December 18, 2004 - Hezbollah TV Station Loses Satellite Access
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon's Hezbollah-based al-Manar TV has lost its satellite access to the United States after law enforcement officials in Washington placed the organization on its list of banned terror organizations.
The exclusion from satellite subscribers across the United States comes less than a week after France also banned al-Manar broadcasts into the country. Al-Manar has drawn protests from around the globe for airing anti-Israel and anti-Jewish programming that portray suicide bombers as "hero martyrs" and refers to Israel as "the enemy".
According to the US State Department, al-Manar is supported by the governments of Lebanon and Syria as well as individuals sympathetic to their cause.
December 10, 2004 - TV Reporter Sentenced to House Arrest
PROVIDENCE, RI, USA - A 55-year old TV reporter has been sentenced to six months house arrest for refusing to reveal the source of a videotape showing a politician taking a bribe.
Mr. Jim Taricani, was sentenced yesterday by US. District Judge Ernest Torres after being found guilty last month of criminal contempt for defying the judge's earlier court order demanding the reporter name the source of the videotape. A week after Mr. Taricani was convicted last month, Mr. Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. a prominent defense attorney involved in the case admitted he was the one who leaked the tape to the reporter.
Mr. Bevilacqua's admission did not seem to influence Judge Ernest Torres who said the reporter's health was the only reason he didn't send him to prison. Mr. Taricani underwent a heart transplant eight years ago, and continues to require daily medication to prevent organ rejection.
November 29, 2004 - Four Arrested in Murder of Forbes Editor
MOSCOW, Russia - Police in Belarus have arrested four men in connection with the July slaying of Mr. Paul Klebnikov, an American editor of Forbes magazine's Russian edition.
Just before he was assassinated, Klebnikov had contributed extensively to a Forbes listing of Russia's 100 richest people. During their investigation, Police put forward the theory that Klebnikov had drawn unwanted attention to certain people who didn't want their wealth disclosed.
Others have proposed a Chechen link to Klebnikov's murder. Klebnikov's recent book, "Conversations With a Barbarian" reportedly negatively profiled Mr. Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, a former deputy prime minister in the Chechen government.
November 28, 2004 - NBC Sports Chairman Ebersol Survives Plane Crash
MONTROSE, CO, USA - NBC Sports chairman Mr. Dick Ebersol has survived a charter plane crash that killed three others, including the plane's pilot, co-pilot and Ebersol's youngest son.
According to witnesses, the plane crashed through a perimeter fence and subsequently burst into flames just after leaving the Montrose Regional Airport, near Colorado's famous Telluride Ski Area. It was snowing heavily at the time.
Mr. Ebersol became president of NBC Sports in 1989, after a stint in NBC's entertainment division, including working as executive producer of TV's Saturday Night Live comedy show.
November 25, 2004 - Novelist Arthur Hailey Dies in Nassau
NASSAU, Bahamas - British author Mr. Arthur Hailey, whose best-selling novels sold over 150 million copies and were translated into over three dozen languages, died in his sleep at his Bahamas home, his wife said in a prepared statement. He was 84.
Mr. Hailey was born in Luton, England, in 1920 and began working as a writer just after his service in World War II. His experience eating a bad meal onboard a plane was the idea behind "Flight Into Danger", his first blockbuster novel, made into the movie "Airport".
Numerous bestsellers followed, including "Hotel,", "Wheels", "The Moneychangers" and "Strong Medicine". He and his wife moved to Canada after the war, but eventually emigrated to Nassau where they lived for decades.
November 20, 2004 - Afghan Sentenced to Death in Murders of Reporters
KABUL, Afghanistan - A court today sentenced Mr. Reza Khan to death for the 2001 murders of four journalists working on a story about the fall of the Taliban.
According to prosecution papers, the reporters had stopped at a checkpoint when they were hauled out of their vehicle, beaten, robbed and then shot to death at close range.
The four included: Australian TV cameraman, Mr. Harry Burton and Afghan photographer Mr. Azizullah Haidari, both working for Reuters; Ms. Maria Grazia Cutuli, working for Corriere della Sera; and Mr. Julio Fuentes, a reporter for Spanish daily El Mundo. The three-judge court also found Mr. Khan guilty of raping the Italian reporter before she died.
November 18, 2004 - British Writer Sues Gossip Writer Kitty Kelley
BIRMINGHAM, AL, USA - Mr. Glynn Wilson, a freelance writer has sued gossip columnist and biographer Ms. Kitty Kelley, claiming Ms. Kelley plagiarized his work for her new book "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty".
