September 30, 2003

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News Headlines by Randi Zimmerman
The U.S. justice department has opened an investigation into the allegations that a staffer in the White House divulged the identity of a CIA operative, after the operatives husband, a former U-S ambassador in Africa, questioned President Bush’s war plans.

Today, thousands of students in the District of Columbia walked out of class in protest. Ingrid Drake explains why from D.C.

Jordan will be sending 10’s of thousands of police to Iraq. More from Oula Al- Farawati in Amman.

The Indian government is looking to overturn the acquittal of 21 people who were accused of burning alive 14 Muslims in Gujurat. From India, Binu Alex reports.

The number of U.S. citizens without health insurance has increased drastically again this year. Amanda Johnson has the story from D.C.

The Russian government sent a major blow to environmentalists when a senior advisor to President Vladamir Putin announced today that the nation may not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The United States Congress failed to pass the tax initiatives today needed to replenish the Superfund.

Recalling all Sides in Venezuela
Today all political parties of Venezuela, both of the government and of the opposition, submitted applications for recall petition drives. The opposition wants to recall the country’s leftist president, Hugo Chavez, and pro- government parties want to recall the opposition mayor of Caracas and other elected officials of the opposition. Greg Wilpert has the story from Caracas.

$87 Billion Request before Appropriations
Today the U.S. Congress further debated the 87 billion dollar request for Iraq and Afghanistan. Democratic lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to split the request into two bills: one for the 66 billion dollars to the military and the other for the 21 billion dollars for reconstruction. Democrats say they are willing to spend the money on troops in Iraq but they are not as willing to pay for the reconstruction of the occupied country. But as Mitch Jeserich reports, human rights groups say that even the 21 billion dollars proposed for reconstruction falls short of meeting the humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Controversy Over Border Patrol Tactics
The Border Patrol’s controversial “Lateral Repatriation Program” is scheduled to end today. Since the program began September 8th, migrants detained while attempting to cross into the United States through Arizona have been airlifted into Texas where they then faced detention and deportation, often numbering as many as 300 people per day. This as part of the latest operation along the southern border since the Department of Homeland Security absorbed immigration enforcement duties over six months ago. From Houston, Shannon Young has more on the story.

Prisoners Face Challenges on Release
Continuing his Patriot Act PR nation-wide tour, Attorney General John Ashcroft told a New Orleans audience that the nation is safer than it was two years ago because of the increased powers Congress has granted to police and prosecutors, and the continued swelling of the nation’s prison population. A radically different message was offered in the nation’s capital this past weekend where a conference on the prison industrial complex was held. The conference was led by former political prisoners from revolutionary organizations of the 1960’s such as the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground, and as Tom Gomez reports, the gathered testified to the Congressional Black Caucus about the challenges prisoners face in reentering their communities.

Native American’s Decry Congressional Conversations
Closed door negotiations have taken place between two senior congressional Republicans on policies being forged around oil, gas and hydroelectric power, energy research priorities, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. New Mexico’s Senator Pete Domenici and Representative W. J. Tauzin of Louisiana have been meeting to decide certain language which is being challenged by Democrats, environmentalists and some Native American communities. Eulynda Toledo-Benalli has more from Albuquerque.


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