September 24, 2003

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Headlines with Nell Abrham
Federal Judges ask for repeal of the Protect Act — Ama Buadi
Judge removed from Everglades case — Mitch Perry
Native American contributions to recall efforts — Christopher Martinez
Pressure on press in Middle East

Growing Calls for Rumsfeld Resignation
Today Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld championed President Bush’s request for 87 billion dollars for Iraq to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. During the hearing, Rumsfeld compared the post war effort in Iraq to the post World War II Marshall Plan in which the U.S. helped rebuild Europe. But critics say the comparison is invalid because there is still no proof for the justification of the war and that the U.S. and Great Britain invaded Iraq despite international opposition. With only 1 percent of the 87 billion dollar request going to Afghanistan, women rights groups are asking what happened to rebuilding the first country that was invaded in the so-called war against terrorism. Criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the invasion has now made its way to mainstream media, and with it are the growing calls for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld from the Department of Defense. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington D.C.

Pakistani President Under Fire at Home
In President Bush’s address to the UN yesterday he suggested that Iraqi self- government should not be rushed and more nations should share the peacekeeping burden, highlighting publicly a major rift between once allies Ahmad Chalabi, president of the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council, and the Bush Administration. Chalabi told the New York Times that he wanted to get more autonomy for his council and at least partial control of finance and security ministries “right away”. Meanwhile, one day after Bush made his UN appearance- Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf also traveled to the United Nations where he received a generally positive response in his address to the General Assembly today. In Pakistan however, there is growing antagonism towards his rule. Many of Pakistan’s 140 million people say they are suffering as a result of power politics between the military, the feudals and the mullahs, which they say Musharraf has neglected to stem. While the UN address touched lightly on these issues, as Masror Hussain reports form Islamabad, Musharraf’s alliance with the United States, rising poverty levels and the continued threats to peace are the main issues for Pakistanis.

Jordan to Demolish Palestinian Homes
Israeli forces today stormed into the Qalqilya refugee camp hospital in the West Bank and evacuated the building built by the United Nations Refugees Work and Relief Agency. This as the commissioner general of the agency complained today in Amman, Jordan about the lack of funding which has forced severe cuts to services that the agency has provided for Palestinian refugees since 1950. Also in Amman, the Jordanian government has decided to demolish more than 300 Palestinian houses in the Wihdat refugee camp. Oula Farawati has more from Jordan

Steelworkers Mobilize to Protect Tariff System
While the Bush administration openly trumpets its free-market values, in the spring of 2002 the White House responded to a crisis in the steel industry with something quite different: old-fashioned protectionism. With dozens of steel companies entering bankruptcy or outright liquidation, the administration adopted tariffs of up to thirty percent on imports of foreign steel. This week, that policy came under review, prompting both the US steel industry and the United Steelworkers of America to mobilize in defense of the tariffs. John Hamilton has the story from Washington, D.C.

Australia Under Fire for Sheep Maltreatment
Animal rights groups have slammed the Australian Government over its handling of 50-thousand sheep that are stranded at sea in the Persian Gulf. Nearly two months ago, the cargo of live sheep on board the ship Cormo Express left the West Australian port of Fremantle bound for Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials rejected the sheep claiming an unacceptable number were affected by the disease “scabby mouth”. For weeks now Australian officials have been looking for another country to take the sheep but in the meantime 4000 have died in the distressing Middle East temperatures. From Sydney Australia our correspondent Guy Degen has more about the sheep that nobody wants.


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