July 12, 2004

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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and center-left opposition leader Shimon Peres have agreed to team up in promoting a unilateral plan to withdraw from the occupied Gaza Strip. Laila El-Haddad reports from Gaza City.

At the United Nations, the Palestinian ambassador formally criticized the wall being built by the Israeli government and condemned by the International Criminal Court. Haider Rizvi has more from the U.N.

Further evidence surfaced over the weekend that US House Majority Leader Tom Delay knowingly violated the law by using corporate donations to fund redistricting efforts in Texas. From KPFT in Houston, Renee Feltz has more.

An advocacy group is suing Clear Channel over the communication giant’s alleged denial of an anti-war advertisement. Leigh Ann Caldwell reports from New York City.

Intelligence Report – (4:00)
Today CIA Deputy Director John McGlaughlin became the agency’s interim director as George Tenet served his last day as director on Sunday, a position he has held since 1997. His departure came just two days after a Senate Intelligence Committee report blamed U.S. intelligence agencies for faulty information regarding Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling on President Bush to quickly nominate a new CIA Director. The invasion of Iraq was considered a pre-emptive strike based on intelligence estimates. Now, that it is widely believed that the intelligence was wrong, what will that mean for the policy of pre-emption? Mitch Jeserich reports.

Elections Postponement – (2:30)
As the Department of Homeland Security continues to issue warnings that Al-Qaeda is planning an attack within the US in coming months, Newsweek is reporting that the Department of Homeland Security has asked the Justice Department to review what legal steps it would take to postpone the presidential elections in the event of a terrorist attack. Critics are questioning the move, which they say is unnecessary and meant to benefit President Bush. Darby Hickey reports from Washington DC.

Florida’s Felon List – (2:30)
John Kerry and John Edward’s visit to Florida last week in their first full day as running mates illustrates the state is once again being seen as key to winning the presidency in November. But Florida’s electoral system is still rife with bureaucratic problems and discrimination, which civil rights groups continue to challenge. The controversy over a list of suspected felons who were barred from voting in the 2000 election seemed to be making another appearance in this year’s election. But, as Andrew Stelzer reports, the state has thrown out this year’s list, which was mired in mistakes.

Venezuela and Petrosur – (4:00)
Last week, in Argentina, during a meeting of heads of state of the Latin American trade block Mercosur, Venezuela and Mexico were accepted as the block’s two newest associate members. For Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who faces a recall referendum in August, the occasion marked a milestone in his effort to integrate Latin America’s energy policies. The agreement set the base for Petrosur – an integrated oil and gas production initiative – and a larger umbrella initiative known as Petro -America. Greg Wilpert has the story from Caracas, Venezuela.

ESL and No Child Left Behind – (3:30)
Two weeks ago, Boulder Valley County schools in Colorado, expressed serious concerns about the lack of funding for English as a Second Language programs in their school system. School officials say No Child Left Behind has not given the schools the money promised to fund this crucial program. Nationally, about five and half million public school students are enrolled in ESL programs, and that number is growing especially in states like Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina where immigrant populations are rising rapidly. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, about 100 languages are spoken among public school students. Dolores Bernal has the story from Hyattsville, Maryland.

Rapid City Transgendered Climate – (4:00)
The California trial in the death of transgender teenager Gwen Araujo that resulted in a hung jury was a red flag for members of the transgender community across the country. But, California isn’t the only state where alternate lifestyles can become an issue. Rapid City, South Dakota, recently experienced a two-day protest against city alderman Tom Murphy, after he announced plans to pursue a sex-change operation. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Jim Kent attended one protest organized by people who traveled from across the US to object to Alderman Murphy’s lifestyle, and his city’s “apparent” support of it.


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