News Bites

It's On Me. Canada has cancelled the $750 million debt owed it by Iraq to help put the war-torn country on a "better foundation" for economic development, announced Prime Minister Paul Martin at the recent World Economic Forum.

Lawyer Up. Guantanamo Bay detainees have the right to challenge the legality of their detention, stated the National Council of Churches and other religious organizations in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court. The United States has been holding foreign nationals from more than 40 countries at Guantanamo since 2002.

Bar None. Kathy Kelly, above, co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was sentenced to three months in federal prison for protesting the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Shop Right. Discount warehouse chain Costco's religious shareholders won a 5 percent proxy vote and declared a "first-step victory" in their campaign to demand that the company develop a transparent policy that incorporates social and environmental factors in the store site selection process.

Dry Heaves. The World Bank predicts that the Yemeni capital of Sana'a will exhaust its water supply by 2010, at which point it will either need to import water or the city must be abandoned. The Earth Policy Institute is now keeping statistics on "environmental refugees."

Chuck E.'s Mad. Pop singer Rickie Lee Jones, not known for her political music, takes on George W. Bush with her latest album, The Evening of My Best Day, featuring several protest songs that directly criticize current U.S. policies, especially the Patriot Act.

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