March 28, 2005

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The Israeli Parliament overwhelmingly voted to halt a potential national referendum on the proposed pull out from Gaza, making way for the plan to move ahead. Yet, over the weekend, the Israeli army invaded the West Bank city of Jenin and arrested eight Palestinians who the military claims were making weapons. Manar Jibreen with the Independent Middle East Media Center also explains how the Israeli government continues to confiscate land in the West Bank.

Protests in Egypt over the weekend continue growing dissent against the current leadership, even as elections approach. Paul Schemm has more from Cairo.

U.S. military legal experts are recommending changes to the policies now being used to move tribunals against the hundreds imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay naval base. Adam Sharon reports from D.C.

Kyrgyzstan’s former Parliament voluntarily stepped down today to let the newly elected one step in. Expressing concern about a possible civil war, the Parliament appointed the main opposition leader to be their new Prime Minister. Prime Minister, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, led the protests last week against what many called corrupt elections. Even though he has become acting President, president Askar Akayev who had been ruling for 14 years and left the country last week during the popular protests, says he is still president. Hundreds of demonstrators held vigil outside Parliament today in what they interpret as one leader agreeing to confer power on what they call un-elected Parliamentarians for his own power. Members of Parliament and Bakiyev say they are working towards compromise to avoid more conflict and violence.

Supreme Court: Foreign Nationals on Death Row (4:15)
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on a case that could effect over 50 Mexican nationals living on death row in Texas. Lawyers for one of those prisoners, Jose Medellin argued that his rights were violated by not giving him access to Mexican government officials. Darby Hickey reports from the Supreme Court.

Indonesian Nuclear Power Plant Development (2:35)
Just 3 months after last year’s deadly Tsunami, another powerful earthquake has struck just of the coast of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra. The 8.2 quake struck just after midnight local time, causing widespread panic throughout the coastline of the region. However, several hours after it struck, there were no reports of a tsunami. By airtime, there were unconfirmed reports of about a dozen deaths caused by the earthquake in Indonesia. In other news from Indonesia, the government says its committed to continuing the development of nuclear energy plants. The plan was stopped after protests by environmental groups who feared the plants would endanger people’s lives. The government says however that the plan is geared towards creating an alternative solution to the increase demand for oil. From Jakarta, Meggy Margiyono has the story. Margiyono has the story.

Nigeria’s Military Protects Chevron-Texaco from Protesters. (2:50)
The United States is delivering more gun boats to Nigeria as both countries step up to protect their interests in the Niger Delta region and the adjourning Gulf of Guinea. The area will account for a quarter of US oil supplies in the coming years. In the face of a fragile relationship between Western oil companies and local communities in the Niger Delta, the oil companies are increasingly relying on Nigeria’s military to quell local agitation. The Military has in the past killed many protesting villagers. Sam Olukoya brings us this story from Escravos, where the military recently quelled a protest against Chevron Texaco.

High School Students Travel to Border (4:00)
Last week, a group of students from Leadership High, in San Francisco, traveled to the Mexican border, near Tijuana, as part of their school’s Week Without Walls program. They met with the US Border Patrol, various NGOs, and other youths to better understand the issues of NAFTA, immigration, and the affect that the United States has on the region. Mike Fox was there and he files this report.

Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary: Nuke’s R Us (3:15)
And now this commentary by journalist Mumia Abu Jamal from death row in Pennsylvania.

The Pope (3:26)
For the first time in history a Pope was unable to perform Easter ceremonies at the Vatican. Recovering from throat surgery last month, Pope John Paul II handed over the responsibilities to one of his cardinals who read aloud the Pope’s address. In the address the Pope prayed for peace in the Middle East and Africa and called on the people to show solidarity with those dying from poverty and hunger. Joining us by telephone to talk about Pope John Paul’s legacy and standing of the Church is Blaze Bonpain, who is a Catholic Priest and Director of the liberation theology group called the Office of the Americas.


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