May 17, 2005

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Headlines (5:12)
More than 12-thousand landless farmers are to hold a mass protest in Brazil’s capital against what they are calling the government’s slow rate of reform. Natalia Viana reports from Sao Paulo.

Low voter turn out may still generate an historic election in the Los Angeles mayor’s race.  Soul Rebel Radio’s Oriel Maria Siu reports from KPFK.

The Nicaraguan president has signed an agreement with the former banana workers adversely affected by a pesticide that was outlawed in the 1960’s in the US. Nan McCurdy has more from Managua, Nicaragua.

So-called “dead zones,” in the world’s oceans and seas, where pollution has killed most if not all life, are expanding. Valarie Torres explains from KPFT in Houston.

Kuwaiti women may now vote and hold local elected offices for the first time in their history. Loud applause broke out from the public gallery as the Parliamentary leader read the final vote. However, conservatives were furious and managed to place a clause that requires women in Kuwait to follow Islamic law when voting or campaigning. Neither Parliamentarians nor political analysts are sure if that means women must have separate polling places or if they must wear strict Islamic dress. One potential candidate said she’s running for a seat that will be open in 2007 but will start campaigning now.

Last Minute Lobbying Efforts on the “Nuclear Option” (3:56)
After weeks of talks, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced yesterday that negotiations with Majority Leader Bill Frist broke off over a change in Senate rules on filibusters. Democrats say that if Senate rules change they will halt any business from happening in the legislative body. Selina Musuta of the DC Radio Coop reports from Capitol Hill on last minute efforts to lobby for and against the rule change, also known as the nuclear option.

Newsweek Retracts Article About US Interrogators Desecrating Koran (4:29)
Thousands of people have been protesting across Afghanistan as well as other parts of the Muslim world in response to a report published by Newsweek that US interrogators  desecrated copies of the Koran while interrogating prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Newsweek retracted its report yesterday. KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar has more.

Indonesia Drops Charges Against US-Based Multinationals (1:56)
Indonesian police arrested three suspected snipers that killed five police officers and one civilian at a village in the Molluca province where the armed Muslim-Christian conflict has claimed 9,000 lives. Authorities say the suspects are well trained and used US Carabins, AK47s and M3s.

Meanwhile, while halting the legal process against US-based multinational Monsanto on charges that the company bribed an Indonesian official to issue a license for planting transgenic cotton, authorities once again promised yesterday to cancel the legal process against US giant gold mine corporation, Newmont. According to an independent investigation, Newmont pollutes Buyat Bay with cyanide, arsenic and mercury, causing dangerous illness to the community. Eric Klein reads for FSRN’s Meggy Margiyono.

Small Faction of Pro-GMO Countries Prevent International Consensus on Food Labeling (2:51)
An international meeting on labeling guidelines for food and food products containing genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs, ended without reaching a conclusion on a draft agreement. Although the majority of the over 50 nations participating in the meeting spoke in favor of labeling GMOs in the food supply, a handful of nations opposed to the measure prevented consensus. One of the countries in the dissident faction was Mexico – which ended a moratorium on the cultivation of GMOs just over two weeks ago. Shannon Young reports from Oaxaca.

Destruction of Central America’s Largest Extension of Wetlands (3:21)
Over half of Guatemala’s Laguna del Tigre National Park, located within the Maya Biosphere Reserve, has been reduced to ashes and taken over by settlers and cattle ranchers in the last few years. The un-hindered destruction threatens Central America’s largest extension of wetlands, a critical habitat for endangered species like the howler monkey and tapir. Conservationists say the park will be lost if the government continues to ignore the magnitude of the problem. They also point to nearby community-based forest management as a successful alternative to failed attempts to preserve Laguna del Tigre and other neighboring parks. Jill Replogle reports from the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.

Demonstrators Protest Against Logging in Southern Oregon (2:14)
President Bush’s new Roadless Area rules have sparked another wave of public resistance to one of the largest logging sales in Forest Service history. Demonstrators in southern Oregon gathered to draw attention to what they say is the illegal logging of old-growth reserves effected by the 2002 Biscuit Fire. From KBOO in Portland, Jacob Fenston has more.


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