Tuesday, August 5, 2008

05 Aug 2008: Today's Democracy Now!

American Foreign Policy Brought to You by China: Advisers to Obama, McCain Tied to US Multinationals that Profit from Beijing
President Bush is heading to China this week, where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summer Olympics on Friday. The Games’ presence in Beijing have helped spotlight opposition to China on a number of policies, including its repression of the Tibetan independence movement, its support for the Sudanese government in Darfur and its crackdown on dissidents and civil liberties at home. In the latest issue of Harper’s Magazine, Ken Silverstein says many of the bipartisan experts who have advocated so-called “constructive engagement” with China are tied to major US multinational corporations that profit heavily from the Chinese market. [includes rush transcript]

Chevron Lobbies White House to Pressure Ecuador to Stop $12 Billion Amazon Pollution Lawsuit
Chevron is being accused of promoting geopolitical blackmail in its efforts to stave off a lawsuit accusing it of contaminating the Ecuadorian rain forest. Nearly 30,000 Amazon residents are seeking $12 billion from Chevron for dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste. According to Newsweek, the oil giant is urging the Bush administration to yank special trade preferences for Ecuador if the country’s government doesn’t force the Amazon residents to drop the case. If the White House agrees, it would be the second major lobbying victory for Chevron in just a matter of weeks. Last month, the Senate dropped an effort to penalize Chevron for maintaining extensive ties to the military junta in Burma.

Ex-UN AIDS Chief Slams CDC as Being "Completely Irresponsible" for Withholding Data Showing US Gov't Had Understated Number of New AIDS Cases by 40%
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged it has drastically underestimated the number of people becoming infected with AIDS in the United States. The CDC had been reporting 40,000 people get infected each year, but now the agency estimates the figure is 56,000—an increase of 40 percent. The CDC reportedly knew about the increased number of cases since last year but waited to make the announcement until the opening of the International AIDS Conference in Mexico. We speak with Stephen Lewis, the former UN envoy on AIDS in Africa and and co-director of AIDS-Free World, who is taking part in the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.

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