Last night, George W. Bush accepted the Republican nomination for president. Introducing himself to a nation that barely knows him, Texas Governor George W. Bush pledged to confront the hard issues — “threats to our national security, threats to our health, and retirement security” — that he said the Clinton administration has ducked. We’ll have more on that story throughout the program.
Meanwhile, on the streets of Philadelphia which were relatively peaceful in the last day, R2K protest organizers are accusing the Philadelphia police of mistreating people arrested during protest at the GOP convention. In a press conference yesterday near the Roundhouse, R2K lawyers said that the hundreds of people arrested so far, most are still in cells awaiting arraignment. Bails run from $15,000 to $1 million, in one instance. Most demonstrators have been charged with misdemeanors. And the R2K legal team reports that certain individuals carrying radios or cell phones were arrested in a general crackdown by the police throughout the city. R2K is reporting that police hogtied some prisoners in the cells so that they cannot move. Some have been denied medication, and women have relayed messages that they have been denied access to the bathrooms.
And this news from Governor Bush’s state of Texas. A federal judge has ruled that the predominately white Dallas suburb of Sunnyvale has been shutting out minorities and the poor for fifty years through illegal zoning laws. US District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer said the city’s one-acre minimum for residential lots and its 1971 ban on apartments were written to discriminate against minorities and that Sunnyvale itself was created because community leaders feared “residential development plan for black households.” The judge ordered officials to adopt new laws that would encourage development of apartments and low-income housing. He also ordered Sunnyvale to “take affirmative action to change its reputation as a municipality hostile to minorities.” Urban experts say the decision could set an important precedent in other American cities that practice exclusionary zoning.
And this news from Bogota: Security forces are in full alert in Colombia, where 700,000 public sector employees and transport workers are staging a twenty-four-hour national strike. The unions are protesting against government austerity measures and want a freeze on petrol prices and an end to the privatization of Colombia state banks. Army and police units have set up checkpoints in the main cities to prevent any outbreaks of violence.
The Clinton administration is proposing that carbon dioxide absorbed by forest and agricultural lands could account for a substantial amount of the greenhouse gas reductions required under a pending international treaty on global warming. Such credits could ease the burden on industry to cut emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. They also could make the treaty more acceptable to the Senate, which must ratify it. The State Department, in a report to the United Nations, calculated that about 310 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are absorbed annually in US forests and in soil used for crops and livestock grazing. This carbon sink amounts to nearly half of the annual carbon emission reductions the United States would be expected to make beginning in the year 2008 under the treaty.
The Boeing Company agreed yesterday to a $61.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the company of installing faulty gears in at least two Army helicopters that crashed, the Justice Department said. The suit was filed in 1995 by Brett Roby and later was taken over by the federal government.
This news from San Francisco: A federal appeals panel has narrowed the power of police to search the homes of hundreds of thousands of California criminals who are on probation and suspected of federal crimes. The three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote that probationers’ homes can only be searched under the terms of probation. They cannot be searched as a “mere subterfuge for the pursuit of new criminal investigations.” The court’s decision effectively rebuffs a State Supreme Court decision last year that officers can go into the homes on a pretext, even looking for evidence against a probationers’ roommates, without a search warrant.