- Making News: Iraq Aid Agency Suspends Work after Abduction
Care International has suspended operations in Iraq after the kidnapping of its local director. Margaret Hassan's Iraqi husband is pleading for her release, arguing that she's provided humanitarian aid in Iraq for 30 years. Michael Levett of Citizens Development Corps, which teaches the basics of capitalism, under contract to the Agency for International Development, reveals discusses the perils for Westerners who are still in Baghdad.
- Reporter's Notebook: Sinclair Drops POW Broadcast
After complaints to the FCC and FEC, threatened advertiser defections and a drop in the stock price, Sinclair Broadcasting won't force its 62 TV stations to run an anti-John Kerry film a week before the election. Instead, it will run a "news special" containing parts of Stolen Honor. SBG's Jon Leiberman, who was fired after telling the media that the new program should be labeled "commentary" rather than "news," and Robert Thompson of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, look at politics, pressure and the media.
Gerrymandering and the Ideals of Representative Democracy
Congressional Quarterly says just 29 of 435 Congressional races are truly "competitive" -- two in New York, one in Florida and one in California. That means 406 are already decided, before a single vote has been counted. Reapportionment is the re-drawing of district boundaries every ten years, which is supposed to keep members of Congress accountable to the voters. But it's being used to keep incumbents in office, year after year. Texas and Pennsylvania are the latest states whose Congressional boundaries questioned by the US Supreme Court, which has called Gerrymandering undemocratic, though not necessarily unconstitutional. Has the practice produced a politically polarized nation? Is there a better way? We hear more about Gerrymandering and its affects from political reporters, political scientists and voting rights advocates.