June 12, 2002

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Earth First! Wins FBI Suit  (3:40)
The verdicts are in and they add up to four-point-four million dollars for plaintiffs Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari in their lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland police department. The two Earth First! activists sued the FBI and police in the aftermath of the bombing of their car in May of 1990. They claimed that instead of looking for the person who planted the bomb which nearly killed the two activists, the FBI used the incident as an excuse to investigate and discredit Earth First! Apparently the jury agreed, finding the agents liable for violations of the activists’ First and Fourth Amendment rights. Bob Stern reports from the Federal Courthouse in Oakland.

Police May Get INS Powers in Florida  (3:57)
Any day now, an agreement between the state of Florida and the Federal Government will allow a select group of local law enforcement agents to be granted I.N.S. type powers to detain undocumented immigrants. The move has been rumored for months – and has created a large concern in immigrant communities.  But the state insists that the new powers will only be used as a tool to fight terrorism. Critics say it may well become a new weapon to detain non-citizens.  Mitch Perry reports from Tampa.

Execution in Virginia  (3:20)
The state of Virginia is scheduled to kill Walter Mickens junior tonight by lethal injection at Nine O’Clock Eastern Time. A Virginia jury says Mickens sexually assaulted 17-year-old Timothy Hall in 1992 and stabbed him 143 times. But critics of the case said Mickens’ attorney had a conflict of interest. The Supreme Court ultimately disagreed. Mickens’ scheduled execution comes the same day Illinois governor George Ryan testified in congress about that state’s study of the capital punishment system.  Several exonerated former death row inmates attended the hearing in support of a bill to establish a national moratorium on the death penalty until authorities are sure the innocent aren’t being executed. Joshua Chaffin reports from Washington.

Hunger Crisis in Angola  (4:37)
Today, on the third day of the U.N. World Food Summit, the UN warned that AIDS is worsening Africa’s food crisis by cutting down farmers in some of the world’s hungriest countries. Over the last quarter of a century Angola has suffered more than most. Ravaged by a civil war until the death earlier this year of rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, evidence is emerging of a massive famine putting at least half a million lives at risk. International NGO Doctors without Borders this week released a report denouncing an abdication of responsibility towards the country’s population on the part of both the Angolan government and the international community. Rupert Cook begins his report in a camp for refugees not far from the capital, Luanda.

High Security at Mayors’ Conference  (3:41)
The US conference of Mayors will take place this weekend in Wisconsin and protestors will be in the streets in large numbers to greet the cities’ leaders. One of the major concerns for the conference is security, with cost estimates ballooning to as high as seven hundred thousand dollars. A significant part of this increase is the result of fears about the protests turning violent. JoAnne Powers reports from Madison.

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