April 23, 2003

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Shia Muslims with Vision for Iraq   (2:15)
As US news agencies brought images of looting Iraqis to the American public just days after the US entered Baghdad, it is now emerging that some of the foreign journalists themselves partook in lifting Iraqi paintings, monetary bonds and other items. While a Fox news engineer could face criminal charges, a Boston Herald correspondent who brought back a large painting has said he thought it was no big deal because “all the embedded reporters were doing it.” Meanwhile, amid buoyant celebrations marking the Shia anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, the many gathered Shia also called for the US to leave Iraq and for Islamic Unity. FSRN correspondent Tony Cross reports from Karbala, Iraq.

US Military Bases in Iraq  (3:52)
Today White House Spokesperson Ari Fleischer responded to the Shia gathering in Karbala. Meanwhile, many experts believe the US has been taken aback by how organized and vocal the Iraqi Shia community has been to their presence. And the United States is warning Iran, that is ruled by Shia clergy, against any interference in Iraq.  Citing US officials, the New York Times reported that Iranian-trained agents had been crossing into southern Iraq to form relationships with Iraqi Shia clerics aiming towards an Iranian-style Islamic government. White House Spokesperson Ari Fleischer did not comment on the validity of the reports but said that Iran should not interfere “in Iraq’s road to democracy.” Nadja Middleton reports on how the government may now use its military presence in Iraq to exert pressure on Iran and around the Middle East.

Nike in the Supreme Court  (3:25)
The Supreme Court was asked this morning if a corporation should have the free speech rights of a human being. The case they are addressing involves the Nike corporation defending the right to lie in its advertising. Josh Chaffin reports from DC.

Palestinian Arrests Rise (4:56)
After an intense mediation by the Egyptian intelligence services director and the Russian envoy to the Middle East, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his appointed Prime Minister Abu Mazen concluded a last minute agreement on the new cabinet members. According to this agreement, Mahmoud Abbas abu Mazen named himself Minister of Interior, and named Muhammad Dahlan, former Chief of the Preventive Security in the Gaza Strip, and one of the difference points with Arafat, Minister of State for security affaires. The details of the agreement were not yet revealed, but political observers think Arafat will have a supporting majority in the cabinet. Meanwhile, as the numbers of Palestinians arrested by the IDF grows daily. And while Israel considers those arrested criminals, Palestinians say they are political prisoners. And as Awad Duaibes reports, this is an issue that touches each single Palestinian family with more than six hundreds forty thousand Palestinian arrested since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Pesticides Poisoning Indian Villagers  (4:16)
In the last days incidents of pesticide poisoning around the world have seen a major river poisoned in the Philippines, while in Botswana fumigation processes are leading to poisons entering the food chain. This as the World Health Organization, says there are 3,000,000 cases of pesticide poisoning worldwide every year. The WHO says a large majority of such poisoning afflicts farm workers in underdeveloped countries. In the south Indian state of Kerala, hundreds of villagers have been affected by the highly toxic pesticide Endosulfan, which a government plantation sprayed on its cashew crops for 25 years. The village of Padre is now plagued by high rates of cancer and congenital deformities, as Vinod Jose and Miranda Kennedy report.


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