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Carbon Rise * Anti-War * Human Rights * DU * Lori 33

11 November 2002

1) Carbon Dioxide on the Rise
2) Half-A-Million March in Anti-War Rally in Italy
3) Veteran Doug Rokke and Depleted Uranium
4) Human Rights Clemency for Desmond Carter
5) Lori Berenson Turns 33 in Peruvian Prison


Editor's Notes:


All the drumming for war can make this first item easily overlooked, for a little while, until it sinks in on the impact of exponentially rising increases of carbon saturation in our atmosphere. This item is on the latest information on these increases by forest fires, but not just the forest fire burning experienced in the US, but the burning of peatlands. A new study published in Nature magazine shows how such fires in Indonesia is significantly taking carbon from the Earth and placing it into our atmosphere. Life balance going up in smoke!

Item 2 is on the a demonstration in Italy where 500,000 people protested the US push to attack Iraq. And while the US propaganda machine makes believe that casualties of the Gulf War were light, think again. 159,000 Gulf War vets are on disability for service related injury and illness. This item 3 features the great work of Major Doug Rokke, a U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994 1995. His work honors all veterans, and he offers a warning about the dangers of exploded depleted uranium from personal experience.

For more information on this and other events, visit Flyby News homepage - http://www.flybynews.com

[Please note that Helen Caldicott is speaking at Smith College in Northampton, MA on November 12, and Dr. Gordon Thompson, executive director of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies, will address the vulnerability of nuclear reactor sites this week, too.]

Item 4 is critical for most all of us to respond soon in honor of human rights. The State of North Carolina plans to execute Desmond Carter on December 10 (Human Rights Day) 2002. The State refuses to take responsibility for not giving treatment to Desmond, who was turned away due to insurance non-coverage for substance abuse treatment that was requested by his family; yet it would take the responsibility to take his life? Please Do Something! Read this item and write to Governor Michael F. Easley. Item 5 is on another human rights case with an update on Lori Berenson, who just celebrated her 33rd birthday, still confined to a Peruvian prison.

Please take actions this week

A little time out of your life can make all the difference!





1) Carbon Dioxide on the Rise


Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 00:07 GMT
BBC News
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2413375.stm

Wildfires blamed for greenhouse gas rise

Billions of tons of carbon is released by wildfires

New research has shown that the forest fires which ravaged South East Asia five years ago caused a massive increase in levels of the greenhouse gases which are blamed for global warming.

Scientists from Indonesia and Europe believe that between 0.8 and 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon entered the atmosphere after the fires in Indonesia - contributing to the biggest annual increase in carbon emissions since records began.

Almost a million hectares of forest were destroyed in the fires, mainly in Borneo and Sumatra, which produced a choking smog across much of southeast Asia.

It is thought they were sparked off by loggers, industrialists and farmers after the failure of seasonal rains created ideal conditions for a blaze.

Land clearance blamed

The scientists, whose research is published in Nature,* also found that most of the carbon did not come from the burnt trees but from smouldering deposits of peat.

Tropical peatlands store huge amounts of carbon which, the scientists say, could be released by forest fires in the future.

"Carbon dioxide is known to be responsible for the global warming of the atmosphere of the Earth," said the head of the team of scientists, Dr Susan Page, from the University of Leicester in the UK.

"Recurrent fires have, therefore, the threatening potential of making a very significant contribution to this warming."

Carbon produced by the fires accounted for 13%-40% of that year's total worldwide emissions - produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.

The scientists warned that the continued use of fire as a means of clearing land would lead to higher emissions of carbon dioxide unless policies were changed.

The Indonesian fires five years ago were set off when timber and plantation companies tried to clear land.

The fires then spread due to a prolonged drought blamed on the El Nino climate phenomenon. El Nino is a swell of warm water in the Pacific Ocean that affects global weather patterns.

Dr Page's team worked in the Central Kalimantan province of Borneo, where 8,000 square kilometres of swamp forest were scorched.

They used satellite data to estimate the amount of carbon released by the wildfires.

In total, the fires covered about 60,000 square kilometres of Indonesia's peat swamp overall - an area twice the size of Belgium.

That makes up around one-third of the archipelago's total peat swamp.

# # #

For the article in Nature:
Burning bogs belch carbon
Global-warming models should account for peat in forest fires.
7 November 2002, see:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/021104/021104-11.html

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A program aired on NPR's All Things Considered:
"Indonesian Wildfires Tied to Global Warming"
can be found at
http://discover.npr.org/rundowns/segment.jhtml?wfId=836692

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For Flyby News updated page on Global Warming, see:
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1014396414,10278,




2) Half-A-Million March in Anti-War Rally in Italy

florence, italy 500,000 protest

November 09, 2002 01:56 PM ET

By Luke Baker

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - More than half a million anti-war protesters from across Europe marched through this Italian Renaissance city on Saturday in a loud and colorful demonstration
denouncing any possible U.S. attack on Iraq.

