December 22, 2008

  • Paulson Seeks Second Half of Bailout
  • Obama Faces Rick Warren Backlash
  • US To Send Up To 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
  • The War Comes Home: Number of Homeless Vets on the Rise
  • Arizona: Tribes Rally Against Coal Mine
  • Los Angeles: Youth Rally Against Incarceration

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Jury: Fort Dix Five Guilty of Conspiracy

After deliberating for six days, a federal jury has convicted five men of conspiracy to kill American soldiers at the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. However, the jury acquitted them of attempted murder. Federal prosecutors say the men had made substantial progress in preparing to attack Fort Dix and kill military personnel. Defense lawyers maintained government informants manipulated the men into incriminating conversations. They also questioned the credibility of the informants. Three brothers — Shain, Eljvir and Dritan Duka – along with Mohamad Shnewer and Serdar Tatar face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Pakistani’s Protest Drone Attacks

Two US unpiloted drones fired missiles in the border region of South Waziristan in Pakistan today. Eight people were killed. Pakistan’s government condemns the attack and its youth are taking to the streets in protest. Afrdai Afridi has more from Peshawar, the Capital of North West Frontier Province

Indigenous Ecuadoreans Protest Proposed Mining Law

This morning, over a thousand indigenous and campesino activists marched to the Ecuadorian congress in opposition to President Rafael Correa’s proposed mining law. Daniel Denvir reports from Quito.

24-Hour Ceasefire in Gaza

Today, Gaza-based factions declared a 24-hour ceasefire while Israel threatens to topple the Hamas regime in the coastal territory. FSRN’s Rami Almeghari has more.

Chico Mendes 1944 – 1988

Today is the 20th anniversary of the murder of Brazilian activist and organizer Chico Mendes. A pioneer of the environmental movement, Mr. Mendes organized rubber tappers and nut gathers in the Amazon rain forest AND rallied local forest communities to resist clear cutting for cattle ranching.  He was assassinated outside his home in Acre by a cattle rancher in 1988.


Paulson Seeks Second Half of Bailout
Three hundred fifty billion dollars down . . . 350 billion more to go. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson is calling on Congress to release the last half of the funds from the 700 billion dollar bailout. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll get the money, though. Paulson has drawn fire over how he managed the first half of the money. The bailout hasn’t succeeded in getting credit flowing again – lending institutions are still afraid that if they loan out money, they won’t get it back. But the bailout has succeeded in feathering some nests. According to a recent Associated Press study, companies that have been bailed out have given top executives over 1.5 billion dollars in salaries, bonuses and other benefits.  Karen Miller has the story:

Obama Faces Rick Warren Backlash
President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to have conservative evangelical pastor Rick Warren give the invocation at his inauguration drew instant protest from gay-rights organizations.  Warren campaigned for California’s same-sex marriage ban, and has compared homosexuality to incest and pedophilia. What does that mean for the Obama administration’s relationship to gays and lesbians going forward? Tanya Snyder has the story.

US To Send Up To 30,000 More Troops to Afghanistan
The United States appears poised to nearly double its troop levels in Afghanistan. On Friday, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the deployment of another combat aviation brigade; Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the US is looking to increase its presence by 20,000-30,000 troops. That’s consistent with pledges Barack Obama made during his presidential campaign to withdraw forces from Iraq and escalate the US presence in Afghanistan.

But is it just the next quagmire? U.S. casualties have been mounting in Afghanistan, even outpacing the number of US deaths in Iraq some months.  And more and more afghan civilians have been dying in U.S. bombings – something that appears to be turning the afghan  population against occupying forces.

Joining me to discuss the outlook in Afghanistan is Conn Hallinan. He’s a military analyst for the progressive think-tank Foreign Policy in Focus. Welcome, Conn.

The War Comes Home: Number of Homeless Vets on the Rise
Today we begin a series on homelessness in North America,
beginning in San Francisco. The number of homeless veterans on America’s streets is growing, driven in part by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aaron Glantz followed the organization Swords to Plowshares as they distributed care packages and meals to homeless veterans.

Arizona: Tribes Rally Against Coal Mine
In Black Mesa, Arizona, Hopi and Navajo tribes managed to close the nation’s largest strip-mining operation after they discovered it had depleted the aquifer they rely on for drinking water. But the story’s not over. Peabody Energy is trying to re-open the coal mine, and now the tribes are trying to stop it. Blake Wesley has the story.

Los Angeles: Youth Rally Against Incarceration
In Los Angeles, dozens of youth have completed a 4-day march through the city’s diverse neighborhoods to speak out against policies they say have resulted in the incarceration of hundreds of thousands across the state of california. FSRN’s Leilani  Albano has more.

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