The Democratic Party officially nominated Senator John Kerry last night with the support of 4,255 delegates. Kerry’s nomination however was not unanimous. 37 delegates backed Congressman Dennis Kucinich who ran largely on an anti-war platform. Throughout the convention hall Kucinich delegates wore pink scarves that read “Delegates for Peace.” Tonight Kerry will officially accept the party’s nomination and give a prime-time address. Last night John Edwards headlined the third night of the convention with an updated version of his “Two Americas” speech. Earlier in the evening the Rev. Al Sharpton received a thunderous round of applause for his criticism of the Republican Party’s treatment of African-American votes.
Outside the Fleet Center in Boston, 15 Democratic delegates staged a protest yesterday against the designated protest pens, which has been likened to an internment camp and Guantanamo Bay. One delegate said the so-called “free speech zone”, which is surrounded by chainlink fence and razorwire, is QUOTE “no way to encourage democracy.” The protest pen has been largely abandoned by demonstrators who have staged an unofficial boycott of the site. Yesterday hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Roxbury to protest a plan to build a Level 4 bioweapons research lab in a low-income residential area. Opponents of the project say the government has never built a Level 4 lab in an urban area before. Meanwhile the Boston-based Black Tea Society has called for a day of action today and a series of decentralized direct action protests.
In other convention news, a federal judge ruled yesterday police could randomly search passengers riding on the Boston subway system. The National Lawyers Guild and the American-Arab Anti Discrimination had argued the inspections violated the Fourth Amendment which protects against unreasonable searches.
In Iraq, the death toll from yesterday’s suicide car bombing in Baquba has risen to 68. The attack came exactly one month after the so-called handover of power and marked one of the deadliest car bombings since the fall of Baghdad. Meanwhile 35 members of the Iraqi resistance and seven Iraqi troops were killed south of Baghdad. In Ramadi, gunmen broke into the home of the region’s governor, kidnapped three of the governor’s sons and set the building on fire. All told more than 120 Iraqis died yesterday.
And Saudi Arabia yesterday proposed the formation of an international Muslim or Arab security force in Iraq during talks with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Few Muslim or Arab nations have volunteered troops during the occupation and Iraqi officials say that troops from neighboring countries would not be acceptable. Likely candidates for the international force include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Morocco and Indonesia.
40 British members of Parliament have called on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to try Britain in the International Court of Justice for illegally invading Iraq.
And Saddam Hussein’s attorney has said Iraq’s former president has suffered a minor stroke and could die before he is put on trial. The lawyer told the Mirror of London “Our information is that he’s in very poor health. We understand from the International Committee of the Red Cross that our client has had a brain scan to discover how badly he has been affected by the stroke. We believe he could die because of his health problems.”
In Haiti, thousands of supporters of ousted President Jean Betrand Aristide marched yesterday calling for Aristide’s return to power. The democratically elected president was ousted in Feburary in a U.S-backed coup. Protesters marched by the US embassy carrying coffins reading USA and Gerard Latortue, the name of the unelected interim prime minister. Meanwhile police found the body of a former pro-Aristide legislator Jocelyn Saint Louis, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday.
As many as 195,000 people a year in the nation’s hospitals each year because of easily prevented errors. This according to a new report by the company HealthGrades. The report also says that evidence indicates patient safety has not improved in the last five years.
An official from HealthGrades said that If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual list of leading causes of death included medical errors, it would show up as number six, ahead of diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer’s disease and renal disease.
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