Brimming with anti-American feelings and riled by a tough new U.N. resolution to disarm Iraq, young and old activists from as far afield as Russia and Portugal joined forces for the carnival-like rally, singing Communist anthems and 1970s peace songs.

"Take your war and go to hell," read one banner, in a forest of multi-colored and multi-lingual placards.

"Drop Bush, not Bombs" read another. Some placards depicted President Bush as Hitler and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as Mussolini.

Organizers said the rally, planned months ago, gained added relevance by Friday's U.N. Security Council resolution which gave Iraq a last chance to disarm or face almost certain war.

The protest, involving children as well as grandmothers, marked the climax of the first European Social Forum, a four-day meeting of anti-globalisation campaigners from all over Europe. Delegates discussed topics from debt-reduction to support for the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.

Florence has been virtually shut down for the November 6-10 period, with the State Department advising its citizens to steer clear of Italy's art capital over concerns that violent, anarchist groups
might infiltrate the demonstration.

Authorities estimated that some 450,000 protesters flooded Florence's streets for the march on a chilly autumn afternoon.

But by dusk, the crowed had swelled to over half a million, many of them arriving on specially chartered trains and buses. Organizers estimated the gathering at around one million, making it one of Italy's biggest ever anti-war rallies.

Despite the large crowds, the march was largely peaceful and no incidents were reported.




3) Veteran Doug Rokke and Depleted Uranium


In service to his country, in honor of all Veterans, Major Doug Rokke is speaking out on exposure to depleted uranium from personal experience, and he is challenging the Army to use the training video he created as a health physicist assigned to the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team in the Gulf War. Thirty of roughly 100 DU team members have since died. All but one are sick; that one did mostly paperwork.

Depleted Uranium is a heavy metal and radioactive waste used in the manufacture of munitions. Rokke was the U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project director from 1994 1995, and directed the development, instruction, and assessment of radiation safety education and field procedures for the U.S. Army at the Bradley Radiological Laboratories, Fort McClellan, AL from 1996-1997, so he brings both personal and professional experience regarding the on-going use of DU.

159,000 Gulf War vets are on disability for service related injury and illness as of May, 2002. Over 20,000 claims await the V.A. Over 20,000 claims have been denied.


In honor of Veterans' Day, Traprock Peace Center has coordinated a multi-state tour for Major Doug Rokke

Nov. 10 - NYC
Nov. 12 - New Haven
Nov. 12 - Boston
Nov. 13 - Portland, ME
Nov. 16 in Seattle, WA
Nov. 25 in Sacramento, CA

For information on this tour and future programs, contact:
Traprock Peace Center
http://www.traprockpeace.org
Tel. 413-773-7427

also, for more information:

National Gulf War Resource Center, Inc.
http://www.ngwrc.org

and visit Flyby News Archives info on "harm by exposure to exploded depleted uranium shells"
http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid991363232,2156,




4) Human Rights Clemency for Desmond Carter

Some of the following is excerpted from
Amnesty Int'l Urgent Action Appeal
Date: Thu, 07 Nov 2002 18:33:54 -0500
http://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent/

Desmond Carter is scheduled to be executed in North Carolina on 10 December - International Human Rights Day. He was sentenced to death in July 1993 for the murder of Helen Purdy in March 1992. Helen Purdy, a 71-year-old woman, was Desmond Carter's next-door neighbour in Eden, Rockingham County, northern North Carolina. She was found stabbed to death in her house by family members. At the time of the crime, Desmond Carter was reportedly intoxicated on alcohol, cocaine, and tranquilizers. He had taken $15 from Helen Purdy, which he used to buy cocaine.

Desmond Carter was born to a 17-year-old mother in 1967. When he was three, his mother moved away, leaving him with his grandmother and alcoholic grandfather. The grandmother eventually left the grandfather and she and the child moved to North Carolina. During this time, Desmond Carter's father was imprisoned for murder. According to his current lawyers, Desmond Carter began using drugs when he was a teenager, and his substance abuse deteriorated over time. Not long before the murder of Helen Purdy, his grandmother tried to obtain substance abuse and mental health treatment for her grandson, however the hospital refused him treatment due to his lack of medical insurance cover.

In common with most capital defendants in the USA, Carter was too poor to hire his own lawyer to represent him at the murder trial. A study by the Common Sense Foundation, a research organization based in Raleigh, North Carolina, has concluded that more than 1 in 6 of the state's current death row inmates were represented at trial by lawyers who have been disciplined by the State Bar. One of Desmond Carter's court-appointed trial lawyers was recently reprimanded by the State Bar for making demeaning statements about a client in the media and for charging excessive fees.

