Free Speech Radio News

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

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Headlines  (5:02)

The Pakistani Supreme Court will reopen the rape case of Mukhtar Mai, the woman from the southern Punjab region of Pakistan who was allegedly gang raped. The court overturned a lower court decision that acquitted five men and discarded the death sentence of a sixth. Thirteen men were also re-arrested to face trial. The ruling has received international attention because rapes and crimes against women are rarely prosecuted in Pakistan. Mai was allegedly raped under direction from a town tribunal. They sought retaliation because her brother is said to have slept with a woman in a higher class.

The Zapatistas in Mexico released another communiqué which states their latest decision since they went on red alert last week. Mariana Mora reports from Chiapas, Mexico.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, United Nations peacekeepers are battling the militia who are using women and children as shields. Sam Olukoya has this story.

Thousands across India protested their government's economic policies, which they say are manipulative. Binu Alex has more from Amdebad.

Today on the first anniversary of the Iraqi elections, President Bush will speak to boost troop and American morale for the war. From the military base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he is expected to speak about the need for Americans to be patient and that the violence has overshadowed the progress that has been made in Iraq. His speech comes at a time of low public opinion, increased pressure for an exit strategy, and rising casualties. As of last week, according to the Ottowa Sun, more than 22,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, nearly 13,000 American troops have been injured, and more than 1700 American soldiers have died since the beginning of the war in 2003. We will have more on the psychological effects of the war in Iraq, later in the newscast.

Residents who live in government subsidized housing came to Washington DC to rally against a Bush administration housing proposal that would negatively affect them. Mike Sintetos reports from DC.

Features

Senate Passes Energy Bill that Further Deregulates the Industry  (3:56)
The US Senate easily passed the Energy Bill today that paves the way for the development of new nuclear power plants.  The measure also contains billions of dollars in tax incentives for energy producers and would further deregulate the industry. Supporters of the measure say it will also help spur the development and use of alternative energy resources. However, numerous amendments to reduce green house gas emissions and to implement fuel economy standards were defeated. The House has already passed its form of the Energy Bill, and now, along with the Senate,will try to hammer out a single bill in a crucial conference committee where the legislation has died in previous years.  From Capitol Hill, Mitch Jeserich reports.

Civil Liberties Activists Demand Due Process for Guantanamo Detainees  (2:25)
As the Supreme Court ended its summer session yesterday, the courthouse grounds were filled with layers and civil liberties advocates, who came to express their concern that the June 2004 High Court ruling that granted due process to prisoners detained at Gauntanamo Bay, Cuba had not been implemented.  One year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court defined that Guantanamo detainees had the right to the same legal process that covers U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike. Selina Musuta of the DC Radio Coop has more from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Psychological Effects of War on Iraqi Civilians  (2:58)
Iraqi police opened fire on a crowd of about 2,000 demonstrators protesting for jobs in Samawa, about 170 miles south of Baghdad. At least one person was killed and half a dozen demonstrators were injured, as police fired live ammunition into the crowd. Protestors threw rocks towards the police - four policemen were injured by the stones. Meanwhile, at a press conference in London, Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Al-Jafaai said that two years would be more than enough time to establish security in Iraq. Yet the number of Iraq casualties has risen to 120,000 and the psychological effects of military campaign are waging another war on civilians, especially the children of Iraq. Eliana Kaya has more from KPFA.

Torture Awareness Events in Washington  (1:50)
Groups and individuals across the globe commemorated the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors this past weekend. Ingrid Drake from the DC Radio Co-op reports on how dozens of torture survivors and their supporters were in Washington to call for an end to torture and ill-treatment currently practiced in more than 150 countries.

Gay Pride Battle in Tampa, Florida  (3:57)
Thirty-six years ago today, gay and lesbian patrons at the Stonewall inn, a gay bar in downtown Manhattan, fought back against police harassment. To coincide with the anniversary of what's become known as the Stonewall Rebellion, the last weekend in June has come to feature Gay Pride celebrations all over the world. In Toronto, more than 100,000 people joined the celebration on Sunday; In Paris 300,000 people marched through the streets. But despite the fact that in many places, Pride events have turned from protests into celebrations as people of all sexual orientations become more accepted, battles are still being fought in other places. A Jerusalem court on Sunday lifted a ban on gay Pride celebrations imposed by the city's mayor and ordered him not to interfere with the march scheduled for later this week. And in Tampa Florida, the LGBT community is reeling from a decision by the local county commission to ban the county's participation in any gay pride related events - that all stems from a display of books at the public library.  FSRN's Andrew Stelzer has the story.

Anniversary of Incident at Oglala on the Pine Ridge Reservation  (2:47)
More than one hundred people gathered on the Pine Ridge Reservation, in South Dakota last Sunday for the 30th anniversary of the "Incident at Oglala". The 1975 standoff between American Indian Movement members and the FBI ended in the deaths of American Indian Joe Stuntz and two federal agents. American Indian activist Leonard Peltier was convicted in 1977 for killing the FBI agents and is currently serving two consecutive life sentences in the federal penitentiary at Leavonworth, Kansas. No one was held responsible for Stuntz' death. FSRN correspondent Jim Kent attended the anniversary gathering and found that even after 30 years, neither his attorneys nor his supporters are giving up the battle to free Leonard Peltier.


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