April 01, 2004

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A leading Colombian human rights group reported this morning that the country’s war displaced fewer civilians from their homes last year but that conditions for the nation’s 3 million internal refugees have worsened. Chip Mitchell reports from Bogotá.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe according to yet another human rights reprot. Naomi Fowler has more from London.

Troops have been dispersed throughout Sri Lanka today in preparation for tomorrow’s elections. Ponniah Manikavassagam reports from Sri Lanka.

The US House of Representatives voted to deny federal funds to colleges and universities that ban military recruitment on campus. From D.C. Steven Lacey reports.

Amnesty International says nothing called a “roadmap to democracy” in Burma can take place without activists like Aung San Suu Kyi or her organization the National League for Democracy. The ruling military government officials said they will convene a constitutional convention on May 17th. But, Amnesty International and other human rights groups say the conference will be meaningless without the now jailed Suu Kyi. 14-hundred other political dissidents were released from prison yesterday in Burma, many of whom were later put on house arrest and denied outside communications.

Fullujah Killings Overshadow Iraqi Deaths
In the aftermath of the graphic and brutal deaths of American mercenaries in Fallujah, today US Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt sent a cold threat to the people of Fallujah saying that American troops will seek out those responsible for the attacks, “It’s going to be deliberate. It will be precise and it will be overwhelming”. Yet as our correspondent in Iraq, Aaron Glantz reports, no one seems to be counting the many Iraqi civilians who, since the start of the occupation, are dying on a daily basis. (For more reports from Aaron Glantz, visit Pacifica Radio’s website where Aaron is posting regular dispatches: www.pacifica.org)

Another Controversial Judicial Nomination
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved another controversial Bush judicial nomination. By a strict party line vote the nomination of William Meyers, a former lawyer and lobbyist for the mining and beef industry, was approved for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Now the nomination moves to the Senate floor where another contentious debate is expected, especially in light of President Bush’s recent recess appointments of two other controversial nominees. Mitch Jeserich has more from Capitol Hill.

Welfare Reauthorization Filibuster Stands
Today Republicans in the US Senate were unsuccessful in their attempt to break a Democratic filibuster on the reauthorization of welfare reform. Ingrid Drake reports from Washington, DC.

Welfare From the Front Lines
With the congressional debate about the reauthorization of Temporary Aid to Needy Families, or TANF, taking place on Capitol Hill welfare advocates and recipients around the country are bracing for what they see as potentially damaging legislation. The array of issues on the table, from child care and work hours, to lifetime limits and marriage promotion, deeply effect the every day lives of the mostly women and children receiving welfare today. Sarah Olson has more from Oakland, California.

India Deporting Nepalese Despite Human Rights Concerns
For the past 30 months, Nepal has been under a state of National Emergency. The ruling monarchy dissolved the constitution and the military has been on the streets fighting the Maoist revolutionaries. The Nepali military is accused of human rights violation such as abductions, disappearances, and brutal rapes. In light of these open abuses many in Nepal question the substantial financial and military assistance that is coming to Nepal from the United States, the United Kingdom and India. Before Sept 11 the US military support to Nepal was just half a million dollars, but last year that amount shot up to $29.5 million–an increase of 150 percent! India meanwhile, deports Nepalese refugees back to their country, the cases often ending in custodial deaths and disappearances. Now, a movement is spreading across South Asia against the unconstitutional deportations. Our correspondent Vinod K. Jose files this story.

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