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CINCINNATI — Facing evidence that Iraq maintains weapons of mass destruction, and is developing nuclear weapons, the United States cannot wait for the final proof before acting to protect itself, President Bush said in an address to the nation Monday.
"We have every reason to assume the worst, and we have an urgent duty to prevent the worst from occurring," Bush said.
He was speaking as the U.S. Congress undertakes a debate on a resolution authorizing U.S. military action if necessary to enforce United Nations Security Council demands on Iraq.
Bush said approval of the draft congressional resolution backed by the White House "does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable. The resolution will tell the United Nations, and all nations, that America speaks with one voice and is determined to make the demands of the civilized world mean something."
Bush said he hopes that enforcement of U.N. demands does not require military action, but he said it may, and he acknowledged that "military conflict could be difficult." But "there is no easy or risk-free course of action," he said.
"Some have argued we should wait — and that is an option," he said. "In my view, it is the riskiest of all options — because the longer we wait, the stronger and bolder Saddam Hussein will become. We could wait and hope that Saddam does not give weapons to terrorists, or develop a nuclear weapon to blackmail the world. But I am convinced that is a hope against all evidence."
Saddam Hussein, Bush said, "must disarm himself — or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."
White House photo by Eric DraperBush delivers his speech to the Cincinnati gathering.
The president said the lives of Iraqi citizens would "improve dramatically" if Saddam Hussein were removed from power, "just as the lives of Afghanistan's citizens improved after the Taliban."
"America is a friend to the people of Iraq," he said. When the demands he has outlined are met, Bush said, "the first and greatest benefit will come to Iraqi men, women, and children . . . Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time."
Bush delivered his speech before a group of civic leaders here. His speech coincided with the anniversary of the first U.S. air strikes against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Special to A.M. Costa Rica
The Canadian Club will be gathering Oct. 13 to celebrate their annual Thanksgiving Day luncheon, complete with turkey and stuffing.
In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Unlike the American tradition of remembering Pilgrims and settling in the New World, Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.
Harvest celebrations have been around a long time. Ever since the very first harvest people have given thanks for a prosperous bounty. The first formal Canadian Thanksgiving was held just over 40 years prior to the pilgrims landing in Massachusetts.
An English explorer named Martin Frobisher was trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but when he landed in Newfoundland he did establish a settlement in Northern America and he did celebrate a harvest feast. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving.
In 1957, the Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday in October that Thanksgiving would be "a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed."
|During the American Revolution, Americans
who remained loyal to England moved to Canada where they brought the customs
and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. There are many similarities
between the two Thanksgivings such as the cornucopia and the pumpkin pie.
According to one Canadian resource the Canadian table usually features venison and waterfowl over turkey.
However, a professor from Durham College tells us that in Southern Ontario eating waterfowl or venison at Thanksgiving has never happened and that the turkey and/or ham is the featured food. Conversely, he adamantly states that when he was young "wild duck/goose was always served for Thanksgiving and, if they were fortunate venison as well! This was a common practice in that area at that time."
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Gran Hotel Costa Rica in downtown San José and is open to all Canadians and friends. There will be organized activities for children and a bar for big kids.
A harvest food drive will be held in conjunction with the event. Everyone attending is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or an article of clothing.
A limited number of tickets are still available. Call Marc Morin at 228-5393 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Silva will seek out
his opposition's voters
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
BRASILIA, Brazil — Leftist presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he will reach out to Brazilians who voted for other opposition candidates in the first-round of voting Sunday, in order to have a definitive victory in the runoff election Oct. 27.
On the day after he placed first in the first-round presidential election, the burly, bearded da Silva was all smiles. With almost all votes now counted, the candidate was far ahead of his closest rival, government-backed Jose Serra. Lula, who heads the Worker's Party, won a little more than 46 percent of the vote to Serra's showing of about 23 percent.
Two other candidates, Anthony Garotinho of the Brazilian Socialist Party, and Ciro Gomes of the People's Socialist Party, were eliminated from the second round.
Lula said he has been in contact with officials from those two campaigns in hopes of gaining their support.
He said it is not enough to speak with the opposition candidates, but that he is also talking to officials from the two parties, in hopes of gaining their support.
He said he also wants to have a discussion with people who voted for one of the other two opposition candidates in order to convince them to vote for him in the second round.
In response to questions about nervous reaction from financial markets to a possible Lula victory, the former labor leader said markets are always nervous. He noted that markets dipped when Tony Blair won his first election as prime minister in Great Britain.
Asked about whom he may name to his economic team, the Workers' Party candidate said he would not announce any appointments until after the Oct. 27 election. He said he plans to spend the next 20 days seeking votes, not planning his government.
Although he won twice as many votes as Serra, da Silva is not taking
a second-round victory for granted. Some analysts think Serra, an economist
and former health minister who is favored by the business community, could
make a strong comeback in the weeks ahead.
Second Chavez coup
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
CARACUS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez says his government has discovered plans for another military coup, six months after a failed attempt to topple him.
Chavez told government supporters here Saturday that security officials have found evidence of a plot by military officials and some civilians that would have toppled his government within the next week. He provided no details of the alleged plot, but said he is sure a coup has been prevented.
The president said intelligence agents have searched the home of Enrique Tejera Paris, former foreign minister, whom Chavez accused of leading the plot. The elderly Paris has not been detained but remains under investigation.
This announcement comes as the Chavez government continues to investigate dozens of military officers and some civilians who allegedly played a role in the April 11 coup that briefly ousted him.
That time the president was returned to power by loyal military officers,
but the oil-rich country remains in political turmoil. Rumors of coup attempts
here are common.
Peru happy with U.S.
