March 18, 2005

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Headlines (5:58)
Bipartisan Threats on the Hill
Senate Republicans are preparing to use what they are referring to as “the nuclear option” if Democrats make good on their promise to slow down the confirmation of what moderates are calling “out of the mainstream, far right” judicial nominees. Ingrid Drake reports from the Hill.

Mexican Oil Company Spills
The state-owned oil company of Mexico is facing scrutiny for a number of recent spills, as Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the expropriation of national oil and gas reserves from foreign companies. From Oaxaca, Shannon Young files this report.

US Blocks Indian Official’s Visa
The U.S. government has blocked a VISA application of an Indian nationalist leader potentially chilling U.S.- Indian relations. Vinod K. Jose reports from New Delhi.

Italians Expatriate Asylum Seekers to Lybia
The Italian government is again sending asylum seekers to Libya even if that is not their country of origin and without any due process. Diletta Varlese reports from Brescia.

French Labor Unions Promise More Strkes
French labor unions have threatened to organize more protests like last week’s which mobilized 800-thousand on the streets unless bosses offer wage increases. Tony Cross reports from Paris.

Congressional Tries to Reconcile Budget Resolutions (2:28)
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives now have the formidable task of reconciling their budget resolutions that differ by tens of billions of dollars on spending for health care, affordable housing, and education. If they are unable to come to an agreement, similar to last year, all of the provisions passed this week in the resolutions would be nullified, including the one to open up oil drilling in Alaska’s National Arctic Wildlife Refuge. Mitch Jeserich reports.

Opposition Ends Blockade in Bolivia (2:52)
In Bolivia on Thursday, President Carlos Mesa announced he would remain in office, dispelling rumors he would resign after the parliament rejected his proposal to hold early elections. Pressured by road-blocking protests and unable to push through parliament a controversial oil and gas law to his liking, Mesa had announced on Tuesday he would request parliament to hold national elections on August 28, nearly two years before they are scheduled. But legislators deemed Mesa’s proposal unconstitutional, and they seemed leery of elections at a time when road-blockading indigenous protesters have proved more influential than the nation’s discredited political parties. Mesa’s decision to stay seems to have ended a political crisis that has racked Bolivia for two weeks. But underneath the political truce remains a nation driven by ethnicity, class and ideology. FSRN’s Reed Lindsay reports from La Paz, Bolivia.

Gentrification Project in Gujarat to Displace 80,000 People (4:44)
Under the guise of development, a large number of Indian cities are now targeting the poor who live on roadside dwellings. These people are valuable to politicians during elections, but are ignored by officials after elections. Gujarat’s commercial capital, Ahmedabad is facing a huge eviction now that a beautification program, called the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project, is breaking ground. Thousands who face eviction says they have no where to go. FSRN Correspondent, Binu Alex has the story from Ahmedabad

Iraq: 2 Years After the Invasion (4:34)
This weekend marks the two year anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since the Bush administration began what it called the liberation of Iraq, more than 16,000 Iraqi men, women and children have died, and thousands have fled the country. At least 70 journalists have been killed- 12 of those by US fire. And more than 200 coalition troops, and 1,500 US soldiers have died – while the nited States has spent over 200 billion dollars to maintain US troops in Iraq. Free Speech Radio News correspondent Aaron Glantz spent 6 months in the country after the invasion, and brings us this retrospective.

Harlem Reflects on the Occupation of Iraq (4:34)
Reaction in the US to the second anniversary of the start of Iraq war is being heard everywhere. A group of 6th and 7th graders from Crossroads Middle School in Harlem, New York, spoke with members of their community on what they think about the war. Radio Rootz reports.


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