November 05, 2003
Free Speech Radio News Headlines by Jackson Allers
Sri Lanka’s president declared a state of emergency today, threatening the island’s shaky ceasefire with the rebel group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Her political rival, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe, is hoping to meet President Bush in Washington to protest the moves. Miranda Kennedy
Last quarter’s economic growth rate of seven-point-two percent was supposed to herald the rebirth of the American economy. So what happened to all the jobs? John Hamilton of Workers Independent News Service.
Civil Liberties groups are suing Diebold Inc., a manufacturer of touch screen voting machines, after the company sent legal threats to organizations publishing internal leaks on their websites. Kellia Ramares
A fifty percent majority was not reached for the mayoral race in San Francisco, prompting a run-off election between Gavin Newsome and Matt Gonzalez is scheduled for next month.Lindsay Benedict
And, the state of Arkansas is forcing a death row inmate to take anti-psychotic drugs to make him mentally competent for his execution.
Bush Signs Anti-Abortion Bill. Legal Challenges Begin (3:48)
President Bush this afternoon signed legislation banning late term abortions. The White House staged the ceremony before about 400 lawmakers and anti abortion advocates, while outside the Supreme Court almost a dozen representatives from all across the country denounced the bill and called for justice. California Democrat Barbara Lee from the steps of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile today the Centre for Reproductive Rights presented arguments for blocking the anti-abortion bill to a Federal judge in Nebraska who sharply questioned the constitutionality of the new law and said he will likely issue an injunction. This afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union had a hearing in New York City as they filed a temporary restraining order on behalf of the National Abortion Federation to prevent the Bill from becoming law. Ama Buadi looks at how this bill – which was vetoed twice under the Clinton administration – could affect a woman’s right to choose in Part 8 of our special series looking at the global roll back of civil liberties.
Senate to Vote on Moratorium on Internet Taxes (3:41)
The Senate will vote on a bill tonight intended to make a moratorium on internet taxes permanent, which may greatly impact local governments’ ability to raise revenue. At issue is vague language in Senate Bill 150 that expands the definition of internet services that are exempt from local taxes. Critics say utility taxes and even cable TV franchise fees paid to cities may disappear if the wording of the bill isn’t changed. Leigh Robartes has more.
Election Results – Portland Rejects PUD (3:04)
As we reported in the headlines, results are in from yesterday’s elections around the country. Two states elected Republican governors. Former Republican lobbyist in DC, Haley Barber will now govern Mississippi, while Philadelphia mayor John Street was reelected despite a racially charged campaign that became even more divisive when an FBI bugging device was discovered in the mayor’s office. And in the various controversial ballot initiatives around the country, in NYC voters rejected the mayor’s campaign for non-partisan elections while voters in Portland, Oregon voted not to switch to public power, by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. Despite the fact that Portland General Electric is owned by Enron, a 2 million dollar advertising campaign convinced the public that a peoples utility district was a bad idea. Now with time running out before Enron’s bankruptcy hearings are complete, the community is trying several other options to gain control of their electricity. Andrew Stelzer has more from Portland.
Calls for Action Over Juarez Murders (4:29)
For over 10 years, hundreds of women in the border town of Juarez have been kidnapped, raped, mutilated and murdered. Over the past few days, the Mexican daily La Jornada has printed a book excerpt from investigative journalist Diana Washington Valdez revealing the names of possible suspects in the killings. Coinciding with the revelations were demonstrations calling for action at Mexican Embassies around the world, and a conference in Los Angeles asking who is killing the women of Juarez? Monica Lopez has more from KPFK.
Settlers Terrorize Palestinian Olive Farmers (4:02)
Just days after an EU survey showed that Europeans labeled Israel the biggest threat to world peace, Israel today went on the offensive by introducing its first ever resolution to the UN General Assembly calling for Israeli children to be protected from violence by Palestinians. This comes as the Israeli Daily Haaretz is reporting today that Israeli soldiers posted at the Gaza strip settlement of Netzarim may shoot to kill any Palestinian they see observing the Israeli military via binoculars. Meanwhile for the third year in a row Jewish settlers on the occupied West Bank are making it impossible for Palestinian farmers to harvest their olives. Some settlers are terrorizing farmers so that they are too frightened to work their land while others are cutting down their ancient olive trees, and depriving Palestinians of their livelihoods. Irris Makler was in Ein Abus on the West Bank when Palestinian farmers -protected by Jewish volunteers – found that their entire fields of olive trees had been cut down by Jewish settlers. She brings us this report.