November 08, 2004

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Palestinian officials are complaining about getting little information about Yasser Arafat who is in a Paris hospital, by many accounts fighting for his life. Top officials, Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, acting PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, parliament speaker Rawhi Fattuh and foreign minister Nabil Shaath all left occupied Palestine to go to Arafat’s bedside to see his condition for themselves and determine future action. French medical officials said today that Arafat is in stable condition.

Demonstrators in Germany chained themselves to railroad tracks today to stop a shipment of nuclear waste coming from France. Yesterday a 21-year-old activist died doing the same thing. Tony Cross reports from Paris.

The southern Balkan country of Macedonia averted a slide towards ethnic division on Sunday. Melik Keramian explains.

A general strike planned by India’s right wing stopped normal business today as workers demanded the government to do something about rising fuel prices. Binu Alex reports from Kerala.

Texas school board officials are insisting that a textbook publisher must clearly define marriage as between a man and a woman and eliminate any ambiguous references like partner. Jhanvi Thakar from KPFT reports.

Women are the fastest rising population in the U.S. prison system. Noelle Hanrahan has more from Prison Radio.

Part 1: War on Fallujah ~ Report from Baghdad
The US Marine Corp began Operation Phantom Fury against the Iraqi city of Fallujah today by seizing the municipal hospital. The Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera today quoted one of the doctors at the hospital as saying all the doctors and patients were arrested. From Baghdad, Salam Talib has more.

Part 2: War on Fallujah ~ Residents fear Massacre
When the US military last laid siege to Fallujah, so many people were killed that the municipal football field had to be turned into a mass grave for the dead. Residents of Fallujah are already beginning to dig trenches for the anticipated carnage, but burying the dead will be a difficult task because American soldiers have orders to shoot to kill anything that moves. Aaron Glantz has more.

Did John Kerry Actually Win? Dems Ask for Investigation
In these post election days, many articles have been circulating on the internet that claim that John Kerry actually won the election or that the voting process was rigged. Today, Democratic lawmakers asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate voting irregularities of electronic voting machines in several key states. In a letter to the GAO, three House Representatives cite a case in Ohio which gave President Bush nearly 4,000 extra votes and another case in Florida where there was a substantial drop off in Democratic votes in proportion to the voter registration in counties that used optical scan machines. Mitch Jeserich has more.

Ivory Coast Conflict Strikes Up Again
In the west African nation of Ivory Coast, the 18 month long peace truce was shattered late last week when government forces carried out bombing raids on the rebel held north of the country. Since Independence in 1960, Ivory Coast has been a nation of relative stability, described as the “economic capital of West Africa.” However since 1999, the country has suffered a number of coup d’etats, followed by a full-blown rebellion in 2000. The rebels now occupy the north and the government controls the southern part of the country. Over the weekend, government supporters turned on French troops who are in the Ivory Coast as part of the so-called peace-keeping mission, as suspicion grows that France is going to depose the Ivorian president. Deepa Fernandes speaks with Philippe Djangoné-Bi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Côte d’Ivoire to the United Nations.

Tanzanian Fair Trade Coffee: A Solution to Deepening Poverty
And while violence continues in various African nations, many on the continent say that western nations such as the US and France are selective in their aid and peace keeping involvement, and that due to their economic interests in the region are often times to blame for the violent conflicts. The ever deepening poverty of the continent, analysts say, comes as multinational corporations get richer. At a recent meeting of the Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, heads of state and policy experts gathered to discuss ways to alleviate the continuing impoverishment of millions of Africans across the continent. Fair trade campaigners called on the western world to open up markets for African exports, as well as granting a fairer deal for African producers of commodities like coffee. As Rupert Cook reports from Tanzania, while the coffee processing multinationals are increasing their profits, small-scale farmers are sinking ever deeper into poverty.

South Dakota: Fight to Keep Native Children in Native Homes
The state of South Dakota recently completed public hearings on the Indian Child Welfare Act. A special commission spent two months accepting testimony from American Indian families who complained that the federal law written to protect Indian children from placement in non-Indian homes has been routinely violated by the state’s Department of Social Services. But, as Jim Kent reports, American Indian families also see the state’s Department of Corrections as the enemy in their efforts to keep Indian children in Indian homes.


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