August 08, 2003

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Headlines for Friday, August 8th, 2003 – Produced by Andrew Stelzer

Jakarta Bombing Results – Did US Know Ahead of Time?
Israeli Soldiers Kill at Least 4 Refugees
Ashcroft Wants List of Lenient Judges – Robert Flaxman
Verizon Workers Threaten to Strike – John Hamilton
US Army Begins Incinerating Nukes in Anniston
Secret Nuclear Proliferation Talks in Nebraska

US: No Non-Aggression Pact With N. Korea
Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters today that the United States would not sign an official non-aggression pact with North Korea. Pyongyang has been seeking this pact in exchange for stopping its nuclear weapons program. But Powell left the door open for other ways to reassure North Korea that the US won’t attack. And as Ngoc Nguyen and Aaron Glantz report from Seoul, peace activists see progress in Powell’s comments.

Nagasaki Day Remembered
People from around the world have gathered in Nagasaki to honor the victims of a nuclear attack on the bustling city fifty-eight years ago by the United States. The gathered also voiced their opposition to war. Yet the Japanese parliament recently enacted a set of laws that – for the first time since WWII – allows Japan’s military to attack other countries. Miles Ashdown has more from Nagasaki.

Hunger Strikers Expose Unjust INS Policy
Two immigrant detainees in a New Jersey County Jail are on a hunger strike to highlight what they say is the injustice of US immigration policy. Nigel Moccado, a legal resident from India, has been on a hunger strike for 50 days, and Henmauth Mohabir, a permanent resident from Guyana, has completed a fourth week without solid food. Both detainees join the untold thousands of immigrants being held in Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service jails without being charged with any crime. In both cases the detainees are in jail because of past offenses. As civil rights advocates claim the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services – formerly the INS – have a green light to forego due process because of the Bush Administrations War on Terror. From Pacifica Station WBAI in New York, Jackson Allers reports.

Uribe Marks 1 year As Colombian President
Yesterday Colombians celebrated the country’s independence day, as well as the one-year mark of their new president, Alvaro Uribe Velez. Uribe’s approval rating is 64 percent, but some 62% disapprove of the government’s economic policies. Unlike his predecessor Andres Pastrana, who negotiated with the guerrillas,  Uribe, whose father was killed by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), is resolving Colombia’s 40 year civil conflict using the military. The results of Uribe’s first year in office show a homicide rate that has lowered by 21 percent, and kidnapping is down by 34 percent. But under his administration’s stepped up military measures, human rights defenders in Colombia say that arbitrary detentions have increased, and protection of civil rights has greatly decreased. From Bogotá, Nicole Karsin has more.

Exposing No Child Left Behind in Houston
The Texas Education Agency is ordering the removal of the principal and assistant principals at Sharpstown High School. This after low performance ratings for schools in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) were announced yesterday following various whistleblower reports earlier this year dealing with inaccurate dropout rates. The Texas Education Agency says if the problem of inaccurate dropout data isn’t fixed in the next six months, they will lower HISD’s academic rating and levy more sanctions. This comes as teachers and students from around the country are demanding revisions to the No Child Left Behind act. Renee Feltz from KPFT in Houston has the second part of our exclusive expose looking at how public schools around the country are pushing out minority students and covering up data to meet mandates imposed by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.


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