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10/14/1997 - Friday National Mammography Day

Friday, October 17 is National Mammography Day. Free or reduced-fee mammograms will be offered by over 1,200 radiology facilities around the country on Friday and throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

National Mammography Day is meant to educate women about the importance of finding breast cancer early, and how mammograms can help to achieve early detection. An estimated 180,200 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 44,000 will die from it. Regular mammograms can reduce breast cancer deaths by up to 30% for women over 50, and are recommended for all women over 40 by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American Colege of Radiology.

To find a participating facility in your area, call the ACS at 1-800-227-2345, or the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations at 1-800-719-9154.


10/14/1997 - GOP Targets Three Female Senators

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been targeted by Republicans as the most vulnerable women senators for next year's re-election campaigns.

The three all support abortion rights and fight against welfare cuts, stances which conservatives plan to publicize in order to portray them as radically liberal. Republican pollster Tony Fabriuzo took cheap shots at the Senators, calling Murray "an empty suit," and attesting that Boxer "grates people the wrong way." Republican Chairman Tom Schroeder called Boxer an "extremist" on the abortion issue, and criticized her opposition to anti-affirmative action measure Proposition 209. In response to conservative charges that the women were too liberal for their constituents, Murray, a working mother, said "I probably am much more typical of a United States citizen than many of my colleagues."

Murray and Moseley-Braun said they weren't surprised by the GOP attacks. "It speaks straight to the gender gap problem that the Republicans have," said Murray. Moseley-Braun said "Republicans have failed to understand that women can be as accomplished and effective and hard-working as their male colleages. If they think the women they've targeted are pushovers, they've got another thing coming."


10/14/1997 - Washington Voters Test Gay Rights Bill

Gay rights activists have written an anti-discrimination measure that would prevent discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the workplace. If passed, it will be the first gay rights initiative passed by voters rather than legislators.

Despite the fact that the ballot measure also specifically forbids preferential treatment, quotas, and domestic partner benefits and exempts religious organizations and businesses with less than 8 employees in an effort to counter claims by gay rights opponents,anti-gay activists continue to fight the the initiative. Residents will vote on the measure on November 4.

The Washington Association of Churches, the state's largest organization of Protestant and Catholic churches, has endorsed the initiative. Rev. Dr. Ellis H. Casson, senior pastor of a Seattle First AME Church, said "Today, the people of the state of Washington live in a community where it is legal to deny or remove someone from their job simply because of sexual orientation. We find this principle to be morally wrong


10/14/1997 - Kenyan Woman Fights to Criminalize Wife-Beating

Defying Maasai tradition that says women are property and can be beaten, Agnes Siyiankoi is enlisting the help of Nairobi lawyers to change Kenya's constitution and outlaw wife-beating.

Siyiankoi's brother, a lawyer, lodged a High Court application seeking the equivalent of $150 in damages for Agnes Siyiankoi's abuse by her husband. He also asked that wife-beating be declared unconstitutional. Sinyianko lives with her brother and three of her four children in Nairobi, where she has accused her husband in court of repeated assault over 13 years. She said the practice of polygamy caused him to beat her constantly.

Women lawyers have recommended several reforms to Kenya's attorney general, including outlawing wife-beating and marital rape. They want to criminalize wifebeating because, even when a man beats his wife to death, he is not prosecuted. Millie Odhiambo of the International Federation of Women Lawyers reports that "...almost every tribe in Kenya practices wife-beating."


10/14/1997 - Report Predicts Decline in Minority College Enrollment

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education published a report that predicts a 50 to 80% drop in minority college enrollment if affirmative action is banned on campuses and SAT scores continue to carry a lot of weight.

"The reality of standardized test scores is that they are not only culturally biased, but are biased against those persons of lower socioeconomic status," said Percy Hintzen, UC-Berkeley African American Studies chair. The study said that the mean SAT scores at institutions like Yale and Caltech were unfair to blacks, since less than half of one percent of blacks meet the median scores for students to be accepted. At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, applicants who receive less than 28 on the MCAT do not receive interviews; the median score for blacks is 23.5. Minority enrollment plummeted this fall at several Texas and California campuses after affirmative action was banned.

