BlackBox Radio

November 8, 2005

National and International Headlines 11-08

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 12:33 am

CIA torture

News broke last week that the CIA is operating secret interrogation
centers in sites around the world, including Afghanistan, Thailand,
Jordan, several Eastern European countries, and a secret facility at
Guantanamo Bay. The purpose of these facilities is to hold prisoners
outside of the reach of both national and international law. The
International Red Cross, which is supposed to be allowed to visit
prisoners under the Geneva Conventions, has not been afforded access to these secret
locations because the prisoners were arrested by law enforcement rather
than captured during combat.

This was reported by several media agencies including the Washington
Post and The Independent. However, The New Standard also reported that
major news outlets including the Washington Post and CNN refused to
reveal the names of these locations, upon request by “senior US officials.”

###

KATRINA – Speakers Decry Out-of-State Firms in Louisiana

Residents of New Orleans continue to struggle to rebuild their city with
a focus on economic justice, amidst attempts by the federal government
to sell out contracts and jobs to out of state firms. Truthout.org
reports that over 500 people gathered to protest decisions to bring in
outside companies when they feel that priority should be given to the
residents of New Orleans, who are already struggling economically.

President Bush only recently reversed a decision that allowed workers to
be paid wages below the federal minimum wage. At the rally, AFL-CIO
president John Sweeny said that the reversal of this policy was a
victory, but that it was shameful that it took Bush so long to act.

Other speakers called out war-profiteering firms like Halliburton and
Bechtel for getting governments contracts while New Orleans companies
are shut out of the process.

###

FRANCE

In the primarily immigrant suburbs of Paris, France, youths have been
fighting with police for over a week. Following the death by
electrocution of two African teenagers who thought they were being
chased by police, thousands of people took to the streets, burning cars
and throwing petrol bombs in a decentralized rebellion that quickly
spread to other areas.

After the death of the two boys, riot police began filling the
neighborhood. The following day, police teargassed a women´s prayer room
at a mosque, and then proceeded to verbally accost the women as they
stumbled out of the building.

French interior minister Nicolas Sarzoky inflamed the situation when he
referred to the rioting youth as “scum.” Sarkozy’s position has divided
the cabinet, with Prime Minister de Villepin apparently rebuking Mr
Sarkozy.

According to Indymedia.org, in a press conference held on Monday,
community-based activists named the causes of the continuing unrest:
“Clichy is one of the poorest municipalities in France and community
groups have less and less money to work with.”

African, Muslim, and Arab residents of France face racism in French
society and from police in their day to day to lives. On the BBC, one
resident of the neighborhood said, “I do see racism every day. People’s
faces change as soon as they see a black or Arab face. The death of
those boys was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” and another, “I
don’t approve of the violence but it’s the only way of sounding the alarm.”

###

ARGENTINA

The proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, is in deadlock
again following the Summit of the Americas in Argentina. The FTAA is
intended to be a trade agreement between all countries in North and
South America. The agreement would ban tariffs and make it difficult for
individuals countries to enforce labor and environmental regulations.
The FTAA would be an extension of the NAFTA, which led to the exodus of
jobs from the US and to reduced wages and increased pollution in Mexico.

In Argentina, over 10,000 people marched against President Bush and the
proposed trade agreements. The Christian Science Monitor writes that
Bush did not find the victory for the FTAA that he expected. Instead,
the agreement was held off, in large part due to the popular opposition
that it faces. Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez spoke against the
agreement and against US imperialism to a crowd of 25,000 in a People´s
Summit that was focused on how to bring jobs and prosperity to the
region. Brazil´s President Lula was also opposed to the agreement.

###

PAKISTAN

Viewed through the lens of Arab media, world relief efforts for the
earthquake in Northern Pakistan were far less than other natural
disasters because the victims are Muslims, reports the Pacific News
Service.

The article goes on to say that many European countries did not
contribute any funds towards relief efforts, and the main country that
did help was India. Al Jazeera published a cartoon that drew attention
to the discrepancy between international aid to New Orleans following
Katrina and aid given to Pakistan.

Over 73,000 people are reported to have died so far following a
devastating October 8 earthquake.

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