Headlines for Thursday, March 7, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 5:16 minutes (4.82 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
UN issues sanctions as North Korea threatens nuclear attack against United States
The world is responding today to nuclear threats made against the United States by North Korea. The White House responded today not giving the threat much weight. Spokesperson Jay Carney:
“The United States is fully capable of defending against any North Korean ballistic missile attack.”
The UN Security Council voted unanimously to expand sanctions and condemn nuclear tests conducted by North Korea in early February.
Obama signs Violence Against Women Act
Today President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act. Speaking about the history of the legislation, he commended Vice President Joe Biden’s previous work on the issue helping women looking for support.
“Because this bill, they’ll continue to have access to all the services that Joe first helped establish 19 years ago: a national hotline, network of shelters, protection orders that carry across state lines. And because of this bill, we’re also expanding housing assistance so that no woman has to choose between a violent home and no home at all.”
The bill met with resistance in Congress because of measures to expand legal protections to cover LGBT, immigrant and Native American communities.
Activists call on commission to halt natural gas pipeline in Mid-Atlantic states
Dozens of opponents of the natural gas drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing packed a meeting in Trenton, New Jersey on Wednesday. Activists are pressuring the Delaware River Basin Commission to block a natural gas pipeline being built within its multi-state jurisdiction. The pipeline, called the Northeast Upgrade, would transfer natural gas extracted from Marcellus Shale fracking operations. Earlier this month, more than 60 organizations submitted a formal petition to the Commission asking it to conduct an environmental review of the project. But the Commission Chair announced at the meeting that no further appeals would be taken. This incensed Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, who confronted the commissioners.
Rossum: You have a petition before you submitted by 67 organizations, supported by 3000 citizens. You have a hearing request with regards to the Northeast Upgrade Project before you today, which we expect you today to take action on…
Commissioner: This is a warning, please take your seat.
Rossum: … a failure to act is a decision not to act to protect our communities and our waterways from the ravages, devastation of pipelines.
The Delaware Riverkeeper is currently suing the state of Pennsylvania to halt the construction.
New York Assembly passes two-year fracking ban
In other fracking news, the New York State Assembly yesterday passed a two year moratorium on the drilling practice. The vote comes as observers await the release of an environmental and health impact assessment by the state. According to the AP, the bill is not expected to have enough support to pass the state Senate.
Prominent human rights advocate called for questioning in Zimbabwe
A prominent Zimbabwean human rights defender has been summoned to appear at the country’s largest police station to answer charges of operating an unregistered organization. Jestina Mukoko spent several months in jail after the troubled elections of 2008, during a larger government crackdown on activists and civil society groups. FSRN’s Misheck Rusere is in Harare.
On Wednesday police summoned Jestina Mukoko in for questioning. Mukoko is a former journalist and director of the human right monitoring group the Zimbabwe Peace Project, or ZPP. Just a few weeks back police raided and searched the organization’s office in the suburbs of the capital. In 2008, Mukoko was abducted from her home, detained, and tortured by the state, actions confirmed and condemned by the Zimbabwean Supreme Court last summer. Now with the first elections since 2008 expected to happen later this year, the government appears to be once again ratcheting up pressure on community leaders who have been critical of the political process. Misheck Rusere, RSRN, Harare.
Police enforce Kashmir curfew after Indian police kill protester
Authorities placed large parts of Indian administered Kashmir under curfew and imposed other restrictions for the second day today, following the killing of a young man by the Indian army on Tuesday. The region has been tense, experiencing frequent curfews and shutdowns since February 9th, when Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri convicted for an attack on the Indian parliament, was executed in New Delhi. FSRN’s Shahnawaz Khan has more.
Twenty-three year old Tahir Ahmad Sofi was killed Tuesday when an Indian army unit opened fire on a small group of protestors in a northern Kashmir town. After the dead of Tahir, authorities imposed curfews in major towns in the Kashmir Valley. Still, groups of protestors clashed with police in many places. The Chief Minister of Indian administered Kashmir expressed grief over the recent killing, but said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act did not allow him to pursue justice. Many Kashmiris are critical of the Chief Minister, saying he has not acted against any police forces responsible for protester deaths in recent years. Shahnawaz Khan, FSRN, Srinagar.