According to court papers, Mr. Wilson's $5 million lawsuit was filed in October in Birmingham federal court and named both Ms. Kelley and Ms. Kelley's publisher, Random House Inc., as co-defendants. The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Kelley lifted portions of an earlier article written by Mr. Wilson about US President George W. Bush's alleged alcohol and cocaine use.
The lawsuit asks for an injunction blocking further sales of the book. Although it is known that more than 700,000 copies of "The Family" have been printed, it is not known how many have been sold and how many are still on store shelves or in warehouses.
November 18, 2004 - Rhode Island Reporter Stands Trial
PROVIDENCE, RI, USA - Mr. Jim Taricani, a local investigative reporter for WJAR TV, faces prison time for refusing to identify the source of a videotape he aired showing a city official taking a bribe.
The FBI tape, aired in February 2001, shows a mayoral assistant taking $1000 in cash. During their trial, US. District Court Judge Ernest Torres named a special investigator to determine how Mr. Taricani received the tape in violation of a court-ordered publication ban. Incensed that Mr. Taricani refused to give up his source, the judge fined him $1,000 a day.
According to court documents, the fines have now accumulated to approximately $85,000. Taricani's TV station's owner, NBC Universal, has reimbursed Taricani. The reporter, who had major heart surgery in 1996, has now been held in criminal contempt in the case, and faces a maximum of six months in jail.
November 2, 2004 - Dutch Director Murdered
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A controversial Dutch film maker who criticized the plight of women under fundamentalist Islam in a recent movie was shot dead then stabbed in a busy Amsterdam street today.
Mr. Theo van Gogh, a direct descendent of the painter, Vincent van Gogh, had received multiple death threats over the past few years, most recently after his short television film "Submission" aired on Dutch television in August. The film, written by a member of Dutch parliament who is herself under police protection, portrayed a fictional story of a Muslim woman forced into a violent, arranged marriage, raped by a relative and then brutally punished for adultery.
After a brief gun battle, a suspect was arrested at the scene by Dutch police but his name was not released by press time.
October 21, 2004 - Belarus Journalist Stabbed to Death
MINSK, Belarus - A writer working for an opposition newspaper was stabbed to death in her home in Minsk, the Belarusian capital.
Ms. Veronika Cherkasova, 44, worked as a writer for the past 15 years. Most recently, she worked for the newspaper Solidarnost. A relative of Ms. Cherkasova discovered her body last night. Although police had no immediate suspects in the case, a spokesperson said that Ms. Cherkasova might have known her killer as her apartment showed no signs of forced entry.
October 17, 2004 - Pierre Salinger Dies of Heart Failure
PARIS, France - Mr. Pierre Salinger, a well-known writer and veteran correspondent for ABC News, died yesterday at a hospital in southern France. He was 79.
Mr. Salinger was recovering from surgery last week in Cavaillon, a small town near Avignon near the south coast of France. He and his wife had moved to the area almost four years ago to run a bed-and-breakfast.
Mr. Salinger began his career as a print journalist with stints at the San Francisco Chronicle and Collier's. He joined then US Senator John F. Kennedy's staff in 1957, later serving as President Kennedy's press spokesman. He joined ABC News in 1977 and served as the American network's Paris bureau chief and chief foreign correspondent.
October 14, 2004 - TV Journalist Killed in Baghdad Drive-By
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A TV correspondent was killed in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad today, according to an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman.
Ms. Zeina Mahmoud, an Iraqi national who was working for Kurdish-based Al-Hurriya TV, was felled by at least three shots fired from a car driven at high speed. Although police and interior officials have begun an investigation, no leads or suspects have yet been identified.
September 27, 2004 - Publishers and Authors File Suit Against US Treasury
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Several publishers and authors have sued the US Department of Treasury to prevent the government agency from exerting publishing control over information and literature from countries under various US trade embargoes.
The Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing division (AAP/PSP), the Association of American University Presses (http://aaupnet.org/ofac), PEN American Center (http://www.pen.org), and Arcade Publishing (http://www.arcadepub.com) are asking the court to strike down regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
These regulations require US publishers and authors to seek a special license from the government to publish foreign literature from embargoed countries such as Iran, Cuba and the Sudan. If convicted, editors and publishers face prison sentences of up to 10 years or fines of up to $1,000,000 per violation.
September 25, 2004 - Reporter Breaches Palace Security
LONDON, UK - A British tabloid has announced that one of its reporters has breached security at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, a royal residence in Scotland.
Mr. Les Snowdon, Scotland editor for The Sunday Times said one of his reporters had spent several hours on the palace grounds and 20 minutes inside the actual palace before being challenged by an onsite construction worker. According to Mr. Snowdon, the reporter had intentionally broken away from his escort to test security after a series of high profile security breaches of royal palaces in recent months.
