Monday, October 16, 2006

President of National Black Pro-Life Union Says Take Abortion Off the Table in Comments on Philadelphia Murder Trial

10/16/2006 7:59:00 AM
To: National and State desks
Contact: Day Gardner of National Black Pro-Life Union, 202-834-0844
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In Philadelphia, the trial has begun for a man who is charged with killing a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Local authorities say Stephen Poaches, the father of the baby, has admitted to killing his girlfriend, Latoyia Figueroa, because she refused to have an abortion.
"To think that Latoyia Figueroa and her baby were killed because she refused to kill her own child is nauseating, said Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-Life Union and director of Public Relations for National Pro-Life Action Center on Capitol Hill. "I can't help but wonder what that beautiful young mother was thinking as her life was being brutally strangled out of her. Both she and her unborn little one suffered the same terrible fate."
Investigators have told reporters that Poaches admitted he strangled Figueroa in rage when she told him she didn't agree with having an abortion.
"Abortion is a vicious attack on unborn children and also hurts women," said Gardner. "We are seeing more and more horror stories like this where there is total disregard for human life - - which is why it's imperative that we get abortion off the table. The killing of a child should never be thought of as an option. Latoyia and her baby were both deserving of life."
Figueroa was also the mother of a seven-year-old daughter.
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Feminists for Life of America Responds to Attack on Susan B. Anthony

10/14/2006 10:32:00 AM

To: National Desk
Contact: Valerie Schmalz of Feminists for Life, 415-571-8373
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following is a statement by Feminists for Life of America President Serrin M. Foster in response to an Oct. 13 New York Times guest opinion piece by Stacy Schiff, "Desperately Seeking Susan," which questions whether Susan B. Anthony's pro-life feminism would continue in the 21st Century:
At Feminists for Life of America, we proudly claim Susan B. Anthony as one of our feminist foremothers.
In her Oct. 13 New York Times opinion piece, Stacy Schiff admitted that Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion and devoted herself to fighting for women's rights: "There is no question that she deplored the practice of abortion, as did every one of her colleagues in the suffrage movement."
Schiff's summary of the early feminists' beliefs parallels my own statement: "Without known exception, the early American feminists condemned abortion in the strongest possible terms."
Our feminist foremothers sought to consistently defend human beings through their efforts for suffrage and for abolition of slavery. The basic tenets of feminism, which we have received from the early feminists, are nondiscrimination, nonviolence, and justice for all. Abortion violates all three.
The spirit of FFL's mission to create holistic solutions to the challenges faced by pregnant women and parents is perhaps best expressed in Anthony's own words: "Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them." (Susan B. Anthony, quoted in Frances Willard's Glimpses of Fifty Years: The Autobiography of an American Woman, Chicago: Women's Temperance Pub. Assoc., 1889, 598)
As Mattie Brinkerhoff wrote in Anthony's newspaper: "When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society—so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." (The Revolution, 4(9):138-9 September 2, 1869)
Feminists for Life's goal is to eradicate the root causes that lead to abortion, because women deserve better.
Schiff's portrayal of Anthony as a "killjoy" and as "the drillmaster of the suffrage movement" seems to be personality rather than philosophical analysis, irrelevant to Anthony's views.
Today Feminists for Life is proud to continue the tradition of our feminist foremothers, including Anthony. Since we opened our office in Washington, D.C, in 1994:
-- FFL was the only pro-life group active in a unique coalition of women's groups to successfully fight child exclusion provisions in welfare reform. (The "family cap" was later tested on poor women and teens in New Jersey and proven to significantly increase abortions.)
-- FFL was the only pro-life and women's group to actively champion the New York state model program to help working poor pregnant women receive prenatal care through the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
-- FFL was the only pro-life group to successfully advocate for the Enhanced Child Support Enforcement Act.
-- FFL was the only pro-life group in the National Task Force on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence to work successfully for the Violence Against Women Act.
-- FFL was the only feminist group to support Laci and Connor's Law, also known as the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
-- FFL was a charter member of a coalition against sex trafficking.
Susan B. Anthony devoted her life to improving American society for its most disempowered members -- slaves, women and children. No revisionist history or claims of not knowing what a historical figure would think about a current issue, no matter how amusingly worded, will erase the clear legacy of this heroic woman.
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Congolese Military Judge Calls for the Prosecution of Former Anvil Mining Staff for Complicity in War Crimes

