Monday, March 8, 2010

  • International Women’s Day Marked Around the World

    Womensday

    Thousands of events are being held around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day, an idea that was launched 100 years ago when a group of women from seventeen countries gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark to champion the rights of women. Activists across the globe are drawing attention to a variety of concerns, including discriminatory laws, the high rate of pregnancy-related deaths in many parts of the world, the skewed sex ratio in China and India, the disproportionately high number of women who are killed and victimized by wars, the comparatively heavier burden of poverty on women, and the continuing disparity between men and women in terms of the quality of available employment and wages received. [includes rush transcript]

  • Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Winner Shirin Ebadi Presses Iran on Human Rights and Warns Against International Sanctions

    Shirin-ebadi

    The Obama administration is working to gather international backing for a fourth round of UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. While the United States has circulated proposals on further sanctions, it has yet to present a draft resolution, and a vote at the Security Council is thought to be months away. This comes amidst a new report by the New York Times that reveals the US government has given more than $107 billion to companies which are also doing business with Iran despite a ban on US companies trading with Iran. Leading Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi argues the UN should focus on pressing the Iranian government to restore democracy and human rights, rather than imposing economic sanctions. [includes rush transcript]

  • During Oscar Acceptance Speech, Mo’Nique Cites Hattie McDaniel, First African American Academy Award Winner

    Monique-oscar

    Sunday was an historic day in Hollywood. Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win the best director award at the Oscars. Bigelow’s film The Hurt Locker won a total of six Oscars, including best picture and best screenplay. And Geoffrey Fletcher became the first African American to win an Oscar for best writing. He won best adapted screenplay for the film Precious. Meanwhile, Mo’Nique won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Mary Jones in Precious. Mo’Nique is only the fifth black woman to win an acting Oscar. In her acceptance speech, she cited Hattie McDaniel, who won the same honor for Gone with the Wind seventy years ago. Hattie McDaniel was the first Academy Award ever given to a black performer. [includes rush transcript]

  • Bloody Sunday: Thousands Mark Anniversary of 1965 Selma-Montgomery March

    Selma

    On Sunday, March 7th, 1965, Alabama state troopers and local police attacked a peaceful march by 600 civil rights demonstrators from Selma to Montgomery. The day would be remembered as Bloody Sunday. The marchers were just a few blocks into their planned route when they were tear-gassed and beaten by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River. Bloody Sunday was the first of three attempted marches from Selma to Montgomery, which was finally completed under federal protection and led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is widely credited with helping pass the 1965 Voting Rights Act. [includes rush transcript]