Newscast for Friday, February 10, 2012
- Year: 2012
- Length: 29:11 minutes (26.71 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
In Syria, two bomb blasts hit the northern city of Aleppo today, killing two dozen people and bringing the violence raging in other parts of the country to an area that has shown support for President Bashar Al Assad. Syrian State Television showed bodies lined in the street and a bulldozer clearing rubble from shattered buildings. Government officials put the death toll at 28 with 175 more wounded after the bombs went off near a military intelligence building and a security force base. A spokesperson for the Free Syrian Army said their forces were not responsible for the bombings. The opposition blamed the government for using the bombings to distract attention from attacks on civilians in other parts of the country. Activists posted videos online that show crowds gathered in several cities protesting the attacks. Many criticized Russia for its veto of a UN Security Council resolution last weekend that would have required a transition to democratic leadership and an end to Assad’s rule. One video, which activists say was taken today in the city of Idlib, shows hundreds filling a street carrying banners and waving the flag of the resistance movement. In Homs, government forces continued a barrage of artillery for a seventh day, with reports of more killings and medical workers warning of a humanitarian crisis. Doctors Without Borders, which is barred from working in Syria, said in a statement that the Assad regime was denying urgent medical attention and using medicine “as a weapon of persecution.” Residents of Homs have also warned of scarce food and medical supplies. Hivin Kako, spokesperson with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told FSRN that the shelling continues. “The city and the area, these neighborhoods have been under bombardment are under a complete siege and they cannot get anything from outside and almost everything they had already is running out. The humanitarian situation is quite miserable.” Hivin Kako, spokesperson with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, speaking from England. A global call for action on Syria continues to grow. A coalition of progressive Jews are calling for a boycott of Russian and Chinese goods to protest the countries opposition to UN action. Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine, called on the world community to intervene in what he described as a genocide. Also, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said today that Syrian government officials accused of crimes against humanity should be referred to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. Activists said solidarity events for Syria would take place this weekend in several US and European cities.
Europe is the last place where the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – known as ACTA – could be stopped. ACTA has drawn attention for what critics say is a threat to Internet freedom. Now that the European public has become aware of the international trade pact, the reaction has been swift – and mostly negative. Hundreds of anti-ACTA demonstrations are planned for Saturday all across the continent and, after growing pressure, even some of the elected officials who voted for ACTA are backing away from it. From France, FSRN's Liam Moriarty reports.
In Washington, President Obama announced changes to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate. Today’s announcement follows weeks of pressure from religious groups and conservative politicians. The President says the compromise will both protect religious liberty, and preserve the right of all women to access free contraception. But the move may not quiet the controversy - both Catholic leaders and women's rights advocates have concerns about the new plan. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more in Washington, D.C.
Protesters from Occupy DC and labor unions rallied outside a Washington DC hotel today where the Conservative Political Action Conference is taking place. Inside the conference, Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum made the case for the GOP vote, touting what he called his conservative credentials and criticizing rival Mitt Romney. The three-day conference, dubbed the “Mardi Gras for the Right,” has focused on criticizing President Barack Obama and celebrating unfettered, free-market capitalism. A recurring theme has been an attack on organized labor. From Washington, FSRN’s Elizabeth DiNovella reports.
This weekend the first Trader Joe’s in the state of Florida is set to open its doors and ahead of a grand opening, farmworkers scored a long-sought-after victory with the grocery store chain. On Thursday, Trader Joe’s signed a landmark agreement to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes picked by immigrant farm workers in South Florida. The deal came a day before planned protests from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. FSRN’s Kelly Benjamin has more.