November 10, 2005
Indonesian police have confirmed that South-East Asia’s most wanted terrorist suspect was killed an a raid yesterday. Meggy Margiyono sends this report from Jakarta.
Although results are not back from the DNA test, Indonesian police say that one of two bodies found at the scene of yesterday’s standoff is that of Dr. Azahari Husin. Dr. Azahari is a Malaysian university lecturer and reportedly a member of Al Qaeda in South-East Asia. Dr. Azahari is a suspect in a series of suicide bombings in Bali, the Hotel JW Marriot in Jakarta, and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Indonesian police say that after Dr. Azahari’s death, they will now focus attention on hunting Nurdin Moh Top, who is thought to have helped Dr. Azahari plan a series of terror attacks in Indonesia. However, police say that the terro threat is not over, as Dr. Azahari reportedly recruited and trained some 200 young Indonesian Muslims to commit terror attacks. In Jakarta I am Meggy Margiyono reporting for FSRN.
The al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the suicide attacks that killed at least 56 people and wounded over 100 in the Jordanian capital last night. Oula Al-Farawati reports from Amman.
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the Amman bombings in a statement posted on a website used by militant groups. The statement, which has yet to be authenticated, said Amman was targeted because it is the “backyard” for US operations. The claim was signed in the name of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi is originally from a city near Amman. Suicide bombers targeted three hotels in the Jordanian capital. The Grand Hyatt, Radisson and Days Inn hotels were said to be popular with foreigners and many of the guests were involved in the reconstruction of Iraq. Four Iraqis have been arrested in connection with the bombings. In Amman, Jordan: This is Oula al-Farawati reporting for FSRN.
UK TERROR LEGISLATION
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair continues to defend his anti-terror legislation after a crushing defeat yesterday in the House of Commons. Helen Kelly has more.
MPs dealt a blow to Tony Blair’s much-vaunted anti-terror reforms yesterday, by defeating a proposal to give police the power to detain terrorist suspects without charge for up to 90 days. Nearly 50 MPs from Blair’s own party voted against the measure. However, the Commons did agree to extend the time limit on detentions to 28 days. The vote marked Mr Blair’s first major parliamentary defeat in more than eight years in power and has raised questions over his ability to lead the party. After meeting with cabinet members today, Mr Blair said he will continue to push ahead with his reform agenda. Helen Kelly, reporting from London for Free Speech Radio News.
Psychiatrists have concluded that Chile’s aging former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, is fit to stand trial, In Santiago, FSRN’s Jorge Garretón has the story:
Yesterday a team of psychiatrists and doctors found Pinochet fit to stand trial in the so-called Operation Colombo human rights case. Pinochet is charged with the murder cover up and disappearance of 15 opponents and orchestrating the disappearance and cover up of the murder of a total of 119 opponents. Operation Colombo was a so-called security service maneuver that killed 119 political opponents, but was made to appear as though it was a internal power struggle. The bodies were later disposed in Argentina and Brazil with the help of the dictatorships in those two countries. Fake news stories were also planted in one time publications in Argentina and Brazil that were later picked up by the heavily censored Chilean press that reported the 119 “killed each other like rats.” Yesterday’s ruling gives the go ahead for Pinochet’s prosecution. The same psychiatric report will likely be used in the illicit enrichment Riggs Bank case currently underway against Pinochet. For FSRN this is Jorge Garretón in Santiago.
JOURNALISTS STRIKE IN ITALY
The Italian National Trade Union of Journalists is winding down their 48 hour strike tonight. Diletta Varlese has the details.
(Italian TV audio)
This television news anchor reads a statement at the beginning of a truncated newscast, explaining that a labor conflict has compelled thousands of journalists throughout the country to go on strike. Italian print and broadcast journalists are ending their 2-day strike tonight without a solution to their demands. The journalists are demanding a new contract with language to deal with issues such as job security, maternity leave, and sick time. Their most recently negotiated contract expired two years ago. This is the second strike of media workers in two months. A committee of the National Trade Union of Journalists will meet with regional press associations to on November 17th to formulate a platform for future mobilizations. For FSRN, Diletta Varlese, Italy.
Senate May Consider Bill to Prohibit “Enemy Combatants” from Federal Courts (3:21)
The Senate is likely to consider a measure tonight that would prohibit the right of a habeas corpus petition to detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and others who the US has deemed enemy combatants. Lawyers for GTMO detainees worry that if the proposal becomes law, several of their cases that are already in the federal courts, could be thrown out. Mitch Jeserich reports from Washington.
House and Senate Consider Budget Reconciliation (1:56)
In a victory for some environmentalists and Alaskan indigenous groups, the House Republican leadership has stripped out a provision in the budget reconciliation bill that would have opened up oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). But, the battle’s not over yet, as the Senate has passed an ANWR provision in its budget bill. And both the Senate and House will still have to hammer out a single bill.
Immigrant Laborers in New Orleans (3:56)
Labor officials estimate that undocumented immigrants are the largest group being employed in the rebuilding of New Orleans, and that these workers’ rights are being routinely and systematically violated. Christian Roselund reports from New Orleans.
Public Support Keep Public Kitchen Open in New Orleans (2:33)
A massive show of public support including a rally, march and call-in campaign has temporarily staved off the eviction of the “Welcome Home Kitchen” in Washington Square Park in New Orleans – the only kitchen erving fresh, nutritious meals to the people of New Orleans east of Canal Street. Jenka Soderberg reports.
Iran’s Nuclear Talks (3:34)
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, has called for the resumption of nuclear talks in a letter he sent on Sunday to the Foreign Ministers of Britain, France and Germany. Iran has threatened to take its case to the UN Security Council if diplomatic talks fail. Free Speech Radio News Iranian affairs correspondent Saeedeh Jamshidi has more.
International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism (2:55)
Berlin has hosted about 180 young people, along with experts from 40 European nations for the past 3 days, to develop a political declaration and action plan for the EU to address racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The conference titled “European Youth in Action for Diversity and Tolerance”, was opened in the Centrum Judaicum synagogue in Berlin, a symbolic gesture, in part commemorating the terrible Reichs Pogrom Nacht, or as the Nazis labeled it, Reich Kristall Nacht, where Jewish people were persecuted and synagogues and businesses destroyed on November 9, 1938. In remembering the past, as well as acknowledging current racist attacks across the EU, young people created a political declaration and action plan to combat racism which was presented to EU policymakers yesterday. Cinnamon Nippard has more from Berlin.
Muhammad Ali Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom (1:19)
Muhammad Ali has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, by George Bush. After a well-established international boxing career, Ali was stripped of his heavyweight title in 1967 during the height of the war in Vietnam, for refusing to serve there on conscientious grounds. His license was revoked, making it impossible for him to continue boxing, and his passport was also taken away so he was unable to travel. One way that Muhammad Ali was able to make ends meet was by touring the college circuit. In July of 1967, Ali was interviewed at UCLA by WBAI’s Julius Lester.