July 22, 2004

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National Low Income and Homeless Voter Registration Day
Around the nation, the National Low Income Housing Coalition organized rallies and marches to insure low income and homeless voters count.  More than four-dozen non-partisan events from New Hampshire to Washington State have been planned along with the Voter Registration, Education, and Mobilization Project. Organizers say the voting records of people who earn lower income vary dramatically from those who are better off financially.  According to their figures, only 59-percent of people earning between 10 and 15 thousand dollars a year are registered to vote.  By contrast, 82-percent of people earning more than 75-thousand dollars a year are registered. The group hopes to register thousands of low income and homeless people who will then be able to impact policies that affect them.

NYS Passes Strict Anti-terrorism Legislation
Civil rights advocates are criticizing new legislation passed by the New York State legislature that they charge includes many of the most objectionable parts of the so-called U.S.A. Patriot Act. Catherine Komp reports.

Bolivia and Argentina Make an Energy Deal
The presidents of Bolivia and Argentina are meeting today to discuss a bi-national energy policy. From La Paz, Shannon Young reports.

U.S. House on Gay Marriage
The U.S. House of Representatives is voting on stripping federal judges of their role in determining the legality of same gendered marriage. Ambar Espinoza from the Capitol reports.

Billions Approved for Bioterrorism
Project Bioshield was signed into law yesterday.  Proponents call the 5 point 8 billion dollar proposal one step to prepare the U.S. from bioterrorism. Critics call it another win for pharmaceutical companies.  Amrutha Nanjappa from D.C. has the story.

9/11 Commission Final Report Released
Today the 9/11 Commission released its final report on the September 11th terrorist attacks.  While the report says several government departments failed to stop the attacks, it does not put the blame on any one agency, person or administration. The report recommends a tightening of homeland security and border control as well as remaining on the offensive where so-called terrorist may reside abroad.  Critics of the report say that not only do important questions remain unanswered, but that they were never even asked. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington DC.

EPA Tardy on Particulate Policy
This week the Environmental Protection Agency held hearings to review new standards for particulate matter. Particulates are a major pollutant that the EPA is required to regulate under the Federal Clean Air Act. With the agency two years behind schedule, health professionals say the policy is stalling in the face of intense industry lobbying. From KPFT in Houston, Erika McDonald has this exclusive report.

Defense Dept. Short on Funds for War – Halliburton Gouges Pentagon
A study released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office, the independent investigative arm of Congress, says that the Defense Department lacks funds to finish financing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of the fiscal year.  The report even details the problems that the Pentagon has in paying millions of dollars to contractors like Halliburton. On Capitol Hill today, Congress heard more on the controversy surrounding some of those contracts. Selina Musuta reports from WPFW in Washington, D.C.

FCC – Public Hearings on Localism
Last night in Monterey, California the Federal Communications Commission held the fourth of six public hearings on local broadcast media. Citing a scheduling conflict, FCC Chairman Michael Powell missed the proceeding. It’s the second consecutive localism hearing he didn’t attend. Powell created the task force on localism last year to quell public outrage over a partisan plan to relax media ownership rules and allow one company to own newspapers, TV, and radio stations in the same market. Vinny Lombardo reports.

Indian Town to Drown Under Dam
A 700-year-old town in Central India, Harsud, will disappear soon – just after an impending monsoon. Along with it, the people of the town will disperse.  The tragedy of displacement in the name of development continues in India. Worse, in neighboring Gujarat some of the displaced are again asked to leave their homes. Our Correspondent, Binu Alex traveled to those areas in western India to learn to the how displaced indigenous people have again been asked to make way for development.


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