December 10, 2003

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Free Speech Radio News Headlines by Jackson Allers
U.S. Forces Kill Six Children in Afghanistan
Yesterday in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan, six children were crushed to death after U.S. forces attacked a compound where an Afghan commander was allegedly keeping a huge cache of weapons. This follows a bundled operation on Sunday where US forces killed 9 children in a neighboring province. Both attacks occurred in Pashtun-dominated areas something critics within Afghanistan say will not sit well with the country’s largest ethnic group. A spokesperson for the US forces says there is no guarantee more civilians will not be injured in the latest U.S. maneuver in Afghanistan, Operation Avalanche – involving about 2,000 troops across the south and east of the country.
The UN Decides Not to Go Back to Iraq
And in a blow to the Bush Administration, the United Nations says Iraq is too dangerous for it’s staff to return any time soon. Susan Wood reports from the UN.
Iraq Contracts Won’t Go to Anti-War Countries
The Bush Administration is defending a Pentagon ruling barring Iraq War Opponents from bidding on reconstruction contracts – Craig Murphey reports from DC.
ExxonMobil Guilty of Polluting Nigeria’s Coast
A court in Lagos has asked ExxonMobil to pay one hundred million dollars as compensation to some communities affected by an oil spill that resulted from the company’s installation. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos, Nigeria.
In Texas, Two Death Row Prisoners Get Stay of Execution
Three Texas death row prisoners were scheduled to die this week, but as Renee Feltz reports from KPFT, tonight’s execution may be the only one carried out.
Matt Gonzalez Loses San Francisco Mayoral Race
In the race for mayor of San Francisco, progressive candidate Matt Gonzalez put up a strong showing, but with 47% of the vote he lost to Gavin Newsom with 53%. Tori Taylor reports.

Interview about Iraq Contracts  (less than a minute)
As we reported in the headlines, there is growing outrage around the world at the US decision to bar anti-war countries from reconstruction contracts in Iraq. Joining us now from Baghdad is Pratap Chatterjee, he is the managing editor of Corpwatch.

Chinese Premier Meets Falun Gong Protests  (3:56)
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to the United States has been dominated by talk of economics and the military threat from China to Taiwan if the island holds a referendum towards independence. However there is less talk about the hundreds of Falun Gong demonstrators shadowing Jiabao’s every move in New York and Washing DC demanding the arrest of the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin for his role in the persecution of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Mitch Jeserich has the story.

World Summit on Information Society opens in Geneva  (4:06)
The first-ever World Summit on the Information Society starts today in Geneva.  Initial hopes that the summit would tackle a broad range of information and communication issues have been dashed and the agenda has focused mainly on government and private sector related issues. Broader communication and media issues have been largely sidelined. As Lindsay Benedict and John Kim report, NGO’s and independent groups have been shut out of the summit and will convene a parallel gathering called the World Forum on Communication Rights.

Late Justice in Argentina?  (4:02)
In the last two months, more than 30 ex military men in Argentina have been tried and detained for violating human rights during Argentina’s last military dictatorship. Under the Videla led regime between 1976 and 1983, 30,000 persons were labeled subversives, and systematically tortured, killed and disappeared. The current Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has modified the political climate regarding crimes committed under the dictatorship, which led to the annulment of two immunity laws which had previously protected the military. Demonstrations this week in Buenos Aires mark 20 years since the end of the military dictatorship, and the struggle to remember those lost to state sponsored terrorism. On this International Human Rights Day, Pauline Bartolone and Pablo Boilo have this report from Buenos Aires.

A Woman’s Place is in Her Union  (3:18)
As we mark International Human rights day, today, hundreds of workers and their supporters rallied in New Haven, Connecticut, as part of a nation-wide event sponsored by the AFL-CIO called “A Woman’s Place is in Her Union.” In September, after a three-week strike, 4,000 union workers at Yale University won what they called ‘excellent contracts’. The struggle pitted the university against the combined power of the union movement, both locally and nationally, and a community coalition that included dozens of clergy as well as city and state political leaders. Now that same labor-community coalition is focusing on an effort to unionize the 2,000 service workers at the university’s affiliated institution, Yale-New Haven Hospital. Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven, Connecticut.

First Son, Now Mother: NYPD Police Brutality continues  (3:45)
Late last month an African American man, Nathaniel Jones, died as a result of being beaten by six policemen in the city of Cincinnati. Last Wednesday, the Hamilton County Coroner said Jones’ death was homicide, but that such a ruling “should not be interpreted as implying inappropriate behavior or the use of excessive force by police.” Earlier this year, Juanita Young, the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, a young man killed by a NY police officer, herself became a victim of police brutality. Ama Buadi reports.


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