Special to A.M. Costa Rica
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The government of Peru has praised the Bush Administration for fulfilling commitments to support economic development and helping small businesses in the Andean region.
Speaking Thursday at a trade conference in Lima sponsored by the U.S. government, Peru's President Alejandro Toledo congratulated President George Bush for "delivering results" for the countries of the Andes.
With Bush's visit to Peru in March, the U.S. president "sent an important signal to the democracies of Latin America, and as a result, commitments are being fulfilled by both the United States and the countries of the region," Toledo said.
Toledo's comments were released by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which co-sponsored with other U.S. export and investment finance agencies the Oct. 3 through 4 Andean Regional Trade and Investment Conference in Lima.
The Corporation said in a statement Monday that more than 200 companies from the United States, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru were represented at the conference.
The Corporation said it would provide a loan of up to $200 million for the construction of a new international airport in Quito, Ecuador.
Other U.S. agencies involved in the Quito project are the Export-Import Bank and the Trade and Development Agency. These two agencies also served as co-sponsors of the Lima conference. The Quito project follows a June 2001 announcement that the Corporation would provide a $106 million loan to modernize Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima.
The corporation quoted Peru's Toledo as saying that "we need trade and
investment to generate sustainable development," adding: "We can do this
together — North American entrepreneurs and Andean entrepreneurs — and
our commitment is to build a legal and judicial stability for that to happen.
We have a great opportunity, let's take it."
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
President Abel Pacheco made a good impression on the Taiwanese when he arrived to visit President Chen Shui-bian in Taipei.
The Taiwanese president had just been informed that he had become a grandfather for the first time, and both presidents said they considered this auspicious.
“This child is a herald of times of more friendship between our people
which we already have in common despite the distance,” Pacheco told Chen.
Costa Rica and Taiwan have 60 years of relations, and the Taiwanese
are constructing the Puente Amistad over the Río Tempesque as a
U.S. citizen shot
By the A..M. Costa Rica staff
A man identified as a U.S. citizen, Gary Stevens Neifari, 48, suffered
a bullet wound to the neck Monday. He was found in an apartment in Sabana
Sur about 9:30 a.m., according to investigators. They said they were working
on the assumption that the wound was self-inflicted. The man was in critical
condition in Hospital San Juan de Dios.
attack on ‘expression’
Special to A.M. Costa Rica
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A human rights official of the Organization of American States (OAS) has condemned the Sept. 30 murder of a Brazilian journalist, calling it the "most brutal means of restricting freedom of expression."
The journalist, Domingos Savio Brandao, was the owner of and a columnist for the daily newspaper Folha do Estado in the city of Cuiaba. The OAS said information it received indicated his murder was related to the newspaper's numerous investigations into the existence of gangs involved in undercover gambling and drug trafficking.
The OAS's Eduardo Bertoni said in a Wednesday statement that the murder or threats to social communicators "violate the fundamental rights of individuals."
The American Convention of Human Rights, to which Brazil is a party, "establishes that states have the duty to prevent, investigate, and sanction any violation of the human rights recognized by the Convention," said Bertoni, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Bertoni said the failure to thoroughly investigate the murder of a journalist and to punish those who carried out or planned the crime is "especially serious because of its impact on society."
When treated with impunity, he said, "these crimes intimidate not only other journalists but also citizens at large, since they make them fearful about reporting attacks, abuses, and other illicit acts."
According to the Miami-based Inter-American Press Association, which also condemned the murder, Brandao was killed by two men riding a motorcycle who shot at him a number of times as he was visiting the construction site of a new building for his newspaper, the second-largest in the city.
Rafael Molina, chairman of the Association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, said that "it is regrettable that in recent months Brazil has been in the international news yet again for the murder of a newspaperman," a reference to the violent death in June of Tim Lopes, a reporter for Brazil's TV Globo.
Like the OAS, Molina urged Brazilian authorities "to make every effort to solve this latest crime, a consequence of unchecked violence and in many cases the desire of criminals to silence any opposition."
Also condemning Brandao's murder was the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, which said it was "saddened by the death of our colleague." The Committee said 10 journalists have been killed in Brazil during the last 10 years.
Meanwhile, the Committee released a Sept. 24 letter saying it was "deeply troubled" by the latest developments in the case of Haitian journalist Brignolle Lindor, who was murdered in December 2001, after inviting members of the 15-party Haitian opposition coalition, Democratic Convergence, to be interviewed on his station, Radio Echo 2000. Lindor was killed by a machete-wielding mob near the coastal town of Petit-Goave.
U.S. officials said in September 2001 that the United States supports a resolution passed by the OAS that reaffirmed the goals of the OAS Special Mission to Haiti, which was launched in April.
Foundation to visit
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Angel of Love Foundation is marking its third anniversary at the Tom and Norman Home in Guápiles Oct. 20. The organization is arranging for a bus to take anniversary participants from San Jose to the home.
The Tom and Norman Home was originally in Heredia and cared for AIDS patients. Since Costa Rica began caring more for AIDS sufferers, the foundation decided to provide service for another needy sector of society, the impoverished elderly. The group opened a home in Guápiles in a converted stable.
The bus is scheduled to leave San Jose’s Parque Central around 8 a.m. and return around 3 p.m. The organization has room for 60 supporters to join them. Anyone can sign-up if they call for information at 282-7794. The cost is 2,000 or about $5.50.
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Bruce Harris, the executive director of Casa Alianza for Latin America, was recently elected to the ECPAT International board of directors. ECPAT International is a worldwide network of organizations and individuals that work together for the elimination of prostitution and child pornography and the traffic of children for sexual exploitation.
Harris has directed Casa Alianza for homeless children in México
and Central America for the past 13 years and has an office in San José.
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