April 28, 2004

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Spanish Troops Return Home
International reports confirm that the Spanish Defense Ministry said today that the last of Spain’s 1,400 soldiers who took part in the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, returned home.

UN Appeals for Dialogue
Meanwhile, at the United Nations, with US troops poised for an all out assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja, the United Nations is appealing for dialogue. Susan Wood has more from the UN.

Call for Nader to Back Out
The Congressional Black Caucus told the National Press Club yesterday that it hopes to arrange a meeting soon with Ralph Nader to try to persuade him to abandon his independent run for the White House, Celie Jenkins has more on this story.

Bush and Cheney To Appear Before 9/11 Commission
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, are to make a joint appearance before the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks tomorrow morning behind closed doors. Gail Walker has more on this story.

Youth Killings in Thailand
More than 120 people have been killed in Thailand’s deep South, following clashes between police and youths. According to the BBC the fighting is a serious escalation of the violence that began in early January with a raid on a military arsenal.  From Bangkok, Doualy Xaykaothao reports.


Refugees Fleeing Fallujah Talk to FSRN (3:23)
The headline of the Tehran Times this afternoon reads “Washington Unleashes Bloodbath in Iraq” and reports that US troops have seized a major hospital in Najaf and are denying access or supplies to those seeking to treat wounded Iraqis. Other Arab media is reporting today that hundreds of Najaf residents carried the coffins of seven of the slain fighters through the streets, as they voed to resist any attempt by US forces to take control of the city. Meanwhile Fallujah has now been completely sealed off by US forces and the air strikes of the city continue. In Baghdad, Aaron Glantz speaks to residents who are fleeing Fallujah.

Bush Administration Goes After Arab Media (4:15)
Meanwhile National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice visited Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on the situation in Iraq.  Bush administration and military officials have been publicly denouncing Qatar based news agency Al-Jazeera’s coverage on Iraq, calling it inaccurate and inflammatory, and yesterday Secretary of State Collin Powell warned Qatar that its relationship with the U.S. is being strained due to Al-Jazeera which broadcasts to millions of viewers throughout the middle east region. Media watchdog groups however criticize the U.S. government for trying to silence Al-Jazeera’s coverage that focuses on the plight of the Iraqis during these tumultuous times. Mitch Jeserich reports.

Supreme Court Hears Hamdi & Padilla Cases (3:57)
The Supreme Court heard arguments today in two cases involving the use of executive power in times of war to interrogate and detain indefinitely and without charges US citizens who may have information about terrorism. The right of citizens to habeus corpus, or due process, is the central question in the cases of Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi, who have been held for two years as enemy combatants without the opportunity to hear evidence against them or make a defense. Jenny Johnson from our DC bureau has more.

French Activists Fine for Anti-Advertising Graffiti Reduced (4:00)
Anti-advertising activists declared a victory today when a French court ruled on the case of 62 activists charged for vandalizing billboards in the Paris subway system, reducing their fine from over one million dollars to just sixteen thousand. The case has brought the fledgling movement into the media spotlight. Avishay Artsy reports from Paris.

De-Streeting MLK in Florida Raises Racial Tension (4:36)
A four year campaign to have the father of the Black Power movement, Malcolm X, inducted into the Nebraska Hall of fame failed last night as the late U.S. Sen. Kenneth Wherry, a Republican with the backing of lots of powerful Nebraskans won the vote. Malcolm X was born in Nebraska and the Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to recognize notable Nebraskans. A seven-member commission appointed by the Governor selects one nominee for the hall every two years. Hall of Fame members, now numbering 24, include three Native Americans and no other people of color. Meanwhile, the father of the civil rights movement, the late Martin Luther King Jr. was publicly de-streeted in Florida. On Monday night, racial tensions flared in a town just north of Tampa, after the City Council became the first and only community in Florida to change the newly named Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue back to it’s original name, Sixth Avenue. From Tampa, Mark Antokas has the story.


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