September 27, 2004
The fourth hurricane in 6 weeks ripped thru Florida this past weekend, pushing the US death toll from the disasters to 102 – 15 billion dollars in property damage was done. Record breaking Hurricane Jeanne is on its way to Georgia, leaving 2 and half million homes and businesses without power in Florida. Meanwhile 100,000 undocumented workers are left without jobs and basic needs from destroyed agricultural lands. Both Florida vegetable pickers and migrant workers who come for the citrus harvest suffer from Jeanne’s wrath. Warren May of Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovations says the undocumented are not seeking aid for fear of being reported.
“these are not people that are not accostomed to coming to government buildings or even to government employees with their needs. they are too afriad of their status. ”
Hurricane Jeanne devastated northern Haiti last week, killing at least 2,000. UN peacekeepers rushed to Gonaive today to help with relief efforts and control looting of food and supplies.
Education officials have placed 22 school systems in the Massachusetts Region on a “Federal Watch List,” citing them “in need of improvement”. Grassroots groups blame lack of support from the government. Victoria Jones has more from DC.
During an address to the United Nations today, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara accused Israel of encouraging the United States to invade Iraq and fiercely critiqued the country’s foreign policy. The Israeli Defense Minister said Syria is directly involved in terrorism and threatened strikes against the country. This after a Hamas leader was assassinated in Damascus on Sunday. Laila al-Haddad has more.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell – Petroleum has withdrawn its workers from oil facilities in parts of Nigeria’s Niger Delta region as a military operation against local youths gets under way. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.
CIA Operation to Support Candidates in Iraq Exposed -4:07
The White House admitted to drawing up plans for the CIA to covertly support candidates in Iraq’s elections to counteract what it calls Iranian support for candidates. But today the White House says it backed away from the plan after both Democratic and Republican Congressional members expressed outrage. Mitch Jeserich has more from Capitol Hill.
More Plans to Increase surveillance -4:00
Reports today revealed plans by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other federal agencies to step up surveillance of individuals and communities suspected of having links to terrorist activities. Meanwhile the Senate began debate today on implementing recommendations of the 9/11 commission. Darby Hickey of our DC Bureau reports that many groups are concerned about the heightened level of surveillance in US society.
Afghan Elections: Intimidation of Women Widespread -3:38
As Afghanistan prepares for national elections, international aid workers are evacuating in anticipation of more violence by rebel groups who have pledged to disrupt the country’s first presidential election. Intimidation tactics directed at women, are causing many to worry about how fair elections will be. Many are questioning whether the U.S. is putting adequate resources in to making these elections democratic. Human rights groups say that the United States is failing to meet the needs of Afghan women and girls therefore failing to ensure democracy in Afghanistan. Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC.
US Moves with Militarization of Space ~ Protests Begin -2:34
Pentagon planners are moving forward with an early rollout of the so-called Star Wars national missile defense shield. The US Navy said it will deploy the Seventh Fleet later this week, to patrol the waters off North Korea as a sea-based element to the missile shield. Earlier this month, further progress was announced on a land-based anti-missile system, when a fourth interceptor missile was lowered into an underground launch silo at Alaska’s Fort Greely. The Pentagon hopes to have two more in place there by mid-October, and two others at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, CA, the only site where the Pentagon tests ballistic and long-range nuclear missiles. The base also serves as the launching pad for flight tests of the program. A growing number of critics say the Star Wars plan is flawed, the tests were rigged, and it won’t work. On Saturday, about 75 people rallied outside the front gate of Vandenberg, kicking off a Global Week of Resistance to the Militarization of Space. FSRN’s Vinny Lombardo was there and has this report.
Turkish Reforms for EU Membership -3:35
The Turkish parliament approved reforms to its penal code on Sunday which Turkey hopes will boost its chances of joining the European Union. Ezgi Saritas has more from Ankara.
Windmills to Power Minnesota Schools? -2:33
After years of belt-tightening, Minnesota schools may have found a way to generate income while positioning themselves to become leaders in the next phase of sustainable energy production. In southern Minnesota this weekend, Carleton College dedicated the first college-owned, utility-sized wind turbine in the country. And, as FSRN’s Carey Biron and Kristin Lerstrom report, the wind may soon be blowing through many more school windmills.