July 01, 2004

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Saddam Hussein on Trial
Saddam Hussein and eleven other members of the former regime were in an Iraqi court today to answer charges of war crimes and genocide.  During the 30-minute hearing, Saddam said, “Bush is a villain. All of this is theatre. It is for his re-election.” The thinner and grey-bearded former Iraqi leader spoke defiantly; often looking around the courtroom while the seven charges were read. At the last one, the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Saddam said he performed that duty in his official capacity as President and head of the armed forces and can therefore not be tried. More from Dave Enders in Baghdad.

One Sixth of US Soldiers Suffer from Trauma
About one in six soldiers returning from Iraq have post traumatic stress disorder, according to a report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists say that the most alarming statistic is that a small fraction of those soldiers receive treatment. They also record a smaller percentage of military personnel who went to Afghanistan suffer from post traumatic stress.

Family Seeks to Free Conscientious Objector
The family members of a conscientious objector to the occupation of Iraq who is now in a military prison, are seeking his release. From KPFT in Houston, Erika McDonald has the story.

Colombia Gov. Attempts to Demobilize Paramilitary
The Colombian government began formal negotiations today to demobilize 15,000 paramilitary fighters. Chip Mitchell reports from Bogotá.

India’s PM Appeals to Farmers
India’s new Prime Minister is re-committing to the farmers who got him elected. Binu Alex reports from Ahmedabad.

Foster Care Substitutes Adequate Social Services
Thousands of family court judges say children are languishing in foster care because their parents are unable to get the social services they need. Jill Smith has more.


White Shirts in Hong Kong Rally For Democracy  (3:49)
For the second consecutive year people in Hong Kong took to the streets to affirm their right to democracy and to protest Beijing’s growing political control over local government. Severine Bardon reports from Hong Kong.

Missing Money in Iraqi Reconstruction?  (3:31)
The Britain-based humanitarian aid group Christian Aid is reporting this week the United States has failed to account for $20 billion in Iraqi oil revenues, which have been managed by the Bush Administration’s Coalition Provisional Authority since the end of the United Nation’s oil for food program last year. At the same time, the the CPA is reporting its failed to spend the vast majority of American tax-payers money ear-marked for rebuilding the country. Of the more than $18.4 billion approved by Congress, just over $3 billion has been spent. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz has more on the money trial.

India and Pakistan Hold Talks on Kashmir  (3:39)
India and Pakistani foreign secretaries held talks in the Indian Capital New Delhi this week. Discussions were held on bilateral issues including the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. The talks are the first between the nuclear-armed neighbors on the disputed region since they came to the brink of all-out war in 2002. They also agreed to enhance communication and coordination and increase embassy staffs in both countries. There were however no major announcements about a much hoped for bus service across the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir. Shanawaz Khan reports.

32 Years of Executions  (4:14)
This week marks both the 32nd anniversary of a decision by the Supreme Court that effectively voided death penalty statutes in forty states… and the anniversary of the resumption of executions that came after procedural reforms were implemented. Concerns about the death penalty’s arbitrary application lied at the heart of this decade long moratorium. Recent rulings by the high court demonstrate those concerns still exist today… most notably in Texas, the state with the highest execution rate in the nation. Last night – David Ray Harris became the 10th man killed by the State of Texas this year. From KPFT in Houston, Renee Feltz has more.

CA Law Grants Paid Family Leave   (3:46)
A groundbreaking law granting partially paid leave family leave in California takes effect today. Supporters fo the law, including actor and director Rob Reiner, held a news conference in Sacramento today to build awareness of the new program. Christopher Martinez reports.


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