May 10, 2004

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The Venezuelan government arrested more than 80 Colombians they have accused of plotting to overthrow the administration of President Hugo Chavez. Greg Wilpert has more from Caracas.

Texas state officials are set to execute a man who all agree is a paranoid schizophrenic. From KPFT in Houston, Erika McDonald reports.

The U.S. Justice Department announced today they are reopening the murder case of Emmett Till, after a nation-wide, decades long campaign. Leigh Ann Caldwell has more.

International aid for the world’s poorest people is becoming increasingly politicized in the post-9-11 era, according to a report issued by Christian Aid. The London based charity’s report cites numerous examples of the shift in hundreds of millions of dollars. Stuart Halpert, co-author of the report says the swing is obvious and distressing. SOUND BITE. Numerous countries including Mali, Namibia, and Tanzania have agreed to exempt US citizens and the military from prosecution at the International Criminal Court for fear of loosing aid. Christian Aid and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan both say the politicization of aid money actually makes the world less safe.

Pressure Mounts on Bush Administration over Iraqi Abuse Scandle
After meeting with military officials at the Pentagon today, President Bush reiterated his support for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as calls continue for Rumsfeld’s resignation in light of the gruesome abuses of Iraqi detainees.  According a to an International Red Cross report, monitors who witnessed abuse of detainees by interrogators were told that the abusive methods were part of the interrogative process.  Human rights groups have now signed an open letter to President Bush saying there is a pattern of detainee abuse throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.  The groups are calling on the Bush administration to open its detention facilities to independent observers to ensure that abuses stop.  Mitch Jeserich reports.

US Attacks on Sadr Supporters Continue
It is being reported today that US marines began their first joint patrols with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah. The Fallujah security force is said to be made up of members of the old Iraqi army who live in the area. Meanwhile in Najaf, rebel cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s militia still controls the Shrine of Imam Ali, one of the holiest in Shiite Islam. And as the standoff continues in Najaf, U-S troops continue to conduct offensive operations against Sadr supporters elsewhere. David Enders reports from Sadr City in Baghdad.

Mom’s Call for Renewal of Assault Weapon Ban
Thousands gathered on the Washington Mall to call for an end to gun-related violence in what has become an annual Mother’s Day “Million Mom March”. Organizers said the day was to kick-off for a national tour to highlight grassroots support for the ban on assault weapon which is due to expire in September of this year, as Darby Hickey of FSRN’s D.C. Bureau reports.

Indian Elections End Today
Today was the last day of the multi-phased Indian general election to elect a new Prime Minister and Parliament to serve for the next five years. The race is largely between the ruling Hindu right BJP led National Democratic Alliance and the Congress party. From New Delhi, our correspondent, Vinod K. Jose reports.

Kerry Just as Anti-Castro as Bush
President Bush tightened the screws on Cuba last week by announcing a series of measures designed to put further economic pressure on the island. And as FSRN’s Havana correspondent Joseph Mutti reports, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has also jumped into the fray with his own brand of anti-Castro rhetoric as the two battle it out for the Cuban-American vote in Florida.

Teaching Assistant Strike at Columbia
This spring has been tumultuous for graduate student unions across the country. Teaching assistants have walked out at the universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Yale and Columbia. Sarah Turner attended the most recent union rally at Columbia, she files this report.


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