The SAT also has been found to be biased against women.


10/14/1997 - Friday National Mammography Day

Friday, October 17 is National Mammography Day. Free or reduced-fee mammograms will be offered by over 1,200 radiology facilities around the country on Friday and throughout October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

National Mammography Day is meant to educate women about the importance of finding breast cancer early, and how mammograms can help to achieve early detection. An estimated 180,200 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 44,000 will die from it. Regular mammograms can reduce breast cancer deaths by up to 30% for women over 50, and are recommended for all women over 40 by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American Colege of Radiology.

To find a participating facility in your area, call the ACS at 1-800-227-2345, or the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations at 1-800-719-9154.


10/14/1997 - GOP Targets Three Female Senators

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been targeted by Republicans as the most vulnerable women senators for next year's re-election campaigns.

The three all support abortion rights and fight against welfare cuts, stances which conservatives plan to publicize in order to portray them as radically liberal. Republican pollster Tony Fabriuzo took cheap shots at the Senators, calling Murray "an empty suit," and attesting that Boxer "grates people the wrong way." Republican Chairman Tom Schroeder called Boxer an "extremist" on the abortion issue, and criticized her opposition to anti-affirmative action measure Proposition 209. In response to conservative charges that the women were too liberal for their constituents, Murray, a working mother, said "I probably am much more typical of a United States citizen than many of my colleagues."

Murray and Moseley-Braun said they weren't surprised by the GOP attacks. "It speaks straight to the gender gap problem that the Republicans have," said Murray. Moseley-Braun said "Republicans have failed to understand that women can be as accomplished and effective and hard-working as their male colleages. If they think the women they've targeted are pushovers, they've got another thing coming."


10/13/1997 - U.S. Company to Market Emergency Contraception

Gynetics, Inc. announced last Wednesday that it will market a "morning-after pill" in the U.S. They are the first company to do so since the FDA approved the use of six brands of birth control pills for emergency contraception last February.

The FDA's decision to approve the drug was based on years of safe and effective use by over four million European women, and Princeton's Office of Population Research, who convinced the FDA that high rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions would go down drastically. Dr. James Trussel of the OPR said that for every 100 women who had unprotected sex during the second or third week of their menstrual cycle, eight would become pregnant. Use of emergency contraception would reduce that number to two.

Gynetics, Inc. will package regular birth control pills specifically for the purpose of emergency contraception, something that other U.S. birth control manufacturers have refused to do, citing fear of litigation and political backlash.


10/13/1997 - Clinton Explains Veto of D&X Abortions

Calling the House bill that would ban late-term abortions "consistent with neither the Constitution nor sound public policy," President Clinton explained why he vetoed the bill for the second time.

"As I have stated on many occasions, I support the decision in Roe v. Wade protecting a woman's right to choose. H.R. 1122 does not contain an exception to the measure's ban that will adequately protect the lives and health of the small group of women in tragic circumstances who need an abortion performed at a late stage of pregnancy to avert death or serious injury."

He said while the procedure "appears inhumane," he said "to eliminate it without taking into consideration the rare and tragic circumstances in which its use may be necessary would be even more inhumane."

Illustrating his consistent stance, Clinton said that as Governor of Arkansas, he signed a bill banning third-trimester abortions except in cases where it was necessary "to avoid serious health consequences." Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. said "The Republicans could have sent the president a signable bill. They refused to compromise because they want a political issue they can use in the next election year."


10/13/1997 - Million Woman March Planned

On October 25, hundreds of thousands of women plan to march in Philadelphia in order to revitalize black families and communities.

