September 09, 2004

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Hurricane Ivan Leaves Grenada Heads for Jamaica
Hurricane Ivan is being blamed for the death of 16 people in Grenada. Almost 30 people’s deaths and dozens of injuries are being attributed to the storm from Tobago to as far south as Venezuela. The island nation of Grenada, populated by 90-thousand reportedly has been 85 percent destroyed. According to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency, all utilities, water and electricity, have been knocked out. Limited communications have been restored. The category five storm, with its 160-mile per hour winds, now heads to Jamaica. If Hurricane Ivan retains its current anticipated track it will hit the state of Florida, already devastated by Hurricanes Charley and Frances within just the last few weeks.

Black Farmers Law Suit Against USDA
Efforts by black farmers to receive their settlement from a previous class action lawsuit continued today in DC with the filing of a new lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture. Darby Hickey with the D.C Radio Coop reports from WPFW.

Texas High School Health Texts Exclude Contraception
Hundreds turned out to voice their opinion about the proposed public high school sex education textbooks that are void of any contraceptive or disease prevention information outside of abstinence. As KPFT’s  Ernesto Aguilar explains the decision has national implications as well.

California Sues Electronic Voting Machine Company
Joining the citizen’s lawsuit against an electronic voting machine manufacturer, the state of California is charging the company software lacks proper certification. Kellia Ramares reports from Oakland.

U.S. Neo-Nazi Found Dead
A U.S. neo-Nazi organizer was found dead in his home at the age of 86. Leigh Robartes has more from Moscow, Idaho.

Military Investigators Testify Over Abu Ghraib 3:53
A detainee at Guantanamo Bay has been wrongfully held for the last 2 years, according to the military tribunal at the detention facility, and will be set free.  For two years the Pentagon has resisted giving Guantanamo Bay detainees a hearing, but it changed course after a Supreme Court ruling said that detainees there have the right to challenge their detention. Human rights groups question how many more are still being held who are also not enemy combatants. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, several military investigators looking into detainee abuse testified on their final reports. Mitch Jeserich has more.

Bomb Explosion at Australian Embassy in Indonesia 2:11
Today a bomb exploded at the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, one day after US government issued travel warning to that country. Initial reports say that at least nine people were killed and one hundred injured. The blast also destroyed seven buildings in the vicinity. Responding to the blast, President Megawati Soekarnoputri soon arranged a meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Meggy Margiyono reports from the blast area in Jakarta.

Promoting Palestine 3:05
Palestinian businessmen and economic officials gathered at a conference in Jordan in an attempt to change the image of Palestine as a war-torn country to try to attract investments. Oula Farawati reports from Jordan.

Update on Lynn Stewart Case 3:27
Activist attorney Lynne Stewart’s trial is now in its fourth month in New York City for allegedly aiding terrorism. After Attorney General John Ashcroft threw a press conference to announce Stewart’s arrest back in April 2002, many in the legal community are now closely watching her trial. In a case that has been marked by the prosecution’s use of questionable evidence, this week the prosecution showed a tape of Osama bin Laden, even though the judge ruled that bin Laden is not connected to the case. Lawyer groups say the outcome of this case could impede on the role of criminal defense attorneys.  FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more from WBAI in New York.

Nurses vs. the University of California 2:24
Surveys show that 52% of all nurses report chronic back pain and 12% of nurses who leave the profession cite back injuries as the main, or as a significant contributing factor to their leaving. A ‘first in the nation’ bill requiring most California Hospitals to establish lift teams to help move patients is awaiting Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature. But the politically powerful University of California is against it. The California Nurses Association, which pushed the bill, wants the University to change its mind. Kellia Ramares filed this report.

Nationwide Protests Against Cuts to Section 8 Housing 4:40
Yesterday activists from over 150 organizations held actions in a dozen cities across the US to protest the Bush administrations proposed $1.6 billion dollar cut in the Section 8 “housing choice” voucher program. The program currently serves two million low-income households, the vast majority of which are working families with children, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. Activists charge that if the administration’s Section 8 budget for Fiscal Year 05, still before Congress, is passed as is, as many as 60,000 existing families will be forced from the Section 8 program this year through cuts to local Housing Authorities and an additional 250,000 families would face significant rent increases. This in spite of Congress voting for enough funds to renew all Section 8 contracts this year. The DC radio coop’s Tom Gomez has more from Pacifica station WPFW in Washington DC.


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