February 6, 2009
- Unemployment hits 16 year high
- Is economic despair the vehicle for totalitarianism?
- Extraordinary rendition discussed at CIA Director confirmation hearing
- Army tries to tackle growing suicide rate
- Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka
- Running on Empty Series: algae fuel or foul?
- Tribute to FSRN’s PC Dubey
Unemployment hits 16 year high
Unemployment is at a 16-year high, hitting 7.6 percent, after nearly 600,000 people lost work in January. 3.6 million have been laid off since the start of the recession in December 2007 – nearly half of those layoffs occurred in the past three months alone. Karen Miller has more.
Is economic despair the vehicle for totalitarianism?
Plummeting unemployment rates mark this economic crisis around the nation – which is resulting in a political crisis on Capitol Hill, as Democrats and the GOP debate the stimulus. Some analysts say that this economic despair is creating a vehicle towards totalitarianism, which was evident during the Great Depression. But during that depression, the nation had strong labor unions and a vibrant independent press. Without those traditional tools, what might we face in the coming years? Chris Hedges is the author of American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America, and a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist. He is pessimistic about he says is a growing movement towards fascism in the US.
Extraordinary rendition discussed at CIA Director confirmation hearing
The confirmation hearing for Leon Panetta to become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency continued today. During testimony yesterday, Panetta said he believed the previous administration conducted what is known as extraordinary rendition – in which detainees are transferred to another country to be tortured. Mitch Jeserich reports.
Army tries to tackle growing suicide rate
The Army says it’s re-emphasizing its efforts to prevent suicide, as it determines January soldier suicide rates. At least seven soldiers ended their lives last month, but the number may be as high as 24 – and the growing suicide trend has prompted the Army to erase the shame surrounding mental health care in its ranks. As Sam Greenspan reports, the Army will face an uphill battle to change its culture.
Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka
A group of people attacked an office of the International Red Cross in Sri Lanka today – this as the war between government forces and Tamil Tigers has trapped thousands of civilians in the battle zone, creating a humanitarian crisis. FSRN’s Ponniah Manikavasagam reports from Sri Lanka.
Running on Empty Series: algae fuel or foul?
Next, in our energy series, Running on Empty, we turn to London for a report on algae fuel. It’s sometimes called “green crude” or “pond scum” – algae fuel is attracting a lot of attention and investment dollars. Continental Airlines promoted their test-flight powered with a mix of kerosene, plant, and algae biofuels as a major step forward this month. But does algae fuel really bring us closer to sustainable air and land travel, or should we look beyond the vested interest promoting it? Naomi Fowler reports from London.
Tribute to FSRN’s PC Dubey
A long-time FSRN reporter passed away this morning. Prakash Chand Dubey, better known as PC Dubey, reported for us in Bihar, on the Indo-Nepal border. In addition to FSRN, PC was a print and photojournalist, contributing to Thailand-based Union of Catholic Asian News and Ahamadabad-based Commodity Market magazine. He was a Right to Information activist and helped to publish a Hindi magazine, “Terai Tarang” covering the Indo-Nepal border. PC was quite accomplished, with a doctorate in international politics, a post graduate diploma in journalism and a law degree from Bihar University. PC’s contributions to the FSRN collective was always done in the sprit of teamwork – always telling the editorial staff to “do the needful” with his story ideas. PC is survived by his wife, Meena Dubey, an 18-year-old daughter, Ruchika Rani and a 17-year old son, Rituraj.