October 08, 2003

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Headlines by Nell Abram
Biko’s Killers Won’t Be Charged
A number of South African groups reacted angrily today to the announcement that five policemen accused of killing anti-Apartheid activist Steve Biko in 1977 won’t be prosecuted because of insufficient evidence. Na’eem Jennah is in Johannesburg.

Jordan Trains Iraqi Police
Jordan’s plans to train 30,000 Iraqi police recruits were harshly criticized both by the Jordanian political parties and members of Parliament. From Aman — Oula Farawati

D.O.D. Sells Leftovers On Internet
The US Defense Department used the Internet to sell excess lab equipment that can be used for making biological warfare agents. Jay Tamboli reports from DC.

Media Merger
Vivendi Universal,.the French media and communications group, is selling its entertainment business to NBC–the media branch of General Electric. According to GE and Vivendi, the merger will create one of the world’s most profitable and fastest-growing media companies with an estimated value of 43-billion dollars. Salil Sarker reports from Paris.

Demonstrations Continue In Baghdad
Some Shiite Muslims in Iraq are again demanding the release of a detained cleric. About two-thousand demonstrators marched on the US-led coalition headquarters in Baghdad, and are vowing to continue daily protests until he is freed. Moayed al-Khazraji was arrested Monday as he led a 12-man delegation to negotiate with American officials. US officials held talks with a group of clerics at the mosque today but failed to resolve the standoff. A US officer said the cleric is being held “on charges of criminal and anti-coalition activities,” but would not elaborate. Shiites at the mosque say he had been wrongly accused of keeping weapons in the mosque.

Schwarzenegger to Govern CA
California voters dumped the unpopular Governor Gray Davis and replaced him, by an overwhelming vote, with action star and political novice Arnold Schwarzenegger. In an angry reaction to a flagging economy and memories of the state’s worst energy crisis, about 54.5 percent of the electorate sent Davis packing only 11 months after he was re-elected to a second term. Max Pringle reports.

Recall Voters Defeat Controversial Race Based Measure
While movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger has been elected to replace California Governor Gray Davis in yesterday’s recall election, voters did defeat a measure that would have prohibited the collection of racial and ethnic data. Monica Lopez reports from KPFK in Los Angeles.

Writing the Energy Bill in Secret
Newspaper reports indicate the omnibus energy bill, which is being written by just two Republicans who have ties to the oil industry, would alter the Nuclear Non Proliferation Act. A new provision of the bill would eliminate the limit on exports of bomb grade uranium that is used for medical isotope production. Such production creates enough bomb grade uranium that if it fell into the wrong hands it could be used as a reactor fuel for nuclear weapons. The Washington Post reported the provision was added to the energy bill based on extensive lobbying efforts by two isotope manufacturing companies. This is just one of many provisions that have been added to the energy bill behind closed doors and without public scrutiny. Today environmentalists and public interest groups protested outside the Capitol demanding the process of forming the bill be opened to the public. Mitch Jeserich files this report.

Reparations Movement at the UN
Outside the United Nations yesterday a press conference was held to announce the upcoming convening of the 12th Session of the International Tribunal on Reparations for African People in the U.S. This as remains of over 400 African slaves were laid to rest in New York on Saturday, sparking African Americans to escalate the pressure for the acknowledgement and compensation for slavery and other violations of international law. Simba Russeau has more from the United Nations.

Iraq Says No to Turkish Troops
On the heels of the Turkish Assembly’s decision to send Turkish troops to Iraq, today the top US official in Iraq, Paul Bremmer, was not able to convince the Iraqi Interim Council to allow the Turkish soldiers into the country to help US troops. The council speaker Haydar Ahmad declared that Iraqi’s don’t want to see any forces from neighboring countries. And as Ezgi Saritas reports from Ankara, the debate has now begun between the United States and the Turkish General staff about where the up to 10,000 Turkish troops will be stationed.


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