Democracy Now! July 31, 2002

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Democracy Now! July 31, 2002
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Teresa Nieves, Jennifer Wright, Andrea Floyd, Marilyn Griffin. A rash of wife killings at Fort Bragg military base: three Special Operations soldiers who recently returned from Afghanistan and another soldier stationed at the base kill their wives in 6 weeks After two decades of ignoring the Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approves an international women's rights treaty And then, as Bush signs corporate crime bill, he railroads through a trade bill which will bring the world's accounting regulations to the standards of Enron, and pushes for senate to confirm "the Enron judge" All that and more coming up. 9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 A RASH OF WIFE KILLINGS AT FORT BRAGG MILITARY BASE: THREE VETERANS OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN AND ANOTHER SOLDIER KILL THEIR WIVES IN 6 WEEKS First it was Teresa Nieves, shot in the head by her husband two days after he returned from Afghanistan. Next came Jennifer Wright, mother of three, strangled in her bedroom. Then Andrea Floyd, shot in the head the same day she asked for a divorce. Then came Marilyn Griffin, stabbed 50 times and set on fire. Four sergeants on the North Carolina Fort Bragg army base have killed their wives in the last six weeks. Three of the soldiers were from the Army's Special Operations unit and had recently returned from Afghanistan; the fourth was from an airborne unit. Two killed themselves after killing their wives, and two others sit in jail. Fort Bragg is the Army's headquarters for the Special Forces and Special Operations units, and the base has sent hundreds of soldiers to fight in the so called "war on terrorism." The vast Ft. Bragg military installation is also the heart of a larger military community that includes thousands of Army families and retirees. Few people had paid attention to the rash of killings until the Fayetteville Observer published a story last Friday pointing out that they had all been carried out by local soldiers. Every year, about 1,400 women are killed by their husbands. Studies show that military couples have a rate of domestic abuse sometimes two to five times higher than the general population. A Yale University study published in the American Journal of Public Health in January found that men involved in combat were responsible for 21 percent of the cases of spousal abuse reported in the survey. According to the Pentagon's Family Advocacy Program, there were almost 11,000 substantiated cases of physical, emotional or sexual spouse abuse among military families last year. But military domestic violence is notoriously under-reported. Guest: Christine Hanson, executive director of the Miles Foundation, a non-profit that works with victims of violence associated with the military Contact: phone: 203270 7861 email: Guest: "Ms. Smith," (not her real name) a victim of domestic violence from her husband, a naval officer. She chose to go by "Ms Smith" after one of the first military investigations into domestic violence, called "Operation Ms. Smith" Guest: Sunera Thobani, Professor of Women's Studies at the University of British Columbia and former President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada's largest feminist organization Guest: Maj. Jan Northstar, spokesperson for Fort Bragg 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:35 A RASH OF WIFE KILLINGS , cont'd 9:35-9:45 AFTER TWO DECADES OF IGNORING THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN, THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE APPROVES AN INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS TREATY The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved an international treaty that is intended to eliminate discrimination against women. The Democratic-controlled committee approved the treaty over the objections of the Bush administration. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW, requires nations to reduce barriers against women in housing, politics, employment, health care and legal systems. It requires that women have equal rights to work, pay and benefits and guarantees safe working conditions. 170 countries have ratified the treaty since it first appeared in 1979. The United States is the only Western country, apart from San Marino and Monaco, that has not ratified the treaty. Virtually all of the other non-ratifiers are conservative Muslim states, including Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan. For two decades the treaty has basically been ignored by the US. President Carter signed the treaty as he was leaving office in 1980, but Reagan and Bush declined to seek ratification. The treaty made it through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under the Clinton administration, but it was never brought up for a full Senate vote. Opponents say the treaty promotes abortion, homosexuality, and legalized prostitution and that it weakens U.S. sovereignty. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina accused the committee of having a "radical abortion agenda." Helms just had heart surgery and was not present at the vote, but is expected to return to the Senate in time to fight ratification on the Senate floor. The treaty needs 67 votes in the Senate to be ratified, meaning supporters will have to find at least 16 votes among the Republicans. Guest: Leila Milani, co-chair of the Working Group on the Ratification of CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Contact: 9:45-9:58 AS BUSH SIGNS CORPORATE CRIME BILL, HE RAILROADS THROUGH A TRADE BILL WHICH WILL BRING THE WORLD'S ACCOUNTING REGULATIONS TO THE STANDARDS OF ENRON, AND PUSHES FOR SENATE TO CONFIRM "THE ENRON JUDGE" It's on the front page of the papers today: a photograph of President George W. Bush signing legislation he calls "the most far-reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." He was flanked by members of his economic team, Republican Congressional leaders, and smiling Democrats. President Bush objected to the bill's provisions just a few weeks ago. But yesterday he cast himself as a protector of the rank-and-file worker and small investor. Yet quietly, behind all the public relations maneuvering, the Bush administration is continuing to push for massive global deregulation of business and support the kinds of political operators that support scandal-ridden corporations like Enron. President Bush is expected to win a major victory this week and win fast track negotiating authority. In the middle of the night on Saturday, the House of Representatives pass by a razor-thin margin a controversial, 300-page trade bill. President Bush himself made a rare appearance on Capitol Hill to personally lobby for the bill. The bill includes fast track authority, authorization to negotiate a 31-nation NAFTA expansion and global deregulation of food safety, accounting, energy and other standards; and new limits on enforcement of labor or environmental standards in trade agreements. Senate leaders said on Tuesday they will move to circumvent stalling tactics by opponents of their version of the bill and bring it to a final vote before the chamber leaves for an August break. Meanwhile, open warfare has broken out between the White House and Capitol Hill over President Bush's most controversial nomination to date to the bench of one of the nation's high courts. Bush has nominated Judge Priscilla Owen to serve on the powerful fifth circuit Appeals Court, the tier just beneath the US Supreme Court. In Texas, she is known as Judge Enron' for an opinion she wrote overturning another court, exempting Enron from paying school taxes. Senators and a host of organizations say Owen has used the bench to advance a zealous right-wing ideology, contesting the right to abortion and favoring big oil and energy companies. Bush has personally intervened to back Owen, and her campaign is being managed by Karl Rove, Bush's closest adviser. Guest: Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice have been heading up Texas Coalition against Owen. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote tomorrow at 8:45. Guest: Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Public Citizen is a consumer advocacy group founded in 1971 by Ralph Nader. Global Trade Watch is dedicated to promoting government and corporate accountability. Contact: :58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
July 31, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
July 31, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. July 31, 2002
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