March 24, 2004

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9-11 Hearings
In testimony before the 9-11 commission this morning, a former FBI translator said she was offered a raise to keep her quiet about security problems. Karen Mitchell reports from Capitol Hill.

EU Fines Microsoft
The European Union has fined Microsoft a record $611.8 million for violating anti-trust laws in a bid to crush competition. Naomi Fowler Reports from London.

Palestinians Mourn Assasignation of Hamas Leader
Palestinians around the world are expressing their anger and grief at the assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin. Gail Walker reports from New York.

As Israel commemorates the 25th anniversary of its peace agreement with Egypt tension is mounting over the assassination. Ariel Sharon’s government has announced it will target the entire Hamas leadership; Hamas Leader Khaled Mashaal said the group’s military wing is looking for ways to assasignate Ariel Sharon. Ghason Adoni is the Executing Director of Rapprochement Center, and NGO that organizes nonviolent civil disobedience in the occupied territories. He says neither announcement bodes well for the peace process. Last night Israeli Troops put a village near Jenin under curfew, and destroyed four Palestinian farms in the Khan Younis refugee camp. This morning, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned attacks on civilians both sides.

Number of Troops Dismissed in Afghanistan Dismissed Drops
A new report says the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have led to a dramatic drop in the number of troops dismissed under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Hekam Akbari reports.


9/11 Hearings Continue
Today the 9/11 Commission held its second hearing of the week focusing on U.S. counter-terrorism efforts before the September 11th attacks. Today’s witnesses included CIA Director George Tenet and former top counter terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, who has been critical of the Bush administration’s handling of terrorist threats. While much attention has been given to the high current and former administration officials who testified this week, critics contend that the 9/11 Commissioners missed a golden opportunity to inquire into the U.S.’s relationship with Saudi Arabia before the attacks. Mitch Jeserich reports from Capitol Hill.

Ayatollah Al Sistini Urges UN to Say No  (3:21)
Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric has urged the United Nations not to endorse the country’s interim constitution. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani told senior U.N. official Lakhdar Brahimi in a letter that unless the United Nations rejects the constitution, he would boycott a U.N. team expected to visit Iraq soon to advise on forming an interim government. From Baghdad, Aaron Glantz has more.

WA Nuclear Clean -Up Leaves Workers Ill
Twenty-five years after a near-catastrophe at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant exposed lax safety practices, owners and regulators of the nation’s aging fleet of 103 reactors still face nagging questions about their ability to prevent mishaps. And ever since the Department of Energy developed the nation’s nuclear arsenal during the Cold War, it has employed numerous contractors to clean up the toxic mess left behind. Now some workers are getting sick. In Washington State, The DOE is blaming its medical clinic, the Hanford Environmental Health Foundation. But some facts point to the Department of Energy itself and the numerous private contractors it pays to clean up Hanford’s contaminated tank farms. Workers were fired when they challenged private contractors to test the contents of highly toxic uranium filings. Further misconduct has led to a criminal investigation by the Washington State Attorney General’s office and demands for independent hearings by members of Congress. Martha Baskin files this report.

Enslaving Working Conditions for Nigerian Tobacco Farmers
Tobacco farmers in Nigeria say British American Tobacco, BAT, is enslaving them. The farmers work under a loan agreement that leaves them perpetually poor and indebted to the company. Nigeria’s house of Assembly has asked BAT, to respect the rights of the farmers. Sam Olukoya reports.

Effects of Exxon Valdez Spill Persist
On the 15th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, residents, fishermen and researchers came to Washington from the Puget Sound to publicize the long-term ill effects of the disaster. Based on a myriad of unintended consequences, they will be pressing Congress on a list of demands to enhance procedures in the case of future oil spills, as well as recommendations for prevention. Jenny Johnson reports.


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