Headlines for Thursday, April 29, 2010
- Year: 2010
- Length: 5:37 minutes (5.14 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
EU countries promise Greek aid package
Today European and German officials confirmed that they are working to finalize a bailout plan for Greece. The financial aid is intended to ensure other European countries won't be dragged into the financial meltdown. Cinnamon Nippard has more from Germany.
Last week Greece asked for emergency loans of $59.5 billion from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, in order to make a payment on debt due May 19th.
Germany will be the single biggest contributor with 11 billion dollars, but only if Greece agrees to meet strict preconditions. However debate continues within Germany about whether the country should put up so much money. Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said today that the loans would stabilize the wider euro zone, which would also benefit Germany. European Union commissioner Olli Rehn said he was confident that the talks would be concluded with a concrete plan in the next few days.
The promise of financial relief means Greece will have likely to implement further austerity measures. Previous attempts by the government to reign in spending led to widespread protests. Greek Union leaders are calling for another mass strike on May 5th.
Cinnamon Nippard, FSRN, Germany.
Thai Protesters want international observers on ground to prevent human rights crackdown
In Thailand anti-government red shirt leaders today submitted a letter to the embassy of the European Union. Protesters are seeking international observers to help prevent a threatened military crackdown on a protest site in central Bangkok. As Ron Corben reports, recent clashes have led to a rising number of injured.
In their letter to the EU, Red Shirt protesters said they faced the threat of tanks and impending bloodshed. The appeal was, the letter added, to “avert a human rights catastrophe.” Red Shirt protesters are calling on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to resign and for new elections.
But Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, speaking in Jakarta, rebutted the Red Shirt appeal saying there was no need for international intervention. Mr Kasit said it was an internal affair of Thailand and was under control.
Thousands of police and military have been deployed in the inner city. Prime Minister Abhisit says the government is looking to restore law and order with a parallel policy of arresting those accused of violence.
Some 27 people have died and almost 1,000 have been injured in clashes with the military. Thailand is currently facing its most severe political crisis in almost 20 years. Ron Corben, FSRN, Bangkok.
Laptops delivered to refugee Palestinian children
More than 2000 Palestinian children in Gaza today received laptops as part of a UN-backed program to ensure that all Palestine refugee children across the Middle East have access to the technology by the year 2012. The United Nations Refugee Agency intends to purchase 500-thousand computers. UN Radio’s Diane Bailey reports.
The laptops were distributed an Elementary School in the city of Rafah in the presence of officials from One Laptop Per Child a non-profit organization and the UN refugee agency helping Palestinian refugees. One Laptop per Child is partnering with UNRWA to bring new learning opportunities to nearly half a million Palestine refugee children across the Middle East. UNRWA operates one of the largest school systems in the region and has been the main provider of basic education to Palestinian refugees for over six decades. Diane Bailey, UN Radio.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist expected to make Senate run as Independent
Florida’s Republican Governor announced this afternoon that he is dropping out of his party’s primary for the US. Senate. Crist will instead run without party affiliation, setting up a three-way race in November. From WMNF Community Radio in Tampa, Seán Kinane reports.
A popular Governor, Crist seemed almost certain to win the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by Republican Mel Martinez. When Crist appointed his aide, George Lemieux, to the Senate, many observers considered it a move to insert a placeholder.
But since then, Crist has been at odds with the many members of the Republican Party of Florida, which some analysts say has drifted to the right. And the surprising rise in popularity of former state House speaker Marco Rubio meant Crist went from double-digit lead in the primary race, to currently trailing by double digits. Some see an independent run as Crist’s only chance.
Crist’s decision could help the eventual Democratic nominee, by splitting the conservative vote. US Representative Kendrick Meek enjoys a lead in fundraising and polls over other Democrats in the primary race. A recent Quinnipiac University poll places Meek in third place in a three-way general election, with Crist and Rubio in a virtual tie. Seán Kinane, FSRN, Tampa.
UC Berkeley Israel divestment proposal fails
The Student Government at the University of California, Berkeley has failed override a veto on a controversial divestment proposal. Several student groups were calling on the school to divest from any companies linked to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories. Although student government votes are not binding for University administration, if passed, Berkeley would have been the most prominent school in the country to support an Israel divestment measure. A similar measure failed at UC San Diego as well.