Hot Buttons: Talk show topics

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International  |  Aug. 15, 2002 at 3:15 AM
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WHY IS AMERICA HATED?

Since Sept. 11, many Americans find themselves asking why so many people in Muslim countries hate the United States. The anti-American sentiment also has turned worldwide and come from some of America's allies, USA TODAY reports.

In Britain, the United States' staunchest friend, snide remarks and downright animosity greet many Americans these days. It's not just religious radicals and terrorists who resent the United States anymore.

Meghnad Desai, director of the Institute for Global Governance at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a member of the House of Lords says, "America dissipated the goodwill (following Sept. 11) out of its arrogance and incompetence.

Desai and others blame U.S. policies they regard as selfish and unilateral, beginning with President George Bush's refusal last year to support the international treaty on global warming.

Many are enraged by Bush's support for steel tariffs and farm subsidies, his refusal to involve the United States in the new international criminal court, what is widely regarded abroad as one-sided support for Israel, and his desire to topple Saddam Hussein, according to USA TODAY.

-- How much should America care about how the rest of the world views it?

-- Anger may be directed at Bush, but wouldn't Gore have supported steel tarriffs, farm subsidies and Israel?


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ELUDES ARAB WORLD

Establishing peace and security, limiting poverty, slowing population growth, improving education and developing production sectors are the main challenges facing the Arab world, according to U.N. reports.

The reports were released in Beirut by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, ahead of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4.

ESCWA, which is one of the U.N.'s five regional commissions, has 13 Arab nation members.

The reports say wars and other types of armed conflict had a destructive impact on the Arab region and its chances for sustainable development.

The reports say U.N. sanctions on Iraq to punish it for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait had a lingering negative impact on the country's education, health and death rates -- and other on regional economies.

Violence that broke out with the second Palestinian intifada of Sept. 28, 2000, and the deadlock in the Arab-Israeli peace process wiped out much of the progress made after the 1993 Oslo peace accords, the reports say.

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent fears of international terrorism greatly affected tourism, trade and investment in the Arab region.

-- What role should the international community play in ending the Arab-Israeli conflict and sanctions on Iraq?

-- Is the poverty in the Arab world the cause -- or the result -- of political unrest?

(Thanks to UPI's Dalal Saoud)


EMBARRASSING SCOFFLAWS

Chicago is posting the names of the top 100 parking ticket scofflaws on its Web site, hoping the publicity will get them to pay up the $1.4 million they owe. "Tell everyone on the block," Mayor Richard M. Daley said.

The first-time posting at cityofchicago.org shows three of the violators owing at least $40,000 each, with the rest owing at least $10,000 each.

Yvette Laura, owes $41,340 for 509 tickets, according to the site. Her vehicle had been abandoned on the street and ticketed repeatedly.

The city has filed suit against each of the top 100 scofflaws.

-- Will publicizing the names of scofflaws work?

-- What alternatives are there to giving tickets to scofflaws, especially if they cannot afford to pay the fine?

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