July 14, 2004

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Protestors at the International Conference on AIDS in Bangkok heckled U.S. representative Randall Tobias by shouting out “Bush lies, millions die.” Later Tobias rejected a plea by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan for more money from the United States for the global fund to fight AIDS. Tobias said, “Its not going to happen.” Last year the U.S. spent 3 point 6 million dollars to fund 236 delegates to the conference. This year, citing cost cutting considerations, the Bush administration sent 50 delegates at a cost of 500-thousand dollars. Martha Baskin has more on the Bush administration response to the worldwide health crisis.

The Bush administration prioritizes 12-million dollars to send undocumented Mexicans back to Mexico. Each flight costs U.S. taxpayers 58-thousand dollars according to a Customs and Border Enforcement spokesperson. Planeloads of deportees began arriving in the Mexican capital this week as part of the so-called Voluntary Repatriation Program. Vladimir Flores has the story from Mexico City.

Federal employees rallied today to protest recent Bush administration policy changes they say dismantle workers rights. Victoria Jones reports from D.C.

The State of California and Duke Energy Corporation have settled their dispute from the 2000-2001 energy crisis for an amount far less than the state wanted, but more than Federal regulators thought the energy company should pay. More from Kellia Ramares in Oakland.


UK Intelligence Report (2:57)
A great deal of the most ‘aggressive’ intelligence on weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq came from British intelligence services. Today, the findings of Britain’s own inquiry were released. Naomi Fowler has more from the UK’s Parliament.

Same-Sex Vote (3:20)
In the first Congressional showdown on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, today Senate Republicans failed to muster enough votes to break a filibuster on the measure. Mitch Jeserich reports from Capitol Hill.

House Rule Changes (3:16)
Last week, Republicans from the House of Representatives delayed a vote of an amendment that would nullify part of the Patriot Act. The bill, which challenged the federal government’s unprecedented powers to monitor people’s library records and internet use, nearly passed by a 219-201 vote. Republicans dragged the vote for 23 minutes, and finally defeated the bill, while democrats chanted “Shame, Shame Shame!” Selina Musuta of the DC Radio Co-op reports on a measure that would stop these “come from behind” victories.

Mad Cow Testing Reviewed (2:44)
An expanded Mad Cow Disease testing program by the US Department of Agriculture will begin a nationwide review tomorrow.Food safety advocates and the US Office of the Inspector General have pointed out flaws in the program, including the portion of the US cattle population targeted for testing, as well as the total number of cows to be tested. Congressperson Henry Waxman highlighted contradictory findings bewteen the Inspector General versus US Department of Agriculture claims that the new program will be able to detect Mad Cow disease even if there are as few as 5 infected cows in the whole country.

Ohio Voting Machines (3:35)
Dennis Kucinich abandoned his campaign for presidency today, yielding the way for presidential hopeful John Kerry. As the election moves closer, voting rights activist rallied in at least 20 states yesterday to denounce the use of paperless electronic voting machines such as the Diebold, whose machines were recently banned in California after numerous malfunctions occurred during the state’s primary elections earlier this year. Evan Davis has this report from one such rally in Ohio.

Prison Suicides on the Rise in Connecticut (3:48)
Connecticut was rocked by the suicides of five inmates in its prisons and jails within a ten-week period from April to June. That’s the normal rate for an entire year, in a state with 18,500 inmates. Each year, ten million people are booked into U.S. correction facilities; studies indicate they have rates of serious mental illness at least three to four times higher than that of the general population.Some steps have been taken to improve the safety of inmates, and, according to the Department of Justice,  the prison suicide rate has fallen dramatically over the past 20 years, even as the number of suicides has increased due to the tremendous jump in the number of incarcerated individuals. However, it appears that many well-known suicide prevention steps were not taken in Connecticut. Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven.


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