January 17, 2005

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Headlines -5:07
Calling on MLK Heritage in Call for Peace
Calling on the heritage of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a faith based group in Connecticut made a plea for peace in Iraq beginning with a reading of the names of U.S. service members and Iraqi civilians who have died in the most recent military action. Melinda Tuhus files this report from the demonstration.

Abu Ghraib US Military Leader Sentenced
The US military reservist accused of leading the physical and sexual torture at Abu Ghraib prison was sentenced to 10 years in a military stockade. From KPFT, Renee Feltz reports.

Palestinians Try to Restrain Violence Within
Israeli government officials promise an unrestricted attack on Gaza if new Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is unable to control the violence in Palestine. Yet over the weekend four large-scale Israeli military assaults this left twelve Palestinians dead. Mohamed Omar reports from Gaza.

Former Chinese Leader Dies
The former leader of the communist party in China, put into hiding after he refused to use military force against protesting students in Tienanmen Square, has died today. Severine Bardon reports from Beijing.

Seniors Protest in Russia Over Benefits
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is granting concessions to protesting retirees who halted traffic in St. Petersburg over the weekend. Beginning January 1st, benefits for seniors, veterans and other retirees were stopped in favor of a small monthly stipend for transportation and subsidized medicine, utilities and telephone service. In one Moscow suburb a senior citizen hit a bus driver with his cane when the driver asked for the fare. Local officials have decided to continue free transport for now. Last week, the cabinet said they were to raise the rate by 15-percent. But, President Putin says he may fire his cabinet because he ordered reforms that would not worsen the plight of the elderly. Political analysts say that there will be a new wave of protests in two weeks after January’s utility bills are received.

Preview of Condi Hearing -3:40
Starting tomorrow the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee will hear testimony from National Security Advisor Condaleezza Rice to become the next Secretary of State. Mitch Jeserich brings us this preview.

Iraqi’s React to Graner Sentence ~ FSRN Exclusive -2:55
Iraqis living outside the country registered today for the elections planned for January 30 while guerrillas in the country attacked this weekend in provinces the U-S military has deemed safe to hold elections. Violence continued today with a pair of car bombings that killed eight Iraqi army soldiers and at least eight civilians. Also over the weekend, Iraqis reacted with contempt but little surprise as Charles Graner received a ten-year prison sentence for his role in torture at Abu Ghraib prison. David Enders has this report from Baghdad.

MLK day: Part 1: Beyond Vietnam -1:03
Today is Martin Luther King Jr day. We listen to a clip of his 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech.

MLK day: Part 2: Religious Group Offers a Prayer to End to Abortion -1:24
Meanwhile today in a Senate office building, right behind the FSRN office, a gathering of over 1000 youth from “The Cause” came to pray for the end to Roe v Wade. FSRN’s Deepa Fernandes and Christopher Sprinkle talked with organizer Chrystal Chamacho.

MLK day: Part 3: State of the Dream Report 2005 -2:32
A new report released today said that under President Bush, people of color have slid further away from Dr. King’s dream. After steady economic gains in the 1990s, Latinos, African Americans and other people of color have actually lost ground since 2000, according to United for a Fair Economy’s report “State of the Dream 2005”. We’re joined by the author of the report, Dedrick Muhammad.

MLK day: Part 4: Still no Justice in the Case of Harry Moore -3:14
While the nation marks the legacy and sacrifices of Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., some would say the nation has indeed progressed very little in terms of bringing justice to African American communities for past crimes. Fifty –Four years ago, in 1951, a bomb was placed and exploded under the Florida home of African American Harry T. Moore, killing him and his wife Harriette. The Moores were active in registering African-Americans to vote in the Democratic Party. Although it was widely suspected that the Orlando faction of the Ku Klux Klan was responsible for the murders, no one has ever been brought to justice. FSRN’s Mark Antokas has more.

Tsunami update from Sri Lanka -3:02
US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is visiting the tsunami devastated country of Sri Lanka as that nation still struggles to get aid to affected peoples. Meanwhile, despite initial objections by the Sri Lankan government, the head of the UN World Food Programme James Morris met a Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger leader in the north of Sri Lanka this past weekend. Ponniah Manikavasagam reports from Sri Lanka.

Repercussions of WTO’s Quota Ban on Egyptian Textiles Workers -3:02
On New Year’s day, the World Trade Organization banned all international quotas on ready made garments, clearing the way for low-wage leaders China and India to take the lions share of the textile market in Europe and America. The decision is having repercussions across the developing world, as owners scramble to cut wages to preserve their profits while staying competitive. From Cairo, Aaron Glantz reports.


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