January 27, 2004

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HR Watch Says Humanitarian War in Iraq Unjustifiable
Human Rights Watch declares U.S. and British official’s justification for invading Iraq on humanitarian grounds as unjustifiable. The 407-page report released yesterday, said “before war, mass slaughter should be taking place or imminent.” The Executive Director of the London based organization said, while summary executions and other brutality did occur, “ongoing or imminent slaughter…was NOT the case in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in March 2003.”

Annan Says Iraqis Should Rule
Today, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan confirmed his stance that Iraqis should rule Iraq as quickly as possible and is in conference with the U.S. backed Provisional Authority. Annan wants assurances from the U.S. officials that any UN staffer sent to the country will be safe.

ACLU Sues Over Post 9-11 Round-up
And the American Civil Liberties Union spoke at the United Nations today, challenging the Bush administrations round-ups of mostly South Asians following 9-11. Haider Rizvi reports from the UN.

Anti-SOA Activists Sentenced
Today more activists are being served prison sentences for civil disobedience directed at closing the notorious School of the Americas, the refer to as the School of Assassins. From outside the Columbus, Georgia courthouse, Laurel Padget-Seekins reports.

Pirate Radio at Clear Channel’s Doorstep
This morning a rowdy pirate crew visited Clear Channel Worldwide’s headquarters – making noise in the streets and seizing the public airwaves with a micro-radio station. From San Antonio, KPFT’s Renee Feltz reports.

CBO Puts Out Deficit Projections
The Congressional Budget Office says the federal deficit is continuing to climb at rates not seen since the Reagan and prior Bush administrations. David Gruen reports.

New Hampshire Primary Opens  (3:46)
New Hampshire Primary day begins at just past midnight in the small towns of Dixville and Notch with early results showing General Wesley Clarke taking the lead. At campaign headquarters of Congressman Dennis Kucinich the offices are still buzzing at 2am. Actually for the core volunteers still making phone calls and strategizing about where strength in numbers would be needed most, today is the day they have worked towards for months. Deepa Fernandes reports from New Hampshire.

Labor Unions Role in 2003 Elections  (3:48)
With their sizable campaign war chests and ability to mobilize thousands of members, labor unions have typically played a pivotal role in Presidential elections. In 2000, then-Vice President Al Gore swept through Iowa and New Hampshire largely on the strength of key union endorsements. But as John Hamilton reports, the power of unions to shape the 2004 Presidential race isn’t what it used to be.

Mad Cow Disease: Still A Threat?  (4:20)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made rule changes for cattle food stock that it says will decrease the risks of spreading the Mad Cow disease, but consumer advocates say the rule change falls short from protecting livestock and the public. The FDA banned the use of dried cattle blood in  cattle feed and it is also prohibiting the substitution of cattle blood for calf milk. However critics say a very real danger to the food supply does still exists as cattle ranchers will continue to feed the herbivorous cows chickens and pigs. Today Secretary Anne Venemmen told a Senate Agricultural Committee that the Bush Administration is vigorously lobbying Mexico, Japan, and South Korea to end their prohibition of U.S. meat. Mitch Jeserich was there and he files this report.

Sierra Club Facing Conflict Over Immigration  (3:54)
The Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization, is facing what many activists inside and outside the club say is the gravest threat to its survival in its 112-year history. Founded in 1892 by Scottish immigrant John Muir, some members of the board of directors are seeking to have the club adopt an anti-immigration platform. Three more board candidates with similar views have petitioned their way onto the ballot for the March election. They argue that greater numbers of people will deplete U.S. resources and strain ecosystems, and that severely restricting immigration will ease the problem. These candidates are being supported by a number of white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups whose anti-immigrant positions are not so refined. And as FSRN’s Melinda Tuhus reports, these groups are urging their members to join the Sierra Club in order to vote in the upcoming election.

Latest on Burundi Civil War  (4:28)
Burundi’s civil war has dragged on for almost a decade, with over 350,000 people killed and hundreds thousands more displaced. For years the international community steered clear of intervening in a brutal conflict which had its origins in an ethnic conflict between the predominantly Hutu rebels and Tutsi-dominated government. Yet, a recent deployment of peace-keepers to the country marks a increasing trend on the African continent to recognize the risks of allowing low-level conflicts to fester, only to spread far beyond their original borders. Rupert Cook reports.


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