Headlines for Friday, November 5, 2010
- Length: 5:22 minutes (4.92 MB)
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Former transit police officer who killed Oscar Grant sentenced to two years in prison
As we go to broadcast, Johannes Mehserle, the Bay Area transit police officer who killed unarmed passenger Oscar Grant on New Years Day 2009, has just received his sentence from the judge. From outside the courthouse in Los Angeles, Dan Fritz reports.
Judge Perry has sentenced Johannes Mehserle to two years. He’s taking off 146 days for time served and another 146 days for good behavior. That’s 292 days off of the two years, so it will be a year plus a month plus a little more. The judge also ruled that there could be a new trial on the gun enhancement, which was dropped from this sentence, but because of improper instructions to the jury could come out in a new trial. Protests are scheduled in Los Angeles, Oakland, and across the country. Reporting from the courthouse in Los Angeles, I’m Dan Fritz.
Bombing of mosque kills more than 50 in Pakistan
Two bombings in Northwest Pakistan have killed more than 70 people. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing during Friday prayers at a mosque, which reportedly targeted a local group who opposed the Taliban. 67 people were killed and about 100 more were wounded. In the second incident, hand grenades were thrown into a mosque on the outskirts of Peshawar, killing at least four and injuring at least 24 people.
Release of Guantanamo detainee overturned by appeals court
A US appeals court has overturned the release of a Guantanamo Bay detainee. Mohamedou Ould Salahi has spent eight years in the US military prison; he’s accused of helping fighters travel to Afghanistan for training in hijacking planes. A lower court judge had ruled the evidence against Salahi was tainted; he has also retracted his admission of guilt. But a three-judge panel of the DC circuit court of appeals now says the lower court must reconsider the case in light of recent rulings against other Guantanamo detainees.
Former Iraqi prisoners allege abuse at British controlled prisons
Around 200 former Iraqi prisoners alleging systematic abuse at British-controlled prisons in Iraq are challenging the British government over their refusal to hold a public inquiry. From London, Naomi Fowler reports on what lawyers are calling Britain’s Abu Ghraib.
Lawyers representing the Iraqis say there was systematic inhumane treatment and abuse at a number of detention facilities over a five year period. They’re alleging sexual abuse, beatings, use of electric shocks, food and sleep deprivation, threats of execution, and enforced stress positions. Today the high court watched disturbing video evidence recorded by interrogators themselves. One of over 1,000 recordings shows an Iraqi prisoner being screamed at, threatened with execution, and dragged away by his thumbs off camera to the sound of beating. Last month, the Guardian newspaper investigated British military training manuals advocating interrogation techniques that appear to breach the Geneva Convention. The Ministry of Defense says a public inquiry would be expensive and unable to assess criminal activity by military personnel. Naomi Fowler, FSRN, London.
Close elections called in Illinois, Washington
Democrats have won a down-to the wire Senate race in Washington State and a governorship in Illinois, as vote counting from the closest of Tuesday’s elections continues. Washington Senator Patty Murray held off a challenge from Republican Dino Rossi. Rossi conceded the race Thursday night with counts showing Murray in the lead 51 to 49 percent.
Illinois governor Pat Quinn beat Republican challenger and former state senator Bill Brady by less than one half of one percent. This will be Quinn’s first full term, he took office in 2009, when former governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office.
Accusations against Burmese government as Myanmar prepares for elections
As Myanmar prepares for elections this Sunday, the two main opposition parties have accused the ruling military government of illegally collecting votes, cheating, bribing and threatening people. The London independent also reports that voting has been cancelled in more than three thousand villages heavy with ethnic minorities. In total, about one and a half million people have been disenfranchised. The election will be Myanmar’s first since 1990; Democracy activist Ann Sang Suu Kyi remains imprisoned, and her party is boycotting the elections. Many are calling the election a sham; a quarter of seats in the new legislature have already been reserved for the army.
Flooding in Haiti from tropical storm Tomas
Flooding has begun in Haiti, as tropical storm Tomas has reached the Caribbean nation. More than a million Haitians have been told to leave the shelters they’ve called home since January’s earthquake. But speaking on the radio Thursday, Haitian President Rene acknowledged, "The government doesn't have enough places to move everyone." There are also concerns the standing water, which will follow the storm, will worsen the spread of a Cholera outbreak that has already killed more than 400 people.
Merapi erupts again, killing more in Indonesia
Mount Merapi continues to erupt on the Indonesian island of Java; the death toll from more than 10 days of eruptions is now over 100. More than 90 thousand people have been left homeless as their villages are destroyed. Some are blaming the government for not evacuating people far or fast enough after the first eruption on October 26th.