December 10, 2004

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Pickering Avoids Confirmation by Resigning
A controversial judge appointed by George W. Bush during a Congressional recess has retired rather than attempt a third round of confirmation hearings. Ashley Tetteh reports.

Sandanista Heads Human Rights in Nicaragua
The Nicaraguan government appoints a former Sandanista leader as head of Human Rights in the country. Nan McCurdy reports from Managua.

Guatemala Must Pay for Massacre
An international court has ordered Guatemala to pay millions of dollars to survivors of a 1982 army-led massacre of hundreds of civilians in the country’s Maya Indian heartland. Jill Replogle reports from Guatemala City.

Bush Doubles Logging Plan in National Forest
The Bush administration will lay out a new plan to double the taking of timber in national forests as their plan to prevent wildfires. Leigh Robartes has more.

Senegal Abolishes Death Penalty
Senegal’s parliament voted today to abolish the death penalty. From Senegal, Ndiaga Seck reports.

Pentagon wants Permanent Prison at Guantanamo
Amid fresh allegations of harsh interrogative techniques performed on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the Pentagon may be considering turning the detention center into a permanent prison. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington DC.

International Human Rights Day: Mexico Journalists Rights
Of the various gubernatorial elections that have taken place in Mexico this year, the most strongly questioned results were in the south-eastern state of Oaxaca. A local newspaper that was openly skeptical of the validity of the election’s results has been on the receiving end of a series of threats and, more recently, a physical takeover of a building housing their printing supplies. After virtually no response from state government authorities, employees and supporters of the newspaper called attention to the case in the streets of the state capital yesterday afternoon. In Oaxaca City, Vladimir Flores has the story.

International Human Rights Day: Kashmiri Hunger strike
The two day talks between Indian and Pakistani officials in New Delhi about starting a bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarafad, the capitals of India and Pakistan administered Kashmir, ended without a major progress. Reports pouring in say the talks were stalled over the nature of travel documents Kashmiri’s would need to travel across the two sides. Shahnawaz Khan has more.

International Human Rights Day: India Indigenous Rights
Today, some ten thousand indigenous people marched through the streets of Indian city of Ahmedabad to put pressure on the government to stop harassment and eviction of India’s indigenous peoples and to demand basic rights over forest resources which have been acknowledged universally as part of their fundamental rights. Our Correspondent, Binu Alex has more from Ahmedabad.

International Human Rights Day: USA ~ Death Penalty
On January 26, 2005, the state of Connecticut is set to execute its first death row prisoner in 40 years. Michael Ross, 45, has admitted raping and strangling eight girls and young women in the early 1980s. Republican Gov. Jodi Rell decided not to postpone his execution until after the next state legislative session, which would have allowed the legislature to debate and possibly pass a bill abolishing capital punishment. Ross himself has asked to be executed. Now it looks like the only thing that can save Ross is if he decides to continue with his appeals, or if some of his former attorneys succeed in persuading a judge that he was not competent to waive those appeals. As the execution date approaches, death penalty opponents are rallying in Connecticut and urging their legislators to abolish capital punishment, even in the face of a promised veto from the governor. FSRN’s Melinda Tuhus reports from Hartford.

International Human Rights Day: Roma women speak out
It is well known throughout Europe that Roma communities often encounter and struggle with significant issues of discrimination, whether it is racial, employment oriented, or legal. However the problem is much more acute among Roma women, who not only face discrimination from outside of their community, but from within their community- particularly when it comes to education and employment. On this International Human Rights Day, FSRN goes to Kosovo to hear rare, first-hand testimony from Roma women. Isak Skenderi with the Ombudsperson Institution and the Kosovo Radio Collective brings us this special report.


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