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HeadlinesAugust 23, 2006

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Amnesty Accuses Israel of Committing War Crimes

Aug 23, 2006

Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. The human rights group criticized Israel for destroying homes, bridges, roads, supermarkets, water treatment plants and fuel tanks.

UN: Israel Dropped Cluster Bombs in 170 Places in South Lebanon

Aug 23, 2006

Meanwhile the United Nations has revealed that Israel dropped cluster bombs on at least 170 villages and other places in south Lebanon. Many of the cluster bombs failed to initially explode and still pose a danger. The devices are known to have killed eight people and wounded at least 25 since the ceasefire began. We’ll have more on cluster bombs later in the show.

15 Years of Lebanon’s Economic Recovery Wiped Out In Past Month

Aug 23, 2006

The UN Development Agency is reporting that Lebanon’s 15-year economic and social recovery from civil war has been wiped out over the past month. The UN estimates the Israeli attack caused fifteen billion dollars in damage. About 35,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. 80 bridges and 94 roads were destroyed or damaged.

Israel To Maintain Aerial and Naval Blockade

Aug 23, 2006

Israel has announced it will maintain an aerial and naval blockade of Lebanon until international troops arrive in southern Lebanon.

UN Envoy Says Int’l Troops Might Take Months To Be In Place

Aug 23, 2006

On Tuesday a top United Nations official said it could be months before the international force is in place.

  • UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen: “There is now a security vacuum which the Lebanese Government is trying to fill and the International forces are assisting the Lebanese Government in order to fill that vacuum. I think realistically, up to a point, you will have such a vacuum in Lebanon for the next two, three months.”

Lebanese PM: Israel Is Breaking Ceasefire

Aug 23, 2006

In Beirut, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora accused Israel of breaking the 10-day-old ceasefire.

  • Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora: “I really don’t find it strange that the Israeli’s continue to make skirmishes and attacks here and there. So this is similar to what they did a few days ago in the Bekaa area. So they are making the same thing in one way or another. I think the best thing for them is to comply with the resolution 1701, and to expedite the process of withdrawing as soon as possible.”

Greenpeace: Lebanese Oil Spill Spreads Into the Seabed of Mediterranean

Aug 23, 2006

Greenpeace Lebanon has revealed that the oil spill off the Lebanese coastline has spread into the seabed and could threaten marine life for years. Oil on the seabed is so thick that it can be physically picked up by divers. The spill occurred six weeks ago when Israel bombed an electric power plant. Up to 15,000 tons of fuel oil leaked out but the Israeli military blocked any cleanup for a month. Zeina Al-Hajj, Greenpeace coordinator in Beirut: “What we have seen is miles and miles of oil suffocating the seabed. This is an indication that the contamination from the oil spill has spread beyond the shore and beyond the water coastline and into underwater. And that is an indication of the urgency needed to deal with this disaster.”

Palestinian Parliament Meets In Solidarity of Detained Lawmakers

Aug 23, 2006

In the Occupied Territories, the Palestinian parliament held a special session on Tuesday in solidarity with the abducted and detained members of the Palestinian Legislative council. Since June, Israel has detained almost one quarter of the members of the Palestinian Parliament. All of the detained lawmakers are members of Hamas. On Tuesday an Israeli military court charged Palestinian parliament speaker Aziz Dweik with being in a terrorist organization.

Iraqi Gov’t To Investigate Rape & Murder of 14-Year-Old Girl

Aug 23, 2006

The Iraqi government has decided it will establish its own commission to investigate the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl by US soldiers. On March 12, soldiers broke into the home of the teenager, Abeer al-Janabi. According to military records, a U.S. soldier named Steven Green, herded Abeer’s mother, father, and five-year old sister into a room and shot them dead with an AK-47 rifle. Green and another soldier then raped Abeer, shot her, and set her body on fire in an apparent effort to cover up the crime. The Iraqi government investigation is going ahead despite U.S.-imposed rules that prevent the Iraqi government from prosecuting crimes committed by U.S. service members.

U.S. Increases Troop Level in Iraq to 138,000

Aug 23, 2006

The number of U.S. troops in Iraq has increased to 138,000. But the military is facing a tough time finding enough soldiers to fight.

Marines Announce Involuntary Recall of Inactive Members

Aug 23, 2006

On Tuesday, the U.S. Marines announced it is beginning an involuntary recall of inactive service members to return to duty and go to Iraq and Afghanistan. This marks the first involuntary recall by the Marines since the early days of the war. As many as 2,500 inactive Marines will be initially recalled.

New Poll: 61% Of Americans Oppose War

Aug 23, 2006

Meanwhile a new CNN poll has found opposition to the war in Iraq has reached a new high. 61 percent of Americans say they oppose it. Just 35 percent favor the war.

