October 25, 2006

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The government of Venezuela may propose Bolivia as a possible candidate for the empty Latin American seat on the UN Security Council. This comes after more than 30 rounds of voting failed to produce a 2/3rds majority for either Venezuela or Guatemala. In the past, deadlocks have led to the nomination of a compromise nation. At deadline, Venezuela had yet to officially withdraw from the race and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries were in a special meeting to try to break the stalemate.

In Uruguay, the government is urging the private transportation sector to end a strike that has paralyzed the country for the past two days. Asli Pelit reports from Montevideo.

Hospital workers are holding a massive strike today throughout Buenos Aires provincial hospitals to demand a pay increase and public health care grants. Marie Trigona has more.

Germany’s Defense Ministry says that two Israeli fighter jets have fired shots over a German naval ship near the coast of Lebanon. Germany took charge of the United Nations naval force in Lebanon earlier this month. The German Defense Ministry told Reuters that it has opened an investigation into the incident.

Twelve prisoners convicted for their involvement in the assassination of the former president of the Democratic Republic of Congo have escaped from jail. Emmanuel Okella reports from neighboring Uganda.

China’s plans to build a dam over the Brahmaputra river and divert water into its arid provinces have been met with opposition from regional governments in India’s northeast. Vinod K. Jose reports.

Bush Adds “Benchmarks” But Refuses Timeline for Iraq
President Bush drew a bleaker picture of the situation in Iraq today, and said he’s tackling the situation by changing the tactics on the ground – including adding what he calls “benchmarks” – but refusing to call it a timeline. Meanwhile, a group of active duty troops are doing the unprecedented: speaking out against the war. Washington Editor Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

Will Gay Marriage Affect Upcoming Mid-Term Elections?
With 8 anti-gay marriage proposals on ballots across the country, this election will shape the future of state recognition of gay and lesbian partnerships. But analysts say at least a couple of those measures may fail. FSRN’s Darby Hickey explores what factor the marriage debate will have on the mid-term elections.

U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Talks Underway
A free trade agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is in the works, but as Jason Strother reports from Seoul, negotiations have been met with strong opposition from Korean farmers and their supporters.

Combatants for Peace Seek Solution to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Two former fighters – one Israeli, one Palestinian – are on a nationwide U.S. tour to promote a non-violent solution to the crisis in the Middle East. They spoke yesterday at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Melinda Tuhus reports.

New Report Eyes Looming Ecological Catastrophe
A new report issued by the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Footprint Network indicates that by 2050, human consumption will demand twice as much as the planet can supply – and could lead to an ecological catastrophe. The report says that if humans continue to consume and waste in excess, some forests and species could disappear. Host Aura Bogado spoke with Mathis Wackernagel of the Global Footprint Network, which co-authored the report.

Africa Water Experts Seek Remedy to Looming Crisis
Africa water experts met in Kampala, Uganda under the auspices of the Africa Ministers Council on Water to discuss the crisis at hand on the continent. Although water is generally abundant on the African continent, it is unevenly distributed by nature – and many countries are already facing water scarcity. It is projected that over 400 million people will be living in at least 17 water-scarce African countries by the year 2010. As FSRN’s Joshua Kyalimpa reports, the conference focused on seeking a remedy.

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