September 16, 2005 - Indonesia Jails News Editor for Libel
JAKARTA, Indonesia - A court here has sentenced the chief editor of Tempo weekly to one year in prison for libel. The decision is widely seen as a setback for Indonesia press freedom.
Mr. Bambang Harimurti was found guilty of publishing a libelous story involving a mysterious fire and a millionaire businessman with ties to this country's powerful military services. The story alleged that Mr. Tomy Winarta, plaintiff in the libel case, profited from a contract to rebuild a destroyed textile market.
Many observers expressed surprise over the guilty verdict because two of Mr. Harimurti's own reporters -- Mr. Iskandar Ali and Mr. Ahmad Taufik -- had been acquitted earlier in the day on the similar charges relating to the actual writing of the story.
September 12, 2004 - TV Reporter Killed in US Attack
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A reporter was killed and two other journalists wounded today when an American attack helicopter opened fire on a disabled and abandoned US Army vehicle. American forces here often destroy their own vehicles if they are badly damaged, in order to prevent looting and trophy taking of military equipment.
Mr. Mazen al-Tumeizi, a reporter working for Al-Arabiya television, was doing a stand-up in front of the disabled Bradley fighting vehicle when the attack occurred. His surviving video footage simultaneously shows blood spattering onto the lens of the camera, and Mr. al-Tumeizi doubling-over and screaming, "I'm dying, I'm dying". A few seconds later he succumbed to his injuries.
Mr. al-Tumeizi's cameraman was wounded during the attack and is reported in stable condition. His name was withheld for security reasons. This is not the first time that journalists working for Al-Arabiya have been injured or killed covering the war. Mr. Ali al-Khatib, a correspondent, and Mr. Ali Abdel-Aziz, a cameraman, were killed near a American checkpoint on March 18, The two-man crew was there to cover the aftermath of a rocket attack in Baghdad.
September 4, 2004 - Iraq Shutters Al-Jazeera Office Indefinitely
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The provisional government here has announced it will extend the existing closure of Arab TV's Al-Jazeera bureau in the Iraqi capital. This extends the initial ban placed on Al-Jazeera by the Iraqi government on August 5.
At that time, the government said it would temporarily close the Al-Jazeera bureau for 30 days, accusing the station of inciting violence. According to officials, government sources gave the popular Arab satellite station one month to "clarify its editorial policy" by refraining from broadcasting excessively violent or anti-government news packages.
July 19, 2004 - Trial of Zahra Kazemi's Killer Halted
TEHRAN, Iran - The judge in a trial of an Iranian intelligence officer accused of bludgeoning a photojournalist to death abruptly halted the proceedings today. There will apparently be no verdict in the case.
Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian freelance journalist who was born in Iran died in Iranian police custody on July 10, 2003. She was in jail for allegedly taking pictures outside a Tehran prison during student-led riots.
The Iranian government originally claimed that Kazemi died of a stroke. It was only later -- after international condemnation of the journalist's death -- that an independent government investigation admitted Ms. Kazemi actually died of a fractured skull and brain injury during her interrogation. No autopsy was performed on Ms. Kazemi's body -- and her family's request that the body be returned to Canada was denied.
Canadian and European diplomats as well as some media were allowed to attend yesterday's court proceedings. Today, however, the court was closed to everyone but Iranian legal officials and the case apparently sealed. Canadian Ambassador Philip Mackinnon has been recalled by the Prime Minister Paul Martin in protest. Read the original story here.
July 17, 2004 - BBC Journos Freed By Cameroon
LIMBE, Cameroon - The government here has freed two journalists working for the BBC after detaining them for almost a week. South African national Farouk Chothia and Cameroonian Ange Ngu Thomas were released this evening after being under arrest for allegedly spying in a disputed area between Cameroon and Nigeria.
The British Broadcasting Corporation said the two journalists were covering the Nigerian withdrawal of the disputed areas and that Cameroonian officials had full knowledge of their activities.
July 9, 2004 - Russian Forbes Editor Murdered
MOSCOW, Russia - Mr. Paul Klebnikov, the American editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, was shot to death just outside his office this evening. According to a police source, Mr. Klebnikov was hit at least four times by gunfire and there were at least two assassins involved.
The Russian-language edition of the famous financial magazine was less than four months old. American born Mr. Klebnikov, aged 41, had previously served as senior editor with the US-based magazine before his Russian posting. Previously, he wrote a controversial book about Russian business tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
June 22, 2004 - Gunmen Murder Newspaper Editor
TIJUANA, Mexico - Mr. Francisco Ortiz Franco, editor of the weekly newspaper, Zeta, was today assassinated in front of his children in this near-lawless town perched at the edge of the Mexico/USA border.