10/15/2006 10:38:00 PM

To: National and International Desk Contact (Oxford, UK): Patricia Feeney of Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID), Office: plus-44 (0) 1865-515-982; Mobile: plus-44 (0) 779-617-8447 or
LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Oct. 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- In an unprecedented move, a Congolese military judge has recommended the prosecution of three former Anvil Mining employees for complicity in war crimes and of Colonel Ademar Ilunga and eight of his subordinates for breaches of the Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocols.
The judge's 12 October decision follows a lengthy investigation into extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and looting carried out by the Congolese Armed Forces two years ago in the town of Kilwa, which is located in the mineral rich Katanga Province, DRC. The crimes occurred during an operation to suppress a small-scale rebellion in Kilwa.
The former Anvil Mining employees include the following individuals:
-- Pierre Mercier, a Canadian national, who was the General Manger of Anvil's Congolese subsidiary, Anvil Mining Congo, and also the Deputy General Manager of the Perth-based company, Anvil Mining NL. He is now believed to be working for First Quantum Minerals, which operates the Sakania mine near the Zambian border.
-- Peter Van Niekerk and another man identified only as Cedric, both South Africans, who were responsible for security at Anvil's remote Dikulushi copper/silver mine at the time of the incident. Anvil no longer employs its own staff to protect the mine; security has been outsourced to a South African company.
The former employees are accused of having "voluntarily failed to withdraw the vehicles placed at the disposal of the 62nd Brigade in the context of the counter offensive of 1/815-18 3/8 October 2004 to recapture the town of Kilwa" and of having "knowingly facilitated the commission of war crimes by Ilunga Ademar and his men".
The most serious crime, which was carried out by the Congolese Armed Forces, was the summary execution of 20 men and 5 women, none of whom took part in the small-scale rebellion that was the impetus for the military's counter-offensive.
The Military Prosecutor has issued a "decision de renvoi" which combines the indictment and the decision to place the accused persons in the hands of a military trial court judge. It indicates that the prosecutor has ended his investigation and concluded that there is sufficient evidence to support the charges.
After Australia's flagship current affairs programme, Four Corners, exposed Anvil Mining's role in the Kilwa incident, the company confirmed that it provided "logistical assistance" to the Congolese Armed Forces, but claimed that its vehicles were "requisitioned" and that it effectively had no choice but to comply. Before the expose, Anvil Mining never informed any authorities of the scale and gravity of the incident. The World Bank Group's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency provides the Dikulushi project with political risk insurance.
In June 2005, Australian law firm, Slater and Gordon, acting on behalf of RAID and Congolese non-governmental organizations called on the Australian Federal Police to investigate whether there was evidence of Anvil's complicity in the commission of crimes against humanity or war crimes under Chapter 8 of the Australian Criminal Code Act of 1995. Australia's law mirrors the International Criminal Court. In September 2005, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Their investigation is ongoing.
RAID welcomes the military judge's decision to recommend that Colonel Ademar Ilunga and the other defendants should stand trial for war crimes. It is a significant step in the struggle to end impunity in the DRC.
"A trial conducted in accordance with international standards should proceed as this is the only way of bringing justice to the victims of the Kilwa massacre", said Patricia Feeney, executive director of RAID. "The precise circumstances in which Anvil provided 'logistical support' used by the Congolese military in the terrible events that occurred in Kilwa must be fully investigated and resolved".
Further information:
Background brief:
RAID's web page for the Kilwa incident:
RAID's June 2005 press release: "Anvil Mining's Complicity in Congolese Massacre Exposed by Australia's Flagship Current Affairs Program; Groups call on World Bank to Withdraw Support for the Dikulushi Copper/Silver Mine".
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Remarks By the President on United Nations Security Council Resolution on North Korea

10/14/2006 5:52:00 PM

To: National Desk
Contact: White House Press Office, 202-456-2580
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /U.S. Newswire/ -- At 3:30 p.m. ET, the president gave the following remarks about the UN Resolution on North Korea:
"Today the United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution, sending a clear message to the leader of North Korea regarding his weapons programs. This action by the United Nations, which was swift and tough, says that we are united in our determination to see to it that the Korea Peninsula is nuclear weapons- free.
"I have said all along there is a better way forward for North Korea. There's a better way forward for the people of North Korea. If the leader of North Korea were to verifiably end his weapons programs, the United States and other nations would be willing to help the nation recover economically.
"The message today, however, says to the leader of North Korea that the world is united in our opposition to his nuclear weapons plans."
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

Sensenbrenner to Introduce Resolution Expelling Ney Immediately

Sensenbrenner: 'Bob Ney Should Resign Immediately and Not Remain in Congress a Moment Longer'
10/13/2006 3:58:00 PM

To: National Desk
Contact: Jeff Lungren or Terry Shawn, 202-225-2492, both for the House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.) today announced that he will introduce a resolution expelling Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) immediately from the House of Representatives. Rep. Ney today pled guilty in federal court to making false statements and conspiracy to commit fraud.
"Bob Ney has brought shame to himself and disgraced the Congress by betraying the bond entrusted to him as a public official. No one - Democrat or Republican - should remain a Member of the People's House after being convicted of criminal conduct while in office. Bob Ney should resign immediately and not remain in Congress a moment longer. Therefore, I intend to introduce a resolution expelling Mr. Ney immediately as soon as Congress returns to Washington and will work with my colleagues to achieve this result."
/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/