Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, a generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar. That means when you give $10 to Democracy Now!, we'll receive $20. So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Israeli Raid on Palestinian Prison Leads to Deaths, Kidnappings

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

An Israeli military raid on a Palestinian jail has ignited a new crisis in the Occupied Territories. On Tuesday, Israeli troops invaded the main prison in the West Bank town of Jericho, seizing five Palestinians accused of assassinating former Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. Israel used helicopters and tanks to fire at the prison before smashing through its walls with armed bulldozers. Two Palestinians, including a security guard, were killed in the assault.

Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and four others had been in the prison under guard from British and US jailers. But early Tuesday, the British government removed the supervisors, citing security reasons. The Israeli government said it raided the prison to prevent a Hamas government from carrying out a promise to release the prisoners.

Following the raid, armed Palestinians kidnapped at least nine foreigners in the West Bank and Gaza. All of the hostages have since been released. Armed men also stormed the British Council and EU offices in Gaza. Many Palestinians accused the British and US governments of colluding with Israel in the raid. The British government denied the allegations. The Palestinians’ criticisms were bolstered when it was revealed the Israeli troops raided the prison just 30 minutes after the British monitors had been withdrawn.

87 Bodies Found in Iraq

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

Violence continues to grip Iraq — on Tuesday, authorities recovered the dead bodies of at least 87 men. Most showed signs of execution-style gun wounds or strangulation. In Baghdad, at least 29 bodies were found stacked in a massive grave.

Iraqi Interior Ministry Says Its Foiled Al Qaeda Plot in Green Zone

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said it has foiled a plot that would have placed hundreds of al-Qaida operatives at guard posts throughout Baghdad’s Green Zone. The area houses the Iraqi government as well as the US embassy. Several high-ranking Defense Ministry officials have reportedly been jailed in the plot.

Rumsfeld Hints At US Troop Increase

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld hinted Tuesday the US might increase its troop presence in Iraq. Speaking to reporters, Rumsfeld said the US may want to "bulk up" its troop presence ahead of the upcoming Shiite Muslim holiday of Ashura.

Report: US Airstrikes Up 50% in Iraq

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

In further Iraq news, Knight Ridder is reporting the US government has increased airstrikes by more than half in the last five months. According to military figures, US forces have dropped at least double the number of bombs on Iraqi cities than they did during the same period one year ago. This year, U.S. warplanes have struck at least 18 different cities.

Iraq Electricity Output At Lowest Point Since Invasion Aftermath

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

In other Iraq news, the Associated Press is reporting electricity output has reached its lowest point since the period right after the US invasion of Iraq three years ago. Some analysts believe Iraq may have to turn to neighboring Iran to solve its energy crisis — as early as this summer. Iraq’s electricity grid has suffered numerous problems since it was targeted in the US-led invasion in 1991. It is currently able to meet less than half of Iraq’s needs. Iraqi concerns for the grid’s recovery have been stoked by dwindling reconstruction funding from the US. According to the inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, current funding is over $200 million dollars short of meeting the grid’s minimal needs.

Protesters Continue To Demand Resignation of Thai PM

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

In Thailand, tens of thousands of protesters continued their campaign to force the resignation of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In Banghkok, a crowd of over 70,000 students, union workers, teachers and activists blockaded the Prime Minister’s offices. Thaksin vowed to impose emergency rule if the protests turned violence. But in a blow to his authority, military leaders distanced themselves from his warnings and indicated they would not enforce the emergency measures. Thaksin, a billionaire re-elected in a landslide victory last year, has faced growing criticism following the January sale of a telecom company that reaped his family a nearly $2 billion dollar, tax-free windfall.

Feingold Criticizes Fellow Dems Bush Measure

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

Here in the United States, Senator Russ Feingold has lashed out at fellow Democrats for not supporting his measure to censure President Bush for his warrantless domestic spy program. Feingold has failed to attract any co-sponsors. Appearing on Fox News, Feingold said: "I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide. … Too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004.… [Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question the administration, you’re helping the terrorists."

Judge in Moussaoui Trial Bars Several Government Witnesses

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

In other news, the case against 9/11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui was dealt a serious blow Tuesday when a federal judge barred the prosecution from calling nearly half of its key witnesses. The ruling followed the disclosure a government lawyer had improperly coached several witnesses. Moussaoui has already pleaded guilty but now a jury is deciding whether he should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Pentagon Requests Increased Funding For Space Weaponry

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

In other news, the Boston Globe is reporting the Pentagon has asked Congress for hundreds of millions of dollars to test weapons in space. The Globe calls the request the biggest step toward creating a space battlefield since President Reagan’s so-called "Star Wars" program. The budget request would fund a variety of tests on several weapons. Military specialists believe the Pentagon is operating several other space weapons programs not disclosed in its budget request. Philip Coyle, who served as the Pentagon’s top weapons tester from 1994 to 2001, criticized the new emphasis on space weaponry at a time when: ’’there is no threat in space to justify a new arms race in space."

NAACP Calls on New Orleans To Delay Upcoming Mayoral Election

HeadlinesMar 15, 2006

And in New Orleans, the NAACP has called on the Justice Department to block the upcoming mayoral election amid concerns substantial numbers of the city’s residents have been disenfranchised. NAACP President Bruce Gordon said the government has not done enough to guarantee New Orleans residents, most of whom are African-American, a chance to vote. Louisana Secretary of State Al Ater, the state’s top elections official, denounced the NAACP’s demand, saying: "This will be the most accessible race in the history of America." State officials have rejected calls to set up satellite polling stations in cities such as Houston and Atlanta where there are large numbers of New Orleans residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation