October 20, 2003

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Free Speech Radio News Headlines by Nell Abram
BOMBING CONTINUES NEAR GAZA — MOHAMMED GHALAYINI Israeli airstrikes continue in the Occupied Territories – Moahmmed Ghalayini reports from Gaza.
CALIFORNIA STRIKES CONTINUE — TERESA WIERZBIANSKA Over 70,000 grocery workers in Southern California continue to strike in defense of their health and pension benefits while the Los Angeles public transportation system remains locked out as transit workers hit the picket line for the second week today. Teresa Wierzbianska reports from Los Angeles.
TAX CHEATS COST US BILLIONS — RICARDO GIBSON The Senate Finance Committee tomorrow will hold a hearing to discuss how tax shelters have helped corporations cheat the Internal Revenue Service out of Billions. More from Ricardo Gibson in Washington, D.C.
DRUG GIANT OVERCHARGES FOR ANTI-AIDS DRUGS — NA’EEM JEENAH. South Africa’s Competition Board found that Pharmaceutical Giant GlaxoSmithKline charges excessive prices for anti AIDS drugs – and recommended the company pay a fine equal to 10 % of it’s annual South African drug sales. Na’eem Jennah reports from Johannesburg.

Bolivian president escapes to Miami (4:15)
This past weekend saw a big victory for the Bolivian people when, after a month of demonstrations, blockades and strikes resulting in an estimated 74 deaths, Bolivian President Sanchez de Lozada resigned his post to vice president Carlos Mesa and escaped to Miami. The Bolivian middle class joined hundreds of thousands of indigenous, coca leaf farmers, and youth from the poorest parts of La Paz to fight against the privatization of the gas and government repression. Social unrest first erupted last February when thousands of coca growers protested Lozada’s US backed anti coca laws. At the bitter end, 37 hunger strikes across Bolivia and 150, 000 people in the streets of La Paz last Thursday caused a center right coalition of the government to advice the president to step down — making it impossible for Lozada to govern with only the support of the US government and the army. Sebastian Hatcher is in Bolivia and has this report with Tomas Eliashev and Pauline Bartolone.

APEC Forum opens in Bangkok (3:07)
President Bush arrived in Thailand today where he is attending the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Terrorism has dominated the trade and economic forum, along with talks of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and reconstructing Iraq.  From Bangkok, Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

More nominations controversy (4:03)
Human rights groups are concerned over President Bush’s nomination of the Pentagon’s top lawyer to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The nominee, William Haynes, is a key figure in the Defense Department in creating rules guiding the military in the trials of detainees both in Guantanamo Bay and the Bagram Air force Base in Afghanistan.  The appellate court he is nominated to happens to be the court that the Pentagon takes its cases concerning the so called war on terrorism.  Meanwhile, civil rights groups also oppose another Bush nominee, Justice Janice Rogers Brown, to the California Supreme Court to an appellate court saying she has used her career to fight against civil and constitutional rights. Mitch Jeserich has more from Washington D.C.

FCC seizes equipment of LPFM station (4:19)
The latest battles between low-power radio activists and the Federal Communications Commission escalated last week when, equipped with a warrant titled “the People of the United States of America, vs. the equipment of San Francisco Liberation Radio,” the FCC seized broadcast equipment from San Francisco Liberation Radio, a 100-watt low power community radio station broadcasting since 1993. This year alone the FCC has contacted groups around the country including Radio Free Burlington, Freak Radio Santa Cruz, and Radio Free Canton, in Ohio. The FCC says stations must have a license to broadcast, but media activists say that as it is currently constructed, license distribution puts access to the airwaves only within the grasp of the wealthy. Sarah Olson has more from San Francisco.

Islamic meetings end amid controversy (3:25)
The summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world’s largest Muslim bloc, ended this week with resolutions decrying western domination and supporting Palestinians, but critics say it failed to lift perceptions that OIC remains gripped by paralysis. The conference stirred intense controversy among intellectuals in the Arab World after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad made remarks about Jews controlling the West by proxy. Meanwhile, despite the summit concluding with numerous resolutions, as Oula Farawati  reports, the 57-member OIC, which drew 37 heads of state, failed to announce the radical structural changes that members had always talked about but never implemented.


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