October 21, 2002

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Hussein Frees Iraq’s Prisoners
Iraq remains stunned today, less than 24 hours after Saddam Hussein announced that he was emptying all of the country’s prisons, releasing even political prisoners, army deserters and those convicted of crimes against the state. The Iraqi government said the move was a gesture of gratitude from the president, after he claimed a 100% ‘yes’ vote in last week’s national referendum. Celebrations continued through the night in the streets of cities across Iraq. FSRN correspondent Jeremy Scahill files this report from Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad.

* For more reports from Iraq, go to www.iraqjournal.org

Supporters of Accused Jogger Rapists Demand Exoneration  
A NYC Judge is giving prosecutors more time to complete their report on whether the convictions of men in the Central Park Jogger case should be overturned. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office explained that his office had to review some 15 thousand pages of court transcripts and interview numerous people. Meanwhile, the parents of the five men say that given the DNA evidence and the confession of a man who said he acted alone, their son’s names should be cleared. Meanwhile, supporters of the young men staged a rally outside the courthouse calling for their exoneration of rape charges. Dred-Scott Keyes files this report.

Memory of Activist Patsy Mink Celebrated
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Title IX legislation, which mandates equal access for women in education. The founding force behind the bill was Hawai’i’s late Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink. Last week, Congress recognized Mink’s resolve, and honored her memory by renaming Title IX as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Mink has created a potent legacy of political activism and social responsibility. However, her death has left her constituents without a Congressional voice. From the island of Kaua`i, Donna Lewis Giarman reports.

Marchers Call for Open US-Mexico Border
An annual call to open the US-Mexico border is growing in popularity. For the second year in a row marchers have mobilized to show their opposition to border enforcement policies and the proposed Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. As Joe Gardner Wessely reports from El Paso, Texas, an increasing number of marchers from the Gulf Coast of Mexico to the Pacific Coast are blocking the border in order to open it.

Indian Women Suffer from Post Traumatic Stress
Psychiatrists who conducted a study in the riot hit western Indian state of Gujarat conclude that they found Post Traumatic Stress Disorders or PTSD high among women. More than 37 percent had PTSD, which they believe could lead to high rate of suicidal tendency. Unlike in the past riots, the women and children were the main targets of the mob that avenged the killings of some Hindu activists. More than a thousand perished in the early March violence. Binu Alex reports from Ahmedabad.

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