The event, an entirely grassroots endeavor, is being publicized on the internet and has organized garage sales and car washes for fundraising. It is open to all people regardless of race or gender. Spokeswoman Wessita McKinley said, "This is going to be a historical event. They're just coming to support their sisters, to see what they can do as a collective effort to better ourselves, our race, our families and our community." Minnesota coordinator Carol Soto said, "My 13-year-old, she is extremely excited about going to the march. That's all she talks about."

The event will feature Winnie Mandela as keynote speaker, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and singer Sister Souljah.


10/13/1997 - Breast Cancer, Chemicals Linked

According to Jim Hightower's new book "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos," the chemical industry has been profiting from both manufacturing chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer, as well as making money from cancer treatments.

Journalist Molly Ivins quoted Hightower in her Saturday column, saying "first they make money from the organochlorines that some say are linked to breast cancer; then they urge us all to go out and get mammograms to detect the cancer; then they make money trying to cure it. This is an entirely new kind of vertical monopoly."

Organochlorines are man-made chemicals often found in our environment and food, like dioxins, DDT, benzene and CFCs. Ivins cited a study at the Institute of Chemical Toxology at Wayne State University that found a combination of organochlorines caused breast cells to proliferate at a high rate. Breast cancer victims often have high levels of organochlorines in their bodies, and chemical and farm workers who have close contact with organochlorines have high rates of breast cancer. Israel recently reported a 30% drop in breast cancer rates after banning three cancer-causing pesticides.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was originally sponsored by Imperical Chemical Industries, manufacturers of organochlorines. They were found responsible for dumping toxic chemicals in the St. Lawrence River, and have been accused by the federal government of dumping DDT and PCBs into the L.A. and Long Beach harbors.


10/13/1997 - Modern Women Disfiguring Bodies with Corsets, Footbinding

Women in Britain and the U.S. are now wearing corsets to reduce their waistlines, and metal devices to bind their feet, in a practice known as "body training."

The "waist training" regimen requires wearing an increasingly tighter corset over a period of months in order to reduce the waist by 2-6 inches, by displacing the intestines, stomach and bladder. Increasing pressure in the abdomen pushes the contents of the stomach upwards, leading to heartburn. By pushing on the stomach, corsets also prevent the woman from eating as much as usual, which leads to weight loss. Urinary and circulatory problems are also a risk.

UK women say they do it to feel powerful and more feminine. "It's telling people you're a woman of power," said Pandora Gorey, who went from a 25-inch to 19-inch waist over two years. "As far as I'm concerned, every woman should do it." Karen Wright, a Manchester University student, said "I've never been into feminism -- I'm old-fashioned. I'm the sort of women who believes men should always open doors for women and I body train solely to increase my femininity." Wright now has 37-inch hips and an 18-inch waist, and also says that it makes her feel "powerful."

In California, Fakir Musafar teaches "foot bending and binding" with a metal device used to make the foot smaller. San Franciscan Sharon Nickle has made her feet two sizes smaller this way, hoping for the "lotus-flower" look. Musafar said "In the long run, there will be more and more people wanting to modify their feet and torso. Body training is here to stay."


10/13/1997 - Modern Women Disfiguring Bodies with Corsets, Footbinding

Women in Britain and the U.S. are now wearing corsets to reduce their waistlines, and metal devices to bind their feet, in a practice known as "body training."

The "waist training" regimen requires wearing an increasingly tighter corset over a period of months in order to reduce the waist by 2-6 inches, by displacing the intestines, stomach and bladder. Increasing pressure in the abdomen pushes the contents of the stomach upwards, leading to heartburn. By pushing on the stomach, corsets also prevent the woman from eating as much as usual, which leads to weight loss. Urinary and circulatory problems are also a risk.

UK women say they do it to feel powerful and more feminine. "It's telling people you're a woman of power," said Pandora Gorey, who went from a 25-inch to 19-inch waist over two years. "As far as I'm concerned, every woman should do it." Karen Wright, a Manchester University student, said "I've never been into feminism -- I'm old-fashioned. I'm the sort of women who believes men should always open doors for women and I body train solely to increase my femininity." Wright now has 37-inch hips and an 18-inch waist, and also says that it makes her feel "powerful."

