January 15, 2004

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Today’s Headlines

Moseley-Braun Drops Out
Today, the only woman in the race for President of the United States dropped out.  Carol Moseley-Braun, one of two African-Americans running announced that she would throw her support behind the current Democratic frontrunner Howard Dean. Moseley-Braun is the first black woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate and then became ambassador to New Zealand.  Her endorsement may mean little for Dean in Iowa’s Monday night contest where she has little support.  However, Dean’s mostly young, college educated, and white supporters are expected to get a diversity boost if Moseley-Braun can move her followers into Dean’s camp.

Lost Radioactive Material Found
Nigerian authorities are investigating how high risk radioactive materials brought into the country by the U.S. company Halliburton were stolen and exported to Germany. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.

EU Asks WTO to Fine US
The European Union is calling the Bush administration’s free trade rhetoric to task by asking the World Trade organization to fine the United States for illegal subsidies.  Naomi Fowler reports from London.

World Social Forum Opens Tomorrow
Democratic globalization activists are meeting in India for the World Social Forum – a four-day event that aims to establish an agenda to change the world. Binu Alex reports from Mumbai.

Rising Complaints Against NYC Police
Citizen complaints against New York City’s finest in blue are on the rise. From WBAI, Ian Forrest reports.

More US Soldiers Commit Suicide in Iraq
Pentagon officials are acknowledging that one out of seven so-called non- hostile deaths in Iraq are suicides.  At least 21 U.S. soldiers have committed suicide in Iraq since last March.  There is no indication yet from the Defense Department if they are going to change their current order to deny leaves to soldiers who have completed their tours or are scheduled for visits home.  A total of 496 soldiers have died since the beginning of the U.S. led invasion, 153 in non-combat related incidents.

Features for January 15th, 2004

Tax Evading Ashcroft?  (3:07)
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee has ordered the IRS to hand over tax and financial forms filed by 27 Muslim charity groups to investigate whether the groups have been funding such organizations that the State Department has branded as terrorist organizations.  Some of the charity groups under investigation include the Muslim Student Association and the Islamic Society, the latter being an umbrella group for several hundred Islamic organizations. The Council for American Islamic Relations accused the Senate Committee of engaging in a McCarthyite witch hunt. Meanwhile, government watchdog groups are calling for an investigation into Attorney General John Ashcroft for his lack of reporting to the IRS. The groups accuse Ashcroft in his 2000 bid for Senate of tax evasion and  violating campaign finance laws. FSRN’s Mitch Jeserich reports from DC.

Wealth Gap Race Divide Shatters MLK’s Dream  (3:55)
Today would have been the 75th birthday of the late Dr Martin Luther King Jnr., and as people across the country and around the world remember the life of the great civil rights leader, many African Americans say the situation today is far from fulfilling the dreams of Dr King. A new report released today agrees. From United for a Fair Economy, the report entitled “The State of the Dream: Enduring Disparities in Black and White” charges that racial inequities in unemployment, family income, imprisonment, average wealth and infant mortality are actually worse than when Dr. King was killed. Attieno  Davis is one of the reports authors, she speaks with Host Deepa Fernandes.

Try Juveniles as Adults in DC?   (3:52)
The city of Washington, DC is embroiled in a fight that will affect how young people and their families will be treated in the juvenile system as well as their access to under funded social services. Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC.

How the Poor Fare in Connecticut  (3:51)
Connecticut’s once highly popular third-term governor and friend of President Bush, Republican John Rowland is fighting to keep his job amidst a growing corruption scandal. Several of his top officials have been convicted of misdeeds. His administration is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office, the state Ethics Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service. Rowland himself has admitted accepting gifts from companies that have then been awarded no-bid contracts, and lying about it. His poll numbers are plummeting as is his support among most of the state’s top Republican politicians. Unlike former President Bill Clinton, who continued to govern during his impeachment imbroglio, if Rowland is impeached by the Connecticut House of Representatives, he must step aside until the issue is resolved. Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven on the impact of nine years of Rowland’s policies and priorities on the poor and working people of the richest state in the nation.

Mad Cow Criticism from Meat Inspectors  (3:38)
A Wall Street Journal / Harris survey reports that 21% of adult Americans say they will eat less or no beef because of mad cow disease. This comes as today there was stinging criticism of government action over the Mad Cow discovery in Washington State. After the disease was discovered, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would take a number of steps, including creating a system to track cows from birth to slaughterhouse and test more cows for the disease. However, as Tom Gomez reports, Meat Inspectors today said these measures are weakened by giving too much discretion to the beef industry.


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