July 17, 2003

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Free Speech radio news Headlines
Shots Fired Korean DMZ – Ngoc Nguyen
Oakland to pay $2,000,000 to Earth First! activists – Christopher Martinez
African Leaders Ask Coup Leaders to Return Power in Sao Tone – Sam Olukoya
African Black Caucus Chair Turns Down Meeting With Bush – Jay Tamboli

Protests in Baghdad  (3:17)
Many Iraqis feel that the American administration’s decision in appointing an interim council is an act of negligence.  They had neither been consulted nor had the opportunity to express their aspirations to nominate their representatives.  In Baghdad yesterday a pro-American mayor and at least one U.S. soldier was killed.  This as today marks the anniversary of the 1968 Baathist coup that elevated Hussein to power. Meanwhile, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq General John Abizaid declared yesterday that the U.S. is involved in a guerilla warfare contradicting earlier statements by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. This as Iraqis took the streets yesterday to protest the Americans decision to appoint an interim government. Ahmed Al-Rawi reports from Baghdad.

Pre-War Iraq Intelligence Still Under Fire  (4:03)
The White House is disputing remarks by one Democratic lawmaker, concerning what was said behind closed doors yesterday in the Senate intelligence committee. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin claims CIA chief George Tenet testified that a White House official had insisted that questionable evidence of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program be included in the State of the Union speech. If Durbin is correct, it would add fuel to the theory that Tenet is taking the fall for a President accused of cooking evidence to justify a war. As Josh Chaffin reports, the controversy makes a grim backdrop for what was supposed to be a victory visit to DC today for British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

International Day of Global Justice  (4:09)
Today is the international day of global justice, marking the 5th anniversary of the Rome Statute. The Rome statute set up the International Criminal Court, which has been active since June 2002. The US however, put forth article 98, requesting impunity for all US citizens.  Article 98 requests that all countries involved in the court sign the agreement or lose their military aid. Costa Rica did not respond to the June 30th deadline to sign the Article 98 agreement. But as Pauline Bartolone reports, losing military aid, may not be of much concern to Costa Ricans.

Chicago’s Congress Hotel Strike Continues Into 4th Week  (3:44)
The strike by 130 workers at Chicago’s Congress Hotel entered its second month this week.  Both union and hotel representative failed to reach an agreement over a 7 percent wage and benefit cut, which has serious implications for thousands of hotel workers across the city.  The workers are members of H.E.R.E. Local 1 — the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union — and the local’s striking rank and file says they cannot afford — and will not tolerate — givebacks. Chris Geovanis from the Chicago Indymedia reports.

The Niger Uranium Debate  (4:12)
The West African country of Niger has been at the center of global controversy since Bush’s State of the Union Address accused Iraq of trying to import uranium from Niger. This comes on the heels of Bush’s five-country tour of Africa. But, little is known about Niger’s struggle to establish sustainable development based upon farming rather than uranium production.  Dependence upon uranium production has pulled the economy into severe decline for over a decade, and has created debate surrounding the future of Niger’s economic development.  Dena Montague files this report.


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