Archives for The Pacifica Evening News, Weekdays: December 2003

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The Evening News on Pacifica broadcasts each weeknight from the studios of KPFA-FM in Berkeley, the nation's first listener-supported radio station.

The Evening News is a collaboration of KPFA and its sister stations KPFK-Los Angeles and KFCF-Fresno. This hour-long broadcast seeks to bring unreported and under-reported stories of interest to Californians, with a focus on issues of peace, and social & economic justice.

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Archives for December 2003
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The KPFA Evening News - December 31, 2003 at 6:00pm
Agriculture secretary Ann Veneman says there's no need to test all U.S. cattle for Mad Cow Disease, as some other nations do, Veneman says it's sufficient to test only the highest-risk animals Israel announces plans to build new settlements on the occupied Golan sights, territory it captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast War. Syria says that blocks any hope of an Israeli-Syrian peace A car bomb attack at a Baghdad restaurant kills 5 Iraqis; 2 other bomb blasts take the life of an Iraqi child, and wound 8 U.S. soldiers Opponents of a Southern California freeway claim victory when the federal government suspends funding for the project

The KPFA Evening News - December 30, 2003 at 6:00pm
In a surprise move Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself from the investigation of the Bush Administration's leak of the identity of a CIA agent - but there will not be an outside independent special prosecutor - the probe will be headed by a Justice Department career federal attorney in Chicago The Agriculture Department announces new rules to combat the spread of Mad Cow Disease, including banning so-called downer cows from the slaughter house - critics applaud the moves but fear they're too late and too little A probe of hiring practices in the State's temporary employment agencies asserts that white applicants are routinely hired much more often than more highly qualified black job seekers A ballot measure to help break California's annual legislative budget gridlock under attack from business and anti-tax groups as the blank check initiative In San Francisco the Union of Concerned Santas demonstrates against the use of electronic voting machines without safeguards Islamic women and girls arround the country rally at French consulates to decry a ban on religious headscarfs in French public schools

The KPFA Evening News - December 29, 2003 at 6:00pm
Iran's leader promises to rebuild the ancient city of Bam where an earthquake has killed up to 30 thousand people - rescuers are now wrapping up their search for survivors of Friday's disaster A powerful storm hits Northern California with heavy rain and high winds, widespread flooding is reported throughout the Bay Area - thousands of people lose their power A guilty verdict from the California occupational and safety administration for a Berkeley contractor found to have willfully violated asbestos safety rules endangering its immigrant Latino workers Charges of racism at San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission Hunter's Point Pollution Control Plant Palestinians say Israeli soldiers are using a dangerous new cluster bomb-like weapon to assasinate alledged militants Jailed Serbian president and accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic wins a seat in his country's parliamentary election

The KPFA Evening News - December 28, 2003 at 6:00pm
The Agriculture department expands its recall of beef, admitting that meat from a cow infected with Mad Cow disease has been distributed to 8 states, including California Officials in Iran say the death toll from Friday's earthquake could reach 30,000 - hopes are fading that any more survivors remain alive in the rubble As the death toll from yesterday's resistance attacks in Iraq rises to 19, a pair of roadside bomb attacks today takes the lives of 2 U.S. soldiers and 2 Iraqi children We'll speak with a "Refusnik", a member of the Israeli Defense Forces who says he won't take part in the continued occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

The KPFA Evening News - December 27, 2003 at 6:00pm
Governments around the world are sending aid to the earthquake ravaged Iranian city of Bam. A gas explosion in Southwest China has turned an area of 10 square miles into a death zone. A second cow in Washington State has been diagnosed with Mad Cow disease A federal judge banned forced Anthrax vaccinations for our armed forces. The justice department asks the judge to reconsider

The KPFA Evening News - December 26, 2003 at 6:00pm
Thousands are dead following a devastating earthquake in Iran today, the death toll now is 5,000 but it could go much higher Israeli troops shoot and injure 2 protestors at a demonstration against the West Bank separation wall - one of the wounded is an American, the other an Israeli; it's apparently the first time the Army has used live ammunition against Israeli protestors Parliamentary elections are coming up in Serbia this weekend - it's possible that ultranationalist parties could regain a majority - but the leader of one of those parties won't be in Serbia - Vojislav Seselj is confined at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Netherlands The State-appointed administrator of the Oakland School District wants to close 13 schools next year, most of them in Northwest and East Oakland - Randall Ward says the funds saved by closing those schools would be put to better use in the remaining schools

The KPFA Evening News - December 25, 2003 at 6:00pm
Pakistan's president escapes an assassination attempt, the 2nd against him in 11 days, but the suicide attack kills 14 other people Israel assassinates a leader of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, in a helicopter attack in the Gaza Strip; 3 others die in that attack as well. A half-hour later, a Palestinian suicide bomber kills 4 Israelis in an attack near Tel Aviv Iraqi resistance fighters mount several attacks against U.S. forces and Western institutions around Baghdad A laboratory in Britain confirms U.S. evidence that a cow slaughtered earlier this month in Washington State did have B.S.E., or Mad Cow Disease, marking the first time the disease has been found in the U.S.

