June 30, 2004

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Military tribunal for Guantanamo Detainees
The Bush administration is gearing up for military tribunals and is possibly moving the people currently held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.  According to a Los Angeles Times report, officials in the White House say the move is in response to yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that said military prisoners must be granted access to the U.S. court system.  Yet, Prime Minister Tony Blair said of the four British prisoners, “the military process does not provide guarantees to the standards” they require.  Blair says, the British men should be either “tried fairly in accordance with international standards or returned to the U.K.” The administration is considering moving those ready for trial to a single conservative jurisdiction (so federal prosecutors can avoid flying all over the country and benefit from what they believe will be more friendly judges.) More than 600 people are currently being held at the U.S. Naval base in Cuba. Bush administration officials say they can be held without charge indefinitely.

Justice Dept. Refuses Release of Information
The U.S. Justice Department is refusing to provide information on foreign lobbyists saying the department is unable to copy its database. They claim the computer system will crash. Victoria Jones reports from D.C.

Officials Confront Crackdown on Immigrants
Local California officials are confronting the statewide crack down on undocumented residents very differently. Aura Bogado reports from KPFK.

Fast and Vigil Against Death Penalty
Opponents to the death penalty are staging a fast and vigil hoping to abolish state sponsored executions. Jenny Johnson has more from the Supreme Court.

Israeli High Court Rules on the Wall
Israeli Defense Ministry officials said they would comply with today’s high court ruling on the barrier wall. The court said that the fence, 8-feet of concrete in some areas, places an undue burden on Palestinians. The court wrote, the fence route has “created such hardship for the local population that the state must find an alternative that may give less security but would harm the local population less.” Palestinians charge the fence is really a land grab by the Israeli government. They noted that if the fence were built in the area specified by the court ruling, about 12-thousand acres of Palestinian land would remain on the Israeli side.


Sudanese Humanitarian Crisis — Powell and Annan Visit the Region  (4:39)
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan were scheduled to meet in the Sudanese capital Khartoum today following Powell’s visit in the western region of Darfur. Annan will visit Darfur tomorrow. Since fighting broke out in the region last year between the government of Sudan and two rebel armies, more than a million black Africans have fled their homes, triggering what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As pressure builds on world leaders to stop the mass killing, rape and displacement of civilians at the hands of government backed militias, some human rights groups are calling for U.S. led military intervention under UN auspices. But in the wake of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, suspicion of US motives, particularly among African governments, is hampering urgent action by the international community. Susan Wood reports from the UN.

Sudanese Humanitarian Crisis — Human Rights Abuses in SPLA Territory  (3:45)
Although southern Sudanese SPLA rebels have recently signed a peace agreement with the Islamist government in Khartoum, ending more than two decades of war, conflict continues in the western Darfur region. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has today visited Darfur, again calling on the Sudanese government to rein in the Arab militias terrorizing the civilian population. But, as Rupert Cook reports, ongoing human rights abuses in Darfur make many in SPLA territory skeptical about any hopes for long-lasting peace.”

GAO says Iraq Worse Off Now Than Before the Invasion  (2:46)
The Iraqi legal system was nominally given charge of what happens to Saddam Hussein today. But despite attempts to show the country is under some modicum of Iraqi control, reports continue to come out that undermine some notions the occupation authority has ever had any control at all. A report from the General Accounting office today confirms what many Iraqis have known for some time — that many services are in worse shape than they were under Saddam Hussein. David Enders has this report from Baghdad.

Involuntary Recall of Soldiers  (4:00)
Two days after the partial transfer of Iraqi authority, the U.S. Army is set to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers that they will be involuntarily recalled to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq. And as deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is being handed over to the Iraqis, the Pentagon plans to maintain custody of about 6,000 Iraqi detainees, which human rights groups call a breach of international law. Mitch Jeserich has more.

Labor Rights in the Sex Film Industry  (4:23)
A recent HIV outbreak in California’s adult film industry left five porn performers infected with the virus. The HIV scare captured worldwide media attention and raised questions about the porn industry’s ability to continue policing itself. The out-break has spurred some porn performers to talk about forming the industry’s first union – and they’re getting help from one of the country’s largest, the Communication Workers of America. From Los Angeles,  Ngoc Nguyen has the second of in a two part series on health and labor rights in the sex film industry.


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