July 07, 2003

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Free Speech Radio News Headlines
President Bush’s Head Start Policy
Act-Up Protests at the White House
Housing Activists Demonstrate in Montreal
Turkish Troops are Freed

Military Tribunal Trials Announced
The White House announced Friday the first 6 designations of Guantanamo detainees to go before a military tribunal. While the Administration did not release names of those designated for military trials, they were obliged to inform the home governments, and today the British government raised “strong objections” to the US use of closed military tribunals which two British citizens being held at Guantanamo Bay will face. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told Colin Powell that his government was opposed to the military tribunals and is due to talk with Powell on the issue again this week. Deepa Fernandes spoke with Steven Watt, human rights attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and part of the team representing the two British detainees.

Bush’s Africa Policy
US military personnel are on the ground in Liberia, arriving this morning with the stated mission of assessing the security situation. This after yesterday, Liberian President Charles Taylor accepted a Nigerian offer of asylum with full immunity if he stepped aside as the country’s president. And today President Bush begins his Africa trip, starting in Senegal and visiting Nigeria, South Africa and Botswana. Tomorrow we begin our coverage from Senegal of the President’s visit, but today Ingrid Drake takes a look at the Bush Administration’s Africa Policy.

Community Environmental Victory in CT
Recently on a hot, hazy day in New Haven, Connecticut, as pollution hung in the air and residents with breathing problems wheezed, environmental and community activists won an important victory. In what could be a national model, a combination of grassroots organizing and people’s lawyering convinced the state’s top environmental official to rule against the reopening of an old oil-fired power plant in a low-income, largely Latino neighborhood, in order to protect the health of thousands of residents. From New  Haven, Melinda Tuhus reports.

Little Progress for Palestinians
Today, the Israeli Justice minister and Shinui party chairman announced the first ever visit to the Israeli Knesset by a Palestinian Leader–  Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Security Minister Mohammed Dahlan will make a private visit to the Knesset early next week as guests of the Shinui party.  This on the heels of the first formal meeting between Palestinian Security Minister Dahlan and Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz in Jerusalem Sunday during which two ministers discussed the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention.  According to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, Dahlan asked to speak to the Israeli committee overseeing Palestinian detentions.  However, as seeming “progress” is made by the Israeli and Palestinian leadership in the US backed “roadmap” in Jerusalem, Mohammed Ghalyini reports from Rafah, Gaza, that Palestinians experience little progress on the ground.

Obstacles for Iraqi Journalists
Two attacks over the weekend, one on a British journalist who is reported to have been shot point-blank and a grenade attack on a UN compound in Baghdad has heightened tension in Iraq. Since the war ended there have been frequent attacks on US and UK soldiers, but it is too early to say that foreign civilians are now being targeted. Meanwhile, Iraqi journalists are facing many difficulties that hinder their work. One major obstacle is the American administration’s decision to block any writings that may endanger the lives of American soldiers. Ahmed al-Rawi reports from Baghdad.


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