October 22, 2007

  • Women with HIV and AIDS Fall through the Funding Gap
  • Iraq Pushes for Diplomacy with Turkey
  • Protesters in DC Call for Real Changes to Global Warming Policy
  • Protesters in India Seek Justice in the Anti-Sikh Violence of 1984
  • UN Approves Legal Inquiry into Burkina Faso Presidential Assassination
  • Commentary from Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Bush Wants Billions More for War
President Bush today formally requested 46 billion additional dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s request brings the Bush Administration’s 2008 emergency war supplemental to roughly $190 billion dollars. The war supplemental is separate from the $460 billion dollar Pentagon budget currently pending before Congress.

Oil Production Peaked in 2006: Report

A report released today in London states that global oil production peaked in 2006 and the now steep decline in oil production will increase the chances war and unrest. Naomi Fowler has the story.

Today’s report says government and the energy industry are in “institutionalised denial” about the seriousness of rising demand for oil against a rapidly shrinking supply. The Energy Watch Group employed scientists independent of government and corporate interests to research the issue. While official industry estimates say global reserves are equivalent to 42 years of supply at current consumption rates, scientists of today’s study put the figure at only two thirds of that. Editor of the Petroleum Review Chris Skrebowski: “Here you’ve got a government confronting the idea that it has all sorts of threats to our generalized welfare which it must address, but the government has been very favorable towards the idea of the market and market solutions which in this context, simply aren’t going to work.” Many peak oil experts advocate transferring subsidies from the oil industry to develop take up of renewable energy sources, a policy already being adopted in some European countries. This is Naomi Fowler in London for Free Speech Radio News.

Tamil Tigers Attack Sri Lanka Air Base
In Sri Lanka, a Tamil Tiger suicide squad attacked a key air force base this morning, in an unprecedented ground and air assault leaving 34 combatants dead. Ponniah Manikavasagam reports from Sri Lanka.

A government spokesman said 13 members of Sri Lanka ‘s security forces and 21 Tamil Tiger rebels died in the attack on an air force base in the northwestern capital town of Anuradhapura. A rebel leader in the northern town of Kilinochchi said 21 members of the Black Tiger unit and two light aircraft struck the base from ground and the air. He said the assault planes returned to their base after the attack mission having destroyed 8 air crafts including a beach craft fitted with advanced electronic spy devices. The government forces have been carrying out an intense campaign against the rebels in the northern part of the island. Observers speculate that today’s raid may have been a pre-emptive attack by the rebels as the government prepares a major showdown to crush the Tamil Tigers. For Free Speech Radio News, I am Ponniah Manikavasagam from Vavuniya, Sri Lanka.

Outcome of Chinese Communist Party Congress
China’s 17th Party congress, held once every five years, has concluded with the announcement of new members to the country’s all powerful politburo standing committee. Elise Potaka reports from Beijing.

China’s President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao were today reappointed to the politburo standing committee, ensuring their rule over the country for a second five year term. Members of the Communist Party’s Central Committee also elected two newcomers to the standing committee; Shanghai party head Xi Jinping and Liaoning party head Li Keqiang. These two men are now the most likely contenders to take over the top leaders’ jobs in 2012. Both Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are seen by many as part of a new more open-minded generation of party leaders. Both, in the past, had ties with supporters of the Tiananmen Square protestors. The announcement of the new standing committee concludes the Chinese Communist Party’s ten-day congress which has seen the country’s leaders pledge to close the gap between rich and poor, and increase inter-party democracy. I’m Elise Potaka in Beijing for FSRN.

Shipwreck Kills Migrants Near Oaxacan Coast

The Mexican Navy continues to search for survivors of a boat that shipwrecked off the coast of Oaxaca while carrying would-be migrants from Central America. Vladimir Flores reports.

At least 15 people have been found dead after a boat transporting 24 Latin Americans shipwrecked at sea. Oaxacan fishermen found the first bodies on Friday and the Mexican Navy will continue to search for survivors until this evening. The boat left for Guatemala and was carrying mostly Central Americans, although one Peruvian passport has been found in the wreckage. Only 3 survivors have been found. All are from El Salvador. The boat’s passengers had paid up to 25-hundred dollars each to travel to Tijuana. Mexican immigration authorities have recently increased patrols on land crossings from Central America, which has forced migrants to use the more dangerous option of crossing into Mexico by ocean on their way to the United States. In Oaxaca, Mexico, Vladimir Flores, Free Speech Radio News.



Women with HIV and AIDS Fall through the Funding Gap (4:09)

The Senate is debating a 600 billion dollar labor and health bill. Despite a Presidential veto threat, the massive piece of legislation advances the Democrat’s domestic agenda. It increases funding to Medicaid, provides additional protections for workers, and includes broader capabilities for stem cell research. But one thing that it does not include, are changes for HIV and AIDS patients. Women living with HIV/AIDS say they have become the forgotten faces of the disease. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.

Iraq Pushes for Diplomacy with Turkey (1:56)

The situation remains tense along the northern border of Iraq. Turkey is facing pressure from numerous sides not to mount cross-border attacks against the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. But after a skirmish this weekend with the PKK along the Iraqi border, the Turkish public is putting on some pressure of its own. During that conflict, 12 Turkish troops were killed and 8 are still missing.

The PKK seems to realize a full-scale Turkish attack may now be eminent. To counter, today they have offered a ceasefire, with the condition that Turkey will abandon its plans for a military strike into Northern Iraq. No word yet on whether the Turkish government will accept the truce.

Meanwhile, the U-S is putting pressure on Iraq to intervene more effectively. Today Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih said the country is keeping diplomatic channels with Turkey open.

Salih said the PKK situation was a joint problem that needed joint answers. But he made it clear that Iraq should not cater to the dictates of the PKK and other political forces in the region that support a Turkey/PKK conflict.

Turkey still maintains that all diplomatic avenues will be exhausted before they resort to military action. But the country still upholds its right to use military means if diplomacy doesn’t work.


Protesters in DC Call for Real Changes to Global Warming Policy (3:15)

Hundreds of protestors disrupted morning rush hour on Capitol Hill today. They want lawmakers to end the war in Iraq and to get serious about stopping global warming. FSRN Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.


Protesters in India Seek Justice in the Anti-Sikh Violence of 1984 (4:52)

India’s Central Bureau of Investigation has absolved a former minister and M-P of the ruling Congress party. His charges were related to alleged involvement in incidents of anti-Sikh violence in 1984. In that year, more than 3,000 members of India’s Sikh minority were killed in Delhi alone during four days of mob violence immediately following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The acquittal has sparked protests from the Sikhs who demand the Bureau re-open the case against the politician. FSRN’s Bismillah Geelani has the details:


UN Approves Legal Inquiry into Burkina Faso Presidential Assassination (3:35)

This month marks the twentieth anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary and former President of Burkina Faso who was assassinated in 1987.

Sankara was known as the Che of Africa. He gave Burkina Faso its name – changing it from Upper Volta – and personally wrote the country’s national anthem. He was popular for not living extravagantly; he traded in the government’s fleet of Mercedes for Renaults and rode his bike to work. He also stood up to Western Imperialism, countering the World Bank and IMF.

Circumstances surrounding Sankara’s death remain a mystery, however recently the UN Human Rights Commission ruled in favor of an international legal inquiry into the assassination, as presented by an internal legal team coordinated in Canada. FSRN’s Stefan Christoff reports from Montreal.

Commentary from Mumia Abu-Jamal (2:28)


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