April 17, 2001 – Busy news day – The Bush White House suddenly turned Green, letting stand a Clinton-era rule on Lead. The White House announcement drew criticism from the industrial sector, who were now obligated to publicly report how much Lead they dump into the air, water and on the land. The action drew praise from Environmentalists, who were accustomed to being on the protest side.
Meanwhile, at a time when there was pressure for more oil exploration in the Arctic, Alaska’s North Slope was dealing with one of its worst spills in recent years. Some 92,000 gallons of salt water and crude oil leaked from a corroded pipe.
In the Middle-East; in unusually strong language, the Bush Administration criticized Israel’s seizure of land in the Gaza strip, calling it “an excessive and disproportionate response to Palestinian Mortar attacks”. The Israelis quickly backed down, withdrawing its forces from territories in Gaza it occupied in retaliation. The Israeli withdrawal was an about-face. Earlier, a General said Israel might occupy Palestinian areas for months. The bottom line: Israel backed down under U.S. pressure.
Diplomats were in Beijing to discuss the Spy-plane episode and try to get the plane back. A State Department official said the U.S. was looking for indications the Chinese were serious about building a better relationship.
And a Federal Judge promised a ruling the following day on an internet company’s bid to show live video of Timothy McVeigh’s execution. The Entertainment Network was challenging a policy that bars cameras and microphones from executions. It said “citizens had a constitutional right to see the Oklahoma City Bomber put to death”. It wanted to put a hand-held video camera in the execution chamber. Subscribers would pay $1.95 for the opportunity. The company said that was to pay for the cost of Parental Control software, and any profits would go the families of McVeigh’s victims.
That’s a slice of what went on, this April 17th in 2001 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.