What’s New February 2000

This page lists recent changes made to this site. The "Find Out More" links will take you to the changes. If this jumps to the middle of a page, you can easily scroll up to understand the context of the new information a bit further.

Date of Update


February 21, 2000

  1. How does media propaganda work? While this is a tough question to answer, as each situation is unique, there are characteristics of media reporting that can help identify when it is biased propaganda. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media

  2. A link to another source of information on media analysis has been added. This one is from the Conflict and Peace Forums, presented by POIESIS. They provide articles that contain in-depth analysis and critique on mainstream media and how they report on issues around the world. Some of which are written and contributed by some well-known media critics. Worth checking out. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media

  3. Israel has received much-criticized support from the United States in its occupation of South Lebanon. Roughly ten percent of Lebanon is in effect controlled by the Israeli army despite UN Security Council Resolution 425, which calls on Israel to withdraw unconditionally from Lebanese territory. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Issues / Geopolitics

  4. Oil has been a major reason for the Chechen conflict. It is also a reason why the west and the mainstream media reports on it, but not in much depth, other than the current happenings. Oil has meant that many interested parties are indirectly involved in the conflict, or at least have interests in the outcome. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Geopolitics

  5. What is the role of the USA in foreign aid assistance? In the US, foreign aid is looked on negatively. Also, as even former President Carter admits, of all the industrialized nations on the planet, the US has offered the least amount of foreign aid. The trade policies that it has pursued has also come under criticism; while the rhetoric has been decent enough, it has not really been carried out as presented. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues / Geopolitics

  6. What is the effect of poverty, debt and corporate unaccountability on ecosystems? While it may not always be obvious, the international policies that have created poverty and large-scale debt in many nations have resulted in repayment schemes that force them to mine their resources, increasingly in an unsustainable way. The long term costs are hard to measure. It is not just, say, the cost of cleaning up an oil spill, but the cascading effects it may have on the environment and the loss of benefits that the environment brings to humans, in the form of things like tourism, food and medicine, natural protections to soak up severe weather storms and so on. Corporate accountability is also often negligible, so, as Noam Chomsky often phrases it, the profits are privatized while the costs are socialized... Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Environment Issues / Trade Related Issues

  7. A cyanide spill in a river in Romania from a gold mine has caused an ecological disaster. The spill, from a broken dam, has affected the river and surrounding life all the way into Hungary. Corporate accountability so far has not been mentioned much, while the estimates for restoration to pre-disaster days suggests over 10 years. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Biodiversity / Animal and Nature Conservation

February 7, 2000

  1. A link to a new report about the multinational oil corporations, the environmental and health problems in Nigeria has been added. This report, called Oil For Nothing, is an excellent account from delegates who went to the Niger Delta to see first hand the problems the indigenous people were facing. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics / Trade Related Issues / Environmental Issues

  2. The peace agreement in Sierra Leone has been fragile. Even disarming the warring factions has been slow going and difficult. Rebel forces are suspicious and afraid to give up their weapons. An additional source of information from Radio Netherlands has also been added, for more details and background information. Both rebel and government forces have been accused of gross violations in the brutal nine-year civil war that has seen an estimated 50,000 people killed and many more refugees and displaced. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Conflicts in Africa / Geopolitics / Trade Related Issues / Environmental Issues

  3. Indonesia rejected a recommendation from a UN commission that an international human rights tribunal be set up to conduct further investigations of the human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in East Timor. Compared to the aggressive drive by leading NATO members to ensure a tribunal was set up to look into the atrocities by Milosevic, almost the opposite happened here, with Richard Holbrooke, the US Ambassador to the UN actually saying that the Indonesian government should be given the opportunity to handle the matter itself. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Crisis in East Timor / Geopolitics / Human Rights

  4. Some additional articles regarding the WTO event in Seattle have been added. One of them is about the media, and titled The Rumble in Seattle, while the other one is called Sleepless in Seattle: the WTO version. This last one is very nice and simple in its descriptions about who would benefit from the current corporate-driven model of free trade and globalization. The protests in Seattle over the WTO and the unfairness in its actual rules, as well as the corporate driven nature of free trade was meat with a police crackdown. Estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 protestors who braved the police and rain. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Trade Related Issues / Mainstream Media

  5. Large, corporate-owned mainstream western media are "free" trade proponents. While this does not sound like it is a cause for concern, it is when you consider the realities that the current free trade model has resulted in (i.e. the large disparities between rich and poor, the growing dependence of developing countries on developed nations, increasing corporate freedom without the accompanying accountability for any problems, and so on). The media coverage of events such as Davos and Seattle were very one-sided. In fact, in Davos, the media were urged by corporate and national leaders of some nations to spread the message about free trade even more, to sell the message to the public. There are already criticisms about the objectivity of the mainstream press. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Mainstream Media / Trade Related Issues

  6. An additional source of information on the rights of women has been added. This one is is a link to an organization called MADRE. They have some interesting material on their web site. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Issues

  7. In Austria, the racist Freedom Party was able to secure the majority of the cabinet posts. The party is an extreme far right party, whose leader, Jörg Heider, has been accused of sympathetic statements towards the Nazis. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Human Rights Issues

  8. It is feared by some that Monsanto is trying to get genetically engineered foods categorized as organic -- again. They had attempted to do this in the US, but failed. However, now they are trying to do the same thing in India via an Indian seed company that they had purchased. The fear is that they are using the term organic as a Trojan horse to enter the vast Indian market. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Biodiversity

  9. While a fairly positive biosafety treaty has been agreed to that does not mean that all the issues have been dealt with. For example, one issue that still needs to be tackled is the guarantee that the companies promoting biotechnology are accountable for any problems that may be caused. While they would no doubt benefit from what will hopefully in the future be a successful application of science, they should also take responsibilities in any possible problems trying to get there, as well. Find Out More »
    - Related Section(s): Genetically Engineered Food / Biodiversity