The KPFA Evening News - December 24, 2003 at 6:00pm
A French airline cancels a half dozen flights between Paris and Los Angeles after U.S. authorities examine the passenger lists and claim there was evidence of a threat - no one is arrested, however.

The KPFA Evening News - December 23, 2003 at 6:00pm
Mad Cow Disease is discovered in a cow in Washington State, setting off fears of contaminated beef - and reasurrances from federal agriculture officials Aftershocks rattle the central California coast following yesterdays 6.5 magnitude quake - governor Schwarzenegger tours damaged downtown Paso Robles Ralph Nader may run for President again next year, but if he does, he won't appear on the Green Party ticket Gay rights supporters breath a sigh of relief that they won't face a referendum on the March ballot overturning the far-reaching domestic partners measure signed into law by Governor Davis before he was recalled Explosions and machine gun fire rock a neighborhood in South Baghdad Chile's second highest court agrees to hear a new bid to force former dictator Augusto Pinochet to stand trial on charges of human rights abuses

The KPFA Evening News - December 22, 2003 at 6:00pm
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Central California - two people are dead - the quake is felt as far North as Napa and in Los Angeles to the South The lights are back on - but many questions remain about PG&E's performance in the wake of this weekend's blackout in San Francisco Iraqi resistance fighters detonate a roadside bomb killing two U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi translator Angry Palestinians throw shoes at Egypt's Foreign Minister during his visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem Health care, labor, and consumer groups stage a protest at the Macy's Union Square store in San Francisco over the retail giant's funding of a referendum to repeal a health care mandate for businesses A new report says state budget crises throughout the nation are stripping the country's poorest families - and children - of health coverage

The KPFA Evening News - December 21, 2003 at 6:00pm
The Federal Government raises the terrorism alert level to orange, citing what it calls increased chatter among overseas enemies Pacific Gas and Electric company says it has restored power to nearly all the San Francisco customers who lost their power in the big blackout that began last night and affected nearly a third of the city The struggle over a new Afghan constitution continues, as president Hamid Karzi continues to push for a document that would enhance his own power There may soon be a final peace pact to end the 20-year-old North-South civil war in the Sudan, but another conflict is flaring in the western portion of the country

The KPFA Evening News - December 20, 2003 at 6:00pm
Spain's Prime Minister pays a surprise visit to Iraq and reaffirms his support for the U.S. led occupation An Arab satellite TV cannel broadcasts a tape of what could be the voice of Osama Bin Laden praising attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq The International Court of Justice in the Hague says it will investigate the legality if Israel's constuction of a barrier through the occupied West Bank In San Francisco, the Labor Movement rallies to support striking Southern California grocery workers

The KPFA Evening News - December 19, 2003 at 6:00pm
Following secret talks with the U.S. and Britain, Libyan leader Moammar Gadafi agrees to halt his nation's secret weapons programs Iraq's U.S. occupation administrator confirms reports that he escaped an ambush earlier this month The Al Jazeera network airs an audio tape purportedly from Al Qaeda's second in command saying his group is pursuing Americans everywhere, including in the United States Leaders of the State's two university systems warn that the new midyear budget cuts by Governor Schwarzenegger will effect thousands of students In the Santa Clara IBM cancer trial, an expert on Lymphoma testifies that repeated exposure to toxic solvents caused one plaintiff's cancer

The KPFA Evening News - December 18, 2003 at 6:00pm
Governor Schwarzenegger declares the State is in a fiscal crisis and invokes emergency powers to impose $150 million in spending cuts without the Legislature's approval. The funds will go to cities and counties to make up for the money lost when Schwarzenegger rolled back the vehicle license fee The Bush administration's judicial conduct is repudiated by federal appeals courts on both coasts in twin rulings that assail the military's contention that it can hold "enemy combatants" without access to lawyers or the courts By a 3-2 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission approves a modified bailout plan for Pacific Gas and Electric to emerge from bankruptcy A second Wall Street rating agency cut California's bond rating to near junk-bond status Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warns Palestinians that he'll impose a unilateral plan separating Israel from Palestinian territory if there's no speedy implementation of the U.S. Road Map plan The head of the U.S. team which has been fruitlessly searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is considering leaving his job within weeks

