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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 August
16th, 2000.

I'm Mark Wright. 


Our top story ...  The Russian Navy agreed today to accept help from
other nations in trying to rescue more than 100 crew members trapped
aboard a crippled nuclear-powered submarine that's lying wrecked and
with power failing on the floor of the frigid Barents Sea. 

Till now, interimperialist rivalries, and Russia's concern to shield its
military secrets, have apparently been obstacles to any international
cooperation to render aid.

The submarine disaster may also reflect the deterioration of Russian
technological and military capability since the overthrow of the Soviet
workingclass state nearly a decade ago.

The "cowboy capitalism" that replaced the socialized system has been
characterized by economic decline, rampant corruption, and Russia's
fall from a superpower status.


One more attempt was made this morning to attach a rescue capsule
to the outside of the submarine Kursk, and the Russian Navy was
planning to make one more attempt. 

But United States military officials are skeptical that any of the crew
members remain alive aboard the Kursk.

An anonymous US government official questioned whether any crew
members had survived the mysterious explosion that sent the
submarine to the ocean bottom on Saturday. 

While Russian officials have said they heard banging from sailors
trapped inside the submarine, that tapping ended today, according to
Russian military officials. 

Today the Russians were awaiting the arrival of a British mini-
submarine to assist in their rescue efforts, and claimed they were
willing to accept help from other nations as well. 



Turning to the South American nation of Colombia ...

... where the United States government has been funnelling billions of
dollars in military aid on the pretext of pursuing the so-called "Drug

Reports are emerging today that the Colombian Army may have
ambushed a group of school students, killing 6.
\Reuters/NYT August 16, 2000  \

Today, Colombian President Andres Pastrana, in an effort to avoid
embarrassment, head off protest,  and portray official "concern", 
ordered an investigation into the allegations that army troops armed
with assault rifles and grenades ambushed the school group and killed

The attack, in which five children were also injured, apparently took
place yesterday near the town of Pueblo Rico, as 60 pupils aged six to
12 strolled through the countryside with teachers and other adults. 

A regional army commander initially claimed the youngsters had been
"accidentally" caught supposedly in the cross-fire of what he said was
a clash between soldiers and some National Liberation Army guerrillas
near the town.  

But survivors of the ill-fated school trip insisted there'd been no
guerrillas in the area, and that troops had pinned the students down for
45 minutes. 

(quote) "Those who fired at us were soldiers. ... There were no
guerrillas. ... One soldier started crying and said he had killed innocent
children'' said one young girl, speaking to reporters in Pueblo Rico. 
\Reuters/NYT August 16, 2000  \



In other international news ... In what appears to be the end of
commercial supersonic aviation, Britain has officially suspended the
supersonic Concorde's Certificate of Airworthiness.
\ALAN COWELL NYT August 16, 2000\
British aviation authorities today formally ruled that the Concorde
supersonic airliner is unfit to fly, unless its manufacturers take steps to
prevent the problems that led to last month's fatal Air France Concorde
crash near Paris. 
\ALAN COWELL NYT August 16, 2000\

French authorities said today they were considering a similar step. 

It is considered unlikely that any alterations would be made to the
planes because of their age and the high expenses already involved in
continuing their operation.

Air France had already grounded its five remaining Concordes
immediately after the July 25th crash of a Concorde, which plunged to
the ground 90 seconds after take-off, killing 113 people in the first fatal
accident involving the supersonic plane. 
\ALAN COWELL NYT August 16, 2000\

British authorities said the accident's "primary cause" was a blown tire
that expelled debris that ruptured a fuel tank. 

The withdrawal of the Concorde's airworthiness certificate by Britain's
Civil Aviation Authority was the first such action against a commercial
airliner in more than 20 years. 

British Airways, the only other Concorde operator, had already
grounded its entire fleet of seven Concordes yesterday after learning
that the airworthiness certificate would be revoked today. 

The grounding of the planes may mean that the entire fleet of
Concordes will end up in museums.



Turning to national news ...

Protests against the Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles
continued today, with protesters confined inside a "police pen" near
the convention site.

Even some mainstream media observers have been disturbed as
police in riot gear have viciously attacked demonstrators and even
uninvolved bystanders with tear gas and special "crowd control"

Police have also beaten protesters and bystanders with batons,
arresting approximately 300.

Today, Marcia Hale, a top aide to the Gore campaign overseeing
convention planning who watched the clash in Los Angeles from the
roof of the convention complex, said Democratic party officials
supported the police response. 
\TODD S. PURDUM NYT August 15, 2000\

(quote) "We knew what they were doing" Hale said, "and we supported
\TODD S. PURDUM NYT August 15, 2000\


Like the Republican convention, the Democratic shindig is awash in
money from powerful corporations, multimillionaires, and billionaires  - 
making it an object lesson for revolutionary Marxists' assertions that
these are the parties of America's capitalist ruling class.

The Democratic convention is (quote) "a display of wealth, power and
influence as gaudy as the Republican show in Philadelphia" reported
the 'New York Times' Sunday. 

