November 21, 2006

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Headlines (5:05)
Pierre Gemayel, a staunchly anti-Syrian politician from one of Lebanon’s most prominent Christian families was assassinated today. Local sources say he was shot at point blank range by a lone gunmen. His killing was the fifth assassination of an anti-Syrian politician in the last two years. Jackson Allers has more from Beirut.

A US Serviceman who went AWOL after refusing to return for a second tour in Iraq is getting his day in court today. Before going AWOL, army medic Augustin Aguayo applied for conscientious objector status, but was denied.

Voters from Sarasota, Florida went to court today demanding a re-vote in Florida ’s 13th congressional district. The suit alleges that thousands of citizens were disenfranchised in the race to replace Republican Congresswoman Katherine Harris. Mitch Perry reports from Tampa:

Colombian security officials arrested a journalist for the progressive news channel Telesur, as he was arriving in Colombia on a flight from Venezuela. Greg Wilpert reports from Caracas.

And finally, legendary film-maker Robert Altman has died. He was 81 years old. A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001’s Gosford Park, Altman finally won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2006. Altman is perhaps best known for the 1969 film MASH. The film was a black comedy about a medical unit in the Korean War, but it tapped into a groundswell of opposition to the war in Vietnam and became a mammoth hit. It also established the director’s genius for loose-limbed narratives and multi-tracked sound recording; a kind of controlled chaos that caught the mood of a culture in flux. Robert Altman, in a 1990 interview with the BBC.

Investigators Try to Find Clues Surrounding West Bengal Train Bombing (2:05)
Forensic experts and police made futile attempts in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal to find clues to yesterday’s blasts in a train compartment. Meanwhile, New Delhi stepped up security on its rail network and along its border with Bangladesh. FSRN’s Binu Alex has more.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador Declares Himself New and Legitimate President (reader)
More than 100,000 people gathered in Mexico City’s main square yesterday, as former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, declared himself the country’s new and legitimate president in a symbolic ceremony. AMLO has contested Mexico’s Federal Electoral Commission’s decision to not order a vote-by-vote count. The commission declared PAN candidate Felipe Calderon president, but AMLO says he will run a parallel presidency.

Oaxaca’s APPO Rebuild Encampment(2:40)
Members of the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, or APPO, are rebuilding their protest encampment after men in plainclothes set fire to it late last night. The destruction of the encampment on the pathway of the Santo Domingo church came after a three hour street battle yesterday afternoon in the heart of downtown’s historic district. Shannon Young reports from Oaxaca City.

Department of Defense Gathered Intelligence on Antiwar Organizing (4:15)
A newly established Defense Department monitoring operation known as the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell has been created to scrutinize Army soldier’s official and unofficial blogs. The operation says it scans the internet for any information posted by soldiers that may compromise security, and they now mandate that soldiers register any internet postings with their commanding officers. Meanwhile, intelligence on antiwar planning meetings, including nonviolence trainings, organized at libraries, churches and college campuses has been tracked in an antiterrorist database used by the Department of Defense. Now, the head of the program admits the intelligence should not have been gathered to begin with, and will strictly focus on actual terrorist threats. Host Aura Bogado speaks with Fernando Suarez del Solar, the founder of the Guerrero Azteca Project, who is also the subject of a new film titled “Jesus, A Soldier without a Country”, premiering at the Rio de Janeiro Film this week.

Immigrant Janitors Declare Labor Victory in the South (2:45)
After a five week strike, janitors in Houston, Texas secured a union contract. FSRN’s Rachel Clarke chronicles what the mostly immigrant workers, some of whom are undocumented, are calling a labor victory in the south.

Texas’s 23rd District Race Still Undecided (4:00)
While a lot of attention has been focused on the Democrats taking over Congress, several races around the country are still undecided. One of those includes Texas’ 23rd district, which spans from San Antonio to the border with Mexico in the southwestern part of the state. Charles Davis reports.

Supreme Court to Take on Historic Cases (3:45)
The U.S. Supreme Court will tackle several landmark cases next week: for the first time in the court’s history, it will address what the federal government should do about global warming; it will also hear arguments on whether the current threshold for granting a patent is too low. From Washington D.C., FSRN’s Yanmei Xie takes a look at these potentially ground-breaking cases.

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