March 26, 2004

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Clarke’s 9.11 Testimony Declassified?
Republican Congressional leaders want to declassify Richard Clarke’s testimony to the September 11th Commission given behind closed doors in 2002.  Senate Majority leader Bill Frist says he wants to know if Clarke lied under oath.  In his best-selling book and again at a public hearing this week, Clarke provided a glimpse behind the White House’s veil of loyalty by charging that high-level Bush administration officials ignored or reduced the priority of key warnings the intelligence community had about an impending dramatic attack. And, National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice is requesting a private meeting with the September 11th Commission saying she wants to offer her version of what Rice calls mischaracterizations she heard during this week’s hearings.  A few commissioners criticized, and at times poked fun at Rice who has to date refused to testify publicly citing separation of powers.

Corporate Profits Rise More Than Personal Income
This week’s economic figures show that corporate profits in 2003 hit double digits while personal income barely rose one half of one percent. Ingrid Drake reports from D.C.

Massive Labor Strike in Italy
Labor unions in Italy say more than two thirds of private and government workers went on strike this morning.  In Brescia, Diletta Varlese reports.

Greece and the EU
Cyprus will be the subject of United Nations sponsored peace talks seeking to curb the nationally split island from a greater dilemma when Greece becomes a member of the European Union while Turkey must wait. Ezgi Sirtas reports from Ankara.

Delay to Face Charges?
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is looking to temporarily step down if he is indicted on charges of violating Texas campaign finance laws. At KPFT in Houston, Renee Feltz reports.


Bush and Kerry Raise Money (4:31)
As heard in the headlines, Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay may have to temporarily step down from his leadership post if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury that is investigating potential campaign finance abuses.  This comes as both Democratic and Republican parties are raising millions of dollars for their Presidential candidates and other contenders for the Senate and House of Representatives. As Mitch Jeserich reports, regardless of which party gains control of the government, it is the corporations that will ultimately win.

Congress Grants Fetuses More Rights (2:00)
After a five-year battle, the Senate yesterday passed a bill dubbed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Its approval makes it illegal to harm a fetus during the commission of a federal crime. Congress has sent the legislation to George Bush, who has said he will sign it into law. Pro-choice advocates are worried that the bill recognizes that a fetus, from the point of conception, as a person. FSRN spoke with Sylvia Henriquez of The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health about what this legislation means for women’s rights.

Jordanians Respond to Assasignation of Hamas Leader  (3:21)
The United Nations failed to adopt a resolution yesterday that would have condemned the assassination of Hamas Spiritual Leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin. The resolution was sponsored by Algeria and Libya and supported by 11 countries, yet the United States was the sole vote against it. Germany, Romania and the UK abstained. But, As Oula Farawati reports, many in the Arab world say that the targeted killing of Yassin has provided the movement with even more ammunition.

Iraqi Detainees Released  (2:53)
On Tuesday, the U.S. military released 272 detainees Tuesday from Abu Ghraib prison, once Saddam Hussein’s most notorious lockup. In a carefully choreographed event, the prisoners were brought out in groups from inside the prison. Reporters taken by the military to witness the event were not allowed to interview the men being released. Two days later, FSRN’s Aaron Glantz returned to Abu Ghraib and found hundreds of families waiting outside for a chance to see their loved ones.

When Democracy Doesn’t Matter: Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary (4:28)
Journalist and Free Speech Radio News commentator Mumia Abu Jamal from his cell on Pennsylvania’s Death Row.

Senegal Tackles Water Distribution Problem  (3:33)
In West Africa, 6 countries share 1,800,000 square kilometers that know a decrease of 260,000 hectares every year. This week, West and Central African ministers have gathered in Dakar to see into developing strategies for more potable water and better sanitation. With the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization, several specialists have also come together to protect the ever-reducing forest resources. In Senegal, Ndiaga Seck reports.


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