U.S. News

Lessons from the Lott expos

The Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) scandal did more than expose the racist underbelly of the former Senate majority leader and the Republican Party. It also showed the growing importance of the struggle for equality and against racism in the political life of the nation.

Coalition to fight judicial nominees

A coalition of civil rights and women’s equality organizations has promised a fight to block Senate confirmation of Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr. and Judge Priscilla R. Owen to seats on the federal appeals court. They welcomed Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) vow to filibuster the Pickering re-nomination if it reaches the Senate floor.

Illinois commutes death sentences

CHICAGO – Illinois Governor George Ryan struck a blow against the death penalty worldwide when he pardoned four men on Illinois Death Row, Jan. 10, and commuted all 167 other death sentences to life imprisonment, Jan. 11. In three of those 167 cases, the term was shortened to 40 years. This was Ryan’s final act as governor.

National Clips

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.: Street peace heat blunts winds of war / GARY, Ind.: Steel city says no to war / WASHINGTON, DC: Defend the right to safe and legal abortion / DECATUR, Ala.: 60 Steelworker jobs, 1,500 workers apply on first day / CONSHOHOCKEN, Penn.: Steelworker killed in Bethlehem mill / MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.: GM defect threatens lives

Protest call: No cuts, tax the rich!

HARTFORD, Conn. – Traffic here ground to a halt on the morning of Jan. 8, as several thousand marched on the state capitol in the cold and snow to protest the inhumane layoffs and cuts in services proposed by Republican Gov. John Rowland to close the state’s $2 billion budget deficit.

Profits come first with Frist

Some have said that switching from U.S. Senate leader Trent Lott (R-S.C.) to Dr. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is like going from the frying pan into the fire. Well, that isn’t entirely true, but analyzing voting records and families’ businesses, that would certainly seem to be the case.

4,500 Mainers rebuff racists from away

LEWISTON, Maine – Thousands of Maine residents gathered here Jan. 11 to support recent Somali immigrants who have been targeted by the hate group “World Church of the Creator.”

Unemployment: No good news

According to the Labor Department the economy lost another 101,000 jobs in December, most of them in manufacturing industries and retail trade. Although the official year-end unemployment rate of 6 percent was unchanged from November, it tied an eight-year high. Given the pluses – 14,000 new jobs in government service – and minuses –101,000 thousand pink slips – 82,000 workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in December.

Hundreds protest at INS

CHICAGO – Several hundred Chicagoans rallied in front of the office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service here Jan. 10 to protest the heavy-handed methods used by the government with people from Middle Eastern nations required to register themselves.