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June 26, 2003

Headlines

Flooding in India Leaves 400,000 Homeless

A major flood on the Brahmaputra river caused by heavy rainfall displaced over 400,000 people in the Indian state of Assam this week. In 2002, a similar flood forced 10% of the area's population of 26 million to relocate. The floods are a regular occurrence in the region during the monsoon season. (Environmental News Service)

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Protesters in Sacramento: highlighting alternatives to genetic engineering. photo: Biotech Indymedia

Almost Half of US Senators are Millionaires

Financial disclosure forms released last week revealed that at least 40 out of 100 US Senators possess a net worth of over $1 million. Of the millionaires, 22 were Republicans and 18 were Democrats. All but six were men. A similar, earlier report revealed that all of George W. Bush's Cabinet are worth six figures or more, with several multi-millionaires, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld among them. (CNN, Washington Post)

13,000 Muslim Men to Be Deported from US; New Canadian Laws Put Into Practice

US immigration authorities called for 82,000 Muslim men living in the US to take part in a special registration between December 2002 and April of this year. Now, 13,000 of them are facing deportation. According to a report by the World Socialist Web Site, the Justice Department issued numerous statements stating that there was "nothing to fear". 11 of the 13,000 are alleged to have terrorist ties, though these are unspecified.

Fayiz Rahman of the American Muslim Council was quoted as saying that the program was "targeted only towards Muslims.... They are planning to reduce the number of Muslims on American soil... discourage Muslim immigration, make our lives difficult." A Justice Department report issued on June 2 documented numerous violations of civil liberties against Muslims directly following September 11th, including "verbal and physical abuse, withholding of counsel, and denial of bond."

A year-old Canadian law enables CSIS, with the authorization of the immigration minister, to detain immigrants indefinitely, without charge or trial (See Canadian News, page 2). (World Socialist Web Site, New York Times, Agence France-Presse, Montreal Muslim News)

Biotech Conference in Sacramento Draws Protests

The US Department of Agriculture staged a conference in Sacramento, California designed to promote the virtues of biotechnology to various foreign ministers before the upcoming WTO summit in Cancun. The US and Canada have been continually at odds with Europe over the issue of Genetically Modified (GM) foods; many African countries have declined imports of GM foods for fear of contaminating their own crops and cutting off essential European markets.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman touted GM crops and free trade as solutions for starvation in developing countries. Outside, protesters sought to draw attention to alternatives in organic farming and other sustainable practices, while decrying the unforeseeable consequences of biotechnology. Critics have argued that famine is almost always a consequence of faulty distribution mechanisms, not insufficient supply. Others have accused the US Government of subsidizing unsold GM crops by foisting them on developing countries through USAID. (Indymedia BioTech, Mercury News)

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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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