November 01, 2005
UNREST IN ZANZIBAR
Results are now in for Zanzibar’s hotly-contested election. Voters in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island went to the polls on Sunday amidst tensions that later erupted into three days of street violence. Police have reportedly used sticks, tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper-laced foam against demonstrating supporters of the opposition party. Zanzibar’s electoral commission today announced the re-election of the current president. The leading opposition candidate is refusing to accept defeat and has vowed to carry out a Ukraine-style campaign to protest what he says are fraudulent results.
LONDON TALKS CLIMATE CHANGE
In London, Energy and environment ministers from around the world are meeting to discuss how to tackle climate change. Helen Kelly has more.
Representatives from more than 20 countries are meeting in London today to focus on sustainable energy and the move towards a low carbon economy. Along with government officials, delegates from the International Energy Agency and World Bank will also contribute to the discussions. Until now, the Kyoto Protocol has been the main international effort to tackle climate change, establishing a set of targets for cutting carbon dioxide emissions. The Kyoto Protocol does not include the US or the emerging economies of China and India. These countries argue that such cuts are not economically viable. Today’s discussions follow an agreement drafted at July’s G8 summit in Gleneagles. The draft emphasised the importance of climate-friendly technologies. Nuclear power is expected to be back on the agenda, as are renewables like wind and solar power and so-called clean coal. Some environmental groups fear the meeting will generate little more than hot air unless participants agree to concrete proposals. The current Kyoto treaty expires in 2012. Helen Kelly, reporting from London for Free Speech Radio News
CONNECTICUT CLERGY FOR PEACE
A faith-based group went to the offices of Connecticut’s Congressional representatives today to demand that they publicly oppose the war in Iraq. Melinda Tuhus reports from Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s office in New Haven.
Members of Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice read the names of the more than 2000 US service members killed in Iraq, at intervals sounding a Buddhist prayer bowl to signify the estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians who have died in the war. Event organizer, the Rev. Allie Perry:
(Cut 0:14) “We come to the offices of Rep. Rosa Delauro the human cost of the Iraq war. We pray for a lifting of the spiritual darkness which has enveloped our leaders and our country.” While the reading of the names continued outside, a group of clergy went in to meet with members of DeLauro’s staff and get her written statement in response to their initial letter of contact. The group had four demands; a public condemnation of torture, a time-frame for bringing troops home from Iraq, a rejection of permanent US military bases in Iraq, and a shift of budget priorities away from war to meet human needs. Members of the faith-based organization said they were dissatisfied with DeLauro’s responses and will continue to press her publicly on the issues. For FSRN, I’m MT in New Haven.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FOR NOTICIAS
A commission of the Organization of American States has mandated protection measures for over 100 media workers in Oaxaca City. Vladimir Flores reports.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights yesterday issued mandatory precautionary measures for the owner and staff of the NOTICIAS newspaper in Oaxaca. This is the first time in Mexico that a collective protective order has been issued for a media organization. Under the terms of the precautionary measures, the Mexican government must guarantee the safety of the NOTICIAS owner and staff, protect their freedom of expression, and investigate the conflict that led the commission to issue the measures. A group of men posing as striking NOTICIAS workers continue to blockade the newspaper’s main office building. The office has been inaccessible to staff since the blockade began on June 17th. Thirty-one workers were trapped inside of the building for one month until their violent removal by blockade participants on July 18th. Since then, the newspaper’s owner and some workers say they have been harassed by police and have even received death threats by phone. Vladimir Flores, FSRN, Oaxaca.
TORTURE TRIAL IN MEMPHIS
Former Salvadoran army colonel, Nicolas Carranza, will take the stand today in a Memphis courtroom. Carranza, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is accused of crimes against humanity. His accusers say that Carranza oversaw army and police forces responsible for widespread torture, disappearances, and deaths during the years of the Salvadoran Civil War.
Harry Reid Calls for Investigation into the White House
The White House announced that it will replace Lewis Scooter Libby as Chief of Staff for Vice President Dick Cheney with David Addington, Cheney’s former counsel. Human Rights groups have accused Addington of being an architect of policies that lead to the abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House also announced that John Hannah will become Cheney’s new National Security Advisor. Hannah is alleged to be the former White House aid that accepted Ahmed Chalabi’s bogus information about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, the Senate’s top Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, joined the growing number of calls for the Republican Congressional leadership to investigate the White House over the CIA leak and alleged manipulation of intelligence to market the war.
(Reid Audio) (1:06)
Rights Groups Suspicious of Samuel Alito (2:57)
One day after President Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, several women’s rights groups have announced their opposition to the nominee, including Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women. Several civil rights groups are also expressing serious concerns, including the NAACP. Mitch Jeserich has more from Washington.
Solidarity Fast With Guantanamo Detainees (3:09)
Five independent members of the United Nations Human Rights Commission committee rejected the Pentagon’s offer to visit the Guantanamo Bay detention camp unless they are allowed to interview prisoners. The visit was scheduled for December 6 but U.N. human rights commission members have said that the one day visit would undermine the purpose of an objective and fair assessment of the situation of detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base. Selina Musuta reports from Washington, DC where a coalition of groups are taking part in a solidarity fast to show support for detainees who continue their hunger strike on Guantanamo Bay.
Abuses in Orleans Parish Prisons (3:20)
Prisoners locked up in New Orleans are saying that their human and civil rights are being abused at a newly re-opened section of the Orleans Parish Prison. Inmates and legal aid workers allege that those inside the recently opened central lock-up facility are being denied access to phones, lawyers and clean water, and are being beaten and held in filthy condition. Christian Roselund reports from New Orleans.
First Latin America Congress of Recuperated Enterprises (4:26)
Representatives from worker-controlled factories and businesses from Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Brazil organized a Congress on Recuperated Enterprises to strategize on how to create more jobs without bosses or owners. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez inaugurated the event with more than 1,000 self-managed workers present who are putting the slogan “Occupy, Resist and Produce” into practice. Marie Trigona reports from Buenos Aires.
The Case of Stanley “Tookie” Williams (4:00)
California has 645 people on death row – critics of the appeals system call it dysfunctional: short of attorneys, and short of judges. Three individuals sentenced to death have just had their first appeals rejected, Inculding Stanely “Tookie” Williams. Williams is scheduled to be put to death by the state of California on December 13 for his 1981 conviction of four robbery-related murders. Williams, co-founder of the Crips Gang, regrets his involvement in the crimes but maintains his innocence. Since ending up on death row, he’s worked from inside prison to end gang violence, authored 10 books, received a Call to Service Award from President Bush, and has been nominated several times for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. “The Campaign to End the Death Penalty” is now calling on people around the nation to demand clemency for Williams and a death penalty moratorium. Miles Ashdown has more.