Headlines for Friday, January 25, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 5:22 minutes (4.91 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Egyptians mark second anniversary of revolution with protests
Thousands of protesters were out in the streets of the Egyptian capital today marking the second anniversary of the largely peaceful revolution that deposed long-time leader Hosni Mubarak. The demonstrations were violent in places and international media report that more than 100 people were injured. Many of the protesters were secular opponents of the newly-elected Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi. Yesterday Amnesty International criticized the Morsi government of not doing enough to prosecute those responsible for the deaths of protesters during the 2011 demonstrations.
Russia passes anti-gay “propaganda” law
A federal ban on spreading the so-called "propaganda" of homosexuality to children passed its first review of the Russian lower house of parliament today. Similar bans have been passed in several cities throughout Russia, and today’s vote signals it will soon be put in place nationwide. FSRN’s Ekaterina Danilova reports.
Only one member of parliament voted against the measure, as protests by a group of LGBT rights advocates happened outside. The activists were attacked with eggs and paint by others who had come out to support the law. Police arrested 20 of the LGBT activists. Natalia Tsymbalova is a member of group "Alliance of Heterosexuals for LGBT Equality." She said the stated objective of protecting children is another example of the state using children to forward its agenda. "This law will actually hurt children, because it will cause an increase in suicides among teenagers, as psychologists predict. In addition, this law has almost fascist characteristics because it divides people into first and second classes." The second review of the law is scheduled for May. LGBT activists are organizing a rally in February to oppose the law. Ekaterina Danilova, FSRN, Russia.
LGBT rights advocates see victories in the UK and Rhode Island
In more encouraging news for LGBT rights, British lawmakers today introduced a law that would legalize same-sex marriage. The first vote on the law is expected in early February. In addition, the Rhode Island House of Representatives pass marriage equality legislation by a wide margin yesterday. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces greater opposition.
Mumbai terrorist sentenced to 35 years in Chicago
Indian authorities are calling for harsher punishment for an American man convicted of helping plan the Mumbai terrorist attacks if 2008. Late yesterday, a federal judge in Chicago sentenced David Headley to 35 years in prison for his part in what India considers its own 9/11. The three-day siege of locations around the city left more than 160 people dead. FSRN's Jay Sapir reports from Illinois.
Pakistan-educated American David Headley used his clean-cut appearance and a video camera to map detailed targets for the three day killing spree. The 35-year sentence is causing controversy. Many feel Headley should have been dealt with as harshly as those who attacked the Twin Towers in New York. But defense lawyer Rob Seeder and Assistant US Attorney Gary Shapiro both indicated, despite the horrific crime, the lesser sentence could actually prevent future mass attacks.
Seeder: "David Headley's letter to the judge expressed his sincere remorse, what led him to do this and how sorry he was."
Shapiro: "We were trying to come up with a sentence that was incredibly severe, yet left some incentive for future cooperators to look at and think at least I can get some benefit by helping the United States government."
Notably, Headley turned over an accomplice who provided support for the planned murder of Danish newspaper employees who ran cartoons lampooning the prophet Mohamed. Thursday’s sentence spared Headley harsher possibilities like life in prison and extradition to India. Jay Sapir, FSRN, Chicago.
Senate passes weak filibuster reform
The US Senate passed two reforms Thursday night aimed at reducing partisan gridlock. While President Obama praised the rule changes as a “positive step,” lawmakers from both parties remain critical. On Capitol Hill, FSRN’s James Helmsworth has more.
The Senate’s new rules limit filibusters on “motions to proceed” to four hours, which could allow Congress to begin debating bills more quickly. The resolution, crafted by leaders from both major parties, also included a 2-year guarantee allowing the Republican minority a minimum number of amendments to any legislation. Yet the reforms fall short of the changes some political accountability groups desired. Common Cause, which is currently suing the Senate for its use of the filibuster, called this compromise bill a “capitulation.” Many Democrats have also been calling for more sweeping reforms, siting several bills, like the DREAM Act, that were killed by the filibuster. One proposed plan would have reinstated the talking filibuster, in which Senators must speak on the floor to block a vote on a bill. Another proposal would have made it significantly more difficult for a filibuster to be sustained. A handful of Senate Republicans voted against the deal, claiming it will disempower the minority. James Helmsworth, FSRN, Washington, DC.