In California, Fakir Musafar teaches "foot bending and binding" with a metal device used to make the foot smaller. San Franciscan Sharon Nickle has made her feet two sizes smaller this way, hoping for the "lotus-flower" look. Musafar said "In the long run, there will be more and more people wanting to modify their feet and torso. Body training is here to stay."


10/13/1997 - U.S. Company to Market Emergency Contraception

Gynetics, Inc. announced last Wednesday that it will market a "morning-after pill" in the U.S. They are the first company to do so since the FDA approved the use of six brands of birth control pills for emergency contraception last February.

The FDA's decision to approve the drug was based on years of safe and effective use by over four million European women, and Princeton's Office of Population Research, who convinced the FDA that high rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions would go down drastically. Dr. James Trussel of the OPR said that for every 100 women who had unprotected sex during the second or third week of their menstrual cycle, eight would become pregnant. Use of emergency contraception would reduce that number to two.

Gynetics, Inc. will package regular birth control pills specifically for the purpose of emergency contraception, something that other U.S. birth control manufacturers have refused to do, citing fear of litigation and political backlash.


10/13/1997 - Clinton Explains Veto of D&X Abortions

Calling the House bill that would ban late-term abortions "consistent with neither the Constitution nor sound public policy," President Clinton explained why he vetoed the bill for the second time.

"As I have stated on many occasions, I support the decision in Roe v. Wade protecting a woman's right to choose. H.R. 1122 does not contain an exception to the measure's ban that will adequately protect the lives and health of the small group of women in tragic circumstances who need an abortion performed at a late stage of pregnancy to avert death or serious injury."

He said while the procedure "appears inhumane," he said "to eliminate it without taking into consideration the rare and tragic circumstances in which its use may be necessary would be even more inhumane."

Illustrating his consistent stance, Clinton said that as Governor of Arkansas, he signed a bill banning third-trimester abortions except in cases where it was necessary "to avoid serious health consequences." Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. said "The Republicans could have sent the president a signable bill. They refused to compromise because they want a political issue they can use in the next election year."


10/13/1997 - Million Woman March Planned

On October 25, hundreds of thousands of women plan to march in Philadelphia in order to revitalize black families and communities.

The event, an entirely grassroots endeavor, is being publicized on the internet and has organized garage sales and car washes for fundraising. It is open to all people regardless of race or gender. Spokeswoman Wessita McKinley said, "This is going to be a historical event. They're just coming to support their sisters, to see what they can do as a collective effort to better ourselves, our race, our families and our community." Minnesota coordinator Carol Soto said, "My 13-year-old, she is extremely excited about going to the march. That's all she talks about."

The event will feature Winnie Mandela as keynote speaker, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and singer Sister Souljah.


10/13/1997 - Breast Cancer, Chemicals Linked

According to Jim Hightower's new book "There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos," the chemical industry has been profiting from both manufacturing chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer, as well as making money from cancer treatments.

Journalist Molly Ivins quoted Hightower in her Saturday column, saying "first they make money from the organochlorines that some say are linked to breast cancer; then they urge us all to go out and get mammograms to detect the cancer; then they make money trying to cure it. This is an entirely new kind of vertical monopoly."

Organochlorines are man-made chemicals often found in our environment and food, like dioxins, DDT, benzene and CFCs. Ivins cited a study at the Institute of Chemical Toxology at Wayne State University that found a combination of organochlorines caused breast cells to proliferate at a high rate. Breast cancer victims often have high levels of organochlorines in their bodies, and chemical and farm workers who have close contact with organochlorines have high rates of breast cancer. Israel recently reported a 30% drop in breast cancer rates after banning three cancer-causing pesticides.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month was originally sponsored by Imperical Chemical Industries, manufacturers of organochlorines. They were found responsible for dumping toxic chemicals in the St. Lawrence River, and have been accused by the federal government of dumping DDT and PCBs into the L.A. and Long Beach harbors.


