November 27, 2002

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Central Park Jogger Case Drags On
Time is on the District Attorney’s side, contend the lawyers for defendants in the Central Park Jogger case. The DA’s office has asked for more time to investigate the case, which now pivots around a prisoner’s confession that could exonerate five convicted youth. Simba Russeau filed this report from New York.

Ramadan in the Occupied Territories
Following on the heels of the death of the UN worker last week, today another UN worker, Israeli lawyer Alegra Pacheco, a voice frequently heard on FSRN, had her home raided by the IDF and she and her husband were mistreated. IDF troops also shot dead a Palestinian early this morning as he was banging a drum to announce the beginning of the Ramadan fast in a refugee camp near the West Bank town of Nablus, hours after senior local Hamas and Fatah military commanders were killed in the Jenin refugee camp. Also, early this morning, in the Askar refugee camp east of Nablus, IDF troops opened fire on 24 year old Jihad a-Natour, as he was going from alley to alley in the camp to announce the beginning of the dawn-to-dusk fast. Our correspondent in Ramallah, Awad Duiabes reports.

Little Ethiopia, Los Angeles, USA
Los Angeles has long been a hub for newly arriving immigrants to the United States. Many of these immigrants have contributed to the economic growth of their new home. To date Los Angeles, like other US cities, has given symbolic recognition to that contribution by establishing mini-towns for certain groups of immigrants, like Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Little Italy and Little Armenia. Africans however, until this past weekend, were yet to see a town established in their name. Many Ethiopians living in the US today, left Ethiopia in the mid-70s, following the overthrow of emperor Haile Salaisse by the military junta. For those who came to LA, they soon found their own niche around Fairfax Avenue south of Olympic Boulevard. And as Assumpta Oturu reports from KPFK, this past Sunday Little Ethiopia became the first little African town in the US.

Testing Smallpox on Children?
The White House said today that President Bush is poised to order 500,000 military personal to be vaccinated against smallpox. Routine smallpox vaccinations were halted in the United States thirty years ago. And in 1980, the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated world wide. With the recent threats of a bio-terrorist attack, the Federal Government is increasing its stockpile of smallpox vaccine with the goal of having enough to vaccinate every man, woman and child in the nation. Recent clinical studies have shown that the old stockpiles of vaccine, called Dryvax, are still effective in adults, even if diluted to one fifth the strength of the original, which will help stretch the current supply while more is being manufactured. Now, the National Institutes of Health and the UCLA Center for Vaccine Research are sponsoring a proposed study of the effectiveness of diluted Dryvax on toddlers and preschoolers. But, in a world that is currently free of smallpox, the proposed study has medical, ethical and legal experts asking if the unquantifiable threat of a bio-terrorist attack is worth exposing very young children to the known risks of the vaccine. Kellia Ramares investigated some of the questions and issues raised by the plan.

Mumia on Germans and Bush
As UN Weapons inspectors moved out of Baghdad today and began their search for proof that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction, the Bush Administration continues to promise an attack on the country if they deem Iraq to not be complying. This as an aide of Jean Chretien’s Canadian government was forced to resign after calling President Bush a “moron” during the NATO summit, which, as commentator on death row, Mumia Abu Jamal, points out, wasn’t the first time President Bush has taken offense by the remark of a foreign politician.

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