Nov 242014

Memorial for slain Philippines journalists

Journalists in the Philippines remember the 32 colleagues allegedly murdered by a powerful Muslim political clan in 2009. Paul Chapman reports.

Transcript: The worst slaughter of journalists in a single incident happened in 2009 in the Philippines. Thirty-two were killed along with 26 other people in the southern provinice of Maguindanao. The passage of time hasn’t dulled the grief of their fellow media workers. There are 192 suspects but no-one has ever been convicted The Philippines National Union of Journalists says there’s no sign that will change any time soon. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ROWENA PARAAN, CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES, SAYING: “We want a speedy trial but we want justice. We want people to know that they can…that murderers of media persons can be prosecuted and can be thrown behind bars but the way that it’s going it seems not possible.” The bodies of the journalists and the other casualties of the massacre were found in a mass grave. It’s believed they’re victims of a clan feud. The trial of suspects is bogged down in bail petitions. Since the case began four witnesses have been killed and lawyers say some defendants have offered bribes to victims’ families to withdraw murder allegations.

Pope Francis canonizes two Indians, among others

Pope Francis makes two Indians and four Italians saints, saying “their preference for the smallest and poorest” was a sign of their devotion to God. Gavino Garay reports.

Transcript: It’s a holy day in Saint Peter’s Basilica for Italians and Indians alike. Pope Francis lifts two Indians and four Italians into sainthood during a canonization ceremony, saying their work for the poor is a sign of their devotion to God. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS SAYING: “They dedicated themselves, without holding back, to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims. Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and measure of their unconditional love of God.” Indians in the Kerala region pray for the mystic nun and Indian priest now made saints. Nuns in India say this is a great day not just for India. (SOUNDBITE) (English) A NUN, MARGARET, SAYING: “Blessed Chavara and Blessed Euphrasia are declared saints. It is the day of days, of glory, of gratefulness and in a way for us of great humility.” The process of a person being considered to sainthood isn’t a short one, often taking decades. The person must have been deceased for at least five years and known to bring about miracles.

Afghan volleyball blast kills dozens

Survivors undergo hospital treatment after a suicide blast at a volleyball match in Afghanistan which killed at least 45 people. Paul Chapman reports

Transcript: They were spectators at a volleyball match in the Afghan province of Paktika. Now they’re among the survivors of a suicide attack at the match that killed at least 45 people. Officials say at least 50 more were wounded in the explosion which was set-off amid the densely-packed crowd. (SOUNDBITE)(Dari) MAJOR GENERAL SAIWASH, HEAD OF KABUL MILITARY, SAYING: “There was no government official among the victims of this attack. There are 17 children of various ages among the victims. There is no tribal elder or district chief to be the target of an enemy attack. These victims are all spectators at a volleyball game during a tournament among the three districts of Paktika province.” The Taliban and other jihadist militants have launched waves of suicide attacks in Afghanistan this year as foreign forces pull out. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest bombing in Paktika province where 89 people died in blast at a busy market in July.

No let-up in Italian migrant rescues

The Italian Coast Guard releases video of operations that have led to the rescue of more than 600 migrants in just 48 hours. Paul Chapman reports.

Transcript: Italian Coast Guard video shows the latest rescues of migrants trying to reach its shores. In a single 48-hour period officials say more than 600 were saved from the waters of the Sicilian Channel. There were more rescues in Libyan waters as endangered migrants called for help on satellite phones. They were transferred to Coast Guard vessels and taken ashore in Sicily. Italy shut down its sea rescue mission which has saved the lives of more than 100, 000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East but still responds to emergency calls.

Ferguson shooting: grand jury ruling nears

Another protest in Ferguson, Missouri, as a grand jury decision approaches on whether a white police officer will be charged with the killing of an unarmed black teenager. Paul Chapman reports.

Transcript: This was the fourth night in a row such protests have taken place in Ferguson, Missouri, as they wait to find out if a white policeman will be charged with killing a black teenager. The decision by a grand jury could come on Monday…or it might not. It’s an anxious case of wait and see. The St. Louis suburb has become a flashpoint for U.S. race relations since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in August. The protesters say they want justice. (SOUNDBITE)(English) MISS TAY, PROTESTER, SAYING: “We’re blocking the streets tonight for four-and-one-half minutes for Michael Brown, for the four-and-a-half hours they allowed him to lie on the ground uncovered where everyone can see him, exposed without a sheet on him.” (SOUNDBITE)(English) BRITTANY FARRELL, PROTESTER AND COMMUNITY ACTIVIST, SAYING: “We’re ready for whatever happens. We have to build ourselves as a community, we’re going to continue to fight against this injustice against black and brown people.” A state of emergency’s been declared and the National Guard’s been called in to back up the police ahead of the grand jury’s decision. The protesters say the measures are heavy handed.

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