August 30, 2004

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Afghanistan Update
Today, the U.S. department of state is advising all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan to “keep a low profile” in response to yesterday’s car bombing. 11 people were killed and some local shops were destroyed in the blast that shook houses and broke windows more than a kilometer away. The car bomb was set off outside a U.S. subcontractor’s office in Kabul.  Company representatives train bodyguards assigned to White House installed President Hamid Karzai as well as the national army.  But, the group claiming responsibility offered many warnings and have specifically targeted other sites they deem to be political. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Fariba Nawa talked with local residents in Kabul who are more upset with U.S. forces than the bombers. Political analysts believe that there will be more bombings as the upcoming Afghan elections approach.

Sudan Crisis Continues
Peace talks focusing on the crisis in Sudan’s Darfur region remain deadlocked as a United Nations target for the  Sudanese government to end the crisis expires. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.

EU Pollution
Local Italian activists and residents are protesting one of Europe’s largest trash incinerators charging it is causing more life threatening pollution. Diletta Varlesse reports from Brescia.

Declassified Info: “Kissinger Knew”
Human rights advocates are calling it Henry Kissinger’s smoking gun as a newly declassified document more clearly implicates the former Secretary of State knew about Latin America’s dirty war. Mat Goldin explains from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Republican Platform 2004
The Republican National Convention officially opened today at Madison Square Garden in NYC. In a moment we will look at the massive street protests that took place yesterday and today against the Bush machine, but first to inside Madison Square Garden where today, the Republican delegates adopted the RNC platform that ostensibly serves as an outline for the Republican agenda over the next 4 years.  About half of the platform backs President Bush’s war on terror both internationally and domestically.  The platform also calls for a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage and abortion. Mitch Jeserich brings us this story from inside the convention.

Poor People’s March in NYC
Meanwhile outside the convention halls on the streets of New York City today, several thousand people marched under the banner of the Poor People’s March.  They spoke strongly to both political parties, who they say ignore their issues and needs.  FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell was at Union Square where the rally began.

Republican Diversity?
Back inside the halls of convention in Madison Square Garden, the Republican Party is touting its newly found diversity proclaiming an increase from the last convention by 70% of “minority delegates”. This increase however brings to a total of 17% the numbers of “minority delegates” participating. This morning on the convention floor, FSRN host Deepa Fernandes spoke with Illinois senatorial candidate Alan Keyes, who is running against Barack Obama, about this touted diversity of the GOP.

Queers Protest Log Cabin Republicans
Gay Marriage could be a major issue in the fall elections, although President Bush and Senator John Kerry differ little in their approaches to the issue: they are both against it. One group of republicans in favor of gay marriage was confronted this weekend by a group of self-described “queers” opposing marriage from a different perspective. Darby Hickey of the DC Radio Coop is in Manhattan.

Voices from the RNC in NYC
Yesterday on the streets of Manhattan hundreds of thousands of people came out to protest Bush Administration policies over the past four years. Aura Bogado and Christopher Sprinkle bring us sounds from the last two days of dissent.

Bush’s Policy Towards Cuba
Back inside the convention halls I ran into Al Cardenas who is the Co-Chair of the Republican Campaign in Florida and asked him what the Bush Administration had in store for Cuba if they were re-elected.

Convicted Terrorists Freed in Panama
In other news from Cuba, the outgoing president of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, last Thursday pardoned four men serving prison sentences in Panama for endangering public safety by possessing a large amount of explosives. She did so for what she said were “humanitarian reasons”. The explosives had been designed to kill visiting Cuban President Fidel Castro in 2000. The release has caused consternation in both Cuba and Panama with Havana immediately severing diplomatic relations. FSRN’s Joseph Mutti reports from Havana.

Honduran Activist’s Body Exumed
Today is the National Day of the Detained and Kidnapped in Honduras. One case which Hondurans are remembering is that if activist Juan Humberto Sánchez who was kidnapped and murdered in 1992. 12 years later, his body was exhumed as the first step in a series of obligations that the Honduran State needs to complete on orders by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights who have charged human rights violations. FSRN’s Luz Ruiz reports.


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