The KPFA Evening News - December 17, 2003 at 6:00pm
U.S. Occupation forces surround the Iraqi town of Samarra and conduct house to house searches for members of the armed resistance Some of Iraq's neighbors want to take part in criminal proceedings against Saddam Hussein - a trial on Iran's claims could implicate the U.S. for supplying the chemical weapons materiel Iraq used in the war against Iran in the 1990s A lawsuit seeks to stop the federal government from including immigration violations on a national criminal database used by local police agencies A San Bruno couple is fighting deportation to Mexico which would strand the family's four U.S. born children in this country without their parents Environmentalists warn about the health consequences of San Joaquin Valley air pollution as officials take actions to delay a required smog clean up plan Costa Rica declines to join its Central American neighbors in a free trade agreement with the U.S.

The KPFA Evening News - December 16, 2003 at 6:00pm
A federal appeals court in San Francisco rules that the federal law outlawing marijuana may not apply to sick people with a doctor's recommendation in California and other states that have approved medical marijuana laws What's believed to be the longest nurse's strike in State history has ended at Doctor's Medical Center in San Pablo and Pinole Governor Schwarzenegger grants parole to a woman who spent 22 years in prison for the murder of a man who enslaved and raped her as an immigrant teenager Iraq's new foreign minister lashes out at the United Nations saying it failed to rescue his country from Saddam Hussein's "murderous tyranny", Secretary General Kofi Annan says he needs greater clarity from Iraq and the U.S. before the return of U.N. staff to Iraq International Answer, which organized many of the large anti-war demonstrations, has gone to court demanding the FBI disclose its surveillance activities against anti-war activists Government advisors say that the morning-after pill should be available without a prescription, on pharmacy shelves next to the aspirin and cough medicine

The KPFA Evening News - December 15, 2003 at 6:00pm
President Bush says the U.S. and Iraq will organize Saddam Hussein's trial - human rights groups are urging international safeguards Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says Hussein's capture has not made America safer and will not help defeat Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network - Democratic rival Dennis Kucinich says Hussein's capture should spark the transfer of authority in Iraq from the U.S. to the United Nations A suicide bomb attack on a police building in Baghdad kills eight police officers and wounds 10 others The California Nurses Association and Service Employees International Union announce they're putting aside past - often bitter - disagreements to form an alliance for health care quality A divided Supreme Court lifts a last minute stay that had spared a Texas inmate from the death chamber while he appealed the constitutionality of one of the lethal drugs to be used in his execution New study suggests children exposed to household chemical products while infants my suffer a higher incidence of asthma

The KPFA Evening News - December 14, 2003 at 6:00pm
Former Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein is now a U.S. prisoner - U.S. forces captured Hussein last night in a Hideout near his hometown An explosion in Pakistan was apparently an assassination attempt against President Pervez Musharaff A constitutional convention opens in Afghanistan, with president Hamid Karzail proposing a plan that enhances his own power Cuts in police and fire services in California could be coming soon, as the Legislature adjourns for the holidays deciding how to replace four and a half billion dollars in vehicle license fees that were cut by Governor Schwarzenegger

The KPFA Evening News - December 13, 2003 at 6:00pm
The U.S. Military is training hundreds of Iraqis it recruited from militias to defend Baghdad Syria says congressional legislation threatening sanctions will make it harder to improve relations with the U.S. Negotiations collapse in the European Union's attempt to produce the first constitution in the organization's history Iran says it will sign an agreement in the next few days allowing unfettered inspection of its nuclear facilities

The KPFA Evening News - December 12, 2003 at 6:00pm
Hundreds of people angered by the repeal of a law allowing undocumented imigrants to get driver's licenses take to the streets around the state in a day long boycott of schools, work, and stores - the action is intended to underscore the economic power of California's Latino community The State Senate passes a compromise budget reform plan put together by Governor Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders - the Senate acts one day after the Assembly gave its approval Transportation justice is the demand before the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) as a variety of groups urget the MTC to end discrimination against low income communities and communities of color Air quality officials in the San Joaquin Valley seeking a five year extension on their 2005 deadline to meet federal standards for smog President Bush enters the Halliburton controversy, saying that if Vice President Cheney's former company is overcharging for importing gasoline into Iraq, the money should be repaid Life returning to normal in and around Kashmir as a ceasefire between Pakistan and India takes hold

