April 29, 2004

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US Troops Abusing Iraqi Prisoners
Images on a network television news magazine confirm what Amnesty International and others have been reporting for months – some US soldiers have been abusing Iraqi prisoners. One picture shows a prisoner who was told to stand on a box with his head covered while wires were attached to his hands. According to the CBS report, the prisoner was told that he would be electrocuted if he fell off the box.  In many of the pictures US soldiers appear to be laughing or pointing at the often nude or hooded prisoners. In March, Army officials said they were to remove 17 soldiers, including a brigadier general, from their duties in Iraq after accusations they were involved in abusing prisoners.  Six of them are up for courts martial. One of the accused soldiers, a reservist who is a civilian prison guard in Virginia, said they were ill prepared by the Army on how to treat prisoners. The soldier added that the CIA, FBI, and military intelligence complimented them on how well the prisoners in their charge, as opposed to at other prisons, broke during interrogation.

Activists Denied Permit for RNC
Peace activists have been denied a permit for an anti-war rally in New York’s Central Park during the Republican National Convention. Ama Buadi reports from WBAI.

CO Activists Guilty of Trespassing
5 people delivering a peace resolution to their senator last year in Colorado were found guilty of 2nd degree criminal trespass. However, six people were originally arrested, one of them an undercover deputy who infiltrated the group.  Police heard about the potential trip to Senator Wayne Allard’s office in Englewood and took part in the preceding day’s preparations for a non-violent protest. The police officer testified that he wanted to insure the protest would be a peaceful one. According to one court witness, no one at police headquarters took responsibility for the decision to infiltrate the group. A video tape confirms that when the activists were denied the right to speak with their senator, who was in the office at the time, they refused to leave.

Women’s March Owed an Apology
A confidante and political aid to George W. Bush has been asked to apologize for a statement she made about the March for Women’s Lives on Sunday. Celie Jenkins explains from D.C.

Israel’s Stockpile to be Inspected
The United Nations top nuclear watchdog, Mohammed El Baradei, will go to inspect Israel’s nuclear program in July. International weapons experts estimate the Israeli government has built approximately 200 nuclear weapons.  A claim the state of Israel neither supports or denies.  The purpose of El Baradei’s trip, his first in six years, will be to promote non-proliferation and a nuclear weapon free Middle East.  The Israeli government is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the United Nations.  But, it has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  El Baradei has said that nuclear weapons as a method of deterrence is “deeply ingrained in the Israeli psychology.”


Fallujah Deal Reached?
The U.S. Marines announced an agreement today pull out of the Iraqi town of Fallujah after nearly a month of heavy fighting and bombing which has caused the deaths of some 600 civilians — at least 250 of whom have been buried in the city’s soccer stadium. The deal announced by the Marines would create a “Fallujah Protective Army” and allow an all-Iraqi force commanded by one of former President Saddam Hussein’s generals to take over security. But after the agreement was announced, explosions and shooting were heard in the city and American warplanes circled overhead. Meantime, Defense Department officials in Washington denied a final agreement had been struck to end the bloody siege. We’re joined now by FSRN’s Baghdad correspondent Aaron Glantz who explains who exactly the parties are who have reached this deal.

US Army Tactics Earn Contempt of Iraqis
Meanwhile, Aaron Glantz has also been talking to Iraqi’s who are telling stories of intensifying invasions by US marines into many aspects of their private lives. He filed this report earlier today.

Bush-Cheney “Meeting” with 9-11 Commission
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had their version of a testimony before the 9-11 Commission today, a closed door meeting in which the only notes taken were done by the White House. Karen Mitchell reports from Capitol Hill.

Update from Southern Thailand  (2:47)
Thailand has sent more security forces to its troubled south, following the bloodiest day in its recent history. Doualy Xaykaothao is in Pattani, where some of the worst violence took place. She sends this report.

Senate Moves on Blocking Internet Taxes
The U.S. Senate has practically come to a stand still with one major piece of legislation after another being filabustered.  Today two more bills were blocked that dealt with energy.  But for the first time in weeks the Senate has moved forward on a bill that would continue to block any state’s attempt to put a tax on the internet. However, though it has bipartisan support, the measure is in doubt as one prominent Senate Democrat threatens to attach an amendment to raise the federal minimum wage to every piece of legislation that comes to the Senate Floor. Mitch Jeserich has more from Capitol Hill.

Protesting Schwarzenegger’s Slash of CA Education Budget  (3:34)
California State University, Fullerton, today held a campus-wide walkout and a rally in front of Governor Schwarzenegger’s office in downtown LA to protest the budget cuts he is proposing to higher education.  The cuts to California’s 3-tier higher education system are part of his solution to address the state’s 25 billion dollar deficit.  The University of California system alone is facing a 200 million dollar reduction, while the California State University system is also being threatened with a 240 million dollar cut for 2004. FSRN’s Sharis Delgadillo has more from Los Angeles.


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