Jul 31 2009

Weekly Digest – 07/31/09

Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* US Continues Cozy Relationship with Philippines Despite Human Rights Violations
* Mumia Abu Jamal on Iran: The Repression of the Repressed
* Ice Caps Have Melted, Threatening to Trigger Runaway Heating
* Black Agenda Report on Racism in Firefighter Hiring
* Maine Communities Fight Nestle Over Water, and Win!

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US Continues Cozy Relationship with Philippines Despite Human Rights Violations

obamaPresident Obama met on Thursday at the White House with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to discuss “counter-terrorism cooperation.” But activists both here in the US and the Philippines have urged the President to bring up government-sponsored human rights violations, in particular the persecution of activists like Philippino-American Melissa Roxas, a community activist, poet, and artist, who was abducted and tortured this past May during a trip to her home country. Roxas, who has appeared on Uprising to discuss human rights violations in the Philippines, was kidnapped with two of her companions and held for six days during which she was handcuffed, interrogated, beaten, suffocated, denied access to a lawyer, and threatened with death. She was accused of being a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army. Lawyers have filed official complaints of torture with the United Nations in Geneva, and the US State Department. On the same day that Presidents Arroyo and Obama met, Melissa Roxas testified in Manila in front of the Philippine House Committee on Human Rights and the Philippine Supreme Court’s hearing about her experiences. Roxas asserts that she was abducted and tortured by plainclothes members of the Philippines Military. Her friends and family have formed a campaign called Justice for Melissa Roxas, and organized vigils and demonstrations in her support across the country.

GUEST: Kuusela Hilo, Coordinator of Justice for Melissa Roxas Campaign, Vice Chair of BAYAN-USA

For more information, visit www.justiceformelissa.org.

Mumia Abu Jamal on Iran: The Repression of the Repressed

Mumia Abu Jamal is an award winning journalist and political prisoner. Today’s commentary is about Iran.

Listen to Mumia’s audio commentaries at www.prisonradio.org.

Ice Caps Have Melted, Threatening to Trigger Runaway Heating

ice capsSatellite photos of melting Arctic Ice Caps, hidden by the Bush administration have just been released, confirming scientists’ worst fears about the devastating impact of global warming. Many of the thousand photos taken last summer show with a high degree of resolution, how more than a million square kilometers of sea-ice have disappeared and are not showing any signs of recovery. Not only are melting ice-caps a tangible indicator of global warming, their demise spells bad news for endangered species of animals like polar bears who use them as shelves for hunting. Additionally ice caps have been good reflectors of the sun’s heat – their disappearance means that the earth will absorb more solar energy and potentially trigger a runaway heating cycle of catastrophic proportions. The Obama Administration, which revealed the photos, has used them to urge Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to curb green-house gas emissions.

GUEST: Kieran Mulvaney, project leader of Greenpeace’s Arctic expedition

For more information, visit www.greenpeace.org.

Black Agenda Report on Racism in Firefighter Hiring

Glen FordGlen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report. This week’s commentary is on Racism in Firefighter Hiring.

Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

Maine Communities Fight Nestle Over Water, and Win!

waterThis month, two major victories were won by local communities over corporate control of their water supply. In Shapleigh and Newfield Maine, Nestle’s Poland Spring water company removed all of its bottled water test wells after residents passed ordinances blocking the company from mining water within their boundaries, asserting that residents control their own water supply. In Michigan, nine years of legal battles ended earlier this month when Nestle settled with the group, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation, agreeing to reduce its water removal to half of its originally intended amount. This is not the first time that communities have tried to fight Nestle’s grab for their water. Nestle sought to extract water in McCloud, CA, offering to pay residents only one-thousandth of a cent per gallon, until the state’s Attorney General intervened. And in Wells, Maine, residents proposed an ordinance similar to the Shapleigh and Newfield ordinances, but in that case, Nestle convinced local business owners that the provisions limiting the powers of corporations would hurt them as well. As communities across the United States struggle to control their own natural resources, most lack the power to reign in corporations. According to environmental lawyer Thomas Linzey, laws supporting corporate rights and legal use often prevent communities from limiting or banning extractive industries.

GUESTS: Shelley Gobielle, Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resources, Tom Linzey, Environmental Lawyer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

For more information, visit www.celdf.org, and www.defendingwaterinmaine.org/POWWR

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.” – Rachel Carson

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