The KPFA Evening News - December 11, 2003 at 6:00pm
Changes in how the Oakland police department will deal with demonstrators - the City's police chief announces the cops will no longer fire wooden pellets or use motorcycles to control crowds - the changes come after Oakland police inflicted numerous injuries at an anti Iraq war demonstration at the Oakland Port in April The State Assembly is convening at this hour to consider a compromise budget deal hammered out by Governor Schwarzenegger and democratic leaders - the deal requires a balanced budget, the creation of a reserve fund and prohibits future borrowing to pay for operating expenses - and a $15 billion bond for the March ballot A suicide bomb attack on a US Army base near Baghdad kills one US soldier and injures 14 - elsewhere 3 Iraqis are slain by resistance fighters - at the Pentagon sources confirm that Vice President Cheney's former firm - Halliburton - has been overcharging for Gasoline imported to Iraq Israeli occupation forces raid the Rafa refugee camp in Gaza killing 6 Palestinians and destroying 9 homes Democratic presidential candidate Reverend Al Sharpton brings his presidential campaign to the Bay Area On Human Rights Day workers and the labor movement rally for their rights

The KPFA Evening News - December 10, 2003 at 6:00pm
Gavin Newsom prepares to take the reins of SF after winning a close mayor's race against Green Party candidate Matt Gonzalez Kamala Harris will become SF's first female District Attorney after beating incumbent Terence Hallinan International reaction is swift and angry after the Pentagon announces it won't accept bids for construction projects in Iraq by companies headquartered in countries that opposed the war The US Supreme Court halts a Texas execution - with 20 minutes to spare - until questions are resolved over one of the drugs used to carry out lethal injections Disability rights activists rally in Sacramento to protest Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to suspend the landmark Lanterman Act which guarantees services to people with developmental disabilities Local elected officials call on lawmakers to replace billions of dollars they recently lost when the governor slashed the vehicle license fee

The KPFA Evening News - December 9, 2003 at 6:00pm
Former Vice President Al Gore endoreses Howard Dean's bid for teh Democratic presidential nomination, praising Dean's fervent opposition to the Iraq war which Gore calls the US's biggest foreign policy blunder in over 200 years - Gore says that to beat president Bush Democrats don't have the luxury of fighting among themselves SF voters are electing a new mayor and deciding whether to re-elect District Attorney Terence Hallinan in today's run-off election - the rainy weather may repress voter turn-out, hurting the chances of Green Party mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez California's already battered credit rating - the worst in the nation - takes another hit form a Wall Street rating agency critical of governor Schwarzenegger's decision to roll back the vehicle license fee without any plan to replace the lost revenues Workers at the Real Food Market in SF are battling for teh right to form a union at the organic grocer The Pentagon bars companies from countries that opposed the war on Iraq from bidding on any contracts to rebuild the country A memorial and funeral service set for Berkeley activist Father Bill O'Donnell who passed away yesterday

The KPFA Evening News - December 8, 2003 at 6:00pm
On election eve, former President Bill Clinton flies to town to endorse the candidacy of SF mayoral candidate Gavin Newsom - rival Matt Gonzalez urges a strong turnout at the polls, which could produce the first Green Party member to lead a major US city Former Vice President Al Gore to announce his support of democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean tomorrow in Harlem - it's a move aimed at solidifying Dean's hold on the nomination Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Quraya returns to the West Bank without an agreement from Hamas and Islamic Jihad to call a ceasefire with Israel Iraqi resistance fighters kill another US soldier in the northern city of Mosul - a South Korean company says it will withdraw dozens of workers building transmission towers in Northern Iraq The US Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Delma Banks, one of the country's longest serving death row inmates Nearly five dozen candidates file to run in the first elections for a local governing board for KPFA

The KPFA Evening News - December 7, 2003 at 6:00pm
Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld meets with senior US commanders in Iraq and is assured that a recent switch to more aggressive counter-insurgency tactics is starting to pay of Israel rejects an agreement by Palestinian factions to halt suicide bombings inside Israel without stopping attacks on Israeli soldiers or settlers in the occupied territories In a setback for Governor Schwarzenegger, the State Legislature rejects his proposed spending cap and $15 billion bond measure Russians go to the polls tomorrow to elect new members of Parliament

