August 30, 2006

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Headlines (5:24)
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan continued his tour of Middle East hot spots today, meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah before heading off to neighboring Jordan.

The Israeli government refused to lift its blockade on Gaza, however, and continued its daily parade of military attacks. Manar Jibrin reports.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Syria today pledging solidarity with the government there amid increased tensions between both countries and the United States. With Venezuelan presidential elections loom only a few short months away, evidence is surfacing showing the Bush Administration funding Venezuelan groups working against President Chavez. Mike Fox reports from Caracas.

Minutes before his last meal was to be served, the execution of Elijah Paige was stayed by South Dakota Mike Rounds over concerns over the state’s lethal injection statute. Frances Lynn reports from Sioux Falls.

And finally, Egyptian Novelist Neguib Mahfouz has died. He was 94. The first Arab writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Mahfouz authored more than 50 novels, five plays and scores of short stories and essays, depicting with startling realism the Egyptian “everyman”, balancing between tradition and the modern world. Often the scene of the novels did not stretch beyond a few familiar blocks of Islamic Cairo, the 1,000-year-old quarter of the capital where Mahfouz was born. Mahfouz was strongly political, but kept a moderate line. He was a great defender of the Palestinian right to an independent state and an opponent of the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. But unlike the majority of novelists, writers and artists, Mahfouz has been a supporter of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel since it was signed in 1979. Novelist Naguib Mahfouz dead at the age of 94.

Iraqi Government Forces Tries to Suppress Anti-U.S. Military Occupation Movement (4:09)
The Southern Iraqi city of Diwaniya is on pins and needles today after government forces agreed a truce with followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. At least 60 people were killed in the fighting – part of an increasing trend of Iraqi Government forces directly confronting independent political movements. Salam Talib reports.

70,000 Protests the Killing of Baloch Leader (3:12)
In Baloch, a province within Pakistan, the tension caused by the Killing of Baloch Nationalist Leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, is still high some cities while the capital seems to be returning to normal. 70,000 protesters have blocked main highways connecting Balochistan and Pakistanian provinces for four days. Police have arrested some 700 people on suspicions of disturbing law and order. Some nationalist leaders are saying the Baloch nation will stand up for its equal provincial rights under the federation. Masror Hussain reports from Islamabad.

The NAACP and the National Association of Homebuilders Work to Increase Minority Homeowners (4:36)
The wake of Hurricane Katrina has left tens of thousands of people without homes to come back to. The threat of luxury condos overtaking city blocks that once were filled with homeowners and renters is possible, making it difficult for minorities to own a home. Affordable housing for minorities is not only a problem in the Gulf Coast, but around the country, which is why an unlikely pair is hoping to help the problem. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

Sudanese Government is Slow to Implement the Peace Agreement (4:07)
Implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army a year ago is far behind schedule and is a cause of concern for the southern Sudanese authorities. The rebels are even warning possible resumption of full scale war blaming president Bashir’s government of lack of goodwill. Joshua Kyalimpa reports

Vancouver’s Safe Injection Site in Jeopardy (3:31)
Drug harm reduction activists in Canada are worried that the Federal government will not renew a legal exemption allowing Insite, Vancouver’s first supervised injection site, to continue operating past September 12 th. FSRN’s Alison Benjamin reports.

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