Human Rights

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Antiwar protesters march on Common

Mother of slain US soldier addresses crowd of 2,000. Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, October 30, 2005 About 2,000 antiwar protesters marched on Boston Common yesterday, loudly calling for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq after a week in which the number of Americans killed in the war topped 2,000. Chanting ''No more war," demonstrators trudged down snow-whipped Tremont Street and up Park Street past the State House and then looped back to the Common, streaming peacefully past scores of police officers who lined the parade route, clutching batons. ... Antiwar

The mythology of Rosa Parks

Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe, October 28, 2005 Atlanta - It is remarkable how often the legend survives the legendary figure. So it is with Rosa Parks. The mythology describes the woman who died Monday at 92 as a ''humble seamstress." The textbooks pay homage to a ''simple woman" with tired feet whose refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white man half a century ago sparked a movement. ... But the obituaries also suggest another side to her story. The ''humble seamstress" was a civil rights activist long before that fateful bus ride. ... The mythology

American Muslim Doctors and Nurses to Help Quake Victims in Pakistan

International Qur’anic Open University, October 28, 2005 Under the auspices of The International Qur’anic Open University at Islamberg, New York, USA, a volunteer team of doctors, nurses and medical technicians departed from John F. Kennedy Airport October 23 and arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan. They were received by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Syed Mubarik Ali Gilani and relief workers of Gilani Foundation based in Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir. The team immediately began servicing hundreds of people in dire need of medical services. The American Muslim team brought with them large amounts of supplies and relief aid. ... American

The Battle for New Orleans

Only a Real Movement Can Win This War. Glen Ford & Peter Gamble, Black Commentator, October 27, 2005 New Orleans represents a challenge to African Americans, unprecedented since the epic struggles of the Fifties and Sixties. The perverse reality, to which African Americans must rise, is that the man-made disaster in the Gulf provides what may be the last chance to build a real Movement, encompassing the broadest sectors of Black America. Cruel history presents the catastrophe as an unwanted opportunity, a test of Black people's capacity for the operational unity craved by the vast bulk of African Americans. ... The Battle

New Orleans hospital staff subpoenaed

Reuters, October 27, 2005 New Orleans - Louisiana prosecutors, probing allegations of patient neglect and mercy killing after Hurricane Katrina, have issued subpoenas for 73 employees of one New Orleans hospital, a spokeswoman for the state attorney general's office said on Thursday. Kris Wartelle, a spokeswoman for Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti, said the subpoenas were issued on Tuesday to compel doctors, nurses and others at Memorial Medical Center, where 34 patients died during Katrina, to speak to investigators. Tenet Healthcare, which owns the now-shuttered Memorial hospital, said it was cooperating with the investigation. ... New Orleans

Gorbachev: No security if poverty persists

Associated Press, October 27, 2005 Sacramento - Curbing poverty and building stronger international alliances are key to maintaining security and spreading democracy, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said Wednesday. "It is hard to imagine a calm, safe and secure world" where so many people live in poverty, Gorbachev said through an interpreter at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. "If people's lives are not becoming better, people begin to change their minds and say democracy is worthless," he said during a question-and-answer session before an audience of about 400. ... Gorbachev

Philippines Left-Wing Union, Party Leaders Assassinated

Oliver Teves, Associated Press, October 26, 2005 Manila, Philippines - Separate assassination attacks in the northern Philippines killed a union chief at a sugar plantation owned by former President Corazon Aquino's family and a provincial official from a leading left-wing party, police and party leaders said Wednesday. Ricardo Ramos, president of the workers' union at the Hacienda Luisita plantation in Tarlac province, was shot by an unknown assailant with an M-14 rifle late Tuesday as he talked with other unionists near his home. ... Philippines

La. AG subpoenas 73 in hospital deaths

Associated Press, October 26, 2005 Baton Rouge - The Louisiana attorney general's office subpoenaed 73 employees of Memorial Hospital on Wednesday as part of its investigation of deaths at hospitals and nursing homes in the New Orleans area during and after Hurricane Katrina. The subpoenas were "for all levels of personnel" and included doctors, nurses and support staff, said Kris Wartelle, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Charles Foti. They included people who were at the hospital during the storm and its aftermath "or they knew something about it," Wartelle said. ... La. AG

War protesters hold vigil on Boston Common

Associated Press, October 26, 2005 Boston - About 40 demonstrators gathered on Boston Common on Wednesday to protest the war in Iraq and call for the return of all United States military. The protest came the day after the American death toll reached the 2,000 mark. The protesters said they were also mourning the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died since the start of the war. Carlos Arredondo displayed a picture of his son Alex, who died in August of 2004 during a battle in the Iraqi city of Najaf. Arredondo also carried his son's boots. ... War

The White House Cabal

Lawrence B. Wilkerson, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2005

In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about US national security - including vital decisions about postwar Iraq - were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

When I first discussed this group in a speech last week at the New American Foundation in Washington, my comments caused a significant stir because I had been chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2002 and 2005.

But it's absolutely true. I believe that the decisions of this cabal were sometimes made with the full and witting support of the president and sometimes with something less. More often than not, then-national security advisor Condoleezza Rice was simply steamrolled by this cabal.

John Conyers On Rosa Parks

“She Earned the Title as Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Democracy Now! October 25, 2005

We speak with Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), who worked with Parks for over a decade. Conyers remembers Parks’ life and speaks about the possibility of a state funeral and a national “Rosa Parks day.” ... John

US pays homage to civil rights icon Rosa Parks

Tom Brown, Reuters, October 25, 2005

Detroit - Tributes poured in on Tuesday honoring Rosa Parks, the black woman whose refusal to give a white man her seat on an Alabama bus 50 years ago sparked a protest that helped break racial segregation in America.

Parks, who died at 92, "transformed America for the better," with her act of defiance, said President George W. Bush. Sen. Barack Obama, an Illinois Democrat and sole black in the US Senate, called her a genuine American hero. ... US

Rosa Parks, civil rights icon, dead at 92

With act of dignity, a movement began.
Mark Feeney, Boston Globe, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, the Alabama seamstress whose soft-spoken refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man triggered the Montgomery bus boycott, the first great mass action in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, died yesterday. She was 92.

Mrs. Parks died at her home in Detroit of natural causes, according to a spokesman for US Representative John Conyers, Democrat of Michigan. ... Rosa

Havana rescue teams pull nearly 250 to safety

Anita Snow, Associated Press, October 25, 2005

Havana - Military divers used inflatable rafts to rescue nearly 250 people from flooded homes yesterday, after Hurricane Wilma drove the ocean over Havana's seawall and gushed water into coastal neighborhoods of aging buildings.

The seaside Malecon highway was inundated as swirling brown waters spread up to four blocks inland, submerging cars and leaving only the bright blue tops of phone booths peeking out. Waves lapped at the front door of the Foreign Ministry as young men in wooden boats rowed nearby. ... Havana

Mighty waves from Wilma transform Havana

Vanessa Arrington, Associated Press, October 25, 2005

Havana - Hurricane Wilma never made landfall in Cuba, but its ferocious waves transformed the island's capital city for a day, ripping off chunks of the famous Malecon seawall and flooding many of Havana's most prominent streets.

Picturesque but dilapidated buildings lining the northern coastal highway alongside the Malecon received an especially severe beating on Monday. Their doors and wooden window shutters were flung off as first-floor homes filled with waist-deep water. ... Mighty

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