January 07, 2004

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US Releases 506 Iraqi Detainees
Iraq’s U.S.-led coalition plans to release 506 prisoners from detention camps in Iraq this week. Elia Herman reports from DC.
British Company Gets Defense Contract
The Department of Homeland Security has chosen a British company to develop a system to protect passenger planes from terrorist missile attacks. Naomi Fowler has more from the UK
Federal Court Approves Texas Redistricting
Democrats’ Unbroken control of the Texas delegation to the U.S. House is expected to end following a federal court’s approval of a new redistricting map. Renee Feltz reports from Houston.
The Terminator Gives First State of the State Address California Governor
Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered his first State of the State address yesterday. Diane Solomon reports from San Jose.
Schizophrenic Executed in Arkansas
A man diagnosed as a schizophrenic was executed in Arkansas last night. Charles Singleton was convicted for the stabbing death of a grocery shop clerk in Little Rock in 1979. Singleton was diagnosed as sane at the time of the murder, but Singleton’s lawyer says, his mental health deteriorated while on Death Row. Last year, the Eighth Circuit Federal court ruled that Arkansas could forcibly medicate Singleton to make him eligible for execution. Members of the European Union as well as Amnesty International petitioned Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for a stay, saying it was morally reprehensible to execute a person with a severe mental illness. But the governor refused. Another prisoner, Karl Roberts, was also scheduled to be executed last night in Arkansas, but a federal appeals court granted him a temporary stay.

Bush Announces Guest Worker Program  (3:30)
Today President Bush announced a new proposal to create a so-called ‘guest worker’ program for undocumented workers.  While the program falls short of granting amnesty to the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, it will allow some undocumented workers to continue working for 3 years in the U.S. and allow them to travel and return from their home countries. In a speech at the White House, Bush said changes to Immigration policy would make the country safer by giving officials a better idea of who is crossing the border. In an apparent response to conservatives who oppose any reward to those who enter the United States illegally Bush is including in his plan incentives to entice the workers to go back to their homelands. And as Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington DC, while immigrant rights activists say some legalization is better than none, they criticize Bush’s proposal as being more for business interests than that of immigrants in the United States.

Reaction from Uganda on Immigration Changes  (3:46)
The proposals announced by President Bush today that would give legal status to foreign workers, including millions who are constantly hiding from police for fear of deportation, are generating excitement in the African country of Uganda where many young men dream of coming to America. Yet as FSRN’s Joshua Kyalimpa reports, while working in the US helps the economy of a poor country like Uganda, it is mainly the middle class who benefits leaving the majority of poor people with no opportunities.

Mad Cow Traced to Canada  (4:22)
Washington State came from Alberta, Canada. The announcement spurred the two US senators from Montana to call for certifying the US beef supply mad cow-free and the resumption of US beef exports to the forty countries that have banned it. This comes as the USDA followed through with its plan yesterday to kill a herd of 450 calves in Washington state because one of them is the offspring of the cow found to have mad cow disease. Meanwhile scientists and other critics are blasting the agencies December 30th regulations, saying they still leave US beef consumers at risk. FSRN correspondent Leigh Robartes has more.

DC Primary Contested by DNC  (3:47)
The Washington D.C. City Council surprised many, and upset a few, when it voted last month to move the District’s Presidential Primary to January 13th. D.C. Democrats said they made the move, over objections from the Democratic National Committee, in order to focus attention on the lack of voting rights in the nation’s capitol. Darby Hickey of the D.C. Radio Coop reports.

India and Pakistan Talking Peace  (4:02)
India and Pakistan will begin a peace dialogue next month on contentious issues that have caused major hostilities between the two nuclear neighbors for over five decades. Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and Pakistani President Musharraf held a high-level meeting Monday on the sidelines of the SAARC summit of South Asian leaders which wrapped up yesterday. A joint declaration says the peace talks will touch on many topics, including the issue of Kashmir, the Himalayan region claimed by both countries. Masror Hussain reports from Islamabad.

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