July 28, 2005

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Headlines (5:03)
The Irish Republican Army announced that they will give up its armed campaign and enter the political arena. The organization fought British rule over Northern Ireland. A  battle that has lasted for 30 years. They said they will work through democratic and peaceful means.

Muslim groups in the United States and Canada issued a Fatwah today condemning violence. Jake Connelly has the story from Washington, D.C.

The House of Representatives passed the energy bill, the first restructuring of the United States’ energy program in over a decade. The bill is praised by many Republicans as increasing our independence from foreign sources of oil. To environmentalists, it is hailed as a give away to big business. The bill includes 14 and a half billion dollars in tax breaks to energy companies. It also authorizes building new nuclear power plants. Furthermore, an additional 1.5 billion dollars was added for Halliburton after the bill was closed for changes, according to the office of Representative Henry Waxman.

A climate pact was released today as an alternative to the Kyoto treaty.The United States, China, Australia, India, Japan and South Korea announced their own plan for reducing air emissions outside the Kyoto Protocol. The alternative agreement aims to reduce emissions through technology.  It does not impose legally binding requirements to cut greenhouse gasses or targets for partners to meet in reducing pollution, like the Kyoto agreement does.The six countries involved in the new partnership account for about 48 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Hard-line Hindu party ruler, L.K. Advani was charged for inciting riots in1992, at the same location of the murder of 6 Muslims last month. Vinod K. Jose has more from New Delhi.

Human Rights Watch has released a report detailing acts of torture carried out by the police in Nigeria. Sam Olukoya reports from Lagos.

Congress Approves DR-CAFTA (4:08)
Congress has given its final approval to the controversial Dominican Republic Central America Free Trade Agreement. The House GOP leadership wrung out a 217 to 215 vote in a midnight roll call that was held open for an hour. Its passage is considered a major victory for neo-liberalism and the Bush administration for the next round of DOHA talks later in the year. Capitol Hill correspondent Mitch Jeserich reports.

Effects of DR-CAFTA in Central America (1:10)
The passage of DR-CAFTA in the US is already garnering attention in Central American countries. Government and business leaders in Guatemala applauded the treaty’s passage, saying it will bring more jobs and foreign investment to the region. Labor, environmental and campesino organizations, on the other hand, say the treaty will cause greater unemployment and more migration to the U.S. FSRN’s Jill Replogle reports from Guatemala.

IRA Announces End to Armed Campaign (2:19)
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) formally announced today that they would end their armed campaign against British rule. The IRA says that they will instead focus on engaging in a peaceful political process to address key issues like police reform and Ireland’s reunification.Members of Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA, traveled to Washington, DC to meet with several Irish American Congressional members. FSRN’s Selina Musuta reports.

Overwhelming Cancer Rates in Southern Iraq (3:00)
Though southern Iraq is more stable than the central part of the country, the end of major fighting is only one step in the return to normalcy. Ravaged since the Iran-Iraq war began in 1980, and bombed again in 1991 and 2003, the environmental damage in the south, and its toll on human life, is just becoming evident. David Enders spoke with Dr. Jewad Al-Ali in Basra.

Los Alamos National Lab Worker Contamination with Americium (2:23)
Experts from the National Nuclear Security Administration and Los Alamos National Laboratory today, are continuing to investigate the americium contamination of one laboratory worker. Experts have confirmed the employee’s home and car were also contaminated. As Leslie Clark reports, several other lab employees are being tested for radiation exposure.

Tens of Thousands of Sugar Cane Workers March to Protect Their Livelihoods (3:33)
Although Mexico is the world’s 3rd largest sugar producer, sugar cane farmers say that their livelihoods are at risk due to the increased use of high fructose corn syrup to sweeten soft drinks. Thousands of cane workers demonstrated yesterday in Mexico City in favor of a law they say will help to protect their industry. In Mexico City, Vladimir Flores files this report.

New Mexico Governor Calls REAL ID Unconstitutional (3:18)
The REAL ID Act, approved by Congress and signed into law in May,continues to be a topic of controversy and criticism. During last week’s National Governors Association conference in Iowa, the REAL ID Act raised concern among governors about how much it will cost to implement its provisions, as well as how much it would interfere with current state law. Dolores M. Bernal reports from New Mexico, where Governor Bill Richardson has called the Real ID Act unconstitutional.

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