October 28, 2004

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DOD Ordered to Stop Anthrax Vaccine
The Department of Defense must immediately stop involuntarily administering the anthrax vaccine, according to a judge’s ruling. Heather Buckheim reports from D.C.

Non-Lethal Crowd Control Kills
The Seattle Police Department announced they will stop using a particular piece of equipment referred to as non-lethal crowd control while investigations are pending into the death of a Boston Red Sox fan. According to a report released yesterday the officers in Boston who used the pepper pellet guns, killing one woman, were untrained in its proper usage. Chuck Rosina reports from Boston.

SOA Grad Killed in Colombia
Colombian troops have killed a former US-trained Colombian army officer who had become a leader in the country’s largest paramilitary group. From the Latin America News Service, Joe Gardner Wessely has more.

EU Rejects Controversial Minister
The European Union has decidedly rejected a potential new cabinet that included an outspoken critic of gay and lesbian rights and single motherhood. Diletta Varlese has more from Naples.

Iraqi Resistance Growing -0:23
Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said today that Iraq can expect many more attacks before the January elections. His comments came as more then 90 suicide bombs have targeted foreigners and Iraqis seen to be collaborating with the US over the last four months. A new armed-group has announced via the internet that they will behead the Japanese hostage in 48 hours if Japanese forces did not pullout from Iraq. Japan’s prime minister says he will not withdraw his troops. And today a new report of the kidnapping of a Polish worker with a demand that Poland withdraw troops. Meanwhile, in what is seen as the second step in the plan to attack Fallujah, American troops have raided the neighboring city Al-Romadi. Troops have forcibly entered houses saying they are searching for weapons. According to witnesses, the US bombed one house when they found explosive materials in it. The owner and his three sons were detained. There are also reports that yesterday in an aerial bombing of Fallujah, three civilians were killed. FSRN’s Salam Talib reports from Baghdad.

RNC Under Pressure to Stop Intimidation Tactics -3:38
Today in Washington advocates from civil right organizations gathered outside of the Republican National Committee headquarters to demand the end of minority voter disenfranchisement and intimidation by the RNC. Dolores M. Bernal has more on this story.

Palestinians React to Israeli Vote to End Gaza Settlements -4:16
A team of Jordanian doctors, headed by Yasser Arafat’s personal physician are poised to transfer the Palestinian leader to a Paris hospital. Late yesterday concern grew for Arafat as he was having difficulty holding down food. He is said to be very weak. This morning his aides said that Chairman Arafat did not lose consciousness earlier today, but acknowledged that his health has deteriorated suddenly. Israel has promised to assist Yasser Arafat’s departure from the West Bank for treatment, but has given no undertaking he can return. Meanwhile, outrage continues to grow in Israel’s settler strongholds after the Israeli parliament voted for a pullout from the Gaza Strip of all Israeli settlers. FSRN’s Awad Duabes brings us the Palestinian reaction from Ramallah.

Global Interest in US Elections: Ghana, West Africa -3:05
With US presidential elections now days away, there is considerable global interest in the outcome. Especially so in Africa, where there’s hope that the US will take the lead in opening up western markets to African goods, and further support the continent’s development. Rupert Cook reports from the West African nation of Ghana.

Election Special: Behind CA’s Prop 66 -3:30
Next months general election, will have voters in California choosing the fates of 16 ballot measures, on issues like Stem Cell research, emergency medical funds, mental health care, and open primaries. One of the closely watched initiatives on the California ballot is Proposition 66, which would reform the infamous Three Strikes, You’re Out law, the toughest in the US. Current law requires sentences to be doubled for any felony, if the offender had one prior serious or violent felony conviction, or a 25-year-to-life sentence for any felon with two prior serious or violent felony convictions. This situation has led to a bloated prison population, with around 42,300 people serving a doubled sentence or 25-years-to-life. If passed, Proposition 66 would require the state to re-sentence inmates whose third strike felony was nonviolent. In addition, prison sentences for specified sex offenses against children would be strengthened. FSRN’s Vinny Lombardo examines the rhetoric and reality of Proposition 66.

Ethanol Fuel a Gift to Win Votes in Swing States? -3:56
While discussions of the country’s increasing dependence on foreign fuel sources continues to dominate this year’s election season, one alternative source got a big boost earlier this month. The grain-based fuel Ethanol has become a renewable resource with a reputation for rural economic development, particularly in the Midwest. As part of a major tax bill passed the second week of October, the US Senate included provisions that will boost the ethanol industry in Minnesota. While many environmentalists and farmers have lauded the move, others have decried it as a politicized gift to swing states. From Minneapolis, Carey Biron and Kristin Lerstrom file this report.


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