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Major portions of the following news program have been produced by
Straight Facts Information Services as a service to KOOP Radio. 

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Good evening, and welcome to this special edition of  the KOOP
evening news program, produced by Straight Facts Radio, for
September 20th, 2000.

I'm Mark Wright. 


Our top story today:  Yesterday's action by the United States Senate to
open up trade with China and implement last November's trade deal
between Washington and Beijing.
\ERIC SCHMITT NYT September 20, 2000\

The measure, passed 83 to 15, represents a major advance for
American imperialism's efforts to penetrate the economy of the badly
deformed Chinese workingclass state, and further intensifies the threat
to the remaining achievements of the 1949 Chinese revolution, whch
overthrew capitalism.

Last November's US-China agreement, plus yesterday's vote,  pave
the way for China to enter the World Trade Organization, the
imperialist-dominated trade group which attempts to police global trade
relations to the benefit of the major imperialist powers, especially the
United States.


As Straight Facts Radio has noted in previous reports, China's entry
into the World Trade Organization, or WTO, would represent another
huge step toward the dismantling of what's left of the socialized
economic system and the basis of the workingclass state - even in its
highly disfigured, mutilated,
and bureaucratically distorted form.

Under the terms of the agreement, China's ruling bureaucacy will be
under the imperialist gun to accelerate their so-called "reforms" of
dismantling state control of the economy, including privatizing
factories, laying off workers, scrapping public benefit programs, and
opening up opportunities for capitalist profitmaking.

In American imperialism's game of carrot-and-stick, aimed at the
imperialist reconquest of China, the Clinton administration and other
elements within US capitalism's ruling circles have been manipulating
trade-protectionism and "Buy American" bigotry as a weapon for
pressuring concessions from capitalist allies as well as from China.



Next, turning to Europe ...

Mass protests against high fuel prices have continued to gain

Yesterday, angry truckers and farmers in Sweden and Spain blocked
transit to harbors, rail terminals, and fuel depots to protest the high
prices of motor fuel.

Spanish fishermen called off a protest that had blocked the entrance to
the port of Barcelona for a day. 

In Spain, protests intensified with demonstrations in 34 provinces of
the country.

Today, thousands of fishermen and farmers throughout Spain shut
down seaports, surrounded wholesale fish markets, and blockaded
fuel distribution centers in a growing protest against rising fuel costs. 

Almost 200 farmers on tractors and in trucks shut off fuel delivery to
parts of southern and eastern Spain when they surrounded three fuel
distribution centers.



Meanwhile in Europe, more bad news for the beleaguered euro - the
new multi-national currency that's supposed to replace individual
currencies like the Germany mark, the French franc, and the Italian

The euro has been almost continually losing its value, threatening a
currency crisis and jeopardizing the planned unification of Europe.

The euro has continued its relentless decline this week as the impact
of the currency's weakness rippled across the Atlantic into America's
corporate landscape, cutting into the sales and profits of US

In trading yesterday the euro fell to a new low of just over 85 cents and
finished the day in New York at just under 85 and a half cents.

Razor-maker Gillette, for example, said that the drop in the value of
several currencies, particularly the euro, would reduce the dollar value
of the company's sales by 6 percent in the third quarter, compared with
a year ago. The news sent its stock plunging 7.3 percent.

Shares of DuPont, McDonald's, Colgate-Palmolive and other
companies conducting a major part of their business in Europe have
also experienced declines after company management admitted they'd
be hurt by the weak euro. 


The global oil market crisis  -  also reported by Straight Facts Radio  - 
is also impacting global capitalism and the profit status of individual

Yesterday's 'New York Times' summarized the situation:

(quote) "Adding to the sales and profit problems of these multinational
companies is the rising cost of oil and gasoline. It is sapping European
spending power and, at the same time, raising corporate costs, a fact
that has particularly hurt DuPont."

As the 'Times' points out, "The decline in the value of the euro, or any
other currency against the dollar, cuts into performance when sales
and profits from abroad are translated into dollars. Hedging in currency
markets can limit these impacts but can be expensive."

"What is making the decline of the euro extra painful for American
companies" relates the 'Times, "is that this was supposed to be the
year the currency of 11 nations bottomed out and then began to rally,
after falling 13.7 percent in its debut year of 1999."

In other words, what's been happening is that the euro has continued
to unravel, threatening the entire plan for a unified European market to
face off against the USA and Japan.



And it's not just the fall in the euro that's hurting companies with
business in Europe. 

There's been a sharp decline in the British pound which is also cutting
into sales and profits. 

Since the end of the second quarter in June, the euro is off 10.3
percent against the dollar while the British pound is down 7.1 percent. 

The average value of the euro so far this quarter, compared with the
third quarter of 1999, is down 13.1 percent, which is the important
comparison for year-to- year quarterly sales and profits. 

The average value of the British pound is down 7.4 percent so far this
quarter compared with a year ago.

Those developments, together with the impact of skyrocketing oil
prices, may hold some big shock waves for global capitalism in the
near future.



And, in the USA, the trade deficit continues to soar  -  the sign of a
very sour market for exports from US capitalism. 

The trade deficit surged to $31.89 billion in July, an increase from the
revised $29.85 billion in June, the US Commerce Department reported
\TIM ARANGO NYT September 20, 2000\

Previously, the government estimated June's trade gap at $30.62
\TIM ARANGO NYT September 20, 2000\

The rise in imports in July reflected increases in the value of crude oil
and natural gas as well as automobiles and parts. 

The decline in exports was in part a result of a decrease in sales of
automotive parts and industrial supplies overseas  -  not a good sign
for American industry.


And, while US capitalism has been apparently booming, creating more
multi-millionaires, the times have not been so great for the mass of
American working people.

(quote) "Despite all the talk about prosperity in this digital age, tax
return data indicates that the rising tide of bits and bytes is lifting the
yachts much more than the rowboats" reported an in-depth article in
Sunday's 'New York Times'..
\DAVID CAY JOHNSTON NYT September 17, 2000\

According to the 'Times' report, "From 1986 through 1997, the latest
year for which detailed figures are available from the Internal Revenue
Service, the average income of the richest 1 percent of Americans
soared 89 percent, to $517,713 from $273,562."
\DAVID CAY JOHNSTON NYT September 17, 2000\

But, says the 'Times', "During those same 12 years, the bottom 90
percent of Americans, meaning everyone who took home less than
$80,000 after paying federal income taxes, did not fare nearly as well."
\DAVID CAY JOHNSTON NYT September 17, 2000\

"In 1997, the average income for the bottom 90 percent was $23,815,
up a scant $364, or 1.6 percent, from 1986. This average also
fluctuated during the 12 years, but the changes, up or down, were less
than 2 percent in 11 of those years. The fluctuations were so tiny that
in the chart accompanying this article they disappear, and the line
appears flat" reports the 'Times'.
\DAVID CAY JOHNSTON NYT September 17, 2000\

In other words, most Americans have benefited little to not at all from
the marvellous boom times that have been driving up the costs of
housing and other essentials.

<LIVE: PSA - Public Forum "Whose Streets">


<TAPT News: Remainder of program produced by TAPT>




And that brings us to the end of tonight's edition of the "KOOP Evening
News" program.

Be sure to tune in again tomorrow evening at 5:30 for another edition
of the "KOOP Evening News".

The next edition of the "KOOP Evening News" produced by Straight
Facts Radio will be broadcast on October 4th.

And stay tuned for "Left-In-Sight", coming next, right here on KOOP
Austin, 91.7 MHz.

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