(quote) "The Democrats have even topped the Republican Regents,
the elite club of $250,000 donors, with a big-dollar cadre of their own,
a group of 18 individuals and corporations called Leadership 2000 who
have given or raised $350,000 or more" says the 'Times', noting that in
the 18 months ending June 30th, the Democratic National Committee
had collected over $118 million in so-called "soft-money" donations  - 
unregulated gifts from various powerful interests.

As a result, says the 'Times', that's nearly erased "the traditional
Republican advantage in such contributions."

Over the same period, the 'Times' reports, the Republican National
Committee reported $137 million in "soft-money" donations. 


One of the major developments in the Democratic presidential
campaign is the rift that's opened up between the Gore-Lieberman
official ticket and many of the black stalwarts in the party, particularly
focused on Lieberman's opposition to affirmative action.

Lieberman has voiced support for California's Proposition 209, the
racist 1998 initiative to ban state-financed affirmative action programs. 

Lieberman has repeatedly spoken out against affirmative action,
although his spin-doctors are claiming he's only opposed to quotas. 
\Mark Sherman American-Statesman  August 16, 2000\


Gore's selection of Lieberman appears to be a replay of the Clinton-
Gore campaign's strategy in 1992 to embrace racist positions in an
effort to win the white bigot vote.

While Gore's selection of Lieberman has been hailed in the
mainstream media as the first time an ethnic Jew has been placed on
a major-party ticket, it actually represents a profoundly reactionary
move to the right.

Lieberman is by far one of the most rightwing spokesmen in the
Democratic Party, who has built his reputation particularly on
demagogic grandstanding for imposing government censorship on
movies, TV, radio, music, and other cultural media.


The revolutionary Marxist Spartacist League denounces both
Democratic and Republican Parties, calling them the "Partner Parties
of Racist U.S. Capitalism".
\WV 00/07/28\

(quote) "The tying of labor and blacks to the Democratic Party has
been the chief mechanism in this country for holding back the class
struggle and politically subordinating working people and the
opporessed to their class enemy",  say the Spartacists.

The Spartacists also warn against supporting so-called "Green Party"
candidate Ralph Nader, pointing to participation by the Greens in
Germany in a bourgeois coalition government, including Green
leaders' policy of attacks on the working class and support for the
bloody imperialist war against Yugoslavia last year.

(quote) "In reality, the Green Party platform is a version of what the
liberal wing of the Democratic Party has been selling for decades"
says the current issue of the Spartacist paper, 'Workers Vanguard'.

(quote) "Despite his 'anti-corporate' rhetoric," says the paper, "Nader
himself insists that his program is compatible with the traditional
interests of the American state."


Instead of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois "third parties", say the
Spartacists, what's needed is a mass revolutionary party of the working

(quote) "We oppose political support for any bourgeois party or
candidate in principle" affirms 'Workers Vanguard', "and stand for the
complete and unconditional independence of the working class from all
parties and agencies of the capitalist class."

"The working class and the oppressed cannot take a single step
toward liberation if locked in an embrace with political parties of the
class enemy" the paper continues, adding:

"Break with the Democrats!  No support to the Greens!  Build a
revolutionary workers party to fight for socialist revolution!"



Turning to the growing oppression of the capitalist state ...

Despite a reduction in the crime rate, the number of inmates in
America's prisons has continued to grow ferociously, according to a
report last week.
\FOX BUTTERFIELD NYT August 10, 2000\

Despite as eight-year drop in crime, the population of the nation's state
and federal prisons grew last year at 3.4 percent, according to a report
from the US Justice Department.

The main reasons the prison population has increased, even as crime
has dropped, the report said, are that the number of inmates who
returned to prison for parole violations increased, the length of the
average prison sentence increased, and drug crimes, which are not
included in the overall crime rate computed by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, did not drop. 


The number of inmates who were returned to prison after being
released on parole during the 1990's grew by 54 percent, as parole
agents became tougher about revoking parole for technical violations
like failing a drug test. 

In contrast, the number of criminals sent to prison for new convictions
rose just 7 percent. 

The average length of time served was 28 months in 1998.

That's up from 20 months in 1990, the report said, the result of tougher
sentencing laws. 

The report also noted that the total number of Americans in all jails
and prisons surpassed two million for the first time, reaching 2,026,596
at the end of 1999, the report said. 


The report also found that Texas, which has been on a record-setting
prison expansion under Governor George W. Bush, the Republican
presidential candidate, passed California as the state with the most
prison inmates, though Texas has a much smaller population.

Texas has a population of 20 million people compared with 32 million
in California. 

But at the end of 1999, Texas had over 100 more inmates than did

In addition, the report said 9.4 percent of black men ages 25 to 29
were in state and federal prisons in 1999, almost 10 times the rate for
white men in their late 20's, which was 1 percent. 

Among Hispanic males in their late 20's, 3.1 percent were in prison. 


And that concludes the Straight Facts edition of the news, produced by
Straight Facts Radio.

The next Straight Facts edition of "KOOP Evening News" is scheduled
for broadcast on September 6th.

Stay tuned for the remaining half of tonight's news program, in just a
moment, produced by Texas Association for Public Transportation.

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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 September 6th.

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

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