September 21, 2006

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Headlines (4:30)
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq has documented that more 6500 Iraqi civilians were violently killed during the months of July and August – with over 5000 killed in Baghdad alone. The most recent report released by the human rights office of the UN mission in Iraq lists gruesome cases of torture of Iraqi detainees. Signs of torture on detainee’s bodies include: broken bones, wounds to the head and genitals, and burns caused by cigarettes and electric shocks. Baghdad’s Medico-legal Institute reports having received bodies bearing signs of severe torture, including chemical burns, missing eyes, and wounds caused by electric drills and nails.

Meanwhile, the US House Judiciary Committee has approved the White House’s guidelines on detainee treatment. The Administration’s language would alter the US interpretation of the Geneva Conventions and make outlawed interrogation practices retroactively legal.

Canadian Mahar Arar, who says he was tortured as a terrorist suspect after his 2002 deportation to Syria, wants an apology from the US for its roll in his case. FSRN’s Alison Benjamin has more.

Teachers and activists in Oaxaca, Mexico today began to march on foot from the state’s capital to Mexico City. Vladimir Flores reports from Oaxaca City.

Police in Argentina today violently evicted families taking over land for a housing project in Buenos Aires. Marie Trigona has more.

Immigration Heating Up Again on Capitol Hill (2:53)
Immigration has once again become the topic of discussion in Washington. The Department of Homeland Security announced that Boeing won a major contract for border technology. And in Congress, both the House and the Senate are attempting to tighten control of the border. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

30th Anniversary of Orlando Letelier’s Assassination (3:35)
30 years ago today, on the 21st of September 1976, Orlando Letelier, a former member of Chilean socialist President Salvador Allende’s government, was assassinated. Letelier and his colleague at the Institute for Policy Studies, Ronnie Karpen-Moffitt, were car bombed in the streets of Washington, D.C. by Chilean agents working under dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Letelier served under Allende until the 1973 U.S-backed coup staged by Pinochet resulted in the death of Allende and the ouster of his government. After the coup, Letelier was arrested and tortured. Upon his release in 1974, he and his family moved to Washington D.C., where he was killed in what was the first international political assassination on U.S. soil. Kristy Li Puma Herrera with Selina Musuta report on the 30th anniversary of Letelier and Moffitt’s deaths.

Judge Overturns Bush’s Roadless Rules (3:47)
A federal judge in San Francisco threw out the Bush Administration’s rules for managing roadless national forest land yesterday, and re-instated the long-contested Clinton-era roadless rule. The Clinton rule effectively bans logging, mining and road building on 58.5-million acres of forest service land – about one-third of the national forest land base. Leigh Robartes reports.

West Papuan Activist Caution Australia-Indonesia Security Treaty (4:20)
Australia’s relationship with its close neighbor Indonesia – both past and present – is being examined by two West Papuan independence activists who are currently in Australia. Willem Zonggonau and Clemens Runawery are both former West Papuan politicians who have been living in exile to neighboring Papua New Guinea since 1970. They’re currently in Australia to protest against a planned security treaty with Indonesia, which they say will have a devastating impact on their homeland’s ongoing independence movement. FSRN’s Erica Vowles has this story.

NATO’s Commander Reports to Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Afghanistan (2:05)
Several key Senate Democrats signaled today that they fully back operations in Afghanistan by the US and its allies. Yanmei Xie reports from the hearing room, where NATO’s top commander testified in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Critics Say Maoists Intimidating Schools in Nepal (3:18)
The end of royal autocracy in Nepal in April promised democracy, whetting hopes that people’s fundamental human rights, including those of children, would be guaranteed. But some say that progress on human rights is reversing, citing Maoist rebels are the worst violators of these rights. Maoists ordered hundreds of schools in Kathmandu and nearby towns to send their students to a 3-day convention this week of the Maoist-led Nepal National Independent Students Union Revolutionary. Student’s non-attendance could have meant dire consequences for the school’s management. PC Dubey reports from Nepal, there the government has turned a blind eye to the activities.

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