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May 17, 2003

International News

Tommy Franks Charged With War Crimes
A Belgian lawyer and 19 Iraqis are charging US General Tommy Franks with war crimes under a Belgian law that allows citizens to charge foreigners for violations of international law. "We have a very specific case, with specific evidence," said Jan Fermon, the lawyer filing the suit.

» AP: Iraqis to file war crimes case against Gen. Tommy Franks
» BBC: US anger at war crimes threat
» Daily Telegraph: America threatens to move Nato after Franks is charged

Iraq Civilian Death Toll Jumps to 3700
According to numbers compiled from press reports by the Iraq Body Count Project, the number of recorded civilian deaths in the war on Iraq has exceeded 3700. Recent reports of more than 1400 deaths from 19 different Baghdad Hospitals were responsible for the sharp increase. Other recent causes of civilian casualties have been unexploded munitions from cluster bombs, which are often mistaken for food aid packages, and the US shooting of 15 people at a recent protest in Fallujah.

The project monitors the web sites of news agencies and major newspapers, and counts only reports that appear in more than one source. When reports differ, a maximum and minimum number of reported deaths is recorded. The most recent maximum total was 4805.

» The Iraq Body Count website includes a description of methodology and a listing of all reports compiled, and their sources.

Argentinians Protest Brukman Factory Evictions
Thousands of Argentinians have been staging continuous protests following the eviction of workers who had occupied the Brukman clothing factory in Buenos Aires. The men's clothing factory had been shut down two years ago by the owners during the height of Argentina's economic collapse, but was reopened by workers who were desperate for income.

The factory, along with over 200 others in Argentina, was run collectively by the workers until police locked the factory overnight and set up a blockade.

Over 10,000 attended a May Day protest at the factory, which ended with tear gas from the police and molotov cocktails from activists. On May 7th, several of the evicted workers staged a "sew-in" in the street outside the Brukman factory, making blankets and clothing for victims of a flood disaster in southern Argentina.

» Christian Science Monitor: Frustrated Argentines take business into own hands
» Naomi Klein: Argentina's Luddite Rulers
» Indymedia Argentina has many photographs, and coverage in Spanish.
» Americas.org: Brukman Struggle Continues
» Americas.org: May Day March, Brukman Pact

US Task Force Abandons Search for Illegal Weapons
The 75th Exploitation Task Force, the group responsible for finding Weapons of Mass Destruction in post-war Iraq is preparing to discontinue their operations without having found any illegal weapons, according to sources quoted by the Washington Post. The sources partially blamed looting and burning for the lack of available evidence.

According to officials, the search will continue, but biologists, physicists, and other experts will be moved off-site until there is something for them to look at. "I don't think we'll find anything," one Army Captain commented, noting that any weapons would have disappeared in the post-war chaos by now.

» Washington Post: Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq

Stop Ignoring the Congo, Says UN Human Rights Commissioner
United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello said that the international community has been ignoring atrocities in the Congolese civil war. De Mello said that additional peacekeeping troops were necessary to prevent further tragedies.

» Reuters: UN rights chief says world ignoring Congo violence

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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