Desmond Carter is black and Helen Purdy was white. A preliminary study issued in 2001 by researchers at the University of North Carolina indicates that people in the state who kill white people are 3.5 times more likely to receive a death sentence than for murders involving victims who are not white. This likelihood increases if the defendant is not white. About 40 % of murder victims in North Carolina are white, yet 86 % of the 21 people executed there since resumption of executions were put to death for crimes involving white victims. This pattern is reflected in Rockingham County. More than half of murder victims there are African American; in cases which have resulted in death sentences, seven of the eight murder victims were white (87.5 %).

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RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Please send appeals, to arrive as quickly as possible, in your own words:

- expressing sympathy for the family and friends of Helen Purdy, and explaining that you are not seeking to condone the manner of her death or to minimize the suffering caused;

- noting that studies have consistently pointed to race as a factor in the US death penalty, and expressing concern that this appears to be reflected in North Carolina's capital sentencing, including in Rockingham County;

- noting that Maryland's governor recently imposed a moratorium on executions in his state because of concern about the possible role of race in death penalty cases;

- noting the role that poverty also appears to have played in this case;

- urging clemency for Desmond Carter in the interest of fairness, compassion, and the reputation of North Carolina;

- calling on the governor to impose a moratorium on executions in North Carolina.

APPEALS TO:

Governor Michael F. Easley
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
Fax: 1 919 715-3175 or 1 919 733-2120
Email, via website: www.governor.state.nc.us (Click on 'contact us').

# # #

Please contact the Governor of North Carolina and urge him to grant clemency on behalf of Desmond Carter (inmate # 0068237). You can contact him via mail, email, fax or phone at the above address. The Governor needs to hear that there are a lot of people who love and care about Desmond Carter and are watching what happens. Important: Desmond's family needs a record of all letters, faxes, emails, and telephone calls to the Governor. If you or your friends send a letter, please send a copy to Tyrone Wallace at the following contact information. - Get your friends and local state representatives to contact North Carolina Governor, Michael F. Easley.

Tyrone Wallace
97 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA 01060
(work) (413) 586-4900 ext. 161
(home) (413) 536-7320
(email) twallace@collaborative.org

You can write Desmond Carter directly.

Desmond Carter #0068237
1300 Western Blvd.
Raleigh, NC 27606

You may also copy your appeals or write a brief letter (not more than 250 words) to:

Letters to the Editor
The News-Observer
PO Box 191
Raleigh, NC 27602
Fax: 1 919-829-4872
E-mail: forum@newsobserver.com

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.




5) Lori Berenson Turns 33 in Peruvian Prison

Friday, November 8, 2002
To All Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson:
RHODA VISITS LORI FOR HER 33RD BIRTHDAY

Although Lori won't "celebrate" her 33rd birthday until November 13, Rhoda recently visited her for this occasion and found her in good spirits, despite the five-month rainy season that commenced in Cajamarca. She continues to spend her days reading, writing, knitting or making greeting cards. Hopefully, this will be Lori's last birthday wrongfully spent in a Peruvian prison.

LORI BACK IN THE PERUVIAN NEWS

Worried about a future Inter-American Court decision favoring Lori, the Peruvian government has resorted to "scare tactics" reminiscent of the Fujimori-Montesinos regime. Key Peruvian officials have absurdly declared that the "floodgates" will be opened and hundreds of prisoners will be freed. And Peruvian Justice Minister Fausto Alvarado, trying to "defend the indefensible," claimed that Peru's illegal anti-terrorism legislation, developed by the Fujimori-Montesinos dictatorship to quash opposition as much as to quash terrorism, is "perfectly fine" and he hinted that Peru might withdraw from the jurisdiction of the OAS Court system if the decision by that body favors Lori. Other Peruvian politicians, in an unfortunate and unfounded display of nationalism, urged Peru to withdraw now rather than comply with its international obligations and commitments - such is the new Peruvian democracy!!! Several weeks ago, in our last update, we reported that President Toledo and Foreign Minister Wagner said that Peru would totally comply with the decision of the Court. Now these two Peruvian leaders are conspicuously quiet - perhaps allowing others to speak for them. President Bush will have to remind President Toledo that the government and people of the United States are concerned with Lori Berenson's well-being and expect the government of Peru to comply with the decision of the Court.

Meanwhile, the focus on Lori's case and its ramifications for other political prisoners serves as a smokescreen to cover twenty years of government-sponsored terrorism that has been documented by the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This week the Commission announced that to date 7,618 persons are known to have been "kidnapped and disappeared" over the two decades (1980 - 2000) and the list is still growing. To date, 84.0 % of these acts are known to have been committed by Peruvian military or police, 0.7 % are known to have been committed by rebel groups, and 15.3% were committed by unknown parties.
Rhoda and Mark Berenson
Website: http://www.freelori.org



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