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HeadlinesFebruary 28, 2000

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Calls for Reform and Federal Inquiry in Wake of Diallo Verdict

Feb 28, 2000

Jurors who acquitted four white New York police officers of murder in the slaying of an unarmed black man are defending their verdict as just. But on city streets and in sermons yesterday around the city, cries for social justice were heard in the verdict’s wake, with marchers and pastors alike calling for reforms in law enforcement and a federal inquiry into the shooting death of Amadou Diallo. Meanwhile, the Reverend Al Sharpton wants a boycott of some New York City businesses in the wake of the Diallo case. Sharpton is calling on African Americans to “hold our wallets.” The boycott is aimed at companies that contribute to the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the policemen’s union in New York which helped finance the defense for the attorneys. We’ll have more on this story in just a few minutes.

South Carolina Economy Hit by NAACP Boycott over Confederate Flag

Feb 28, 2000

The fallout from South Carolina’s ongoing Confederate flag dispute is being measured at the cash register. The state has lost an estimated $7 million in canceled conventions and meetings because of an NAACP boycott over the flag.

Striking Boeing Workers Miss First Paycheck after Walkout

Feb 28, 2000

In Seattle, striking Boeing engineers and technical workers may soon begin feeling the pinch of their walkout in earnest following another collapse in negotiations. The strikers, at least 17,000 out of the 22,600 workers represented by the Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, missed their first paychecks last Thursday. On Wednesday, they must start paying their own health insurance premiums to retain coverage.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation Holds Talks with Yahoo!

Feb 28, 2000

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has held talks with Yahoo! that could lead to a broad alliance between the old and new media companies. While nothing has been finalized, the report says the two companies were discussing a wide-ranging alliance under which News Corporation would provide access to Yahoo! websites through its global satellite systems and allow Yahoo! to use News Corporation’s news and entertainment products, such as Fox News Channel and the London Times, as a “major source of content.”

Chair of Pacifica Board Steps Down

Feb 28, 2000

This news from Pacifica: At the national board meeting in Washington, D.C., this weekend, Dr. Mary Frances Berry announced she will be stepping down as chair of the Pacifica board, though she said she will remain on the board until her term ends next September. The vice chair, David Acosta from Houston, will be replacing her. Pacifica executive director, Lynn Chadwick, also has resigned. She’s being replaced by Bessie Wash, the general manager of Pacifica station WPFW. Three new members were added to the embattled board of directors. D.C. attorney John Murdock was seated. He’s from the Washington law firm of Epstein, Becker & Green, which bills itself as being among the largest labor and employment law firms in the world working exclusively with management. It offers counsel and representation to management, including maintaining a “union-free workplace.” Also seated was New York activist Leslie Cagan, who works with the Same Boat Coalition, an umbrella organization that works on poverty and education issues. The third new member of the Pacifica board is Bertram Lee. Lee is former owner of the Denver Nuggets basketball team and runs a firm that, among other activities, buys and sells radio stations. In the public comment part of the Pacifica board meeting, listeners and producers from around the country raised concerns about sale of Pacifica stations, to which Pacifica Chair, Dr. Berry, responded there were no plans to sell. Censorship was the other major area of concern. Speakers asked the Board to negotiate with the more than 40 freelance reporters who are engaged in a three-month boycott of the Pacifica network news. Among other issues over censorship, they are also calling for the reinstatement of Dan Coughlin, who was ousted as news director after airing a news brief on a Pacifica protest. Management denies he was removed for that reason. Longtime Pacifica news anchor Verna Avery Brown resigned last month in protest of his ouster.

Voters Chastise Germany’s Christian Democrats, But Losses Not as Bad as Feared

Feb 28, 2000

Voters chastised Germany’s Christian Democrats in the first electoral test since a slush fund scandal exploded around former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his party. However, the losses were not as bad as the battered conservatives feared.

Bosnian Serbs Face Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal over Omarska Prison Camp

Feb 28, 2000

And the discovery of battered and emaciated Bosnian prisoners at Omarska Prison Camp in 1992 marked a turning point in an international willingness to intervene in the Balkan conflict. Today, the Bosnian Serbs who allegedly ran the detention camp went before the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal.

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