July 29, 2004

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FBI Whistleblower Update
The FBI’s Director Robert Mueller says that a whistle-blower’s assertions about problems in the agency’s translation department were a factor in her firing. In the letter to the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee obtained by the Associated Press, Mueller reportedly told committee members that Sibel Edmonds case does not fall under current whistle blower protections because she was a contract worker.  Edmonds says she was fired from the FBI’s translation division after raising concerns that some translations done after September 11th 2001 were inaccurate and might have adversely affected national security.  She filed a wrongful firing lawsuit against the government. A judge dismissed Edmond’s suit this month accepting Attorney General John Ashcroft’s claim that the case could expose the government’s methods and disrupt relations with other nations. She is appealing that ruling.

War in Sudan?
African nations say they are ready to send troops into the troubled western Darfur region of Sudan.  However, the Sudanese government promises any armed force will be received with force.  From Uganda, Joshua Kyalimpa has more.

Toxic Teflon Scare
Researchers announced today that charges against DuPont over toxic exposure from Teflon have sparked a consumer panic in Asia. Erika McDonald reports.

Judge Rules Against Affirmative Action
A San Francisco judge has ruled that the city’s affirmative action program for public contractors is unconstitutional. Kellia Ramares reports from Oakland.

NYC Cop on Trial
A New York City police officer went on trial for refusing to follow the order to arrest a homeless man.  Rebecca Myles reports from WBAI.


Highlights From The Convention Floor
Mainstream media coverage of the speakers at the Democratic Convention misses much of the action at the podium. Today we bring you a sampling of some of the sounds from the Convention – including delegates voices during the roll call, Senator Diane Feinstein,  Reverend Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Representative  Harold Ford Jr., Representative and former Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich, Robert Kennedy Jr., Senator Frank Lutenberg and Senator John Edwards.

This audio collage from the convention floor was produced in Boston by Christopher Sprinkle.

Democrats Vague About Alliances and “Two Americas” Definition
Its official, Senator John Kerry is the Democratic Presidential candidate — winning 4225 of the delegate votes. Representative Dennis Kucinich came in second with 37. The Kerry/Edwards campaign is running on a platform of rebuilding international cooperation abroad while uniting the so called two Americas at home. But as Mitch Jeserich reports, the Democrats are selective about the issues on which they will seek international support and on what constitutes the two Americas.

Immigration Rights Forum
Just two blocks away from the Fleet Center in Boston, where Democrat delegates gathered to discuss the future of an administration under John Kerry, immigration advocates and leaders held a forum to express their discontent with both parties. Dolores M. Bernal reports that they cite failure to pass legislation that would give immigrants who live in the Unites States adequate rights and protections.

Voting Reform Advocates Rally
Voting reform advocates gathered yesterday to question the accuracy of electronic voting machines. According to Texas-based Diebold Election Systems, which manufactures paperless voting machines that cannot be audited, the company has sold over 75,000 machines across the country and manufactures all of Georgia’s polling machines. From Boston, Aura Bogado has more.

Bio-Terror Plant in Boston
As the DNC comes to a close today, Boston communities look forward to life outside the spotlight. Activists, though, used the presence of the convention to highlight local struggles with national implications. Residents and visitors rallied yesterday against the construction of a Bio-terror facility, connecting the so-called war on terror and the domestic attacks on the health and security of communities of color. FSRN’s Nell Geiser was there.

Coca Farmers Organize
Bolivia is one of the top producers of coca leaf, the raw material used to manufacture cocaine. But the coca leaf has been used traditionally in Bolivia for centuries and is used medicinally to relieve the affects of hunger, cold, and altitude and is also a common ingredient in Bolivian tea. The U.S. backed Drug War has declared a campaign of total eradication against the plant. Small farmers producing the leaf are organizing to protect their tradition. Shannon Young reports from Cochabamba, Bolivia.


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