December 09, 2003

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Free Speech Radio News Headlines by Randi Zimmerman
AIDS Activists Block D.C. Road
AIDS activists blocked a main artery of downtown D.C. this afternoon hoping to bring attention to what they call the negative impact the Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA will have on AIDS drugs.  Jenny Johnson reports from D.C.
Former Nicaruaguan President Guity of Corruption
A former Nicaraguan president was found guilty of corruption while he was in office.  In Mangua, Nan McGurdy reports.
Gore Backs Dean
Today Presidential candidate Howard Dean received a huge nod from Democratic Party insider, former Vice President Al Gore at a Harlem fundraiser. Josh Chaffin reports from New York City.
Skinhead in Portland Sentenced
The leader of a gang of skinheads has been sentenced in Portland, Oregon to 3 years for his part in the city’s race based violence.  From KBOO in Portland, Andrew Stelzer reports.
TX Lethal Injection Cruel
The Texas state sponsored execution by lethal injection causes painful and protracted death according to new lawsuit.  Renee Feltz reports from KPFT in Houston.

Florida Democratic Convention  (3:58)
The Republican chair of the House Ethics Committee said today he would consider an investigation if a formal complaint is filed into an alleged bribe of 100,000 dollars for an affirmative vote on the Medicare bill.  Republican Congress member Nick Smith said after the contentious and close vote that unnamed GOP aides offered his son’s Congressional campaign money if Smith changed his vote. Smith said he did not accept the money and he did not change his vote, but under heat from his own party, Smith has since backed down from the bribery allegation. Democratic Congressional leaders however are still urging for an investigation.  Meanwhile, as former Vice President Al Gore has endorsed Howard Dean for the Democratic Presidential nomination, the democratic candidates are readying themselves for tonight’s debate in New Hampshire.  Over the weekend many of the candidates spoke and fielded questions at Florida’s state democratic convention.  Mitch Jeserich reports.

Hypocrisy in the Commonwealth?   (3:50)
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has announced his country’s withdrawal from the group of nations called the ‘Commonwealth’. The move is to protest a decision made at the weekend’s Commonwealth Summit in Nigeria to suspend Zimbabwe indefinitely for human rights violations and lack of political reforms. But human rights groups say the Commonwealth is acting hypocritically by targeting Zimbabwe, adding that the summit should not have been held in Nigeria on account of Nigeria’s poor human rights records. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.

CAFTA to be Finalized  (3:54)
Amid much controversy the Central American Free Trade Agreement is scheduled to be finalized this week in Washington, DC.  Selina Musuta reports from Washington DC.

Case of Captain Yee  (4:36)
The case against US Army Chaplain James Yee, like many in the post-911 environment, has been one of “guilty until proven innocent”. The US Army levels highly inflammatory charges against the Muslim Chinese-America chaplain yet is withholding evidence of the charges. The accused has been denied access to legal counsel and visits with his family. Chaplain Yee, who ministered to detainees at Guantanamo was initially charged in September with espionage. He was shackled in leg irons and held in solitary confinement for 76 days. The charges were later changed to mishandling classified material and then changed again upon Yee’s release. Martha Baskin reports that this week a military judge will hear Chaplain Yee’s case.

Black’s Demand Gay Marriage Rights  (3:23)
People across the country are following the actions of the Massachusetts State Assembly, which was ordered by the State Supreme Judicial Court to recognize the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry. Black members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities are mobilizing to express their perspectives with the National Black Justice Coalition initiating a new campaign yesterday to highlight and increase support in black communities for marriage equality. From the DC radio co-op Darby Hickey reports.


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