Free Speech Radio News

Friday, August 04, 2006

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Headlines (5:12)
Iraqis March for Hezbollah
Tens of thousands of Iraqis marched through the streets of Baghdad today to show their support for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The march took place in the Shiite dominated Sadr city in the Iraqi Capitol. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has also criticized Israel over its assault on Lebanon and Gaza. We'll have more on Lebanon later in the newscast.

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
In Palestine, Israel carried out air and ground strikes in the Rafah area, and troops have been carrying out house-to-house searches. The operations are causing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the UN reports that Israel fires more than 150 shells a day into the region. Saed Bannoura has more.

Fighting in Mosul After US Leaves
Meanwhile in Iraq, fighting has broke out in the northern town of Mosul between insurgents and police. 3 police officers have died. The fighting began as the US has begun to pull its troops out of Mosul to bring them to Baghdad.

Ugandan Parliament Ends Private Iraq Recruitment
The Ugandan Parliament has ordered a private company called Askar Security Services to stop recruiting Ugandans to serve under the US military in Iraq. Emmanuel Okella reports from Kampala.

Escalating Violence in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, thousands of people are fleeing the fighting in the north-eastern town of Muttur. Fighting between the army and the Tamil Tigers, that began over a water dispute, has been spreading.

Monsoon Hits Victims of Earthquake in Pakistan
Some might say the weather is acting strange all over the world. A record heat wave has killed over 150 people across the United States. And it snowed for the first time in 25 years in the South African capitol of Johannasberg. But the weather is taking its highest toll on the victims of last year's major earthquake in Pakistan as a monsoon rolls through the Kashmiri area. Shanawaz Khan reports.

Argentina Human Rights Violator Sentenced
The first military officer during Argentina's military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983 has been sentenced of human right violations. Marie Trigona reports.

Mid East Peace Accord Not Likely (4:21)
The Israeli offensive against Lebanon entered the 23rd day. More than 10,000 Israeli ground troops attacked villages in southern Lebanon to create what Israel says will be a 4-mile buffer zone to stop Hezbollah rocket attacks on northern Israel and make way for an international peace force. In an attack in eastern Lebanon this afternoon, Israeli warplanes killed as many as 35 civilians in the city of Baalbek. Meanwhile, The United Nations Security Council is deciding on the final language to a ceasefire agreement. Both Hezbollah and the Lebanese government condition long-term peace on the return of Lebanese prisoners languishing in Israeli jails. Israel has indicated that it is not interested in a prisoner exchange. But, as FSRN's Khaled Sid Mohand and Jackson Allers report, a prisoner exchange is what's needed for the release of the two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah on July 12 - the start of the three week old conflict.

Workers continue to work for $5.15 (3:23)
In a late night session before Congress takes off for summer break, Senate Democrats blocked a vote to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour. They opposed the measure because Republicans attached an extension of the estate tax. It would give tax breaks to those with properties worth 5 million dollars, which Democrats call relief for the wealthiest Americans. The measure fell 4 votes short of the 60 votes necessary. As Selina Musuta reports from Washignton DC, where the District, Virginia, and Maryland have been caught up in their own minimum wage fights.

Pension Overhaul Heads to the President (Anchor Read)
Also last night, Congress completed the final step in a pension overhaul. The Senate passed the bill last night 93-5, sending the bill to the President's desk for signature. Congress hopes the increased regulation will protect an estimated 45 million workers in risk of loosing their pension. It's the largest reconfiguration of the program since it was created thirty years ago. It tightens regulations so companies can't bail out of paying worker pensions. Employers must fund 100 percent of an employees pension, if employers don't have the money to do so, they have seven years to come up with the funds. The struggling airline companies will find relief in this bill, they will have additional time to fund their pensions.

What's Congress done for you this year? (4:02)
Now both bodies of Congress have left Washington. Once they return in September, there are few working days left before the mid-term elections, meaning they will have time to accomplish little else. We're going to take a look at what Congress has accomplished so far this year. Joined on the line is reporter Chad Pergram. Chief Correspondent on Capital Hill for Capitol News Connection.

Anti-War Candidate Takes the Lead (3:58)
The Connecticut Democratic Primary for US Senate has been called the hottest election race in the country. Political newcomer and anti-war candidate Ned Lamont has now surged 13 points ahead of three-term incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman. The election is August 8. The latest poll, released yesterday, suggests voters disapprove of Lieberman's support for the war in Iraq as well as other Bush policies he has supported. And as Melinda Tuhus reports from New Haven, Lieberman's vow to run as an independent if he loses the Democratic primary has angered many Democratic voters.

Somalia's Transitional Government Near Collapse (3:21)
The transitional government in Somalia is on the verge of collapse. Circumstances have worsened with more resignations in the already weak government. The latest resignations happened during a meeting in neighboring Kenya. Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Ghedi's refusal to hold talks with the political group, Union of Islamic Courts, has left him increasingly isolated. In the past week, more than 30 members of his government have resigned. Joshua Kyalimpa reports.

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