February 08, 2005

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Headlines  (5:30)

Protests Over Power Shift in Togo
There are mixed reports from Togo today about protests and demonstrations marring the transfer of power in the country.  Some reports from the capital Lome indicate that the protests against the appointment of the late presidents son shut down the main market and businesses. Other news sources say it was business as usual today with only schools being shut down for safety reasons. Over the weekend Africa’s longest serving head of state General Gnassingbe Eyadema died of a heart attack and his 39-year-old son immediately assumed power of the west African nation.  After Togo’s Parliament changed the constitution over the weekend to support the ascension and prevent elections in 60-days, other nations on the continent called it a coup. The Peace and Security Council of the 53-nation African Union threatened sanctions unless constitutional rule was restored.

LPFMs Talks to FCC
The Federal Communications Commission heard from advocates of micro-radio today, making good on a promise to consider the low power community broadcasters’ contribution to the media landscape. At the FCC building, Selina Musuta reports.

U.S. Federal Workers Protest New Rules
Hundreds of federal workers marched to the Capitol protesting a recent overhaul of employment rules.  Brian Zinn has more from D.C.

Thousands of Mexican Farmers March
Thousands of farmers marched in Mexico demanding greater respect for an agreement they signed with the government more than a year ago. Luz Ruiz reports from Chiapas.

Fascists and Leftists Clash in Italy
Fascists are clashing with leftist activists in northern Italy. Diletta Varlese reports from Brescia.

Nepal Shut Down by Monarch
The monarch of Nepal has allowed international phone service to be restored during a total crack down on freedoms in a desperate attempt to maintain control. Last week the King seized power, arrested the prime minister, his cabinet, journalists and activists.  Leading politicians are under house arrest and access to the internet was shut down.  Nepali human rights groups plan the first open show of defiance against the king’s seizure of power for Thursday.


Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire  (3:52)
With Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas securing a ceasefire yesterday with all Palestinian resistance groups, U.S. and Israeli officials are expressing their support for Abbas, a man who just last year was called an “American agent” by prominent Palestinians. Today Abbas is facing the challenge of negotiating with the Israeli government, a government whose military has been occupying the territory of Palestine for over 30 years. Israel is the only country in the Middle East that possesses a stock of over 100 nuclear warheads, as well as maintaining chemical and biological weapons programs.  The Israeli army, the sixth-largest in the world in per-capita spending, while the provisional Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority, has no army. Jenka Soderberg reports from Palestine.

Women and Sharia Law in Iraqi Constitution  (3:47)
A mortar attack against an Iraqi army recruiting center killed at least fourteen people in Baghdad this morning. Though violence in the country has continued unabated since U-S-backed elections more than a week ago, some Iraqis are looking with fear toward a new government, many members of which have signaled they want Islamic law to be a strong factor in the drafting of the country’s new constitution. David Enders files this report from Baghdad.

Budget Proposal to Cut Low Income Housing Assistance  (3:55)
Under President Bush’s 2006 Budget Proposal, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will shrink by 11.5%.  Most of those cuts are targeted at low income housing assistance.  Mitch Jeserich has more from Capitol Hill.

NY Same Sex Marriage Law Appealed  (2:09)
New York City filed an appeal to last week’s court decision which ruled that marriage law in that state- which only grants licenses to heterosexual couples, is unconstitutional. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more from New York City.

Santa Cruz Parents Protest Gay Tolerance in School  (2:59)
More than 300 students, parents, teachers, and administrators turned out to a California high school last night for a special board meeting to address charges that the school promotes a “Gay Agenda.” The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, also known as, AB 537, prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in California public schools. FSRN correspondent Vinny Lombardo has the story.

Right to Demonstrate in UK Threatened  (2:24)
After a long history of public protest for centuries outside Britain’s Parliament, the British government is currently trying to pass legislation that will create a demonstration-free zone one kilometer around the seat of power, taking away rights to protest there that date back to the Magna Carta. The legislation was initially aimed at ridding Parliament Square of one man and his three and a half year peace vigil. But now, the consequences are far reaching, as Naomi Fowler reports from Parliament Square.


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