August 18, 2005

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Russia and China began joint military exercises, a move that concerns the United States, and the Asian peninsula. Severine Bardon reports from Beijing.

London’s top police officer attempted to stop an independent investigation into the shooting of the Brazilian suicide bomb suspect, according to leaked documents. From London, Naomi Fowler reports:

The US military announced it will send an extra 700 paratroopers to Iraq to boost prison security. Mike Sintetos reports from Washington, D.C.

More than 100 Ecuadorean migrants died off the coast of Columbia when their boat capsized earlier this week. A fishing vessel found 9 survivors hanging onto debris and oil barrels more than 100 miles off the coast. The boat was bringing the passengers to Guatemala at which time they would travel by land into the United States. The trip is led by smugglers who charge 10 thousand dollars for the dangerous trip. This boat had a maximum capacity for 9 people. It was knocked capsized by a large wage that broke the wooden boat apart. The Ecuadorean government has tried to crack down on smugglers but are usually released for lack of evidence. One in 25 leave the Ecuador, mostly for the United States or Spain.

Mexico, the US government and border states are all pointing fingers at escalating violence along the US/Mexico border. Vicente Fox said the United States is doing little to contain the violence. Arizona and New Mexico have issued a state of emergency, claiming the federal government has ignored the activity. As Dolores Bernal reports from New Mexico, the states fear that the increase of violence and illegal immigration could put their citizens at harm.

Israeli Soldiers Continue to Remove Israeli Settlers from Gaza Strip (2:00)
Israeli soldiers removed hard-line, mostly young Israelis who had barricaded themselves inside a synagogue in the Neve Dakalim settlement in Gaza today. Settlers in Kfar Darom threw dirt bombs and acid on Israeli soldiers attempting to evict them from a synagogue. Palestinians, meanwhile, are cautiously relieved at the efforts, which will return the Gaza Strip to Palestine for the first time in forty years. Our correspondent in Gaza is Laila El-Haddad, Laila, can you tell us the latest that’s happening there.

Rights Groups Say Afghan Election Process Disenfranchises Women (3:13)
Parliamentary and provincial council election campaigning has now begun in Afghanistan. Many human rights groups that have been critical of the process are saying that the major losers in this election will be women. To coincide with the official start of political campaigning, Human Rights Watch has issued a report on women’s participation in the elections. From Washington, DC, Selina Musuta has more.

Iraq’s National Assembly Still Grapples with Draft Constitution (4:14)
Violence continues in Iraq – several people were wounded when gunmen opened fire and launched rocket-propelled grenades on a Mosque in Ramadi where the governor was meeting with Sunni clerics. Four US soldiers were killed in a separate attack north of Baghdad, by a roadside bomb. Coordinated bombings in the capital left at least 43 people dead yesterday. Iraq’s National Assembly is still scrambling to meet its new deadline for a draft constitution, set for August 22. We’re joined by independent journalist Aaron Glantz, author of How America Lost Iraq.

Anti-War Vigils Throughout the United States (1:30)
Some 1,600 anti-war vigils took place across the country last night. Demonstrators say they were re-inspired by the story of Cindy Sheehan – a mother whose son was killed last year while on a mission in Iraq. Sheehan has been camped out near President Bush’s Crawford Ranch since August 9. In Washington, DC, about 700 people gathered in front of the White House for their own vigil. Karen Brownlee was one of the mothers who spoke before the crowd.

Polish Workers Complain of Asbestos at World Trade Center Site (2:57)
4 years after the 911 attacks, many Polish workers employed on the World Trade Center demolition site, are complaining that their work safety rights are not respected. They are particularly concerned about the presence of asbestos particles in dust on the site. While many people around the world have praised 911 heroes, many of these workers, particularly those with undocumented immigration status, have been left behind. Danuta Szafraniec reports from Warsaw.

Native American Voting Rights Violated in South Dakota (3:00)
The state of South Dakota is appealing a federal panel’s directive for the state to redraw voting district boundary lines. The appeal stems from an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit charging that Native American voting rights have been violated by the way voting district boundaries are drawn in Charles Mix County. As Jim Kent reports, the ACLU has no intention of stepping down from the fight.

Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary: Terrorism at Home (3:14)

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