January 19, 2007
TURKISH-ARMENIAN JOURNALIST SHOT DEAD
An outspoken Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor gunned down today outside of his office in Istanbul. The editor, Hrant Dink had previously received death threats for refusing to deny that in the early part of the 20th century, the Ottoman empire carried out a campaign of genocide against Armenians. Dink had faced a number of court cases for his writings and last year was even convicted of (quote) “insulting Turkishness” for an article he published about World War I era massacres of Armenians. Historians calculate that over 1 million Armenians died in the death campaigns. Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide and its tight restrictions on freedom of expression have both led to objections from EU member nations regarding Turkey’s bid to enter the European Union.
KIDNAPPING OF SADRIST FIGURE IN BAGHDAD
Residents of Baghdad woke up to a curfew today as Iraqi security forces prepare to implement a new security operation. Hiba Dawood reports.
PENTAGON CHANGES RULES FOR TERROR TRIALS
The Pentagon has published the Manual for Military Commissions rule book for trying terrorist suspects. Legal experts opposed to the military commissions have found that the new rules could allow for a suspect to be convicted – or even sentenced to death – solely on the basis hearsay. Although the Military Commissions Manual prohibits the use of evidence obtained through torture, statements obtained through coercion can by used in the trials. The new rules do not set minimum standards for evidence – leaving it up to military judges to decide what is admissible as evidence.
LIFE SENTENCE FOR IMMIGRANT SMUGGLER
A truck driver involved in the nation’s deadliest human smuggling attempt will spend the rest of his life in jail. From Houston, Renee Feltz reports:
COLOMBIAN PARAMILITARY LEADER CONFESSES NOTHING NEW
This week one of Colombia’s top paramilitary commanders resumed his “confession” of crimes against humanity as part of a deal that reduces the prison sentences of paramilitary chiefs. Nicole Karsin reports from Bogota.
Democratic Leaders Take on Global Warming as Top Priority (4:00)
The House passed legislation last night that would roll back tax breaks given to oil companies. The money will be re-invested in renewable energy initiatives. Democratic Leaders of the Congress vow that independence from foreign oil and combating global warming will be top priorities for the year, along with Iraq. Washington Editor Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
Senate Approves Ethics Reform Bill (3:30)
Former Representative Bob Ney, Republican from Ohio, was sentenced to 2-and-a-half years in jail and ordered to pay a $6,000 fine for his part in the Jack Abramoff lobbying corruption scandal. Ney plead guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars worth of trips, drinks and meals, and tickets to music and sporting events in exchange for political favors to Abramoff. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the Senate’s passed an ethics reform bill after a two-day stalemate because Republican members wanted to attach the line item veto to the measure. The bill passed 96-to-2. Meals, trips and other gifts from lobbyists will no longer be allowed, and lobbyists will have to certify that they have met the terms of the gift ban. Host Aura Bogado spoke with Mary Boyle, Press Secretary for Common Cause.
Peru’s Government Under Fujimori Found Responsible for Gruesome Deaths (4:00)
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights last month, found Peru’s government, under former president Alberto Fujimori, responsible for the deaths of 41 people in a jail in one incident, and the assassination of 9 students and 1 teacher in another. FSRN’s Pamela Cueva and Alfredo Cuadros file this report from Lima, Peru.
Australia: Groups Call for Senate Inquiry into Catholic-Run Hospitals (3:30)
Catholic-run hospitals in Australia are refusing to give the morning-after pill to women who have been sexually assaulted. Catholic-controlled health organizations run more than 70 hospitals in Australia – 21 of those are public hospitals tended out by State governments, and as such receive government funding. But the Catholic health sector is growing, with the addition of another hospital just last week. Catholic Health Australia has defended its policy, saying the Church has never allowed anything which condoned abortions in its hospitals. But doctors, politicians and community groups are concerned about the effect such a policy has on traumatized women, and now there are calls for a Senate Inquiry. Cinnamon Nippard has more from Sydney.
Uganda’s Benet Communities Facing Forced Relocation (5:30)
The Indigenous Benet communities of Uganda live in the cold forests of the 400 square mile volcanic Mt. Elgon National park, which straddles the Kenya-Uganda border, as do the Benet communities. In 2006, a Ugandan Court ruled that the Benets on its side of the border have the right to remain on Mt. Elgon. The long-sought judgment also obliges the Ugandan government to compensate the Benet for damages suffered during government evictions. Despite their legal victory, the Benets of Uganda, like their kin in Kenya, still face eviction from the home they’ve inhabited for generations. The 7th Annual World Social Forum, which kicks off tomorrow in Nairobi, will address the issue of Uganda and Kenya’s indigenous communities. FSRN’s Joshua Kyalimpa spoke to Benet community members and files this report.