10/13/1997 - Tenth Anniversary of the Feminist Majority Foundation

Los Angeles --

WHEN
Monday, October 13, 1997
6:30 PM buffet reception in lobby area
8:00 PM program (scheduled to run 1 hour and 30 minutes)

WHERE
Directors Guild of America/Main Theater
7920 Sunset Boulevard, 1/2 block west of Fairfax
Parking is in the underground lot off of Hayworth, on the west side of the building

WHAT
Live appearances and video segments celebrating the milestones in feminism of the past decade and featuring the Feminist Majority Foundation's (FMF) front-line work to counter the backlash while fighting to advance women's rights. This ten year retrospective will recognize our work to combat domestic terrorism against women's health clinics; save affirmative action in California; bolster Title IX for equality of opportunities in education and sports; our college campus campaigns including Freedom summer '96; the groundbreaking National Center for Women & Policing to combat violence against women, and much, much more.

The program will salute FMF Chair, Peg Yorkin, for her courage, vision, and achievement on behalf of women.

FEATURED GUESTS
Eleanor Smeal, President, Feminist Majority Foundation
Peg Yorkin, Chair, Feminist Majority Foundation
Kathy Spillar, National Coordinator, Feminist Majority Foundation
Jay Leno
Dolores Huerta, Secretary/Treasurer, United Farm Workers
Senators Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, & Barbara Mikulski (MD)
Representatives Jane Harman, Juanita Millender-McDonald, & Loretta Davis, Sheila Kuehl, & Diane Martinez
Rhonda Windham, General Manager of the Los Angeles WNBA Sparks
SPARKSKIDS, WNBA Sparks dancers



10/10/1997 - "Ellen" Threatens to Quit

When ABC slapped a parental advisory warning on this week's episode of "Ellen," in which lesbian lead Ellen DeGeneres jokingly kisses her heterosexual female friend, DeGeneres said she would walk out if the advisories continued.

ABC put a "TV-14" rating on this week's episode, and will not allow an episode where the script calls for Ellen and her girlfriend to enter a bedroom together.

"This is blatant discrimination," she said. "This advisory is telling kids something's wrong with being gay." Degeneres said that the only other show that had that label was "NYPD Blue," which contained nudity and violence.

ABC executives appeared willing to let DeGeneres quit over disagreements on how to handle gay themes, despite the fact that "Ellen" is one of few ABC successes this season, ranking eighth among all prime-time shows for viewers between 18 and 49.


10/10/1997 - Jody Williams Shares Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), was the 1997 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jody Williams, ICBL's American coordinator, Williams said she would phone President Clinton and urge him to support ratification of the upcoming anti-landmine treaty. She argued that the U.S. is painting itself as a leader in clearing landmines. "How can you be a leader if you are not part of the process?"

Williams said she and the ICBL would share the $1 million prize. The ICBL began in 1992 and now comprises over 1,000 non-government organizations in nearly 60 countries. They campaign against anti-personnel landmines, which kill or maim an estimated 26,000 people a year. The award was seen by some as a way to encourage countries like the U.S., Russia, China, Iraq and Iran to agree to the anti-landmine treaty.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjorn Tore Gidal said the prize "is a major encouragement to work harder to gain the broadest possible support for the treaty. I appeal to all the countries of the world...to usher in a world without landmines."


10/10/1997 - Hillary Clinton Speaks in Panama

Stressing her goal "to empower the women of this hemisphere to participate fully in the life of our nations," Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed a summit of North, South and Central American women leaders in Panama. The topic of the summit was empowering women to be fully active in politics.

"No nation can hope to succeed in our global economy if half its people lack the opportunity and the right to make the most of their God-given potentials. In too many countries, my own as well, too many rights are denied and too many doors of opportunity remain tightly closed," she said to an audience that included 20 first ladies as well as representatives from the U.N. and World Bank.

