September 19, 2008
- Government Announces Massive Financial Crisis Intervention
- What Took the Fed So Long to Step in?
- Activists Take on Wells Fargo’s Connection to Controversial Sheriff
- DC Homeless Population Wary of DC Mayor’s Office Proposal
- Community Radios Facing Shut Down in Mexico
- Rewind: Remembering Attica
St. Paul to Drop Misdemenor Charges Against Press Arrested During RNC
The mayor of Saint Paul says the city will no longer pursue misdemeanor charges against journalists arrested during the Republican National Convention. Two Democracy Now! producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, originally faced felony charges of “probable cause riot”, but the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors. City Attorney John Choi says the charges pending against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and the 2 producers will be dropped. The city reportedly plans to use a broad definition of journalist to include “new media” reporters, such as bloggers. An undetermined number of journalists were among the more than 800 people arrested in the Twin Cities during the RNC.
EFF Files New Suit Against NSA Domestic Surveillance Program
In other legal news, The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a new lawsuit against the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program. Individuals named in the suit include President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. All three are thought to have authorized the program to spy on Americans without a judicial order. Congress later legalized the program and gave retroactive immunity to the telecom companies involved. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s separate case against AT&T has been stalled in federal court while a judge weighs the merits of the EFF’s argument that the retroactive immunity provision is unconstitutional.
Oregon LNG Terminal Gets the Federal Regulatory Green Light
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a permit for a Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal on the Columbia River in Oregon. This is the first permit of its kind to ever be issued on the West Coast. FSRN’s Jes Burns Reports from Eugene.
Liquefied Natural Gas – or LNG – Terminals in Oregon have sparked an up-swell in opposition – from environmentalists, energy activists, land owners and small town communities. And according to Colombia Riverkeeper Lawyer Brett Van den Heuvel, the federal permit for the Bradwood Landing site west of Portland was not entirely unexpected. [clip] “The Energy policy act of 2005 gave some additional authority to the federal government to site these facilities. But the state retained plenty of authority under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, some of our coastal zone laws to say no to this.” Now the battle moves to the state level. And the first and major line of defense is the Oregon Land Board, which will decide whether to lease the property to construct the terminal. Earlier this week State Treasurer Randall Edwards voiced opposition to LNG terminals in the state. He is the second of the three decision-making land board members to do so. For Free Speech Radio News, I’m Jes Burns in Eugene, OR.
US Air Strike in Northern Iraq
A US airstrike in northern Iraq killed at least 7 people today. A military spokesman claimed the attack killed a top figure from Al Qaeda in Iraq. Iraqi officials say the airstrike killed 8 civilians; 5 men and 3 women, all members of the same family.
North Korea Threatens to Reassemble Nuclear Reactor
North Korea has announced it intends to re-initiate operations at its Yongbyon nuclear reactor. An official from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the United States has not kept its part of the disarmament deal that led to the plant’s shutdown. Washington had agreed to remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, but has since said Pyongyang must first submit to an outside inspection, something the North Korean government says was not part of the agreement. It could take several months to a year for the disassembled plant to become fully operational again.
Honduras Belatedly Accepts US Ambassador’s Creditials
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya received the credentials of the new US ambassador today in a ceremony that had been postponed after Bolivia and Venezuela severed diplomatic relations with the US. Nan McCurdy has more from Managua.
The reception ceremony for the new US ambassador, Hugo Llorens closed a tense chapter in US – Honduran relations that began last Friday when President Zelaya postponed receiving the new envoy in solidarity with Bolivia. Last week, Bolivian President Evo Morales declared the US ambassador, Philip Goldberg, persona non grata after accusing him of aiding and abetting the increasingly violent opposition movement in Bolivia’s resource-rich eastern provinces. Venezuela quickly followed suit, expelling US envoy Patrick Dudley and recalling its ambassador from Washington. The Honduran president has allied his nation with Venezuela and Bolivia in economic terms as well, by joining ALBA, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, an economic block based on fair trade principles instead of the free market model promoted in US trade agreements. ALBA currently includes Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia and three Caribbean countries. Earlier this week, Zelaya described Honduras’ adhesion to ALBA as a “second Independence” and rebuked the domestic business sector for opposing the project while holding them responsible for the country’s high poverty rates. For Free Speech Radio News, I’m Nan McCurdy.
Government Announces Massive Financial Crisis Intervention
The government gives a bleak warning that it must step in and intervene
on a massive scale in an attempt to keep the economy afloat. Now it’s
up to the Administration to convince Congress their plan will work.
Washington Editor Leigh Ann Caldwell has more.
What Took the Fed So Long to Step in?
Now that the Bush Administration is taking decisive action to deal with
the financial crisis head-on, some critics wonder what took them so
long – and many are worried about how long it will take to restore, or
at least increase confidence in the market. FSRN’s Aura Bogado spoke
with Kathleen Day of the Center for Responsible Lending about the
Activists Take on Wells Fargo’s Connection to Controversial Sheriff
A coalition of groups protested at Wells Fargo headquarters in San
Francisco Thursday, demanding the bank stop leasing office space to a
controversial sheriff in Arizona. Activists have likened the struggle
for immigrant rights in Arizona to the Black Civil Rights Movement in
Mississippi. Africa Jones reports.
DC Homeless Population Wary of DC Mayor’s Office Proposal
A battle is brewing in the nation’s capitol between the homeless
population and the DC mayor’s office. The city says it wants to shut
down Washington’s main homeless shelter and provide apartments for
those who need it. Critics charge that it’s economics causing the
closure, because the city wants to develop the land. They accuse the
city of making promises to the homeless population that it won’t be
able to keep. FSRN’s Karen Miller has more.
Community Radios Facing Shut Down in Mexico
The Mexican government announced this week that commercial radio
stations that transmit in AM can have a free frequency in the FM
band… and vice versa. This concept of a “mirror spectrum” represents
one of the largest giveaways of the public airwaves in Mexican history.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation –
the federal agency that deals with broadcast licensing – has been on a
campaign to shut down unlicensed low power FM stations across the
country, leading to demands for more democratic criteria for citizens
to access the airwaves. Vladimir Flores reports from Oaxaca.
Rewind: Remembering Attica
This week, FSRN Reporter Mariana Martinez brought you to Tijuana Mexico
where the brutal beating of a prisoner led to 2 riots and at least 21
dead. The people imprisoned at La Mesa State Penitentiary, many of whom
are jailed for non-violent crimes, have complained of mistreatment,
inhumane conditions, overcrowding and abuse. The events bear a striking
resemblance to what leads to many prison uprisings, including the
September 1971 Attica Uprising in New York. To shed light on this
history today we bring you a rare recording preserved by the Pacifica
Radio Archives: L.D. Barkley, one of the prisoners leading the revolt,
reading from a manifesto written by the prisoners to communicate to the
outside world the reasons behind the uprising. Pacifica Radio reported
on the rebellion extensively and more information about these archived
recordings can be found www.PacificaRadioArchives.org.