April 06, 2005

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Headlines (5:11)

Urban League Report
The National Urban League released The State of Black America 2005 report today showing stark disparities between the status of blacks and whites. David Koppel reports from Washington DC.

Kashmir Bus Depot Attacked
Four separate groups have claimed responsibility for an attack today on a government guesthouse being used to shelter passengers on the first bus in 50 years to cross between the Indian and Pakistani sides of Kashmir. Shanawaz Kahn reports from Kashmir.

Thousands Protest Schwarzenegger
Thousands of nurses, firefighters, teachers, and police officers rallied in front of San Francisco’s Ritz Carlton hotel where Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was hosting a $90,000 a plate fundraising dinner.  The demonstrators say the governor’s proposals would drastically cut their pensions and healthcare benefits. Max Pringle reports.

The Sunshine State Becomes the Wild West
Floridians can now legally “meet force with force” – including deadly force. Mitch Perry has more from Tampa.


Talabani Sworn in as Iraq’s President as Parties Remain Divided (3:57)
Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as President of Iraq today.  Later this week, Shi’ite Islamist Ibrahim al-Jaafari will likely become the Prime Minister. The swearing in came after weeks of wrangling with Shi’ite religious parties over the exact form of the future Iraqi Government. Many of those issues, the roles of Islamic law and Kurdish autonomy remain unresolved, as does the new government’s stance toward the US occupation. From Washington, Aaron Glantz provides this analysis.

Latin American Trade Ministers in DC to Push for CAFTA-DR (3:30)
Dozens of trade ministers and ambassadors from Latin America came to Capitol Hill today to lobby for the ratification of the Central American Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.  The US Congress will begin debating CAFTA-DR next week.  However, as Mitch Jeserich reports, it’s unclear whether there will be enough votes to pass it.

The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund up for Re-Authorization (2:14)
The US Senate’s Appropriations Committee will discuss whether it will re-authorize The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund, which gives money to states to restore land and streams that have been damaged by mining. In Pennsylvania, at least 44 of the 67 counties in that state contain or are affected by abandoned coal mines or polluted runoff. Meanwhile, the conservative group, Citizens Against Government Waste, denounced a growing federal deficit and put blame on both the House and the Senate’s Appropriations Committees for “unnecessary” spending on programs that help children and science.  Dolores M. Bernal of our DC Bureau has more.

Sudan Will Not Cooperate With the International Criminal Court (2:08)
United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, sent the names of 51 Sudanese nationals to the International Criminal Court. But the Sudanese government says they won’t cooperate with the ICC. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more from the United Nations.

Proposed Oil Pipeline Affects Indigenous Canadian Community (3:41)
The Mackenzie Valley Pipeline stands to be the largest single industrial development project in the history of Canada. Currently being pushed by the Canadian Government in cooperation with Imperial Oil, the Pipeline – if constructed – could access the largest untapped natural gas reserve on the planet. The Mackenzie Pipeline has sparked controversy in Canada, as its construction path is entirely on indigenous territory and is being met with fierce opposition from indigenous communities throughout Canada’s northern region. FSRN’s Stefan Christoff reports from Montreal.

Connecticut “Terror Drill” Raises Concerns (1:54)
The nation’s biggest terrorism drill is taking place this week in multiple sites across the country. Connecticut is one focal point, with a mock mustard gas attack on the city of New London staged Monday with follow-up activities planned during the entire week. While no one is disputing the importance of preparedness for emergency responders, peace activists are taking issue with the rationale behind the mock terror attack. Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven.

University Students Protest Military Recruiters at Job and Internship Fair (2:15)
US military planners are having a tough time finding and retaining new recruits. The US Army fell almost one-third short of its recruiting goal for the month of March. To lure in potential enlistees, they’re beefing up scouts, and offering large bonuses. Last month, high profile counter-recruitment protests were staged at City College in New York Seattle Community College, and San Francisco State. Some 300 students and community members held a raucous demonstration at the University of California, Santa Cruz campus yesterday, where US military recruiters had a booth at the campus’ Job and Internship fair. FSRN’s Vinny Lombardo files this report.


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