November 06, 2006

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Headlines (5:10)
Four papers owned by the Military Times published a scathing editorial today calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The editorial criticizes Rumsfeld for an apparent lack of respect for the troops and officials in uniform and says the defense secretary has lost control of the situation in Iraq. The editor of the Army Times told CNN that the decision to run the editorial came after President Bush vowed to keep Rumsfeld in his position until the end of his presidency.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya hinted at a press conference today that he may not be the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Unity Government currently under negotiation between the various Palestinian political factions. At the same time, the Israeli assault on the town of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, continues for the sixth straight day. Saed Bannoura has the latest.

Two teenagers were killed today in Beit Hanoun, bringing the death toll to 52 since the Israeli invasion began last Wednesday. Today’s deaths came from an Israeli missile strike on a school bus. A Palestinian woman blew herself up near a group of Israeli soldiers in Beit Hanoun today, injuring at least one of them. Also today, hundreds of medical personnel and dozens of ambulances lined the streets of Beit Hanoun in commemoration of two paramedics killed on Saturday in an Israeli attack. Despite the high number of civilian casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged today to continue the siege on Beit Hanoun “until the Palestinian resistance stops firing shells into Israel”. For FSRN from, this is Saed Bannoura from Beit Sahour, Palestine.

A group of Somali parliamentarians is in Mogadishu today to try to broker a peace deal with the Islamists that control the capital city and much of southern and central Somalia. Abdurahman Warsameh reports from Mogadishu.

The Speaker of the Somalia’s federal parliament and 25 parliamentarians arrived in Mogadishu on Sunday to hold talks with the Union of Islamic Courts. The federal parliament’s speaker ignored calls made by the Baidoa-based transitional government to not go to Mogadishu before the formation of a unified stance. The parliamentary delegation began talks without the consent of the transitional federal government, a sign of a possible rift within the fragile government. The Mogadishu meetings come after the Arab League-mediated peace talks in Khartoum failed to reach a formal agreement. The talks in Khartoum had been meant to prevent an all-out proxy war between Somalia’s neighbors; Ethiopia and Eritrea, who are believed to support Somalia’s government and the Islamists respectively. Meanwhile, heavy fighting has erupted in the north of the country between Islamic militia and forces loyal to the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, allegedly backed by Ethiopian troops. These confrontations mark the first between the government forces and the Islamists since the collapse of the Khartoum talks. Fears are mounting that these clashes could escalate into the much feared regional conflict between Somalia’ neighbors. For FSRN, Abdurahman Hassan Warsameh, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Three Explosions ripped through Mexico City early Monday morning. President Elect Felipe Calderon has condemned the explosions and called for investigations. Tim Russo has the story.

At 12:08 am, the first of three bombs detonated in Scotiabank in Mexico City, followed by another at 12:14 am in the Federal Electoral Tribunal and a third at 12:22am in the National headquarters for the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI). Each of the three explosions came after warnings made by telephone. The bombs caused material damage to its targets, yet no injuries or casualties were registered according to the office of Mexico’s Attorney General, which immediately opened an investigation. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings as of the closing of this report. The Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca has released a communique to deny any involvement in the blasts. By 9:00 this morning, a fourth bomb had been deactivated in a bank and a mysterious telephone call provoked the evacuation of the Secretary of Foreign Relations office also in Mexico City. Federal Police have reported that they have yet to find any leads as to who is responsible for the triple bombing. For Free Speech Radio News, this is Tim Russo in Mexico.

….as we go to air, media outlets in Mexico are reporting the discovery of a fifth bomb in a restaurant in front of the PRI’s national headquarters.

Peruvian police have arrested a suspect in the case of a brutal murder of a well-known Peruvian environmental activist. Pamela Cueva reports from Lima.

Police in Cajamarca have arrested a man suspected of murdering Edmundo Becerra, a leading environmental activist. Becerra was shot 17 times on November 1st after refusing to sell his lands to the Yanacocha mining project. Becerra was the President of the Front in Defense of Cajamarca, an organization opposed to the expansion of the Yanacocha gold mine – already the largest gold mine in South America. Residents of Cajamarca strongly oppose the Yanacocha’s expansion, as the mining work contaminates the water of the springs and rivers. Local residents say Yanacocha has been arming a group of peasants to threaten those who do not sell their lands to the company and are opposed to the mine’s operations. The mine’s spokesperson says that the allegations are offensive and that the company will investigate people making such claims. For FSRN, I’m Pamela Cueva with Alfredo Cuadras.

What A Democratic Victory Would Mean For The Left (4:10)
On eve before election night, political parties are making a last ditch effort to rally their supporters to the polls and convince the undecided of the same. With polls suggesting Democrats could take control of the House and possibly the Senate, if they are correct, will liberal leaning activists have a friend in power? FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

Saddam Hussein Sentenced To Death (3:20)
Fighting continued across Iraq Sunday despite a curfew imposed by the US military and Iraqi security forces to coincide with the delivery of a verdict in the trail of Saddam Hussein. There were also celebrations at the announcement of a verdict of guilt and a sentence of death for Saddam Hussein. But for many Iraqis, the event is another prop in an increasingly flimsy production. David Enders files this report with Salam Talib.

Sandanistas Look To Return To Power In Nicaragua (3:10)
With 40% of voting stations tallied, it appears that former Marxist, Sandinista rebel leader, Daniel Ortega, could become Nicaragua’s next president. However, more concrete results are not expected until later today or tomorrow. If elected Ortega would be the latest in a series of left-wing leaders voted into office in Latin America – joining Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet, and Nestor Kirschner in Argentina. Jill Replogle reports from Managua, Nicaragua.

Hundreds Of Thousands Flood The Streets Of Oaxaca (3:33)
Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Oaxaca City yesterday calling for Mexico’s Federal Preventative Police to leave the state and for the governor to resign. More than 80 people have been arrested since the militarized police force arrived in the city eight days ago. Mexican President Vicente Fox says the presence of federal troops is to restore peace and social tranquility. Despite the heavy police presence plainclothes gunmen continue to carry out acts of aggression against opponents of the state government and several members of the popular assembly movement have disappeared.

Ibero-American Summit In Uruguay (3:20)
The issue of immigration to Europe and to US from Latin America was one of the most important issues on the agenda of the State Heads who attended the 16th Ibero-American summit of the state heads this past weekend which took place in Montevideo, capital of one of the smallest countries of the continent, Uruguay. Asli Pelit reports.

China-Africa Summit Gets Underway (3:20)
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opens today in Beijing china, and it gathers ministers and some 45 heads of African states to discuss economic and cultural relationships. China needs Africa’s mineral resources, particularly oil, and Africa seeks to boost its economic development. From Ndiaga Seck has more.

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