April 04, 2005

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Suspect Killed in Police Custody
San Francisco police killed a 26-year-old suspect in their custody while he was restrained in what is known as a “body wrap.”   Lisa Wu reports from KPFA in Berkeley.

Bombs in Thailand
A series of four bombs exploded in Thailand over the past two days. From Bangkok Doualy Xaykaothao reports.

Oil Prices
Oil prices hit new records on trading floors around the world today leading to more and greater corporate profits at huge costs to most everyone else. Darby Hickey reports from D.C.

Ivory Coast Peace Talks
Ivory Coast officials in South Africa are moving ahead with peace talks despite pending deadlines on UN security forces. Na’eem Jeenah has more from Johannesburg.

Paying Respects to the Pope
Tens of thousands of the Catholic Church’s faithful walked before the body of the pope today at St. Peter’s Basilica.  Tens of thousands more are expected to make the pilgrimage this week to see the dead Pope John Paul II. Vatican officials say the doors of the building will be kept open continuously except for a few hours during the evening for cleaning.  World leaders are preparing to head to Vatican City on Friday for the funeral. Analysts are expecting the city of Rome to come to a standstill on the day of the funeral.


Major Attacks Against Abu Ghraib Prison (3:44)
At least three people were wounded today when a suicide car bomber attacked the Abu Ghraib prison, just west of Baghdad. This follows a massive attack outside the prison on Saturday night. The strike, which included gunfire and rocket propelled grenades, left about a dozen detainees and 44 US soldiers wounded. Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi has claimed responsibility for that attack through an internet statement. Meanwhile, Hajim al-Hassani, has gained the post of Speaker for Iraq’s Parliament. Al-Hassani won the seat- reserved for a Sunni Arab- by gaining 215 out of the 241 deputy votes cast. To talk with us about the latest in Iraq, we’re joined by Imad Khadduri, former Iraqi nuclear scientist.

HIV-Positive Guatemalans Oppose CAFTA-DR (3:50)
The governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic are the three countries that have ratified the Central American Free Trade Agreement so far. The accord will be introduced to the Nicaraguan Congress this week- while Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic have yet to debate the pact. The US Congress will begin hearings on the accord this week, as opponents in Guatemala continue to stage protests. Peasant organizations and trade unions worried about the effects of competition with US companies are not the only ones taking to the streets- HIV positive Guatemalans are also staunchly opposed to the accord. Catherine Elton has more from Guatemala City.

Nicaraguans Question U.S. “Terrorist” Labeling (3:46)
Many Nicaraguans are angry that the U.S. State Department has qualified Dora Maria Tellez, often considered one of Nicaragua’s greatest heroines, a terrorist.  Tellez was denied entry into the US to teach at Harvard University because of her involvement in the Sandinista overthrow of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship in the late 1970s. Many in Nicaragua are also appalled that President Bush has assigned John Negroponte as the first Director of National Intelligence. Negroponte played an important role in the illegal Contra war against the Sandinistas. Nan McCurdy has more from Managua, Nicaragua.

Solidarity Group Call for an End to the UN Occupation of Haiti (3:10)
An international mission of social movements from Latin America is in Haiti this week, investigating the actions of UN forces in the country and its effects in everyday Haitian people. The 7,400-member Brazilian-led U.N. force has vowed to confront armed groups after being criticized for lack of action more than a year after an uprising ousted Aristide. Officials fear escalating violence could undermine public trust in general elections in October and November. Natalia Viana has the story.

Local Activists Support Library Funding (2:58)
According to the American Library Association, projected library funding cuts have topped $111 million in the last 18 months. Meanwhile, Congress continues to approve billions of dollars for military spending, most recently 82 billion dollars in emergency funding for the war in Iraq. This weekend, organizers in the town of Salinas, California – birthplace of writer John Steinbeck, demonstrated to change this trend in their own city. FSRN Correspondent Sarah Olson has more.

The State of Free Speech in Chile (3:59)
Since its return to democracy in March of 1990, Chile has made major strides towards recuperating its democratic traditions. Today the country feels more and more like a normal democratic nation where the rule of law is fully respected along with the rights of its citizens. But, as the authoritarian past fades away, some of its undemocratic enclaves remain. Jorge Garretón explains from Santiago.


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