September 14, 2005
The Senate blocked a bid to open an independent investigation into the post 9-11 government response to Hurricane Katrina. Failing to receive 2/3 of the necessary votes, the alternative option to create a bi-partison congressional panel, prevailed. Meanwhile, the Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to open the door on a government inquiry to look into the effectiveness of the post 9-11 emergency response plans. After 9-11, the government consolidated response management and spent billions of dollars on national disaster response plans.
A Jakarta Court sentenced another Australian embassy bomber, Ahmad Hasan, to death. It is the second such sentencing in 2 days. From Jakarta, Meggy Margiyono has more.
The number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who are on a hunger strike has increased to 128. From Washington, DC Philip Getz reports.
Chile’s Supreme Court has lifted the legal immunity of former dictator General Augusto Pinochet. This is the third time the highest court has allowed Pinochet’s prosecution on human rights abuses. Jorge Garretón has more from Santiago.
A San Francisco court ruled that reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional. Meaghan Keyser reports from KPFA in Berkeley.
Day Three of John Roberts Confirmation Hearings (3:09)
And we continue our coverage of confirmation hearings for nominee, Judge John Roberts for the position of Chief Justice to the Supreme Court. On day 3, Senators from the Democratic Party demanded that Roberts state his position on issues of abortion, affirmative action and capital punishments, as well as his juridical opinion of specific court decisions. Anastasia Gnezditskaia reports from Capitol Hill.
UN Summit Kicks Off With Watered Down Resolution (3:40)
World leaders converged in New York today for the United Nations Summit. The conference is set to focus on security, human rights and aid, as leaders from 191 nations adopted a watered-down reform plan for the organization. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed disappointment with the new text, stating that, at a time when the world’s attention centers on weapons of mass destruction, the issue of non-proliferation and disarmament are missing. We’re joined on the line by Ian Williams, UN Correspondent for The Nation, Foreign Policy in Focus UN Analyst.
Mumia Abu Jamal Comments on Francis Newton (2:38)
40 year old African American woman Frances Newton is scheduled to be executed at or after 6:00pm Central Standard Time tonight in Huntsville, Texas. Newton would be the 1st African American woman to be officially executed by the state since Texas re-instituted the death penalty in 1982. Meanwhile, Newton’s family, human rights organizations and lawmakers like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee have all made last-ditch attempts to halt the execution. In this commentary, Mumia Abu Jamal describes Newton’s current situation from his cell on Pennsylvania’s death row.
Updated Lede: Mumia Abu Jamal Comments on Francis Newton (2:38)
Shortly after 6:00pm Central Standard Time, Frances Newton was executed by chemical injection in Huntsville Texas. As reported on Pacifica Radio’s national broadcast this evening, roughly 200 people stood outside the facility in her support, while calls from Newton’s family, human rights organizations and lawmakers like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to halt the execution fell on deaf ears. 40-year old Frances Newton was the first African American woman to be officially executed by the state since Texas re-instituted the death penalty in 1982. In this commentary, Mumia Abu Jamal reflects on Newton from his cell on Pennsylvania’s death row.
Driving Days in Iraq (3:23)
Over 150 people were killed today in a series of over a dozen bombings, in the deadliest attack in Baghdad since the US-led invasion in March 2003. Over 500 people were left injured as a result of suicide bombings. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has taken responsibility for the attacks, which came on the day Iraqi lawmakers announced the draft constitution would be sent to the UN to be printed and handed out to residents for the October 15 referendum. Meanwhile, Iraqis are also suffering with severe fuel shortages and traffic jams. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz reports on the Iraqi government’s new solution: alternate day driving.
Women in Upcoming Afghani Elections (3:29)
Afghanistan will hold its first-ever general election on Sunday, September 18, when voters will choose the Wolesi Jirga, or Lower House of Parliament, and Provincial Councils. In a country where tradition keeps women out of public life, and even public sight, 25% of the seats have been reserved for them. Nearly 600 women candidates have come forward but that’s still only about ten per-cent of the total. Tony Cross followed one of them on the campaign trail.
9/11 Commissioners Release Report (2:58)
The former 9/11 Commissioners released the first part of a report today assessing implementation of the Commission’s recommendations on homeland security, emergency preparedness and response. Ryme Katkhouda of the DC Radio Coop reports.