September 01, 2004

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Hundreds Held Hostage in Russia
Attackers in southern Russian are holding hundreds of hostages at a school today – including many children. Reports of the total number of hostages vary between 200 and 400 and the number of children between 120 and 200. The ITAR-Tass news agency reports that eight people have died. Some 50 students were able to escape. The attackers are believed to be Chechyn rebel and have demanded talks with regional officials and a well-known pediatrician. The hostage-takers also demanded the release of fighters detained over a series of attacks on police facilities in June. Those raids killed more than 90 people.

Convictions of “Terrorists” Thrown Out in Detroit
The Justice Department has asked to have the convictions of a suspected Detroit terror cell thrown out, citing prosecutorial misconduct. Jenny Johnson reports on this setback to the administration’s war on terror. Campesinos Clash With Police in Guatemala – Jill Replogle A violent land eviction, which took place yesterday in southern Guatemala, left six campesinos and three policemen dead, and dozens more wounded. Jill Replogle reports from Guatemala City.

Curfew in Kathmandu
Officials in Kathmandu issued an indefinite curfew after police fired tear gas on more than 1000 demonstrators reacting the murder of 12 Nepalese who were taken hostage in Iraq. Surendra Phayal reports from Khatmandu that angry groups of protesters attacked the offices of manpower agencies who export cheap laborers to the Middle East.

Chilean Judge Orders Questioning of Pinochet
A Chilean judge will question former dictator Augusto Pinochet next week about his role in the murders of 19 people who opposed his rule. The court-ordered questioning will be the first time the 88 year old retired general has been forced to testify before a judge in a human rights case since the Chilean Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that he was mentally incompetent. The country’s highest court stripped Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution last Thursday in a case involving the deaths of 19 Chileans in the mid-1970s as part of Operation Condor, a joint effort by South American dictatorships to wipe out dissidents. Some 3,000 people were killed or disappeared during Gen Pinochet’s 17-year rule, which ended in 1990.


Schwarzenegger addresses RNC 3:02
Last night on the RNC podium, California’s actor turned Governor Arnold Schwarznegger shifted the focus of the GOP to his immigrant success story. However as Mitch Jeserich reports, immigrant rights activists find the GOP immigrant platform extremely anti-immigrant.

Sounds from RNC Day 3 1:58
Over the last two days close to a thousand people have been arrested across the city while the Republicans praised their ability to promote freedom and liberty. Christopher Sprinkle put together this collage to highlight the contrasts inside and out of Madison Square Garden.

FSRN producer released after arrest at RNC :30
The number of arrests as we go to air is at least 1,500. FSRN’s own tech producer Mic Mylin was arrested last night while waiting for Pacifica staff to bring her into the Pennsylvania Hotel where she was to begin work. Mylin who was released this afternoon says NYPD told her the mass arrests are to get people off the streets.

Security costs of RNC continue to grow 3:01
The total price tag of the RNC won’t be known for months. Right now estimates are up to 166 million dollars. But some city officials and convention watchdogs expect that number to grow ever higher, with the largest portion going to secure Manhattan and beyond. FSRN’s Catherine Komp has more.

Small business suffer during RNC 1:50
The security around Madison Square Garden is so tight that streets that are usually bustling look more like a ghost town. And small businesses are feeling the pain. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has the story.

Taxi drivers suffer during RNC 2:49
Taxi workers in New York City aren’t seeing much of the $265 million dollars that city officials claimed would flow in during the Republican National Convention. In a city where cab drivers are mostly immigrants of color and the Taxi and Limousine Commission is a constant adversary of workers’ interests, the convention has been another episode where drivers get the short end of the economic stick. FSRN’s Nell Geiser reports.

Domestic workers pushing for legislation in NYC 2:57
On the heels of a Sony Entertainment executive being ordered to pay damages to his former domestic worker whom he kept as an indentured servant, domestic workers are rallying to get a bill introduced in the New York state legislature that would protect them from exploitation. Dolores M. Bernal from the DC Radio Coop has more from New York City.

Massive protests in Mexico 2:24
As Mexico’s Vicente Fox prepares to give his annual presidential address, an estimated 250,000 workers throughout Mexico’s social security and public education sectors went on strike today to oppose a series of reforms to the country’s social security system. Vladimir Flores reports from Oaxaca City.

Argentines protest the IMF 2:29
In Argentina, hundreds of unemployed workers and members of leftist groups hurled stones, burned tires and clashed with police outside the offices of President Nestor Kirchner as IMF chief Rodrigo de Rato met with other Argentine officials nearby, to discuss Argentina’s massive foreign debt. Mat Goldin reports from Buenos Aires.


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