceremony on Saturday in Alaska, breaking ground on a test site for the administration's $64 billion star wars system. The ABM Treaty had banned such construction. Thirty-one members of Congress are suing the Bush administration for dropping the ABM treaty without congressional approval. They argue that Bush violated the Constitution by failing to get their consent. Their lawsuit asks a federal judge to order Bush to halt the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty as soon as possible. The driving force behind this congressional lawsuit is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is also one of the leading voices in an effort to build a national movement calling for true nuclear disarmament, and an end to the peril of nuclear destruction. Guest: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, US House of Representatives. Kucinich is a Democrat from Ohio and leader of the Progressive Caucus of the congressional Dmocrats. He is a powerful, ethical voice for nuclear disarmament, preservation of the ABM treaty, banning weapons in outer space, and a halt to the development of a 'Star Wars' - type missile defense technology. Contact: Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
June 13, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
June 13 , 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. June 13 , 2002
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