November 11, 2003
Free Speech Radio News Headlines by Randi Zimmerman
Vets for Peace on Veteran’s Day — Ricardo Gibson
Around the United States today, people remembered those who did their duty at the service of war. Meanwhile, two organizations joined at the nation’s main military hospital to mark the day differently.
Iraqis Face Results of Invasion for Generations
The death toll and suffering in Iraq directly attributable to the US invasion and occupation is hitting more than just so-called coalition forces. According to London based Medcat, a charitable organization of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, there has been an increase in water-borne diseases, immunization programs have been retarded, and malnutrition has doubled. Environmentally, the organization charges, brightly colored, unexploded mines are still killing and maiming civilians, particularly children; and, smoke from oil fires is leading to more cases of respiratory ailments. The report claims the damage will leave the people of Iraq in poor health for generations. They estimate between 22-thousand and 55-thousand Iraqis, both soldiers and civilians have died as a direct result of the U.S. led invasion. In Medcat’s conclusion, they recommend the United Nations must be more involved in the humanitarian reconstruction process.
Watchdog Says No Nukes in Iran — Susan Wood
The United Nation’s nuclear watchdog says it has found no evidence that Iran is producing nuclear weapons.
Immigrant Workers Sue Wal-Mart — John Hamilton
Immigrant workers filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart charging the retailer violated federal racketeering laws by conspiring with cleaning contractors to deny the workers their rights.
Bush Wants to Keep Ozone Depleting Pesticide – Kellia Ramares
White House officials are seeking international support for broad exemptions to a 2005 ban on a popular pesticide that environmentalists say damages the ozone layer.
Deporting Suspects to Torture Regimes? (4:19)
Today Spain’s Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, who has been a consistent supporter of the Bush administration, criticized the U.S.’s detention of over 600 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval base. She told a Spanish television station that she hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would allow prisoners to get out of a state of what she called ‘legal limbo’. Yesterday the Supreme Court said it will hear a case next year as to whether detainees captured during the Bush administration’s war should have access to federal courts. Treatment of the detainees has been highlighted recently as Syrian born Canadian citizen Maher Arar has publicly declared that he was unlawfully detained at JFK airport in New York and deported to Syria where he was allegedly tortured for ten months, a violation of both international and U.S laws. And, as Mitch Jeserich reports, Arar’s lawyers are asking the Congressional intelligence committees and the Department of Justice to investigate whether U.S. officials are knowingly extraditing suspects to foreign countries known for torture.
Arab Bodies to Protect US Soldiers in Iraq? (3:46)
Iraqis took to the streets of Baghdad yesterday to protest the death of an Iraqi council member at the hands of the US army. As hostility towards US troops is escalating, the US will next week begin training tens of thousands of Jordanian’s to police Iraq. American firm, Dyncorp, which was awarded a large contract soon after the end of the war totaling some $50 million, will conduct the training. Under this initial contract, DynCorp, a multi-billion dollar private military company, was licensed to send up to 1,150 officers to train and advise Iraqi police. Just last week, MSNBC reported that the Bush administration is now telling Congress that the final cost of Dyncorp’s services will be $800 million more over the next two years. And while many in the region are unhappy that one US corporation has landed such a large contract, as Oula Farawati reports, there is also rising concern that the US is training foreign security personnel so that Arab bodies will protect US soldiers.
Deaths In Custody Widespread in England (3:58)
A recent TV documentary sent shockwaves through Britain as it revealed evidence of new police recruits being openly racist. The government and the police were prompt in responding to an issue that divides the British police force. The government promised measures to address the situation, and one of the latest proposals aims to disqualify any member of the British National Party from becoming a police officer. At the same time, people gathered in London to protest against the rising number of deaths in custody. Over the last 30 years, around one person a week has died at the hands of the police. Yet as Arusha Topazzini reports from London, this is an issue the government and the police force are yet to address.
Clerical Workers Victory in MI (3:08)
After a fifteen-day strike, clerical workers at the University of Minnesota went back to their desks last Wednesday. Although details of the agreement are being kept from the public until the new contract proposal is voted on by Union membership, workers and analysts are calling the strike a win. From St. Paul, Minnesota, Joshua Welsh reports.
Global Power Exposed: Part 12: Nigeria (4:03)
After September 11, the United States demanded all countries tighten their laws against money laundering and other financial crimes saying proceeds from these crimes could be used to finance terrorism. Countries like Nigeria were accused of having weak laws against financial crimes and were asked to make harsher laws or face sanctions. To avoid sanctions, Nigeria made stiffer laws and set up a Financial and Economic Crimes Commission. But as Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos, in part 11 of our special series looking at the global assault on civil liberties, Nigerians say the commission has been perpetrating human rights abuses.