Tuesday, March 3, 2009

03 Mar 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Palestinian Astrophysicist in US Reunited with Wife & Three Remaining Children After Story of His 11-Year-Old Son's Death in Israeli Air Strike Broadcast on Democracy Now!
Suleiman Baraka is a Palestinian astrophysicist working at Virginia Tech with NASA. His eleven-year-old son Ibrahim was killed in an air strike during Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza. After he first told his story on Democracy Now!, the US consulate in Jerusalem contacted him and got his surviving family members out of Gaza. This weekend, at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Airport, he was reunited with his wife and three remaining children. We take you to the bittersweet reunion. [includes rush transcript]

New York Legislature to Vote on Overhauling Draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws
The New York State Assembly is set to vote today on legislation that would allow judges to send drug offenders to substance abuse treatment instead of prison. The legislation would also allow thousands of prisoners jailed for nonviolent drug offenses to have their sentences reduce or commuted. It’s the latest step in a long campaign to repeal the draconian Rockefeller laws. The laws impose lengthy minimum sentences on drug offenders, even those with no prior convictions. The laws have disproportionately targeted people of color, while giving prosecutors de facto control over how long convicts are jailed.

Decades of Disparity: New Study Underscores Severity of Racial Bias in Drug-Related Law Enforcement
A new study underscores the severity of racial bias in drug-related law enforcement. According to Human Rights Watch, African Americans were arrested as much as five-and-a-half times as whites on drug charges every year for the past three decades. The trend dates back to 1980, the earliest date with complete data.

Sri Lankan Cricket Team Attacked in Pakistan
Dow Drops Below 7,000 for First Time in 11 Years
CIA Admits It Destroyed 92 Videotapes of Interrogations
Justice Dept OKed Military Carrying Out Domestic Raids After 9/11
Climate Activists Block Gates to D.C. Coal Plant
Group: Israel May Built 73,000 New Settlement Homes
UN Commissioner Urges US to Attend Racism Conference
Canadian PM: Insurgency Can’t Be Defeated in Afghanistan
Mexico to Send 7,000 Troops to Border City
Study: 7.3 Million Americans Now in Prison, on Parole or Probation
Supreme Court Rejects Appeals in Agent Orange Cases
Florida Man Shoots Dead Two Chilean Students
Oscar Grant’s Family Sues BART for $50 Million

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