April 20, 2005

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Headlines (4:15)
White House officials restated their support for John Bolton to be the next ambassador to the United Nations over harsh allegations from Senate Democrats. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said she is disappointed about the delay. Late yesterday, Republican Senator George Voinovich surprised members at the committee proceedings when he said that he too has doubts about Bolton’s qualifications to be the nation’s leading diplomat at the U.N. Voinovich said that he would like more time to consider additional allegations that Bolton tried to dismiss intelligence officers and other government officials who disagreed with him.  Even one Republican committee vote against the nomination would stop Bolton’s candidacy.  Voinovich joins two others who originally said they were wavering but indicated yesterday that they would vote for Bolton. The committee is scheduled to meet on the matter again in May.

Italy’s Prime Minister has resigned as a way of holding on to power longer.  Diletta Varlesce explains from Brescia.

Small but continuous protests in Egypt defy the government’s rules and push for reform.  Paul Schemm reports from Cairo.

Connecticut today passed the first civil unions bill in the nation without a court mandate to do so. Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven.

Utah’s governor is set to sign legislation that will put the state’s education policies above the federal mandate known as the “No Child Left Behind Act.” Legislators easily voted for the measure yesterday, over threats from the Bush administration that the state could lose 76-million dollars from the federal bureaucracy.  One state senator said, my state sovereignty “is not for sale at any price.”  Officials from more than half the states in the nation say they are considering or have taken action against the federal law charging it requires expensive paperwork for little return, especially for students. Connecticut state officials say they will sue the federal government over the


Increasing Troubles on Ecuador’s Streets (3:30)
Protests continue in Ecuador, as demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Lucio Gutierrez pack the streets of Quito, hoping to reach the presidential palace. Last December, Gutierrez eliminated 27 out of 31 judges on the Supreme Court citing bias- although under mass public pressure, he fired those replacements on Friday. As protests continued and a nation-wide strike was underway, Gutierrez issued a state of emergency last weekend, then lifted it one day later. Although up to 50,000 crowd Quito’s streets, demanding Gutierrez quit immediately, he says he intends to stay in office. Protestors have been met with riot-clad police and armed forces, who used up to 1,500 tear gas bombs last night alone to clear demonstrators. Joining us to talk about the latest developments in Quito is Juana Sotomayor, with the Center for Economic and Social Rights. Can you give us an idea of what is going on in Quito?

Congressional Committee Passes Anti-Gang Measure but Protects Gun Sellers (3:52)
Today a key Congressional Committee passed an anti-street gang measure that would require the death sentence or life in prison for gang members who were involved in the killing of another person.  The bill also increases penalties for gang related activities.  Right after the committee approved the measure, it then approved another measure to protect gun industry sellers from potential lawsuits over how their
weapons were used or acquired.  Mitch Jeserich has the story from Capitol Hill.

New Jordanian Prime Minister has Questionable Past (3:36)
Jordan’s new Prime Minister Adnan Badran is coming under attack from pro-democracy advocates for his role in the killing of three University students in 1986. Badran wasn’t elected Prime Minister of Jordan – he was simply picked for the post by Jordanian ruler and US ally, King Abdullah II.  FSRN’s Aaron Glantz reports.

Tsunami Rehabilitation Lagging In India (3:35)
More than one hundred days later, and after millions of dollars in aid, survivors of the December tsunami in Southeast Asia say that relief efforts are worsening, as they continue to live in unsanitary conditions. Tsunami victims are often sandwiched between government delays and their own trauma and poverty. FSRN correspondent, Binu Alex reports from Colachel in South India.

Arrest and Detention of Teenage Girls in New York Called Cases of Racial Profiling (3:30)
Two New York City teenagers have been held in an immigration detention center for nearly one month. Watchdogs monitoring the situations say they are both cases of racial profiling. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell has more.

Bush Administration Restricts HIV Funding (3:45)
The head of the Global AIDS Fund has said India now has the highest number of HIV-positive individuals, a claim the Indian government and some AIDS organizations deny. All sides agree that more needs to be done to stop the epidemic. But, as Darby Hickey of the DC Radio Coop reports, new US policies enacted by the Bush Administration may be weakening the fight against HIV.


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