December 19, 2005

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Headlines (5:16)
Israel’s Likud party holds internal elections today – as the country’s Prime Minister remains hospitalized. Manar Jibrin has the story.

European governments were aware of “rendition”, or so-called torture flights, and their statements of ignorance are not believable…That’s according to former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. From London, Naomi Fowler reports:

A Congressional resolution on Nicaragua’s upcoming presidential elections, passed last week in Washington, is provoking political condemnation in Nicaragua. Nan McCurdy has more from Managua.

The House of Representatives voted today to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling. Greg Gorman reports from Washington DC.

As President George W. Bush urges the Senate to approve a measure to extend expiring sections of the USA patriot act, one case of a Massachusetts college student has some questioning the limits of government surveillance. FSRN’S Catherine Komp has more.

Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Spy on US Citizens (3:59)
President Bush over the weekend acknowledged that he authorized the National Security Agency to tap into international phone calls and read the emails of US citizens without a court order. Today, Bush told reporters that he had the legal authority to do it. But some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are indicating that Bush broke the law. Mitch Jeserich has more from Washington.

Bolivian Voters Elect Evo Morales as President (2:49)
Bolivia elected its first indigenous president yesterday, with the majority of 51% of the votes. Social movements have high expectations from the new government, and gave it 90 days to start a nationalization project, or face a new mass mobilization. DiIletta Varlese reports from Bolivia.

Immigration Bill Passes in the House (2:22)
Immigrant rights advocates, the US Chamber of Commerce and Mexican President Vicente Fox are all opposing the anti immigration bill passed in the House of Representatives Saturday. Although the Republican leadership did not allow an amendment to be added to the bill that would strip citizenship from children born in the US to undocumented immigrants, critics are concerned about other broad sweeping changes that will first have to pass the Senate. Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has said the issue will be addressed in February. Darby Hickey reports from Washington DC.

Resolution Passed to Bar Aid to Palestine if Hamas Runs for Elections (1:55)
The US House of Representatives passed a resolution last week, which threatens to deny financial assistance to Palestine, if Hamas runs for parliamentary elections. Yanmei [yan-mae] Xie [shay] reports from Washington DC.

WTO Reaches Deal amidst Mass Protests (2:32)
After a week of intense negotiations, Ministers at the World Trade Organization ministerial in Hong Kong have struck a deal. The deal, which will eliminate all farm subsidies by 2013, is being slammed by activist groups who say it will keep poor countries from developing their economies. The agreement also forces developing nations to further open their markets in services like health care, education, water and electricity, which could signal a new wave of privatization and deregulation around the world. The deal was struck despite protests in the streets, which climaxed Saturday when thousands of demonstrators broke through police lines and assaulted the convention center where the meetings were taking place. FSRN’s Aaron Glantz was there.

Gulf Shrimpers Affected by Trade Liberalization (3:00)
The WTO’s system, where corporate interests manage trade and where short-term gains are given priority over social and environmental concerns, began in 1995. According to Public Citizen, a global watchdog group, the WTO exists primarily to liberalize markets, often for the benefit of transnational corporations, and at the expense of workers. Here in the United States, free trade pacts, accompanied by a reduction of tariffs have taken their toll on the domestic fishery industry. FSRN’s Mark Antokas has more from Tampa.

Manufacturing Jobs Hurting from US-China Trade Deficit (2:45)
The fishing industry isn’t the only one in the United States affected by trade liberalization. Steelworkers throughout the country are trying to convince their legislative representatives to urge President Bush to grant relief to workers left jobless due to an increasing US – China trade deficit. Grace Turner files this report.

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