Saddam Hussein Genocide Trial Continues

Aug 23, 2006

In Baghdad, an Iraqi Kurd told Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial today that she was horribly burned and lost three children after aircraft bombed her mountain village with chemical weapons. The woman, Adiba Owla Bayez, said that she suffered two miscarriages after the 1987 attack. On Tuesday, another Kurd, Ali Mustafa Hafa described the day his Kurdish village was attacked.

U.S. Threatens Sanctions Against Iran Over Nuke Issue

Aug 23, 2006

Iran has indicated it is willing to negotiate with Western nations over its nuclear program but Tehran gave no sign that it would freeze its uranium enrichment program. Tuesday marked the deadline for Iran to respond to a series of trade incentives offered by the United States and other countries.

  • John Bolton, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: “…we’ve also made it clear that their unwillingness to give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons will result in our efforts in the Security Council to obtain economic sanctions against them. So the choice for two and a half months now has been with Iran and if in fact as we expect this is the definitive response today we’ll know which path they’ve chosen.”

Syria Calls for UN to Investigate Israel’s Nuke Program

Aug 23, 2006

Meanwhile Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations, urged the international community to focus not on Iran’s nuclear program but Israel’s.

  • Bashar Jaafari: “What I know is that Israel, on a piece of land not exceeding 20,000 square kilometers, has eight nuclear centers capable of fabricating plutonium, uranium, everything necessary to fabricate nuclear bombs and everybody knows that Israel has at least 300 nuclear bombs. We should tackle what is priority first which is how to obligate Israel to join the NPT and how to put the Israeli nuclear facilities under international control, and how to stop the Israeli terrorist nuclear act in the area.”

FBI Investigates Environmentalist for Speaking Up At Hearing

Aug 23, 2006

In Illinois, an environmentalist who spoke up at a recent public hearing has found himself the target of an FBI investigation. On July 25, Jim Bensman attended a public meeting on the proposed construction of a bypass channel for fish at a dam on the Mississippi River. Bensman has been a longtime critic of the system of locks and dams. At the public meeting Bensman suggested the dam could be destroyed. It was an idea that the Army Corps of Engineers had publicly mentioned as an option. Less than a week later an FBI agent called Bensman to determine if he was a terror threat.

Patrick Buchanan: Immigration Must Stop to Keep U.S. Majority White

Aug 23, 2006

Conservative commentator and former Republican presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan is calling for an immediate moratorium on all immigration. Buchanan claims such a measure is needed in order to keep the United States a predominantly white country. He writes in his new book “If we do not get control of our borders, by 2050 Americans of European descent will be a minority in the nation their ancestors created and built.”

Jewish Activists Stage Anti-Israel Die-In in NYC

Aug 23, 2006

In New York, 20 Jewish activists staged a die-in at Penn Station to protest Israel’s actions in Lebanon and Gaza. Dressed in black, the activists lied down outside the train station during morning rush hour. In California, 20 people were arrested outside the San Francisco Jewish Center.

  • Ora Wise: “Today, here at Penn station here in NYC, we are a group of Jews joining groups of Jews in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. We are expressing our outrage at Israel’s brutal attacks on Lebanon and Gaza and demanding that the U.S. Government stop sending political, economic and military aid to Israel to fuel their attacks on innocent civilians.”

Unidentified Gunmen Shot Protester Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico

Aug 23, 2006

In Oaxaca Mexico, fears are rising that the police will raid a dozen radio stations that were seized on Monday by striking teachers. On Tuesday several thousand people marched in silence carrying the coffin of Lorenzo San Pablo Cervantes. The architect was shot dead yesterday outside one of the radio stations where he was volunteering. Freelance Journalist John Gibler is in Oaxaca. He describes the tense scene on the streets:

  • Freelance journalist, John Gibler: Between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. on August 22, groups of police riding in pickup trucks, armed with machine guns and pistols, some dressed as civilians and others in uniform, made rounds throughout Oaxaca City, firing at radio stations that had been occupied by the Oaxaca People’s Assembly protesters. Police shot in the back Lorenzo San Pablo Cervantes, an architect, who died 45 minutes later in the hospital. The roaming police also fired on two photographers from the national newspapers, Milenio and Reforma, though no one was injured. And they threw a Molotov cocktail into the car of two teachers traveling to one of the different encampments, both of whom suffered second-degree burns. Last night, rumors ran through the city that the big raid was coming, and businesses closed several hours early in the evening, and the people from the Oaxaca’s Assembly all prepared. But then, rumors have it that after an 11:00 p.m. national television show, showing the police making rounds the night before, that the operation was canceled. The mood throughout the city throughout the night has been very tense. Bonfires kept in the street and the streets blocked off. There have been no reports of shootouts throughout the night.
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