June 10, 2004
Today a jury in Idaho returned a “not-guilty” verdict in favor of the University of Idaho student accused of terrorism. Leigh Robartes has more.
Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sent out a statement saying, “extended mass layoffs are associated with domestic and overseas relocations.” The bureau defines a mass layoff as at least 50 workers from the same company filing for unemployment. From January to March of this year, 16-thousand workers were involved in mass layoffs; nearly 10-thousand of those jobs went overseas. The BLS only includes what they deem to be non-farm labor in the statistic.
A workers’ strike over an increase in the price of fuel has paralyzed economic activities in Nigeria. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.
Activists at the G8 summit in Georgia are continuing their protests and workshops despite the near police state created to secure leaders from the world’s most powerful nations. Pablo Modano reports from Brunswick Indy Media Center.
The government of Zimbabwe announced they plan to nationalize all land in the country. In an aggressive land redistribution program, President Robert Mugabe has removed approximately two thirds of commercial white farmers from the land in the hopes of giving it to the majority black populous. Now, the government is seeking to abolish all private land ownership. Salih Booker, with Africa Action a group advocating for justice in Africa, says it is unlikely Mugabe’s actions will benefit the majority of farm workers who have also been displaced under the programs. SOUND. That was Salih Booker with Africa Action.
The U.S. State Department admitted that their report on terrorism is misleading. The report claims terrorism around the world is at its lowest point in 35 years. However, the department says they mistakenly left out all the violence in Iraq. Amrutha Nanjappa reports from D.C.
Global military spending has reached nearly a TRILLION U.S. dollars. The U.S. alone spent nearly half of that number in 2003 with the military offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the United States and Russia are still the largest weapons suppliers. In a separate report, the Associated Press calculates that the near 120-million dollars spent by the United States on the invasion and occupation of Iraq could go to other things. For example, the AP report calculates 2 point 8 million people could go to a public college for four years; or 25-million people could take a cruise on the QE II from England to New York.
Guantanamo Bay Detainees Medical Records Released
The Washington Post reports that medical records of detainees at Guantanamo Bay were given to interrogators there, a move some describe as a violation of international medical standards. A Pentagon memo cites a Red Cross complaint that the medical records were used to develop interrogation plans. And as Mitch Jeserich reports, Guantanamo Bay detainee and Australian citizen David Hicks was formally charged today by the Pentagon.
UN Resolution on Iraq
The United Nations Security Council this week unanimously approved a U.S. drafted resolution that gives international legitimacy to an unelected Iraqi government which is s et to take power by the end of this month. The resolution reaffirms the right of Iraqis to determine their political future and control their natural resources. But it also authorizes the continued presence of more than 145,000 foreign troops under U.S. command. The Iraqi government can ask them to leave, but its pro-U.S. stance makes that unlikely. Because of this, there is widespread skepticism among UN members and observers as to just what kind of sovereignty the resolution guarantees Iraqis. Susan Wood and Haider Rizvi report from the UN.
Kurdish Independence in Iraq
In a letter to President Bush earlier this week, Kurdish officials this week made veiled threats to secede if the three northern Iraqi provinces controlled by Kurdish parties were not allowed to remain independent at least until elections. Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi has acceded to these demands, but the possibility of Kurdish secession points to a deep divide that is worsening as the differences between the Kurdish north and the rest of the country become more evident. Salam Talib and David Enders report from Baghdad, where at least half a million Kurds reside.
G8 Summit Winds Up – Arab Reaction
G-8 leaders met with the presidents of six African countries today and endorsed a proposal to train and where necessary equip 75,000 new peacekeepers in the next five years. The United States and other G8 members heavily rewrote much of President Bush’s Greater Middle East Initiative and re-branded it as the Partnership for Progress and a Common Future with the Region of the Broader Middle East and North Africa. The G8 unanimously approved the Initiative but ran into differences over a role for NATO in Iraq. French President Jacques Chirac said that democracy could not be imposed from outside and ending Middle East conflicts had to be the priority adding that. Egyptian and Saudi leaders have repeatedly signaled they would reject any attempt to impose a “foreign order” on the region. Oula Farawati reports on the reaction in the Middle East from Amman, Jordan.
Domestic Human Rights Advocates Under Fire
The human rights group Front Line USA released a report entitled, “Threats, Attacks, Arrests and Harassment of Human Rights Defenders,” detailing accounts of 12 advocates who have been targeted for their work in promoting and protecting human freedoms inside the United States. Jenny Johnson has more.
DC Students Stage Walk-Out
Hundreds of DC public school students walked out of class this afternoon to protest budget cuts. Ingrid Drake reports from Washington, DC.