August 20, 2003

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Headlines Produced by Nell Abrahm
Annan Says UN Will Stay in Iraq; Blames US for Lack of Security – Haider Risvi
Israel Closes West Bank Towns – Muhammed Ghalayini
US Attorney General on Tour – Robert Flaxman
Gulf War Vets Sue Banks – Jackson Allers
California Financial Privacy Law – Christopher Martinez

Recall Referendum in Venezuela?  (3:58)
Today marks the day in Venezuela when opposition groups are constitutionally allowed to begin the campaign for a recall referendum of President Hugo Chavez, yesterday marked the half way point of Chavez’s term. However, the campaign begins amidst a cloud of controversy over whether the petition for the referendum is valid. Major demonstrations by the opposition today, and by Chavez supporters on Saturday, show that the political polarization in Venezuela continues. Greg Wilpert has the story from Caracas, Venezuela.

LPFM Victory in SF  (4:03)
San Francisco media activists scored a victory yesterday against the FCC and the forces of media consolidation. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a unanimous resolution in support of local pirate radio station “San Francisco Liberation Radio,” or SFLR and called for an increase in media diversity and a roll back of the FCC rule relaxation decisions of June 2nd. Sarah Olsen reports from Berkeley that this is the first decision of its kind nationwide to support a local pirate radio station.

Daily Vigils for Murdered Transgender Woman  (2:59)
As the nation’s attention focuses on whether or not same sex  marriage should be put into law or made constitutionally illegal, hate crimes continue to mount towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  In Washington, mourners have been holding a vigil for Bella Evangelista, a transgender woman who was murdered last Saturday.  It was the third murder of a transgender person in the past year and vigils have occurred everyday this week.  Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC.

Part 3: Cyber Surveillance and Microsoft  (4:12)
Microsoft today announced that its Office System 2003 was ready and had been sent to manufacturers.  Over the past few months the computer giant has been battling the so-called “Blaster Virus”, a tricky virus that has affected business and consumer users alike. The release of Microsoft Office 2003 comes as the BBC released a report yesterday detailing how the program contains spying capabilities when sending documents. China recently expelled the use of Microsoft as it said the operating system has been used by the U.S. government to monitor users as part of its call to national security.  Simba Russeau brings us this final report of our special three part series on Cyber – surveillance and the freedom of public access to information on the internet.

Protests of Anniston Weapon Incinerator  (3:35)
A controversial weapons incinerator has now been running almost two weeks in Anniston, Alabama. The army says its $1 billion incinerator is the safest way to destroy the stockpile of Cold War-era nerve and blister agent, but hundreds of Southerners who converged on Anniston this past weekend to protest, say the incinerator is unsafe and emphasized the complicity between the Army, its contractors, and Alabama’s politicians. Some sixty percent of the residents of Calhoun County remain opposed to incineration and want a chance to consider alternatives.  Jack Hickey reports from Anniston.


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