November 01, 2004

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Iraq Update
Voter registration for the January elections began in Iraq, today. Also today, gunmen assassinated Baghdad’s deputy governor as he was in a car on the way to work.
About 65-hundred U.S. soldiers will remain in Iraq more than two months longer even after they have served their term. U.S. Army officials say they need to keep experienced soldiers in the field through the Iraqi elections in January.
U.S. forces are continuing to amass around Fallujah. U.S. installed Prime Minister Ayad Allawi must formally ask for the attack. Yesterday he warned that his “patience with negotiations is thinning.” Following a report from the British Lancet claiming an estimated 100-thousand Iraqi civilians have been killed since the U.S. occupation, the Iraqi Ministry of Health has ordered all morgues to stop giving statistics. But the head of the main morgue in Baghdad says it is easy to underestimate the number of civilians killed. TAPE 0:30

Iraqi Reconstruction Money Fraud
U.S. investigators are looking into approximately 100 cases of possible fraud with billions of dollars that is supposed to go to Iraqi reconstruction. Victoria Jones has more.

Hunger Report Delayed by Feds
The Bush administration is slow to release the report on hunger in the United States prepared by the USDA. Darby Hickey reports from D.C.

Liberian Violence Stalls Refugees’ Return
Violent clashes in Liberia are making it hard for refuges to return home. Rupert Cook explains from neighboring Ghana.

Uruguay goes Left in National Elections
On the eve of the US elections, the South American nation of Uruguay has voted overwhelmingly for a leftist government. Socialist Tabare Vazquez scored an historic victory in Uruguay’s presidential voting, breaking the stranglehold the Colorado and National parties have held over the presidency since Uruguay’s independence from Spain in 1825. FSRN Host Deepa Fernandes spoke today with Augustin Fernandes, a representative of Amnesty International and journalist with Indymedia based in Montevideo.

Conflict goes on without Yasser Arafat
Over the weekend, French doctors who have been conducting a battery of medical tests on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ruled out leukemia or any other life-threatening illness, saying Arafat’s condition was curable. He is believed to be suffering from a serious blood disorder. Meanwhile Palestinians are moving on with life in the absence of their leader. And as our correspondent Awad Duabes reports from Ramallah, a suicide attack that took place in Tel Aviv has served as a reminder for both Palestinians and Israelis that they are still living a bloody conflict.

Next President will Impact Supreme Court
U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy for thyroid cancer, was unable to return to work today at the Supreme Court. His illness has furthered the debate in which many Supreme Court watchers have predicted that the next president could potentially fill 2 to 3 vacancies on the Court during the course of the next administration. Depending on the president, the political sway of the land’s highest court could change dramatically. FSRN Host Deepa Fernandes spoke today with Pacifica’s Senior National Political Affairs correspondent Larry Bensky.

Nevada: Swing State where Latino Vote is Being Courted
The Latino vote in the Southwest is one of the fastest growing voter constituencies. And in Nevada, a swing state, the Latino vote could impact the outcome of the election. In the final days before the election, the Presidential campaigns have been busy in this state. Former President Bill Clinton spent the weekend hosting events and Vice President Cheney held a rally today. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell looks at what the Latino Community in Nevada is saying about the election and the issues important to them.

Californians to Vote on Prop 71 for Stem Cell Research $$
Research on embryonic stem cells has become a controversy in this year’s presidential campaign. Scientists hope embryonic stem cells will yield treatments for diseases and injuries that can only be healed if cells can be regenerated. However people who say human life begins at conception see the research as the killing of some humans to save others. Federal funding for this research is severely limited. California’s Proposition 71 would make some state funding available, but some people see it as a financial giveaway to the biotech industry that may cause more harm than good. Kellia Ramares has more from Pacifica station KPFA in Berkeley.

Will Massive Grassroots Get-Out-The-Vote Campaigns Impact Election?
With the country almost equally divided into pro-Bush and pro-Kerry camps, the Democrats and the Republicans are feverishly rallying to ensure their candidates victory. But the day before such a tightly contested presidential race, grassroots get- out- the- vote efforts may prove to be the bellwether for the 2004 election. Adam Kampe reports.


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