November 10, 2004
In Iraq, the US military reports it has seized control of 70% of the city of Fallujah. Officers say the quick advance was possible because most resistance fighters left the city before the assault began. This despite reports that the US and Iraqi military have cordoned off the city, preventing military age males from leaving. Aid workers say the assault has created a humanitarian disaster, displacing tens of thousands and cutting them off from food, water, and medical aid. in an attempt to open a second front, insurgents have escalated attacks across central and northern Iraq, with at least 14 Americans killed outside Fallujah since the assault began on Monday. And this morning, armed men kidnapped three relatives of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. A militant group that claimed credit for the kidnapping has threatened to behead them unless U.S. forces pull out of Fallujah. We’ll have more on the situation in Fallujah later in this newscast.
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat’s condition is rapidly worsening. Palestinian leaders have agreed that, if and when he dies, his funeral will be in Egypt but he will buried in his compound in Ramallah.
The Sudanese government and two rebel groups holding peace talks in Nigeria have signed an agreement aimed at ending the crisis in the country’s Darfur region. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.
In Italy, two more members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s governing right wing coalition have been arrested for ties to organized crime. But as Diletta Varlese reports from Bresica, the investigation is being stonewalled by high-ranking officials.
Residents Say Massacre in Fallujah
The US Marine Corp continued to pound the Iraqi city of Fallujah today with scores of 500 pound bombs. US troops have occupied the city’s main hospital, bombed one of its clinics and half of its mosques, and turned its railroad station into a military base. The exact number of civilian casualties is unknown, but those on the ground are calling it a massacre. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz has more.
Ashcroft Resigns, Bush Nominates Equally Troubling Replacement
Today President Bush nominated White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez as the new Attorney General, which could make him the first Latino to head the country’s justice system. His nomination, however, is alarming to human rights groups who cite Gonzalez as the author of the White House memo arguing that foreign detainees were not covered under the Geneva Conventions. This comes just one day after Attorney General John Ashcroft and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans announced their resignations. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington DC.
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Felony Voting Cases
The Supreme Court refused to hear two cases this week, one from New York and one from Washington State, both challenging felony voting laws through the Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court’s action’s allows the decision of two lower courts, which ruled to deny felons voting rights, to stand. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more from New York.
Texas House Race Comes Down to 31 Votes
The outcome of a close Texas House race that threatens to unseat one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers is still in question. Defeated by 31 votes, Republican Talmadge Heflin refuses to concede and threatens a recount. From KPFT in Houston, Erika McDonald has more.
Religious Attacks on the Rise in Bangkok
A second Buddhist man has been beheaded in Thailand’s deep south, just two weeks after scores of Muslims died of suffocation while in police custody. Doualy Xaykaothao has more from Bangkok.
Latino Evangelicals Swing to (and Pray for) Bush
President Bush enjoyed an increase of the Latino vote in last week’s election. Dolores M. Bernal of the DC Radio Coop brings us this report on the impact of the growing Latino Evangelical movement.