February 15, 2005

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Headlines (5:15)

Activists Get New Trial in McDonald’s Libel Suit
The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that two activists found guilty of libeling McDonald’s had an unfair trial. Naomi Fowler reports from London.

US Sends UN to Sudan, Justice to Tanzania
The United States has issued a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council to send “peacekeeping” troops to Sudan, but recommends redirecting justice for war criminals away from the International Criminal Court. Haider Rizvi has more from the U.N.

Lula and Chavez Sign Pact
The leftist leaders of Brazil and Venezuela established a 26 point treaty that covers defense and energy.  Greg Wilpert has more from Caracas.

Bush to Push Environmental Law
George W. Bush is getting ready to push his Clear Skies amendment in an attempt to water down the Clean Air Act. Stephanie Edgerly reports from D.C.

Son of Star Wars Fails Another Test
Another test for the coveted missile defense system failed yesterday.  It is the second test within a month and the third in a row to fail.  The missile defense program, ignited by the Regan administration and nicknamed Star Wars, is a key multi-billion dollar program in George W. Bush’s plan to keep the United States safe from what he calls “rogue nations.”  Each test costs an estimated 85-million dollars.  To date, it is the nation’s single largest defense research and development project.  White House officials are seeking 8 point 8 billion dollars for the program in 2006 because Bush wants to make the program operational immediately.


Arms Control Advocates Warn About Mini Nukes  (3:27)
The Bush administration has returned this year with another budget request to study the capabilities of low yield nuclear weapons, also known as mini nukes. Last year Congress eliminated such funding, but some Congressional Republicans say such research is needed as other countries are allegedly building their own nuclear arsenals. However, as Mitch Jeserich reports, arms control advocates say that further development of nuclear weapons only galvanizes other countries to do the same.

Rural American Preservation Act  (1:54)
Meanwhile, in the US Senate, small farmers may be one of the few groups in the country who could stand to gain from the fiscal budget. A bi-partisan bill called the Rural America Preservation Act seeks to end corporate farmers from monopolizing federal subsidies. From the DC Radio Co-op, Selina Musuta explains.

New Concerns Over Immigration Bill  (3:58)
The controversial HR 418 immigration bill passed last week by the House of Representatives not only affects asylum seekers and restricts access to drivers licenses, but also contains some far-reaching consequences for the U.S./Mexico border region. From Mexico, FSRN’s Shannon Young explains why.

Canadians Criticize US Patriot Act  (3:59)
During Alberto Gonzales’ official swearing in as United States Attorney General last night, President Bush heralded the USA Patriot Act as a key tool in the fight against terrorism. Bush’s statement comes as grassroots groups are mobilizing with national organizations and bi-partisan politicians to overturn some of the Act’s more controversial provisions when Congress votes on whether to renew it later this year. In Canada, groups are also mobilizing to protect themselves from the reach of the USA Patriot Act, as Ingrid Drake reports from the DC Radio Co-op.

Massive Student Protests in France  (3:26)
Over 50,000 students and teachers demonstrated in Paris today, as parliamentarians discussed changes to the country’s education system. Last Thursday, after massive nationwide protests, the government was forced to amend its own draft of the education reform bill, claiming to drop the most controversial proposals- including changing the 200-year old graduation exam, which opponents say would create a two-tier system. Today thousands of students took to France’s streets, including 14,000 protesters in Bordeaux as well as 5,000 in the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion- calling for Education Minister Francois Fillon to resign As FSRN correspondent Tony Cross in Paris reports, demonstrators want Fillon’s entire plan cut.

Rally Against UC Budget Practices  (2:58)
Several hundred people gathered yesterday outside the office of Denice Denton, on Day One of her new job as Chancellor at the University of California Santa Cruz. The Student and Worker Coalition for Justice, an ad-hoc group on campus, organized the rally to highlight what they say are misguided budget priorities and hiring practices throughout the UC system. FSRN’s Vinny Lombardo reports.


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