June 08, 2004

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British Officer Misleads Gov. on Iraqi Deaths
A British military officer admitted he inadvertently misled Parliament about the numbers of civilian deaths in Iraq that involved British soldiers.  Armed forces minister Adam Ingram told MPs last month that 33 cases of alleged abuse were investigated. However, he now admits the number of cases really is 61 with 14 more launched since his testimony. A spokesperson with the Prime Minister’s office said that the allegations were being investigated; they just were not being recorded.

UN to Vote on Iraq Future
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote on the U.S. created plan for the immediate future of Iraq. Haider Rizvi reports from the U.N.

Anti-Biotech Activists Arresting in SF
Foes of biotech were arrested while another 500 to 1000 protestors confronted scientists, executives and job seekers at the Biotech Industry Organization conference. More from KPFA’s Kellia Ramares.

G8 Considers Int. Environmental Treaty
Today at the G8 summit in Georgia, the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty on the environment has been put back on the table for negotiations. Aura Bogado reports from Brunswick.

US Naval Base in West Africa
The United States plans to deploy a naval task force off the coast of West Africa, reportedly to protect the nation’s growing strategic oil interest in the Gulf of Guinea. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.


Ashcroft Before Congress (4:27)
For the first time in over a year, Attorney General John Ashcroft testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, the hearing, that was scheduled to look at the Patriot Act, took a turn due to a story in today’s Washington Post of a leaked Department of Justice memo suggesting the DOJ advised the White House that torturing Al-Qaeda suspects may be justified. Attorney General Ashcroft refused the requests of some committee members for copies of the memos without a clear explanation of why. And Mitch Jeserich reports, this has some lawmakers calling for Ashcroft to be in contempt of Congress.

Global Development in the G8 (2:18)
With the G-8 summit on its way, here on capitol hill the Commission on Weak States and US national security issued a report outlining deficiencies in U.S. development policies toward what they call failed or weak nations. Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC.

Iraqi Journalists Threatened (2:32)
Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi this week announced a plan to reintegrate militia groups into Iraqi society, but the plan does not include the rebel Medhi Militia, which continued to battle U-S troops today in Baghdad. Security in the country continues to be the top concern for most Iraqis, but as David Enders and Salam Talib report from Baghdad and Kirkuk, local journalists who continue are at greatest risk.

Renewable Energy Conference in Germany (4:08)
The surging oil prices and the instability in the Middle East has lent added credence and urgency to an international Renewable energy conference that has been taking place in Bonn, Germany.Following the failure of the UN Earth Summit in Johannesburg to agree to a 15 percent target on introducing renewable energies world wide by 2010 – the German government invited the world to a international conference on renewables in Bonn. While many NGO’s welcomed the targets set by some countries to phase in renewable energy they slammed the lack of real political will and funding to bring clean affordable energy to the world’s poorest. Jennifer Macey reports from Bonn.

Massacres in Arauca, Colombia (4:30)
As car bombs continue to explode in Colombia ‘s main cities — one was detonated yesterday in Medellin injuring 12 and another last week Colombia’s third largest city of Cali – the war that rages in Colombia’s countryside goes virtually unreported. As the Colombia Army undertakes its largest military offensive against the country’s guerrilla, paramilitary groups continue to massacre the local villagers. The United Self Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC are in a negotiation process with the Colombian government and this week, several hundred paramilitary fighters concentrated in northwestern Colombia to begin a process of verification of demobilization that will be monitored by the OAS. However, massacres of five, six, ten people are occurring all the time, but because of the danger in reaching these rural areas of combat and because the Colombian press is encouraged to report the official version of events, the severe humanitarian crisis that poor villagers in Colombia’s countryside are facing is seldom heard. Nicole Karsin traveled to the oil-rich, war-torn Arauca state where 12 campesinos were tortured and murdered on May 19 and 20. She joined a humanitarian commission that was the first to speak to witnesses and verify the scenes of the massacre and she has this story.


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