Is the Federal Government about to Sell off the West?

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Late last night, the Congress passed $50 billion in spending cuts with reluctant moderate Republicans providing a two-vote margin. Among other provisions is a scheme to increase revenue by selling off federal lands at cut-rate prices. The measure would lift a ban on what's called the "patenting" of federal land claimed for mining under a law that's been on the books since 1872, a change that would allow the land to be purchased for $1000 dollars an acre. But critics say it could be worth much more and that millions of acres might be involved. Do mining companies and local economies need federal help? Would millions of acres now held in trust for the public be turned into centers of private profit? We update the growing divide among Republicans and look at a measure that's been overshadowed by other issues.
  • Making News: More Torture and Violence in Iraq
    In Khanaqin, a largely Kurdish town 90 miles northeast of Baghdad, a suicide bomber today killed at least 74 people who were worshiping in a Shiite mosque. John Burns, who reports from Baghdad for the New York Times, has more on today's violence and an update on Iraqi response to the yesterday's call for immediate troop withdrawal by Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Report Says Iran Got Info from the Nuclear Black Market
    In less than a week, the International Atomic Energy Agency will decide if Iran's nuclear program should be referred to the UN Security Council. Iran says its only purpose is generating electricity. Today it's reported that Iran has received designs for weapons from the nuclear black market. This as President Bush and Russia's President Putin are discussing the issue at the Asian Pacific summit in South Korea. Carla Anne Robbins is Diplomatic Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Congressman Murtha's call for immediate US troop withdrawal from Iraq

New York Times' article on bombing of two Shiite mosques in Iraq

Burns' article on Iraqi rift after discovery of secret prison

Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (HR 4241)

Mike Dombeck's Los Angeles Times editorial on budget bill

Weisman's article on House approval of spending cuts

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran

Latest IAEA information in Iranian nuclear policy and activities



Warren Olney