An important message for you from Amy Goodman

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Friday, April 11, 1997

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  • Police Brutality in New York

    The death of Trinidadian born Kevin Cedeño sparks protest in Washington Heights, New York. The protest took place in front of Precinct 33, where the officer who shot the sixteen year old Cedeño is based. Commissioner Safer announced he will fire officers that are caught lying. This announcement, according to Juan Gonzalez of the New York Daily News, was necessary because the problem of inconsistency in case reports by New York police has become epidemic. In terms of prosecution for the police officers use of force, Gonzalez comments that such a notion is a farce in light of statistics where 100 deaths in 5 years at the hands of law enforcement officials has resulted in no convictions for unjustified use of force.

  • NATO Expansion to Eastern Europe

    Speculation of the inclusion of Russia into NATO brings about discussion of an organization that alludes to the purpose of the UN. The OSCE is also discussed and a combined NATO-OSCE organization is proposed, instead of the exclusion of Russia with expansion of NATO.
    Attitudes of Americans are discussed with regard to the expansion and the need for more debate about the 'Helms factor', a factor centered on the subset of the American population that drives the expansion policy. Senators Joseph Biden and Jesse Helms are discussed as leaders of the foreign relations committees that endorse this expansion regardless of the lack of debate in the media, and consequently the American public, concerning the legislation.

  • Bank ATM Surcharges

    Ed Mierzwinski, of the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), reports on a study concerning ATM surcharges, and banking monopoly. The explanation given in an example of "double-dipping" is that when you ask for 20.00 at a machine, the machine takes 22.00 from your account and gives you 20.00. In addition to the 2.00 fee, the bank or creditor of the ATM also gets a portion of the dollar you pay your bank for this transaction. PLUS and Sirus are allowing this ATM surcharge fee as of April 1st 1996, due to pressure from banks and their creditors, VISA and MasterCard. Because small banks and credit unions have less access to ATM sites, they are at risk for losing business to large banks where consumers may not have to pay an extra fee for access to their funds. A monopoly of the ATM business presents itself as a result of the lack of choice in banks to use when considering availability of ATMs and the surcharge penalty when using out of network ATMs. Lack of regulation at the State level is preventing a check against the domination of the banking market.