Headlines for Friday, June 28, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 4:34 minutes (4.19 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Activists protest World Bank on Honduras paramilitary funding
Human rights advocates from the social justice groups School of the America's Watch and Witness for Peace staged a rally today outside the World Bank in Washington, DC. They used the 4th anniversary of the 2009 military coup in Honduras to criticize US policy and the Bank’s role in enabling violence against farmers in the Central American country. FSRN's Ben King reports.
Four years after the ouster and exile of left-leaning Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, landowners, in complicity with the government, continue to target small scale farmers and their supporters. More than 40 campesinos in the Bajo Aguan region have been killed in land disputes, and military police frequently threaten farmers, indigenous groups, gang members, and journalists. Despite documentation of these abuses, the US continues to send military aid to Honduras under the auspices of the War on Drugs. What's more, activist groups criticize $30 million dollars in World Bank loans to the Dinant Corporation, whose paramilitary private security forces play a central role in the violence That's why protesters, like Arturro Viscara, gathered at the World Bank today.
"I think there needs to be a complete re-examination of our policy toward Latin America, Central America, and Mexico, in particular... I am an immigration attorney and I have clients from Honduras and when you ask them why they leave, it's because of a lack of economic opportunity, and because they've been threatened, or their family members have been threatened or killed."
On June 18th, a group of US Senators sent a letter to the State Department requesting that Secretary John Kerry reevaluate sending taxpayer dollars to fund the Honduran military. Ben King, FSRN, Washington, DC.
General comes under investigation for media leak
The US government is investigating a retired Marine General in connection with an information leak to the media. General James Cartwright, who served on Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in charge of a military cyber operation called “Olympic Games.” Allegedly one of elements of the operation was a computer virus called “Stuxnet,” which is credited with causing major damage to Iran’s nuclear enrichment efforts.
Witnesses take stand in Zimmerman trial
The trial of George Zimmerman continued today in Florida. Zimmerman is accused of second degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Today a neighbor who witnessed the scuffle leading up to the shooting said he saw a figure in dark clothing straddling another man. The description of the man on top appeared to match the teen. Yesterday another neighbor and the woman on the phone with Martin in the lead-up to the shooting testified. The trial will continue next week.
Protesters arrested for blocking oil train in Maine
Activists in Maine blocked a train last night carrying fracked shale oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota. The oil was en route to a refinery in New Brunswick, Canada. FSRN’s Meredith DeFrancesco reports from Fairfield.
“We have set up a blockade across the track of the Pan-Am railways in Fairfield Maine... Late this afternoon an oil train came into the Waterville yards of Pan Am, and we intend to stay here to prevent it from leaving the yard.”
Read Brugger was one of six Maine activists arrested after blocking the railway for three hours Thursday. First, dozens of activists temporarily obstructed a nearby road intersection with a mock oil spill made of cloth. Activists sought to draw attention to the impacts of fracking on water and air quality and on climate change. According to the US Energy Information Administration, in North Dakota, 30% of the natural gas produced as a by-product of oil production is burned in flares on-site. Sass Linnecan was also arrested in the blockade.
“It’s come to the point if the politicians aren’t going to listen to us, we’re going to have to take it in to our own hands to try to stop it anyway we can.”
Protesters also said the rail lines that carry oil through Maine are in poor condition. This spring, a Pan Am train carrying oil derailed just a few yards from the Penobscot River. Another train on the same line derailed just yesterday in Fonda, New York. Meredith DeFrancesco, FSRN, Maine.
Egyptian protests gear up ahead of Sunday anniversary
Supporters and detractors of the government of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi were in the streets today. Clashes between the groups have been reported in Alexandria and one protester reportedly died in protests in northern Egypt. Today’s demonstrations continue a wave of unrest in the country. This Sunday on the anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration, massive protests are expected across Egypt.