July 23, 2004

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Settlements on the Rise
Israeli settlements are expanding rapidly in Gaza  contrasting sharply with government promises to leave the occupied territory. Laila El-Haddad reports from Gaza.

Indonesia’s ‘Patriot Act’ Unconstitutional
Indonesia’s Constitutional Court today abolished the U.S. styled anti-Terrorism Law, declaring it does not match with the spirit of Indonesia’s constitution. Mitch Perry for Meggy Margiono reporting from Jakarta.

Whaling Ban
The International Whaling Commission decided to keep an 18-year ban on commercial whaling after factions debated at their annual meeting this week. KPFT reporter Erika McDonald has more.

More Judges Blocked
Senate Democratic filibusters blocked three more of President Bush nominees to federal courts yesterday.  Darby Hickey reports from D.C.

Army Investigates 94 Cases of Prison Abuse
On Thursday, Congress passed the $416 billion defense-spending bill that would provide $25 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That money will be used for the next fiscal year; however, it may be needed sooner since the Government Accountability Office says that the Defense Department faces a 12.3 billion dollar deficit for funding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. With that kind of budget shortfall, some on Capitol Hill are wondering how the Army will address the detainee abuse scandals. Selina Musuta of the DC radio co-op tells us about an Army report on the state of detainees and the camps that house them.

Homeland Security Trade Show
The US Department of Homeland Security inspector general, Clark Kent Ervin issued an internal report on the state of US cyber-security. Despite some progress, Ervin says that the Department still faces significant challenges in developing and implementing a program to protect our national cyber infrastructure. The report goes on to say the National Cyber Security Division has  failed to set priorities, identify how much money it needs long-term or develop a strategic plan to achieve its objectives. While the government seems to be having trouble protecting the cyber world – the security industry is responding to concern over terrorism. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz attended a Homeland Security trade fair in Los Angeles and has this report.

Bolivia Seeks Gas Markets
Less than one week after winning approval in a controversial energy referendum, Bolivian president Carlos Mesa is seeking out natural gas markets. In La Paz, Shannon Young reports on who will benefit from the proposed contracts.

Genocide in Chechnya?
As the conflict in Chechnya has fallen off the international radar, targeted operations by the Russian military continue on the territory of the breakaway republic. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on
Conscience has placed Chechnya on a Genocide Watch list. Anastasia Gnezditskaia investigates why the Committee believes Chechnya is under the genocide threat.

Boston Social Forum
The Democratic National Convention will convene in Boston next week. The largely scripted event will bring the mainstream media and party activists out in droves.  But those who seek an alternative to the party line are gathering this weekend. Under the theme of “Another World is Possible,” The Boston Social Forum kicked off today bringing together local and international activists to discuss and inact a vision for a future based on human needs. Chuck Rosina is there.


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