Newscast for Friday, January 11, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 29:06 minutes (26.65 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Today marks the 11th anniversary of the first arrival of detainees to the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. There, more than 160 prisoners continue to be held indefinitely, even though many of them have been cleared for release. Legal experts and human rights activists in Washington observed the anniversary with a march to the seats of all three branches of government, and called on President Obama to fulfill his promise to close the facility. On Capitol Hill, FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more.
After meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Washington today, President Barack Obama said US forces would shift their mission this Spring, from leading combat operations, to training and advising Afghan forces. He outlined two goals for continuing the US presence in Afghanistan, after the scheduled withdrawal of US troops in 2014.
“First, training and assisting Afghan forces and second, targeted counter-terrorism missions against Al Qaeda and its affiliates.”
Standing beside Obama, President Karzai said the two leaders had agreed on several key issues, including transferring detainees and detention centers to Afghan control and including Taliban leadership in future peace talks. Karzai said immunity for US forces after the scheduled withdrawal in 2014 could be a possibility.
“I can go to the Afghan people and argue for immunity for US troops in Afghanistan in a way that Afghan sovereignty will not be compromised, in a way that Afghan law will not be compromised.”
But while much of the focus is on the future of US military, the people of Afghanistan continue to face a myriad of problems, from dependence on a war economy, to government corruption, to the effects of controversial US-led drone strikes and night raids. The number of people driven from their homes and displaced by the fighting also continues to grow and is now approaching a half million, according the UN Refugee Agency. For more, we’re joined by Adam Combs, head of the Asia Section at the Norwegian Refugee Council. The group conducted a recent study of Afghans displaced in the country. We’re reaching him in Oslo, Norway.
To access the report from the Norwegian Refugee Council on IDPs in Afghanistan: http://www.nrc.no/?did=9665992
In Texas, the legal battle over a new state rule banning Planned Parenthood from serving tens of thousands of women covered by the Medicaid Women’s Health Program continued in an Austin courtroom today. But as FSRN’s Andrew Oxford reports, the state’s rules have already had a big impact on low-income women and their communities.
School officials at a California high school have suspended classes today and are offering grief counseling, after a 16-year-old shot another student Thursday. Police say the suspect used a 12-gauge shotgun at Taft Union High School yesterday morning, critically wounding another student. The shooting comes as Vice President Joe Biden met with the NRA Thursday and gun victims groups earlier this week as part of the White House response to the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Congress has also responded with a 13-member task force chaired by Representative Mike Thompson. Thompson scheduled three forums in his North Bay Area district this week. FSRN's Karin Argoud attended one of the gatherings in Napa, which drew a passionate and tense crowd.