Around the Nation

Voices in the News

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A montage of voices in the week's news, including: Tina Jones, mother of Jena 6 defendant Bryant Purvis; the Rev. Al Sharpton; Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, Rep. Ray Lahood (R-IL); Columbia University professor Tom Luchodoponte; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV); Sen. John McCain (D-AZ); Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; Mirembe Nantongo, spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq; Samir Samir, Iraqi civilian.


From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And these are some of the voices in the news this past week.

(Soundbite of rally)

Unidentified Man: No justice.

Unidentified Group: No peace.

Unidentified Man: No justice.

Unidentified Group: No peace.

Unidentified Man: Free the Jena 6.

Unidentified Group: Free the Jena 6.

Ms. TINA JONES (Mother of Bryant Purvis): I hope it send a message out that not only did we know that the charges against these kids are wrong, that everybody, you know, in the world know these charges are wrong. So, hopefully, you know, that would have some type of effect on the DA.

Reverend AL SHARPTON (Baptist Minister; Political, Civil Rights and Social Justice Activist): What they are trying is to create a criminal justice system that particularly targets our young black men. And now we sit in a city that says it's a prank to hang a hangman's noose, but that is attempted murder to have a fight. We cannot sit by silently.

Secretary MICHAEL LEAVITT (Health and Human Services): The president just made clear that he wants to have SCHIP reauthorize but he wants it to be focused on low income children, and neither the House or the Senate bill focus on low income children. They basically focus on giving children in well off families' access to government paid health insurance.

Representative RAY LAHOOD (Republican, Illinois): I think if - as Republicans we could get 20 to 30 Republicans to vote for the bill. I think that sends a strong message to the White House that this is an important enough piece of legislation, that health care is important for children, that the Congress was willing to compromise on this.

Professor TOM LUCHODOPONTE (Columbia University): I'm disappointed that we are providing such an important forum to the running president. For the sake of human rights, do you promote somebody who is going to destroy human rights?

Mayor MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (Democrat, New York): He's not going downtown. I think, hopefully, he understands why not. But I just think it'd be totally inappropriate.

Senator HARRY REID (Democrat, Nevada): They have voted to put their arms around the Bush war and to make it also their war. Back home, they assert their independence but in Washington they walk in lockstep with the president and continue to support his failed war.

Senator JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona): Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the president of United States is deprived of authority to decide when and where to send troops in time of war.

Prime Minister NOURI AL-MALIKI (Iraq): (Through translator): We would never allow Iraqi citizens to be killed in cold blood by this company, which doesn't care about the lives of Iraqis.

Ms. MIREMBE NANTONGO (Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq): We are working extremely - closely with our Iraqi counterparts to find a solution to this issue which, as you point out, has been one that has come up in the past.

Mr. SAMIR SAMIR (Iraqi Civilian): (Through translator) The U.S. military is subject to its laws and monitoring. Who monitors the security companies?

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