Free Speech Radio News

Thursday, May 20, 2004

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Headlines

Charges Dropped Against Greenpeace
A Miami judge threw out the federal criminal charges against Greenpeace.  In the rare verdict, the U.S. District judge said the government failed to prove their case against the environmental organization.  Greenpeace spokesperson Nancy Hwa says they are pleased. Two years ago, members of Greenpeace boarded a ship they say was carrying mahogany and unfurled a sign that read “President Bush.  Stop illegal logging.”  The six activists pleaded no contest to misdemeanors and were fined 500-dollars.  Eighteen months later, the U.S. Attorney General’s office saw fit to prosecute Greenpeace under an 1872 law designed to prevent brothels from luring sailors to shore.  Since the case never went to a jury, the government is unable to appeal the decision.

AIDS Activists March on DC
Hundreds of people living with AIDS marched in the nation’s Capitol today demanding that the U.S. government fight for prevention, treatment, research and housing. From the march, Tena Rubio reports.

Telecommunications Workers in 12 States Picket
Tens of thousands of telephone operators, linemen and other telecommunications workers in Illinois and twelve other states will be on the picket line for the next four days. Chris Geovanis reports from Chicago.

Racial Discrimination at Sodexho Marriot?
Managers claiming racial discrimination face off in court today with one of the nation’s largest institutional food suppliers – Sodexho Marriot. Karen Mitchell reports from D.C.

East Timor Turns Two
East Timor, the world’s youngest nation, celebrated their second anniversary today.  While the East Timorese celebrated their freedom from oppressive and often bloody Indonesian rule, the economic situation for the people has gotten no better.  Many blame the lack of resources on East Timor’s inability to access the vast oil reserves just off their coast.  Australia lays claim to it by virtue of a sweetheart deal signed with Indonesia prior to the nascent nation’s independence.  East Timor’s leaders say they are loosing 1-million dollars a day and the World Bank is trying to figure out how to make up the 30-million dollar shortfall in the nation’s budget.


Features

Part 1: Israeli Attacks on Rafah: Latest News  (2:02)
More information is emerging about the Israeli attack on the peaceful protest in Rafah yesterday, including a disturbing report in the Guardian that some of the dead children had sniper bullet-holes in their heads. This morning on WBAI’s Wake Up Call, we spoke with Nahla al-Nattour, Executive Member of the Palestinian Women's Organization from Gaza. Translation provided by Aya & Huda Batrawy and Hanan Abdel Rahman.

Part 2: Israeli Attacks on Rafah: International Reaction  (3:15)
Meanwhile, international condemnation has flooded in against the Israeli attacks, with the notable exception of the US. Oula Farawati has more from Jordan.

Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary: A Tale of Terrorists  (2:27)

Role of Civilian Contractors Questioned in Abu Ghraib Scandal  (3:56)
As more pictures of detainee abuse in Abu Ghraib surface, the role of civilian contractors in the Iraqi prison system is being questioned. Selina Musuta has the latest from Washington, D.C.

Andean Free Trade Talks: Ecuador (4:00)
The first round of negotiations on free trade agreements between the United States and Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, are underway in Colombia’s Caribbean port of Cartagena. The Andean countries exchange $18 billion of goods with the United States each year. Meanwhile, the streets of Colombia’s main cities were filled with thousands of marchers, protesting the Free Trade Agreement. Police swiftly repressed the largest march of 15,000, in Cartagena. Meanwhile, in Ecuador FSRN corresspondent Dan Malakoff reports on local reaction to the free trade talks.

Terrorism Trial Continues in Idaho  (4:30)
A terrorism trial now in its sixth week in Idaho pits the first amendment against the Patriot Act. At issue is whether a Saudi student at the University of Idaho supported terrorism by maintaining websites for Muslim groups.  But as Leigh Robartes reports from Idaho, some critics believe the government is using the trial to prove it's tough on terrorism.


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