October 15, 2004

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Muslim American’s Change Candidates
This election day, Muslim-Americans will likely be casting far fewer votes for George W. Bush than they did in 2000. Ed Stephen explains from D.C.

Male Fish in U.S. River Produce Eggs
Male fish in the Potomac River are producing eggs; scientists suspect unregulated pollutants are the cause. Erika McDonald has more.

UK Ambassador Fired for Criticism of Human Rights Record
After criticizing Uzbekistan’s poor human rights record, the British ambassador to country has been fired. From London, Naomi Fowler has more.

Germany GM Workers Walk Off Job
Workers walked off the job today at one of General Motors’ German car factories in protest over plans to slash 12-thousand jobs from the European workforce, mainly in Germany. Guy Degen reports from Bonn.

Bush Refuses to Sign Woman’s Rights Doc
250 global leaders and 85 heads of state signed on to support a 10 year old UN resolution that supports every woman’s right to education, health care, and to make choices about childbearing. However, the Bush Administration refused to sign saying the document supported “sexual rights” adding that “the term has no agreed definition in the international community.” Representatives from the entire European Union, China, Japan, Indonesia, Pakistan and more than a dozen African countries recommitted to the plan this week in Cairo.

Iraqi “Green Zone” Attacked -1:57
Fourteen countries that gave international agencies almost $1 billion to meet emergency needs in Iraq have been told that only 5% of the money has been spent because of the uncertainty of the situation in Iraq and the violence directed at foreign reconstruction workers. Donor nations meeting in Tokyo were told that the World Bank, to whom they had entrusted their donations, had only begun two projects. Money earmarked for seven other projects, including water system repairs and school reconstruction, has not yet been spent. Meanwhile, the US aerial assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah intensified with American jets, helicopters and artillery pounding what the US Army says are “insurgents”. And in Baghdad, as our correspondent Salam Talib reports, a bomb exploded today inside the highly fortified Green Zone where most of the Occupation headquarters are situated.

US Reaches its Limit of Federal Debt ~ Bush to Borrow from Pension Fund -4:06
The Treasury Department has announced that the federal debt has reached its legal limit, and the government will have to borrow from a federal employee pension fund in order to operate normally. After the elections, the Bush administration is asking Congress to raise the ceiling on the deficit.  The administration announced this week that the country has the highest deficit ever. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington DC.

Poland Floods with Chechen Refugees -2:40
The Ossetian town of Beslan has marked the end of 40-day mourning period for the victims of Sept 1st school massacre, but while its inhabitants and survivors are trying to move on with their lives, thousands of local Chechens fearing that the Ossetians’ grief may translate into violence against them are fleeing the country and arriving at Poland’s eastern border. Over four hundred ethnic Chechen citizens have petitioned Poland for refugee status since the Beslan school siege drama. According to Polish authorities, the refugees are allowed to enter Poland without any special permits or visas, and they are sent to refugee camps to wait until their status is confirmed. However, more Chechen citizens are expected to arrive in Poland and the interior ministry is not ruling out asking the EU for help in dealing with the problem. FSRN’s Danuta Szafraniec reports from Warsaw.

Walmart Opens over the Graves of 42 Native Hawaiians -2:31
This week twenty-five Native Hawaiians protested the opening of the new Honolulu Walmart.  The remains of 42 Hawaiians have been unearthed over the past year and a half during construction and Hawaiians were unable to get a court to stop the mega-complex from being built.  But an agreement was reached last spring to re-inter what Hawaiians refer to as Iwi Kupuna.  However, as Walmart opened for business, the bones remained packed in cardboard boxes beneath the onramp to the parking lot.  Anne Keala Kelly reports from Honolulu.

Police Crack Down on ‘Bar-Girls’ in Mumbai -4:22
The Indian city of Mumbai, more commonly known as Bombay, is reeling after a recent spate of police crack downs on the cities many bars. The police are going after women who work in these bars, known in Bombay as ‘bar girls’, and charging them with obscenity. The police have stated that the move will improve security as the bars are known to be places where men come to try and buy sex or simply pick up the working women. In response to the police actions, around fifty thousand bar girls converged last month to protest. The work of women in bars means they have to constantly ward off advances from customers and patrons and most of them are secretive about their work even with their families for fear of censure and rejection. And as our correspondent, Binu Alex reports from Mumbai, protesting bar-girls fear that if the police raids continue, they will be pushed into the even more unsafe red-light district of the city.

Election Special: Problems of Voting Machine Increase -3:27
As Election Day approaches, many complaints regarding voter registration and problems with E-voting machines are flooding in from across the US. Dolores M. Bernal has the story as part of FSRN’s special One Month Election Countdown series.

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