A toxic nerve agent is being trucked from Indiana to Port Arthur, Texas as the US destroys its arsenal of chemical weapons. The Army says it's perfectly safe, but other states have rejected such shipments, and Port Arthur is divided. We find out why. Also, the Israeli Foreign Minister calls for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign and, on Reporter's Notebook, an accused madam has created a furor in Washington, DC. If she releases the names of her clients, should the media print them or not?
FROM THIS EPISODE
After the scathing report on Israel's war in Lebanon, Foreign Minister Tippi Livni has called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to step down. She says she will seek to replace him. Gerald Steinberg teaches political studies and directs the program on Conflict Management at Bar Ilan University.
VX is one of the most toxic substances ever made; as little as 200 micrograms are said to be fatal. The nerve agent is part of the arsenal of chemical weapons the US has agreed to destroy by 2012. More than 40% has been hydrolyzed, so diluted with water and other chemicals that the Army says it's effectively neutral. But that has created millions of gallons of waste to be disposed of. After officials in New Jersey and Ohio rejected plans to dump the waste in their rivers, it's being trucked out of Indiana 1000 miles through six other states to Port Arthur, Texas, where the toxic residue will be incinerated. What are the risks to public health? Why did other states turn down the money and jobs a government contract will bring? Was Port Arthur's largely black and Hispanic community notified in advance? How did September 11 accelerate the disposal process?
Oscar Ortiz, Mayor of Port Arthur, Texas
Hilton Kelley, Director of the Community In-Power Development Association
Jesse Barber, Project for the US Army's Chemical Stockpile Elimination Project
Craig Williams, Director of the Chemical Weapons Working Group
Mitch Osborne, General Manager for Veolia Environmental Services' Port Arthur Facility
An alleged madam has caused a furor in Washington, DC by claiming she has 46 pounds of telephone invoices proving that high-level officials have used services she claims were entirely legal. Deborah Jeane Palfrey's given the list to ABC News, which says it includes "a Bush Administration economist, the head of a conservative think tank, a prominent CEO, several lobbyists and a handful of military officials." Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias resigned last week, revealing he was a client. In the midst of TV ratings sweep, ABC says it will have a report on Friday. Will the Washington press corps release their names? Joe Strupp is senior editor at Editor and Publisher, which reports on the newspaper industry.
Joe Strupp, Senior Editor of Editor & Publisher
More From To the Point
US elections: How far have we come since Bush v. Gore? This program began in the year 2000 with coverage of the contested election of President George W. Bush. Changes in the following 17 years were supposed to improve the integrity of the electoral process. Is the "guarantee" that every American has the right to vote more — or less — a reality?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Handlebar’s Sandra Adu Zelli on the 5 best ingredients for a kickass winter salad People in Santa Barbara aren’t used to standing in line. The one exception may be Handlebar Coffee Roasters, where it’s common to see cyclists and hipsters waiting out the door.… Read More