April 16, 2002

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Israeli Troops Beat International Peace Observers
Israeli military officials confirmed today that they have reopened a desert detention camp to hold some of the 1000’s of Palestinians rounded up during the past weeks West Bank Sweeps. The camp held about 1000 Palestinians from 1987 to 1993 and was closed in 1996. Prisoners in that camp were held 26 to a tent, exposed to searing heat in summer and chilling cold in winter. This comes as Sharon yesterday announced that in a week or so he will begin pulling out of Nablus and Jenin. Reports are also coming in that the military has arrested an Associated Press reporter, Lourdes Navarro as the crackdown, far from easing, seems to have intensified in the last day. Kristen Shurr, International Peace observer and regular voice on FSRN over the past weeks herself was beaten by the Israeli military yesterday and she speaks to us from Nablus.

Marwan Barghouti Under Arrest
The Israeli announced today that is has captured more Palestinian men it accuses of being militants. They say several members of Hamas were arrested in the town of Tulkarem. This comes as leading Palestinian figure Marwan Barghouti was arrested yesterday. Marwan Barghouti is a close aide to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He is sometimes mentioned as a possible Arafat successor. For reaction from Palestinians to the arrest of one of their top leaders Deepa Fernandes speaks to Saed Gazalee, a Palestinian journalist in Jerusalem.

An Interview With Marwan Barghouti
Marwan Barghouti’s relationship to Yassir Arafat is central to the power dynamic in the Middle East. FSRN’s Rafael Krafft spoke with Marwan Barghouti who was in hiding shortly after a suicide bomb blast killed a bus load of Jewish settlers in December. Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Protest at at Oak Ridge
On Sunday, protesters gathered at Oak Ridge, TN in opposition to continued production of nuclear weapons. Specifically, protesters are concerned with the production of Battlefield Nuclear weapons, also known as Mini nukes. The large crowd of nonviolent protesters was well behaved and due to an increase in security since September 11 fines for federal trespass have increased substantially, resulting in very few activists willing to risk arrest to make a point. Hal Humphreys was in Oak Ridge and has this report.

Why Doesn’t the US Have a Official Human Rights Organization
117 participants from more than 60 human rights organizations met in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the 6th International Conference for National Human Rights Institutions – a major follow-up summit to last year’s World Conference on Racism held in Durban, South Africa. The participants drafted The Copenhagen Declaration, clearly defining the role of national institutions in upholding international Human Rights standards. One of the countries not represented in Copenhagen was the United States. From Copenhagen, Patrick Beckett explains why.

Oil and the Attempted Coup in Venezuela
The front page of today’s New York Times has a headline “Bush Officials met with Venezuelans who ousted Leader.” It went on to tell of how Senior Bush Administration officials met several times in recent months with the leaders of Friday’s coup that ousted President Hugo Chavez. The article talks about how the senior officials give conflicting versions on what happened at the meetings, but the one thing they all say is that they agreed with the coup leaders that Chavez should be removed from office. Undoubtedly more details will surface in the near future as to the role of the United States in the weekends events in Venezuela, however for now, Oil prices seems to have stabilized which makes wall street investors breathe a sigh of relief. With this report from Wall Street in Manhattan is Robert Knight.

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