"Democracy can only achieve its fullest potential when women are not barred by law, by ignorance, by tradition or custom, or by intimidation from making their voices heard at the ballot box." She added that "We should not rest until we have repealed the laws, swept away the webs of tradition, stared down the forces of intimidation that stifle the potential of women and children and that keep nations from being truly democratic and free."

Panamanian first lady Dora Boyd de Perez Balladeres and Columbian first lady Jacquin Strouss de Samper spoke out agaist violence. "Without peace, there is no progress," said Balladeres. de Samper said "We spend three percent of our GDP on way. If these funds were dedicated to strengthening social policies, I am sure that we would have overcome the poverty line."


10/10/1997 - Study Says Women Uninformed About Emergency Contraception

Women in the U.S, are not informed about their options regarding emergency contraception, according to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Emergency contraception is highly effective in preventing pregnancy, yet women remain largely unaware of its potential. The study said increased awareness and easier access to emergency contraceptive services could drastically reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies that occur each year.

Emergency contraception involves taking two doses of birth control pills 12 hours apart within the first 72 hours after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure. The pills contain estrogen and progesterone, hormones that prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs and induce menstruation, and are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. Doctors recommend taking anti-nausea medication to counter common side effects such as nausea, vomiting and breast pain.

Dr. Anna Glasier of the University of Edinburgh said making the distinction between emergency contraception and abortion better understood would help increase use of emergency contraception among health care providers and potential users. She explained that preventing the implantation of an egg which may have been fertilized is different from abortion, which removes an already-implanted embyro.

The Reproductive Health Technologies Project and the Bridging the Gap Foundation have set up a hotline for information on EC: 1-888-668-2528. Princeton's Office of Population Research has a website on emergency contraception at http://opr.princeton.edu/ec.


10/10/1997 - Pagans to Meet in D.C.

In a peaceful gathering quite different from the recent Promise Keepers rally, pagans are coming to D.C. to clean up litter, donate to food banks, and give blood.

The event, scheduled from October 31 to November 1, will celebrate Samhain, the pagan New Year. Opening ceremonies will include a drumming circle at Jefferson Memorial and three minutes of silence. A flower memorial for those unable to attend will be located at the Lincoln Memorial and will be distributed to local hospices. An ongoing "sacred space" will be at the Mall. All participants are encouraged to wear green to symbolize the earth and to represent solidarity.


10/10/1997 - "Ellen" Threatens to Quit

When ABC slapped a parental advisory warning on this week's episode of "Ellen," in which lesbian lead Ellen DeGeneres jokingly kisses her heterosexual female friend, DeGeneres said she would walk out if the advisories continued.

ABC put a "TV-14" rating on this week's episode, and will not allow an episode where the script calls for Ellen and her girlfriend to enter a bedroom together.

"This is blatant discrimination," she said. "This advisory is telling kids something's wrong with being gay." Degeneres said that the only other show that had that label was "NYPD Blue," which contained nudity and violence.

ABC executives appeared willing to let DeGeneres quit over disagreements on how to handle gay themes, despite the fact that "Ellen" is one of few ABC successes this season, ranking eighth among all prime-time shows for viewers between 18 and 49.


10/10/1997 - Jody Williams Shares Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced today that the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), was the 1997 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jody Williams, ICBL's American coordinator, Williams said she would phone President Clinton and urge him to support ratification of the upcoming anti-landmine treaty. She argued that the U.S. is painting itself as a leader in clearing landmines. "How can you be a leader if you are not part of the process?"

Williams said she and the ICBL would share the $1 million prize. The ICBL began in 1992 and now comprises over 1,000 non-government organizations in nearly 60 countries. They campaign against anti-personnel landmines, which kill or maim an estimated 26,000 people a year. The award was seen by some as a way to encourage countries like the U.S., Russia, China, Iraq and Iran to agree to the anti-landmine treaty.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Bjorn Tore Gidal said the prize "is a major encouragement to work harder to gain the broadest possible support for the treaty. I appeal to all the countries of the world...to usher in a world without landmines."