June 03, 2003

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Kidnapping of Iraqi Girls?
Thousands of Iraqi Muslims marched through the streets of Baghdad today, demanding that U.S. troops withdraw from the country. One banner from the crowd read in English: “Saddam and America are two faces of the same coin”. And as correspondent Fariba Nawa reports from Baghdad, paranoia is mounting over rumors of kidnapping of young school girls.

Where are the WMD’s?
The former civilian head of the US Army, Thomas White, who was recently fired after well publicized feuds with  Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said the Army needs to fess up and admit that the occupation of Iraq will require a major commitment of American troops. It is reported that White said in an interview that senior Defense officials “are unwilling to come to grips” with the scale of the U.S. obligation in postwar Iraq. This as the failure of British and American forces to find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq has raised questions about the reliability of the intelligence information used to justify the war. In addition, a British newspaper claims that Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also had doubts about the strength of the American case against Saddam Hussein. Gareth Schweitzer reports from Washington.

Bush as peacemaker in Mid-East?
The Israeli military today closed down the city of Ramallah and imposed a curfew in response to “security concerns”. This as Palestinian prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas is calling for the full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip as reports have emerged that a Palestinian National Guard officer was shot in the head and killed by the IDF as he sat at a Palestinian security outpost. This as Arab leaders are meeting today with President Bush in his first major foray into Middle East peace making. Bush is asking Arab leaders to embrace the internationally crafted roadmap by pledging to fight terror and violence while calling on Israel to end settlements and restore normal Palestinian life. And as Oula Farawati reports from Jordan, the gathering in the Red Sea port of Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt is the biggest attempt in the past 3 years to put an end to the bloodletting between Israelis and Palestinians.

G8 Meetings Continue in France
Over the past three days, the presidents of the eight most industrialized countries have been meeting in Evian in France. This was the first summit of the G8 since the war on Iraq, when France, Russia and Germany criticized the US government’s decision to attack Iraq. The G8 were eager to show unity after the division over the war, and to create optimism on economic growth. Yvonne Zimmerman reports from Berne.

Police Beat Black Journalist in NYC
On the heels of recent police misconduct leading to the deaths of two innocent black NY’ers,  outrage is rising in communities of color following yet another incident of police brutality. Late last week a well known African American journalist was assaulted by the NYPD as he took pictures of officers attempting to restrain an emotionally disturbed man on the streets of Brooklyn. Nayaba Arinde has more.

Final Appeal for Amina Lawal
Today a Nigerian woman facing a death sentence by stoning, has renewed her crucial battle to stay alive – her case went to a final appeal before a Nigerian court today. Amina Lawal, has been on death row since early last year when an Islamic court in Northern Nigeria ruled that she be stoned to death for bearing a child out of wedlock. Mid last year, she lost an appeal against the death sentence and today her final appeal went before a higher court. Her case has ignited debate about the application of Islamic law, especially as it relates to the rights of women. Sam Olukoya reports from Funtua, Northern Nigeria.


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