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Jesse Helms and Al Sharpton.

In a move that should bring delight to gays, minorities, women and liberals, conservative North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms will announce his retirement today. Helms is known for his consistent and almost vengeful opposition to gay rights, abortion and minority issues in favor of a right wing, Christian agenda and has opposed such issues such as, chemical weapons treaties, the Martin Luther King holiday and the United Nations.

Helms has referred to the UN as a "new international order of global laws and global governance." And further said, "This is an international order the American people will not countenance. The American people will never accept the claims of the United Nations to be the ‘sole source of legitimacy on the use of force’ in the world.”

Helms also referred to King as a Marxist and said he, "practiced division, not love."

Helms has been slowed recently by health problems that are undoubtedly playing a role in his retirement. He will serve out the rest of his elected term and not seek reelection.

In other political news, outspoken race crusader Rev. Al Sharpton has announced that he is currently considering a run for President in 2004. Sharpton is known for his numerous rallies, speeches an overall opposition to police brutality and other racial issues.

Sharpton has been compared to everyone from Martin Luther King to former Ku Klux Klansmen David Duke for his racially charged and often controversial speeches, interviews and sermons concerning the rights of African Americans.

Sharpton made his announcement shortly after being released from federal prison for trespassing on government property during a protest of the government bombing of Vieques Island in Puerto Rico.

-Text by J. Quintana

8/22/1 News: Helms to retire, Sharpton may run