October 29, 2004

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Dems and Repubs in FL Call Foul
Democrats and Republicans are accusing each other of voter fraud in Florida. State Republican Party officials say they are merely making sure that only legal voters are voting. Democrats counter that by saying Republicans are using scare tactics to keep voter turnout low, especially in minority communities that traditionally vote Democratic. The head of the state’s Division of Elections is being called in to resolve the disputes and avoid longer lines on Tuesday. Leon County Supervisor of Elections for the past 16 years, Ion Sancho says party affiliated poll watchers are using an 1895 Jim Crow era law to intimidate voters. TAPE 0:21
We’ll have more on voter challenges coming up.

IRS Threatens NAACP
The Internal Revenue Service is threatening the NAACP’s tax-exempt status over comments made by Executive Director, Julian Bond. Aliyah Shahid reports from D.C.

MX Debates GMO
Mexican legislators and campesinos are debating the final draft of a proposed National Biosecurity Law on genetically modified organisms. Luz Ruiz reports from México.

New Gated Communities Created in Johannesburg
Residents in wealthy suburbs won the right from the Johannesburg City Council to cut off public roads and staff them with private guards to form gated communities. Na’eem Jeenah reports from Johannesburg.

Arafat in Paris Hospital ~ what next for Palestinians? -3:13
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today arrived at a French military hospital for urgent medical treatment. His departure from Ramallah is his first trip abroad after three years of Israeli-imposed confinement at his compound in the West Bank. Arafat has been sick for the past two weeks and blood tests reveal he has a low platelet count. Our correspondent Awad Duabes speaks with Deepa Fernandes from Ramallah with the latest.

New report: 100,000 Iraqis Dead -3:43
The prestigious British medical journal – the Lancet – has published a report by scientists from Johns Hopkins University estimating 100,000 Iraqis  — many of them women and children — have met early deaths since the US invasion, 58 times more than in the last years of Saddam’s regime. The researchers concluded that violence accounted for most of the extra deaths and that air strikes by the US military were a major factor. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz has more

Changes in British Political Climate -3:05
European leaders today signed the EU’s first ever constitution. EU leaders touted it a diplomatic triumph. The constitution took over two years to come to fruition and is the work of 25 EU governments. It comes at a time when British politics is undergoing a dramatic shift, and Britain is somewhat pulling away from the EU. Also, for the first time in British history since the Second World War, the British Conservative party may be losing its status as the main political opposition party. Naomi Fowler brings us this report from London.

Only D.O.J. can Sue over Voting Rights? -2:22
Lawyers for the Bush administration filed briefs in three swing states arguing that only the Justice Department may bring cases to enforce voting rights protections under the Help America Vote Act, according to the LA Times.  Since the 1960’s, the Supreme Court and the Justice Department traditionally held the view that citizens could sue to enforce elections laws.  But in Ohio, Michigan, and Florida, the Bush administration is arguing that the law gives Attorney General John Ashcroft exclusive power to bring such cases. Thanks to Mitch Jeserich for contributing to this story.

3rd Party Candidates speak to FSRN -4:09
With the polls suggesting that the presidential race between John Kerry & George W Bush is still too close to call, independent candidate Ralph Nader and Green Party candidate David Cobb say they’re still going to follow through with their campaigns to the very end. Our DC correspondent Mitch Jeserich spoke with both of them.

Halliburton under more Fire -2:03
The FBI yesterday requested an interview with a top contracting official at the US Army Corps of Engineers who has accused Army Commanders of violating rules to help Halliburton “squelch a political firestorm.” Also on Thursday, in Halliburton’s hometown, at least one hundred protesters snaked through downtown Houston streets to protest war profiteering and corporate cronyism. From KFPT, Erika McDonald has the details.

Lawsuit fights for Free Speech on Internet -2:04
A three day trial just concluded this afternoon in which Barbara Nitke, an established photographer, and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, are suing US Attorney General John Ashcroft to challenge the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 which currently criminalizes free speech on the internet. Dante Toza has more from the steps of the Federal District Court in New York City.

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