November 20, 2002

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Homeland Security Closing Down Access to Information
When President Bush signs the Homeland Security bill the Senate handed him last night, Americans will lose access to information about twenty-two departments of the federal government. The bill creates an exemption to one of the bedrock laws of American democracy, the Freedom of Information Act. Joshua Chaffin has more from Capitol Hill.

British MP on Possible Mid-East Carve Up
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today fired back at U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s statements that Iraq was not in material breach of the most recently passed UN resolution by firing back at US and British planes patrolling the no fly zone. And as the war of words continues between the world leaders, yesterday the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament threatened to sue the UK government unless it provides a written guarantee within seven days vowing that Britain will not participate in a war against Iraq without the support of the United Nations. A CND spokesperson added that even with UN backing, an attack with the purpose of regime change would violate international law. According to British Member of Parliament George Galloway, the motives behind military action against Iraq go well beyond the borders of the Persian Gulf country. In an interview with FSRN correspondent Sasha Lilley, Galloway discusses possible Western plans to redraw the map of the Middle East.

Texas Death Row Execution Spree
Texas’ death row is getting a workout this week, despite strong concerns about problems with the way its legal system handles capital cases. Tuesday night, Craig Ogan was executed for shooting a Houston police officer in 1989. Now, William Chappell is set to die at the hands of the state for a Dallas Fort Worth area murder. A third execution scheduled for Thursday was stayed when a Texas supreme court agreed to review claims that the man, James Clark, is mentally retarded. From Houston, Texas, Renee Feltz has the story.

Arresting the Homeless in NYC
With the levels homelessness on the rise around the country, NYC’s Bloomberg administration has recently begun dealing with record levels of homelessness in a manner that has community advocates outraged. From Pacifica station WBAI in NY, Leslie George reports that the NYPD has begun arresting the homeless.

FSRN Special Three-Part Series: Part 1 – The Growth of the Hindu Right in India
The Campaign to Stop Funding Hate, was launched today in the US and India; a campaign which exposes the millions of dollars of funding that come out of the pockets of US corporations and individuals and goes straight to the Hindu right, whom many have said are responsible for the recent massacres in the Indian state of Gujarat. Today we begin a three-part series exploring the extreme Hindu right wing in India. Currently the Hindu nationalist party the BJP is the ruling party of India. Since the BJP came to power in India in 1999, the Hindu right has gained significant ground. India boasts dozens of powerful right wing Hindu organizations, united under the umbrella of the RSS. In Delhi, our reporter on assignment Miranda Kennedy begins this series with a look at the rise of the Hindu right in India.

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