Newscast for Wednesday, March 6, 2013
- Length: 29:06 minutes (26.65 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Thousands filled the streets of Caracas today to mourn long-time Venezuelan leader, Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday from cancer. Chavez was first elected president in 1998 and in his nearly 15 years in leadership, he established popular education and health programs and redirected the country’s oil wealth, from multinational corporations, such as Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips. In 2002, Chavez was briefly removed from power in a coup that was supported by the administration of then-US President George W. Bush. While Chavez was admired by many on the left, watchdog groups like the Committee to Protect Journalists criticized him for restricting media, and using “threats” and “harassment” during last year’s election. For more, we’re joined by Virginia Lopez, in Caracas. She’s a journalist with The Guardian.
A planned Senate vote on the nomination of John Brennan to lead the CIA was derailed today when Kentucky Republican Rand Paul launched a filibuster to demand more transparency from the White House on the targeted killing drone program. The Senator’s filibuster came less than an hour after Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the US could use lethal force against terrorist suspects within the US. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has the details on Capitol Hill.
Today we continue our coverage of the challenges facing Palestinians in the Occupied Territories who need medical care. Hundreds of people suffering kidney failure in the Gaza Strip are able to get twice weekly dialysis in local hospitals, but local officials say 20 percent of them who are in urgent need of transplants have had to seek treatment in places like Cairo. That can often be difficult, as Palestinians need to apply for a travel permit to go abroad. But new developments might mean more surgeries can be performed locally. FSRN's Rami Almeghari has more on the first kidney transplant surgery in Gaza.
Mumia Abu-Jamal has been in prison for more than 30 years, most of that time on Pennsylvania’s death row. His conviction in 1982 for the murder of white police officer Daniel Faulkner has been widely criticized by groups such as the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU and the UN Human Rights Council. A 2000 investigation by Amnesty International into Abu-Jamal’s case concluded that the court proceedings violated minimum international standards of a fair trial and noted significant legal problems, including how the jury was selected and Abu-Jamal’s lack of access to adequate counsel and resources for his defense. Amnesty also cited disputed testimony and conflicts of interest by the presiding judge. A new documentary film, Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey With Mumia Abu-Jamal, explores Abu-Jamal’s career as a journalist and his commitment to independent media.
FSRN recently spoke to Mumia Abu-Jamal in a rare phone interview from SEI Mahanoy Prison in Frackville, Pennsylvania.
The film Long Distance Revolutionary is playing in theaters in Los Angeles. It will open in Oakland on March 8 and then in Philadelphia in May. More:http://www.mumia-themovie.com/