March 2, 2010
- Chilean president orders more troops as survivors of earthquake vie for limited food and water
- Dozens dead as mudslides bury village in eastern Uganda
- Israel postpones demolition of East Jerusalem homes
- Supreme Court hears challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban
- Republican senator blocks bill as health insurance lapses, furloughs come
- Native leaders assess impact of Obama’s budget on tribal communities
- North Carolina school board votes on ending diversity policy
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Chilean president orders more troops as survivors of earthquake vie for limited food and water
Today, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton arrived in Chile, following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake this weekend. She met with President Michelle Bachelet and promised assistance. Bachelet extended an overnight curfew in the city of Concepcion and dispatched thousands of troops to the region, bringing the number there to 14,000. Dozens were arrested yesterday for looting and violating the curfew.
In one video posted on the BBC, women clutching supplies to their chests, including baby diapers, are turned away from storefronts by armed soldiers. According to the BBC, water and electricity in the city have been cut off and many of the 500,000 residents are lacking food. Meanwhile, damage to the coastal area is severe, where a few towns were completely destroyed by tsunamis.
We’re joined by Carolina Bank Munoz, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College. She was born in Chile and her work focuses on immigration and labor. She’s also the author of Transnational Tortillas: Race, Gender, and Shop-Floor Politics in Mexico and the United States.
Dozens dead as mudslides bury village in eastern Uganda
In Eastern Uganda, dozens are dead and hundreds missing after mudslides buried a village. FSRN’s Joshua Kyalimpa reports.
Israel postpones demolition of East Jerusalem homes
Israeli officials announced a decision today to delay the demolition of dozens of Palestinian owned homes in East Jerusalem. It’s part of an ongoing dispute in the city, where Israel plans to build a controversial park on the site. FSRN’s Ghassan Bannoura reports.
Supreme Court hears challenge to Chicago’s handgun ban
In Washington DC today, the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the hand gun ban in Chicago. Chicago is home to the most restrictive gun laws in the country, and after the Supreme Court overturned a ban on guns in Washington DC two years ago, gun supporters have another opportunity to strip away gun restrictions. FSRN’s Leigh Ann Caldwell reports.
Republican senator blocks bill as health insurance lapses, furloughs come
On Capitol Hill, Senator Jim Bunning continued to block the Senate from taking up a spending bill that would extend unemployment and COBRA insurance benefits, pay for transportation programs, provide loans to small businesses, and extend Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors, which expired Monday. The Kentucky Republican’s one-man filibuster is having sweeping ramifications. An estimated 400,000 people will be affected by the loss of unemployment benefits over the first weeks of March. It’s also forced the Department of Transportation to furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay on Monday and suspend dozens of transportation and highway safety projects across the country. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Senator Bunning’s demands that the measure be paid for are baseless.
“It’s interesting that the person that’s caused all the trouble for the Republicans is out there lecturing the country on “pay-go,” something he didn’t vote for. He’s lecturing the country on deficits. He wasn’t too worried about that during the eight years of the Bush Administration when two wars were unpaid for, all these tax cuts to the tune of trillions of dollars.”
Bunning opposes the spending because it would add to the federal deficit. He wants the $10 billion bill to be paid for with stimulus funds.
Native leaders assess impact of Obama’s budget on tribal communities
Also in Washington DC today, the National Congress of American Indians held its Tribal Nations Legislative Summit. Leaders are discussing what impact President Obama’s budget could have on American Indians across the US. FSRN’s Karen Miller has more.
North Carolina school board votes on ending diversity policy
The Wake County School Board in North Carolina is scheduled to vote today on ending the school district’s policy on using socioeconomic factors to create diverse classrooms. At issue is a busing policy that began in 2000 that uses income information to promote economic diversity. According to the News & Observer, recently elected members to the school board have made the issue a top priority, saying that the busing policy takes students away from their local neighborhood.
But the NAACP has criticized the move. They say ending the diversity system would be a form of “re-segregation” and would lead to greater inequality in education in Wake County of the state’s largest school systems.
Dr. William Barber is president of the NAACP, North Carolina. He spoke to FSRN by mobile phone today.
“All of the research shows that when you create highly re-segregated schools, you create high poverty schools, high teacher turn-over, low-teacher quality schools and that affects education directly. We have thirty-nine failing high schools already in North Carolina. Ninety-nine percent of those schools are ninety-percent re-segregated, so we know what happens.”
Dr. Barber said that if the school board does vote to end the policy, the NAACP would fight the move and that “all options are on the table” including legal action.