March 17, 2000

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WTO: Supreme Court May Curtail Human Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case which could have far reaching implications for state and local human rights boycotts around the country. The case, Natsios v. the National Foreign Trade Council, will consider whether Massachusetts can lawfully ban contracts with firms which do business in Myanmar, formerly Burma. The National Foreign Trade Council says the Massachusetts law banning trade with Burma enters the area of foreign policy, which, it says, is the reserve of the Federal Government. If the court strikes down the Massachusetts law, it could wipe out 36 similar state and local laws across America. Matt Martin has that story.

 

Mexican government increases presence in Chiapas

Mexican Human Rights groups are reporting that the Mexican military is stepping up activity in the volatile southern state of Chiapas. Activists say new bases and control points in pro-Zapatista rebel areas signal a possibly new aggressive stance for the military. Meanwhile, Zapatista National Liberation Army sources report that pro-government paramilitaries have killed two Zapatista supporters near the Chiapas village of Oventik, and a violent conflict may be in the offing. Leigh Robartes reports from Chiapas.

 

Russian Corruption

As the war in Chechnya rages on, the Russian government and press have been claiming that victory over Chechen separatists is imminent. All the while, Western news reports of continuing Chechen resistance and Russian military atrocities continue to pour out of the region. Host Max Pringle spoke with Boris Kagarlitsky, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Comparative Politics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He started by asking him his perceptions of Russian government and media pronouncements about the conflict.

 

Jeb Bush Fights for Private Schools

Florida Governor Jeb Bush is vowing to raise private funds in order to insure that 52 children in Pensacola can remain in private schools now that a circuit judge has declared the state’s school voucher program to be unconstitutional. From radio station WMNF in Tampa, Rob Lorei reports.

 

Environmentalists fight Salmon extinction

The California state board of Forestry this week took steps to protect the North Coast’s dwindling salmon population. Newly adopted rules were put in place to stem the tide of a huge drop-off in the number of salmon in the state’s rivers and streams. Environmentalists say the 85 percent salmon population drop-off in the last decade is due to unrestricted logging practices in the area, the state’s decision is meeting stiff resistance from logging interests. Aaron Glantz Reports from Sacramento.

 

Hillary Clinton pushes gun scanning technology

First Lady and New York Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton, is calling for increased federal funding for research into new gun tracking devices. Clinton says scanning devices would reduce the need for the police to stop and search suspects, thereby reducing the risks of another incident like the one that led to the death of African immigrant Amadou Diallo. Clinton released her statement as part of a criticism of New York City mayor, and senate seat rival, Rudolf Guiliani’s policing policies. As Free Speech Radio’s Robert Knight reports, the technology Clinton speaks of is already in existence, and has been the target of those concerned with privacy and civil liberties.


Free Speech Radio News is a production of Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship. Over 40 freelance reporters in 14 states and four continents are boycotting the Pacifica Network News for censoring legitimate news stories. These reporters are risking their livelihoods. Find out more about the strike on-line www.savepacifica.net/strike. That website again: www.savepacifica.net.

Free Speech Radio is Produced by Aaron Glantz and Andrea Sears
Thanks to the National Radio Project for leasing us space.
Thanks also to Josh Thayer and Bob Mason for technical assistance.
Matt Martin is the distribution coordinator.
Max Pringle anchors.

 

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