Mayors from Around the World Call for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Bush Proposes Cutting Compensation to Uranium Workers

* Mayors from 25 countries and the United States released a statement recently asking President Bush to support the abolition of nuclear weapons. The statement was released at the plenary Mayor's Conference, which was held June 25th in Detroit, Michigan. The statement was signed by nearly 100 former and current mayors from around the world, including Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca.

Among the mayors' demands was the dealerting of nuclear missiles in Russia and the U.S. Since the height of the Cold War, thousands of missiles in both countries have been ready to strike at any moment. The statement says that although the missiles are aimed at only select cities, they are a threat to cities everywhere. The mayors believe it is their responsibility to speak out, and said that, "if nuclear weapons are ever again used, it is virtually certain that one or more of our cities will be the target and the people we represent will be the victims."

The mayors' statement also called attention to the amount of money and resources that are used on nuclear weapons work that could be diverted to civic programs. The statement says, "It is intolerable that the family of man, delivered from the nightmare of the Cold War, still faces this menace. It is unacceptable that while so many human needs are neglected and while poverty afflicts so many, particularly in cities, vast resources that could be put to wiser use are spent on nuclear weapons that no responsible nation wants to use and that, nonetheless used, could not only destroy cities and nations and their peoples, but could conceivably exterminate humanity."

Bush Proposes Cutting Compensation to Uranium Workers

President Bush has proposed another delay to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, the federal program to compensate sick uranium miners and millers. President Bush has proposed to halt further payments until studies can be completed proving that the workersą illnesses were caused by exposure to uranium and silica.

The Act was passed in 1990 to compensate uranium workers and their families. After years of delay and government issued IOUs, many workers are frustrated by the lack of compensation. Compensation may be now delayed another six months to one year, according to William Lambert, with the University of Oregon, who is conducting one of the studies in question.

New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici opposes the Bush proposal. Steve Bell, spokesman for Domenici said, "We have told (the administration) that we are not going to delay anything. These miners are going to get every dime they're entitled to, and sooner than the administration thinks."

Critics of Bush's proposal are concerned that more uranium workers will die before they receive compensation. As Lori Goodman, of Dine CARE, an organization representing the Dine population that worked in the mines, said, "The administration is shirking its moral and legal responsibility to a segment of society that is powerless because they are old and sick. It is a total disgrace."

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