News Briefs

Lowfat Milk, Anyone?

In a new deal between The Clinton Foundation, the American Heart Association and three major soda manufacturers, sugary high-calorie drinks will be suspended from school vending machines. They will be replaced with bottled water, unsweetened fruit juices, low-fat milk and sugar-free sodas – drinks sold by the same soda companies.

A Spy and a General

President Bush nominated General Michael Hayden to be the next head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Senate approved the nomination. Hayden helped design the recently discovered secret spy program, and he defended it in his confirmation hearings with the U.S. Senate. In the hearings Hayden refused to answer many questions about the program of spying on Americans, the methods of questioning prisoners that some consider torture and secret CIA prisons. General Hayden said he would only answer these questions privately with the senators.

King Pays Taxes Too

King Gyanendra took absolute control of the government of Nepal last year, claiming that the government had failed to stop a communist* revolt. But the king’s government oppressed its people, and as a response, Nepal’s citizens cut the king’s royal powers and reinstated the House of Representatives. Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The communists, who control 80 percent of the countryside, say they are still concerned about foreign interference in Nepal and the people’s rights to education, healthcare and jobs. They say they would like to continue peace talks with the new government of Nepal.

*Communists are people who believe in creating a society where all resources are shared equally by the people.

Sharing the Oil Wealth

Venezuela, the oil-rich South American nation, is expanding programs that provide discounted oil to poor countries so that poor people can pay for heating and other needed energy. In May, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez negotiated a program to provide oil and health services to poor countries in Africa. Last winter, several U.S. communities, including the Bronx, benefited from discounted heating oil provided by the Venezuelan government.

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