April 5, 2010

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Video shows unprovoked 2007 US military attack – dead includes Reuters journalist
According to the website wikileaks.org, a video posted there is a “classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad in 2007 — including two Reuter’s news staff.” Reuters has purportedly been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video appears to be   from a helicopter and shows the “slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers.” In the video – a group of men seem to be relaxed and casually walking down a street. Notations of the video indicate two of the men are carrying cameras – service personnel heard on the video indicate the men are armed. They request permission to fire – and permission is granted. (gunfire)

“… crazy horse 1-8. …Oh yeah – Look at all those dead bastards.”

The seventeen minute video also reveals that two young children involved in rescue efforts were also seriously wounded.  Wikileaks claims to have gotten the video from military whistleblowers and says they have “gone to great lengths to verify authenticity of the video.


Israel allows 10 truckloads of clothing to enter Gaza – much is damaged 
For the first time in more than 20 months, Israel allowed shipments of clothes and shoes into the Gaza Strip yesterday. FSRNs Rami Almeghari has more.

Four children among family assassinated outside Baghdad where violence continued thru weekend
Violence in Iraq continued today. Gunmen slaughtered a family, including 4 children under 12 – about 25 miles south of Baghdad – no motive has been attributed to the murders. Yesterday, three suicide car bombs exploded within minutes of each other at diplomatic targets including the German and Iranian embassies – 41 people were killed, more than 200 wounded. Authorities thwarted two other bomb attempts yesterday.  This violence follows Friday’s murders of some 24 extended family members, many of whom were members of Iraq’s security forces known as the Awakening Council.


Rescue and recovery in Mexican earthquake aftermath 
Search and rescue teams in Mexicali, Mexico are working to free people still trapped in buildings after yesterday’s earthquake – FSRN’s Dolores M. Bernal reports.


New study says breastfeeding can save hundreds of lives and billions of dollars
According to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics, breastfeeding infants for the first six months of life could save some 900 babies each year – and could also save billions of dollars. The sudy’s author – Dr. Melissa Bartrick of Harvard Medical School – -says that breastfeeding may prevent stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia – all of which can cause expensive illnesses and even death. Bartrick characterizes breastfeeding as more than a lifestyle choice – she adds it to the list of public health issues.



Series of bombings and attacks hit northern Pakistan
In Pakistan today, a series of bombings and attacks hit the northwest part of the country.  A bomb blast in Lower Dir killed at least 30 people. Dawn News reports that the bombing took place during an open-air gathering organized by a secular political party, the Awami National Party. The gathering was to celebrate a recent proposal to change the name of the North-West Frontier Province. A police chief in the area told AFP that the origin of the blast was being investigated, but that evidence so far indicates that it was a suicide attack.

A video posted on the BBC showed blasts and uniformed gunman firing into plumes of smoke as others carried the injured to safety. The consulate called it a “coordinated attack” that  “involved a vehicle suicide bomb” and militants attempting to enter the building using grenades and weapons fire. The consulate also said two Pakistani security guards employed by the embassy were killed and others were seriously injured.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A Taliban spokesperson told AFP by phone that the attacks were “revenge for drone attacks” in the area and that the group planned to carry out more attacks to target “any place where there are Americans.”


Thousands flee Pakistan for Dubai despite tough economy waiting
As the violence in Pakistan continues, thousands of Pashtuns from the North West Frontier Province and tribal areas of Pakistan, continue to flee the region. Many head for Dubai where, despite the global economic recession and a sluggish labor market, there are more job opportunities and a level of safety still elusive in Pakistan. FSRN’s Scott Pham reads for our reporter in Dubai, Gabe Mathews.


Rift between US, China over valuation of currency continues
Over the weekend, US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the Obama Administration would delay a decision on whether to declare China a currency manipulator – a term that carries with it consequences under trade laws. The semiannual exchange rate report from the Treasury Department was due on April 15th, but Geithner said upcoming high level meetings, including a G-20 meeting and a US visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao, would be a better way to address the issue. China’s devaluation of its currency has been contentious for years. Critics say it gives the country an unfair advantage on world markets and threatens US jobs. China calls it an internal matter.

To learn more about this issue, we’re joined by John Ciorciari, he served as a US Treasury official from 2004-2007 and is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan with a focus on Asia.


Report finds problems with police role in immigration enforcement
A new Homeland Security review of the controversial 287g program finds that local law enforcement agencies involved in immigration enforcement lack adequate oversight and training and need to do more to protect the civil rights of immigrants. Some critics also say the agreements that allow state and local police to enforce immigration rules are making communities less safe. FSRN’s Karen Miller has more.


Study on controversial natural gas method hits national level
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracing, is the process used to free up natural gas often deep underground. For years, environmental groups in the West have claimed the process is dangerous to public health and contaminates drinking water. Companies say the process is not only safe, but essential. Now concerns about the process are reaching a national level, as fracing becomes more common throughout the East. FSRN’s Conrad Wilson reports.