December 05, 2002
Central Park 5 Exonerated (5:12)
The DA’s office in NY City filed papers today completely exonerating the young men who have become known as the Central Park Five, imprisoned for between 7 and 13 years for the rape of a jogger in NY’s Central Park. Leslie George has the latest.
Palestinian Houses to be Destroyed in Hebron (3:53)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today that Israel believes Al Qaeda to be operating within Palestinian territories. Sharon also said that with the implementation of the plan proposed by President Bush, Israel would create a contiguous area of territory in the West Bank that would restrict Palestinian travel between Jenin and Hebron to a series of bridges and underground tunnels, so as not to come into contact with Israeli settlers and armed forces. Meanwhile, tensions are boiling over in the West Bank town of Hebron as Israel plans to annex more Palestinian territory to build a road to protect the small enclave of Jews who live in and around the city’s population of 130,000 Arabs. The settlers who live there are already heavily guarded by Israeli troops, and the decision follows the killing of three weeks ago of 13 Israeli soldiers protecting settlers on their way to pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Irris Makler reports from Hebron.
Edison Schools Under Fire in Philadelphia(3:46)
On November 20, 2002, Pennsylvania’s Auditor General Bob Casey released a report on the Department of Education’s $2.7 million no-bid contract with Edison Schools to conduct an emergency study of the Philadelphia School District. The report described the contract as a “sweetheart deal,” and questioned the need for the study, the circumvention of the bidding process and the relatively large amount of payment that Edison received which broke down to $2,033 per employee per day. The study points to an unusually partisan position of Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Charles Zogby who has pushed Edison Schools relentlessly throughout his tenure as secretary. The study is also revealing of a national pattern of Edison’s receiving a lion’s share of public school budget’s, but producing academic achievement comparable to lesser funded traditional public schools. This raises the question of why conservative politicians are still so enthusiastic about Edison Schools and whether the movement to privatize public schools has the welfare of the students first and foremost. Jamie Graham of Philadelphia’s Radio Volta filed this report.
Poverty Bus Tour Reaches DC (2:25)
On Tuesday, Kensington Welfare Rights Union, a Philadelphia based group of poor and homeless families joined local DC families from Arthur Capra Carrolsberg Dwellings for a forum on housing. The Philadelphia group has been on a bus tour of 25 US cities calling for economic Human Rights since November 10th. Tom Gomex from WBIX.org filed this report.
AIDS Awareness Week Day 4:Houston, Texas (3:52)
Over the weekend, more than 100 people from a cross-section of ethnic groups gathered on a rainy humid afternoon at an AIDS memorial service hosted by Houston’s city mayor, This gathering, in observance of World AIDS Day, was one of many in Houston, a city where the number of those infected by AIDS has increased even while there is a slowdown at the national level. In the fourth of our week-long special series looking at HIV/AIDS, Houston reporters, Sehba Sarwar and Nusrat Malik, talked to representatives from clinics, outreach organizations and a city council-member about growing concerns about the spread of AIDS.