The KPFA Evening News - December 6, 2003 at 6:00pm
Secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld meets with senior US commanders in Iraq and is assured that a recent switch to more aggressive counter-insurgency tactics is starting to pay of Israel rejects an agreement by Palestinian factions to halt suicide bombings inside Israel without stopping attacks on Israeli soldiers or settlers in the occupied territories In a setback for Governor Schwarzenegger, the State Legislature rejects his proposed spending cap and $15 billion bond measure Russians go to the polls tomorrow to elect new members of Parliament

The KPFA Evening News - December 5, 2003 at 6:00pm
3 days before SF voters are to elect a new mayor - signs of desperation from the Gavin Newsome camp as it appeals to former president Bill Clinton for help - and outgoing mayor Willie Brown has reportedly swung a weekend endorsement for Newsome from Jesse Jackson - meanwhile a poll by a labor union that's neutral in the race says Newsome is ahead but neither he nore foe Matt Gonzales has fifty percent 6 hours to go in Sacramento and State lawmakers and the Governor's office are still talking about a bond measure and a spending cap measure for the March ballot - meanwhile in a reversal Gov. Schwarzenegger backs former Gov. Davis' $10.7 billion bond that's to be issued without voter approval The Nation's official unemployment rate dips a tenth of a percentage point but the rate of new job creation slows considerably - US companies add 57 thousand new jobs in November but that's almost a hundred thousand less then expected The Bush administration implementing its controversial clear skies initiative through new regulations on power-plant emissions from the environmental protection agency - the clear skies legislation has been bottled up in Congress for 2 years Environmental groups sue the EPA over new rules allowing the Agency to pump toxic chemicals into the air while its cleaning up soil and water contamination A 20 year prison term for a Bosnian Serb military commander for the siege of Sarajevo

The KPFA Evening News - December 4, 2003 at 6:00pm
President Bush reverses field and removes US tarriffs on steel imports - the decision avoids a trade war with the Europian Union and Japan but may cost his re-election campaign votes next fall in the key steel-making states of Pennsylvania and Ohio Democrats in the State House offer alternatives to Gov. Schwarzenegger's financial plan - they'll back his $15 billion budget bail-out bond but want it paid off in 7 - not 30 - years ... and they propose a more liberal spending cap - the deadline for agreement is just 30 hours away The city attorneys of SF and Oakland call on the State insurance commissioner to fully enforce proposition 103 and end the industry's practice of using a person's zip code to set the amount of their car insurance premium Homeless activists in SF take umbrage with SF chronicle series on homelessness - meanshile a strike by workers in the City's homeless shelters The 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals deals a blow to a key part of anti-terrorism law A lawsuit to save the Pacifica sea otter

The KPFA Evening News - December 3, 2003 at 6:00pm
The Bush administration rolling back another Clinton era environmental protection as it proposes new rules on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants - critics call it another gift to polluters President Bush signs a landmark rewrite of forest rules - he says the Healthy Forest Restoration Act will prevent wildfires like the devestating ones this fall in Southern California - environmentalists say it gives loggers access to pristine stands of old-growth trees A coroner rules homocide in the latest death of an African American man at the hands of police in Cincinnati - but says that doesn't mean the cops did anything wrong - the victim is the 18th black man killed by police there in the last 8 years a ballot proposal to try to stem the violent crime wave in the city of Oakland A controversial development proposal for SF's Hunter's Point Shipyard wins approval from the redevelopment commission The Final Debate in the SF Mayor run-off race - it's surprisingly civil

The KPFA Evening News - December 2, 2003 at 6:00pm
Russia deals the Kyoto global warming pact a devastating blow when it announces it will not ratify it. The Bush Administration pulled the U.S. out of the pact in 2001. Former Vice President Al Gore rallies Democratic party support for San Francisco mayoral candidate Gavin Newsom, locked in a tough run off election against Green party rival Matt Gonzalez. State Treasurer Phil Angelides launches a campaign against Governor Schwarzenegger's 15 billion dollar borrowing plan.

The KPFA Evening News - December 1, 2003 at 6:00pm
The California Assembly joins the Senate in voting to repeal a law that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses Advocates for children say Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to cap enrollment in the state's Healthy Families Program could put tens of thousands of low income children on a waiting list for health insurance A day after an Iraqi ambush sparks a fierce US military response, there are sharply conflicting reports of Iraqi casualties Dozens of current and former world leaders endorse an unofficial Mideast peace initiative dubbed the Geneva Accord Military officials say more than 100 prisoners will be released from US custody at Guantanamo Bay Immigration officials say they'll scrap part of the controversial registration program for visitors mainly from the Middle East SF Mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez charges that rival Gavin Newsom is beholden to special interests who have donated $3.3 million to his campaign

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