September 07, 2004

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Headlines (6:09)
A Washington judge ruled today that the state’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which limits marriage to one man and one woman is unconstitutional.  It is the second such victory in the state for same-sex couples who wish to marry.  Judge Richard Hicks however said that the Legislature could choose to create “different kinds of domestic unions or partnerships.”  An attorney for the 11 couples suing for the right to marry said he expects the judge to stay the ruling until Oregon’s Supreme Court rules on the matter.

The US Army will dissolve its $13 billion contract with Halliburton and open the work to competitive bidding, according to an internal army memo. From KPFT in Houston, Erika McDonald reports.

15 Palestinians have been killed and at least 30 more injured in an Israeli aerial attack on a makeshift Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip. Laila Al-Haddad has the story from Gaza.

Some newspapers in India are reporting that Russian President Vladamir Putin spoke to his counterpart in Pakistan by telephone today.  Reportedly in the conversation, Putin asked General Pervez Musharraf to stop the financing of terrorism.  Retired Pakistani army officers have also been providing military training to Chechen separatists in Chechnya.  On Saturday, Musharraf expressed his deepest sympathies with Putin and the people of Russia for the tragedy at Beslan.  More than 350 people, including an estimated 160 children died in a school first besieged by Chechen separatists then by Russian troops trying to rescue them.

There is a current severe global shortage of condoms that will put millions of lives at risk from the HIV/AIDS pandemic and back street abortions, according to officials with the United Nations Population Fund.  Rupert Cook has more from Tanzania.

The U.S. installed Iraqi government extended their ban on the Arab news channel Al-Jazeera.  On Saturday, officials raided the Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad then sealed it shut, reportedly with red wax.  Iraqi officials claim the news network refused to observe the 30-day ban previously imposed and continues to incite violence in the country. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Salam Talib said that reporters continued to work and report for Al-Jazeera but under different news outlet names to provide information from the Iraqi people’s perspective.  Talib added that people say they are so upset by the closure, demonstrations are being planned for the coming days.


Congress to Let Weapons Ban Expire? (3:52)
Congress returned from its summer recess today for its final 6 weeks of session. The agenda will be dominated by the 9/11 Commission recommendations to overhaul the intelligence community and to increase safety at home. But as Mitch Jeserich reports, Congress will likely ignore the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban which is set to end on Monday, making it legal once again to possess military style semi automatic weapons.

Federal Budget Faces Considerable Strains (3:44)
Today, the Congressional Budget Office issued their Budget and Economic Outlook update for the next 10 years. With the navy proposing cuts in its shipbuilding program, it has become a symbol of a growing financial crisis in the United States that has even reached into the deep pockets of the military industry. This while the overall federal budget continues to face considerable strains. WPFW’s Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC.

Mexican’s React to Bush’s Immigration Proposals (3:37)
The Bush administration has made little mention recently of the immigration reform and guest worker program originally announced in January. President Bush’s nephew, George Prescott Bush’s response to a reporter’s question regarding the proposal during an event last week in New York was seemingly the first time in months that the subject returned to the political radar of U.S. campaign politics. In Mexico – the country of origin of millions of migrants working in the U.S. – Bush’s proposal is regarded with a certain amount of skepticism. Vladimir Flores has the story.

Oil Series: Part 1: Britain Losing Status as Oil Exporter (3:32)
Britain is losing its status as an oil exporter. That’s according to their National Statistics body. Yet their appetite for oil remains voracious. Naomi Fowler considers the implications from London.

Oil Series: Part 2: Nigerians Losing Oil Jobs to Ex-Patriots (3:44)
Indigenous oil workers in Nigeria are threatening to lay down their tools in protest at the influx of foreign oil workers. Local workers say western oil companies are laying them off to make room for expatriates. Many of the foreigners mainly from the United States and Europe are accused of working illegally in Nigeria. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.


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