June 21, 2005
A guilty verdict is issued in the trial of former Ku Klux Klan member, Edgar Ray Killan. The jury convicted Killan of manslaughter, which are lesser charges, after less than two days of deliberations for killing three civil rights activists in 1964. Today also marks the 41st anniversary of the murders. 80 year old Killan will face up to 20 years in jail. FSRN will have more on this story later in the newscast.
Former leader of the Lebanese Community Party, George Hawi was assassinated in a car bomb in the Kola district of Beirut today. The violence comes one day after the win of Hariri, of the anti-Syrian party. FSRN’s Stefan Christoff reports from Beirut.
Orphanage in Kenya seeking aid after US dismantled US Muslim based charity funds it. A freeze on funds raised by an Islamic charity by the Us government has crippled the activities of an orphanage in Kenya. Joshua Kyalimpa reports from neighboring Uganda.
The Zapatistas are on red alert in the Chiapas Region of Mexico. Reports say that the Caracoles and the Good Government sections of the leftist movement have gone into hiding and their radio station “Radio Insurgente” has gone off air and they have left all social services in the hands of the citizens. The Zapatistas have been quiet since their revolution more than a decade ago where they demanded services for the people and equality. They have left no reason why they have gone on Red Alert.
A bill introduced by a New York Congressman aims to ease immigration policy for same sex couples. Lauren Cruickshank and Sue Kim report.
Edgar Ray Killen Convicted for Civil Rights Workers Murders (3:32)
Former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen has been found guilty of manslaughter in the deaths of James Cheney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers killed in Mississippi in 1964. The bodies of the civil rights workers were found beaten and shot in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The three had arrived in the town to investigate the burning of a church that was being used to register black voters, where they were brutally murdered by the KKK. Killen, who is now 80 years old, was the only person ever indicted in the case, but he was not brought to trial for over 40 years. Killen faces up to 60 years in prison for his participation in the murders. David Dennis was the Assistant Program Director for the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. On August 7, 1964, Dennis addressed the crowd at 21-year-old black Mississippian’s James Cheney’s memorial.
David Dennis, at the Memorial Service for 21-year-old civil rights worker James Cheney, who was murdered by the KKK in 1964. Carolyn Goodman is the mother of civil rights worker Andrew Goodman, one of the Klan’s three victims. She lives in New York City and spoke with FSRN about sense of justice she now feels.
Carolyn, do you think that this case set a precedent for race relations?
Carolyn Goodman is the mother of Andrew Goodman. One of the perpetrators in his murder, Edgar Ray Killen, was found guilty of manslaughter in Philadelphia, Mississippi today.
House Approves $409-Billion Pentagon Budget (2:16)
The House of Representatives approved a $409-billion budget for the Pentagon last night that included, without request from the Bush administration, an additional $45-billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also included in the bill are additional funds for the continued US military presence in Uzbekistan. An amendment to the Pentagon’s budget to cease all funding to Uzbekistan because of gross human rights violations and the recent massacre of hundreds of protesters was easily defeated. Mitch Jeserich has more from Capitol Hill.
Connecticut Military Base Closing Threatens Environment and Community (3:50)
The US Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, Commission, proposed closing dozens of military facilities across the country last month as a cost-saving move. The BRAC Commission determined the list based on the military value of the facilities. The Navy Submarine Base in New London, Connecticut – the oldest sub base in the country – is the biggest facility proposed for closure, in terms of personnel, with between 8,500 and 10,000 jobs lost if the base closes. While politicians across the state have made saving the base their highest priority, the proposed closure has brought the issue of environmental contamination on the base to the forefront. Melinda Tuhus reports.
Democrats Stage Another Successful Filibuster Against Bolton (2:48)
For the second time in a row, Senate Republicans have failed to gather the 60 votes needed to end debate and vote on President Bush’s nomination of John Bolton to become the next ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton’s nomination has been held up by two Democratic Senators who are demanding several documents concerning Bolton, documents the Bush administration has refused to hand over. Ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden of Delaware is requesting to see drafts of Bolton’s 2003 Congressional testimony to investigate whether Bolton pushed for a harder line against Syria after the fall of Baghdad.
Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut is also requesting to view intercepts from the State Department to see if Bolton went after people who disagreed with his intelligence assessments.
Republican Senator George Allan of Virginia accused the Democrats of playing politics with an important position pertaining to international relations. Allan says Bolton’s strong words of the ineffectiveness of the UN makes him the right person to send to the UN.
It remains unclear what President Bush’s next move will be. He could withdraw Bolton’s nomination or give the Democratic Senators the documents being requested. Bush could also use what’s known as a recess appointment when Congress takes its 4th of July break to sidestep the Senate and put Bolton in the UN. Such a move would allow Bolton to serve until January 2007.
UN Commission of Experts Evaluates Human Rights Tribunal in East Timor (3:08)
The United Nation’s Commission of Experts, or COE whose duty is to evaluate the Human Rights Tribunal on East Timor, has submitted its report to the UN Secretary General. Indonesian military officials, commander of the pro-Indonesia militia Eurico Gutierrez and the former East Timor Governor were brought into the tribunal for committing massacres after independence in 1999. The COE’s report says that the tribunal in Jakarta was beyond acceptability and is calling for an International Tribunal. Pauline Bartolone reading for Meggy Margiyono in Jakarta, has more.
Bio Democracy in Philadelphia (2:31)
This week in Philadelphia, more than 18,000 biotech executives, investors and scientists from more than 60 countries are attending the “BIO” conference organized by the Biotechnology Industry Organization. At the same time, thousands of farmers, scientists, academics, and consumers have joined together to offer an alternative vision, and challenge the Biotech Industry. Today was the main day of action for the protest. Jenka Soderberg reports from Philadelphia.
Demonstrations Against Proposed Cuts to CPB (2:10)
A congressional subcommittee voted last week to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from public broadcasting. These cuts would eliminate funding for digital conversion, interconnection, Ready to Learn programs, and rescind the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, or CPB appropriation by 25%. However, a variety of groups, including National Public Radio and child programming advocates, have come to the capitol to say no to the cuts. Selina Mususta reports.