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Thursday, October 17, 2013

  • Rep. John Conyers Pushes for a "Full Employment" Bill as Congress Votes to End Shutdown

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    Congress approved an 11th-hour deal late last night to end the 16-day partial government shutdown and pull the nation back from the brink of an historic debt default. The spending measure passed the Senate and House of Representatives after Republicans dropped efforts to use the legislation to force changes in President Obama’s signature healthcare law. The spending bill offers only a temporary fix. It funds the government until January 15 and raises the debt ceiling until February 7. Rep. John Conyers says the focus should be on jobs, not debt. "We need a full employment bill. It is my hope that we can take the aim to create full employment for everybody in America and put it number one on our domestic agenda so that we create jobs and that we train people for important work," says Conyers, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. He recently celebrated nearly 50 years in Congress, the longest-ever by an African American.

  • FBI Urged to Reopen Probe into 1985 Assassination of Arab-American Leader Alex Odeh in California

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    The FBI and Justice Department are being urged to renew its investigation into one of the most shocking political murders in recent U.S. history. Twenty-eight years ago, on October 11, 1985, a prominent Palestinian-American leader named Alex Odeh was killed by a powerful pipe bomb planted at the Santa Ana, California, offices of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, where Odeh worked as the group’s western regional director. The FBI quickly named the militant Jewish Defense League, or JDL, as a focus of its investigations. But decades later, no one has been questioned or indicted for Odeh’s murder. "Despite 28 years of knocking on the doors of justice, we have not found it yet. Alex was a very peaceful man," says Albert Mokhiber, former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. "He was known as an activist, in not just the Arab-American movement and Palestinian issues, but civil rights in general." We also speak to attorney Abdeen Jabara, who helped found the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

  • Arab-American Attorney Abdeen Jabara: I Was Spied on by the National Security Agency 40 Years Ago

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    As more revelations come to light about the National Security Agency, we speak to civil rights attorney Abdeen Jabara, co-founder of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He was involved in a groundbreaking court case in the 1970s that forced the NSA to acknowledge it had been spying on him since 1967. At the time of the spying, Jabara was a lawyer in Detroit representing Arab-American clients and people being targeted by the FBI. The disclosure was the first time the NSA admitted it had spied on an American.