December 20, 2004

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DOD Stands Behind Military Justice
Defense Department officials are still standing by their military tribunals as an appropriate and just process for the prisoners being held at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay. Adam Sharon reports from D.C.

Israelis Incursions Ease but Occupation as Strong
Incursions into Palestinian refugee camps have eased slightly.  But, Palestinian Presidential candidates are finding it difficult to campaign since much of occupied Palestine is still being tightly controlled by the Israeli military. Jenka Soderberg reports from Palestine.

Cuban Students Protest US Display
Cuban students plan to protest a Christmas display put up by U.S. diplomats in Havana.  After setting up the lighted number 75 referring to dissidents jailed in Cuba, the Cuban government responded by erecting billboards exhibiting those Iraqis tortured at the hands of U.S. soldiers. Joseph Mutti has more from Havana.

Social Security Refuses Some Hetero Marriages
When one New York woman took her marriage license to the Social Security Administration to get a new card with her husband’s name, she found out that the license was unacceptable.  She was told that the administration was rejecting any marriage licenses issued in New Paltz, New York after February 27th because same-sex marriage licenses were also issued there.  The policy extends to Asbury Park, New Jersey, from March 8 to March 10; Multnomah County, Oregon from March 3 to April 20; and Sandoval County, New Mexico, from Feb. 20.  New Paltz town officials are fuming over the problem saying it could affect about 125 heterosexual marriages.  If the marriage licenses are not accepted then social security benefits could be denied to any couple or individual in the relationship should anything happen to either one of them.


Memo Links Gonzalez to Pre-Emptive War Doctrine
After critical comments from Arizona Senator John McCain, the heated debate over the continued service of Donald Rumsfeld continues to grow among Republicans. Earlier today, Bush came to the rescue of the Defense Secretary to express his support and congratulate him for his work. Amidst Rumsfield’s troubles, this weekend a three-year-old memo surfaced on a Department of Justice website. The memo, written by Justice Department lawyer John Woo, was sent to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez in late September 2001, and outlined the constitutional powers of the president to wage war. Darby Hickey has more from Washington, DC.

New Evidence in Ohio Shows No Vote = Bush Vote
While most people in the country do not even know there is a recount underway in the state of Ohio, there are many charges of voter suppression and disenfranchisement on the public record. Today new evidence shows that electronic voting machines in some Ohio precincts may have been set to default for Candidate Bush if the voter chose to vote for neither candidate. This evidence has been uncovered by Richard Hayes Phillips, statistician for the lawsuit brought by Common Cause and the Ohio Free Press, and he speaks with Deepa Fernandes in this FSRN exclusive.

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More Wal-mart Protests, This Time in Colorado
A group of Aztec dancers were among the protestors at a Wal-mart store in Colorado yesterday after the recent opening of a Wal-mart superstore in Teotihuacan, Mexico. The store is located at a site which is sacred to many indigenous peoples including Aztecs. Maeve Conran was at the protest in Colorado and she files this report.

Colombian Paramilitaries Hand Over Arms
Paramilitary troops from the  right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), have begun handing over their weapons to the government. Up to 3,000 fighters are due to demobilize in ten regions across Colombia before the end of this year, as part of a rocky peace process that began two years ago between the 15,000-strong AUC and the Colombian government. From Bogota, Nicole Karsin has more.

California City Closes All Public Libraries
In the predominantly Latino city of Salinas, California the City Council voted last week to close down all of its public libraries as a result of budget cuts. This makes Salinas the first city in the US to call for such drastic measures. FSRN reporter Vinny Lombardo has more.

New York City Replaces Section 8 with Lesser Alternative
New York City implemented a new housing program to replace the federally funded Section 8 voucher system, which earlier this month ran dry. However many advocates disapprove of the new housing program. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell explains from New York City.


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