In 1980, Mr. Ortiz co-founded Zeta, a newspaper that gained notoriety for its strident reporting on drug traffickers and political corruption in Mexico in general, and Tijuana in particular. Mexico's journalists are frequently targeted by gangsters and others and have been subject to numerous beatings, kidnappings and murders.
Zeta's co-founder, Mr. Hector Felix Miranda, was murdered in 1988, and in 1997, the newspaper's publisher, Mr. Jesus Blancornelas, was badly wounded and his bodyguard/driver, Mr. Luis Lauro Valero killed in an a similar attack.
June 15, 2004 - Book Publisher McClelland Dies at Age 81
TORONTO, ON, Canada - Mr. Jack McClelland, who lead Canada's most colorful book publishing company, has died at his home in Toronto. He was 81.
Mr. McClelland joined his father's publishing company in 1946, and became its named president in 1961. Under his leadership, McClelland and Stewart became the biggest name in Canadian publishing, especially in titles that promoted Canadian nationalism and Canadian culture.
Never on a particularly sound financial footing, the company went up for sale in 1971, only to be bailed out by the Ontario Development Corp., a government agency. In 1985, facing even more serious financial problems, McClelland sold his majority stake to a Canadian businessman. Mr. McClelland left the company completely in 1987.
Many now-famous Canadian authors have McClelland to thank for their popularity as well as their financial and literary success. These include Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Leonard Cohen, Farley Mowat, Peter C. Newman, Mordecai Richler and many, many others.
June 11 - Gay Uzbek Journalist May Be Released
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - Mr. Ruslan Sharipov, an openly gay journalist whose conviction for sodomy and having sex with minors was widely seen as an attempt to muzzle the press in this country, may be released soon.
Mr. Sharipov was convicted in August 2003 and sentenced to 5-1/2 years of jail time. An appeals court later reduced his jail term to four years. Three months ago, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry promised that Mr. Sharipov could be freed within three months, but the government apparently decided to hold the journalist without explanation.
In May, Mr. Sharipov was awarded the 2004 Golden Pen of Freedom Award from the World Association of Newspapers. The award was given to Mr. Sharipov for a series of articles he wrote questioning the rights of his fellow citizens under the current Uzbekistan government.
June 7, 2004 - Two British Journos Shot in Saudi
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Two experienced BBC journalists were shot yesterday while doing a stand-up in an ultra conservative district of al-Suwaydi, a southern neighborhood of the Saudi capital city. Dead is Mr. Simon Cumbers, 36, an Irish cameraman. Mr. Frank Gardner, 42, a well-known correspondent, was severely injured in the attack and is reportedly in critical but stable condition.
According to witnesses, the two were filming outside the house of an alleged militant when a car drove by. At least one occupant of the vehicle opened fire with an automatic weapon. Both the local driver working for the reporters, and an Information Ministry staffer accompanying the group, were uninjured in the attack.
In recent months Al-Suwaydi, a slum district where al-Qaeda beliefs run rampant, has been the scene of numerous violent attacks. Due to the inherrent safety risks involved in covering stories here, few journalists venture inside this area.
May 28, 2004 - Embattled Newspaper Editor Assassinated
PODGORICA, Montenegro - Unidentified gunmen have shot dead the editor of a daily newspaper here in the Montenegro capitol. Mr. Dusko Jovanovic, editor-in-chief of the Podgorica-based Dan daily was killed after at least two assailants lay in wait for the controversial journalist as he got into his car.
Jovanovic's Dan has been sued in several libel lawsuits -- and Mr. Jovanovic himself was indicted in 2003 by the United Nations war crimes tribunal for printing the name of a protected witness who testified in the trial of former President Slobodan Milosevic. The incitement was dropped recently after the Dan printed a full apology.
Mr. Jovanovic was no stranger to danger. Before becoming the head of Dan, he served as a deputy in Montenegro's parliament and had reportedly received numerous death threats.
May 27, 2004 - Two Reporters Murdered in Baghdad
Baghdad, Iraq - Two Japanese reporters, Mr. Shinsuke Hashida and Mr. Kotaro Ogawa have been killed in an ambush south of Baghdad.
Mr. Hashida, aged 61, was arguably Japan's top freelance combat photographer. According to his family, he was on his fifth trip to Iraq since his first posting to the country in 1978. Hashida's interpreter was also killed in the ambush. Mr. Ogawa, aged 33, Mr. Hashida's nephew, was killed in the same attack.
May 22, 2004 - Investigative Journalist Bernard Lefkowitz Dies
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Mr. Bernard Lefkowitz, an investigative journalist and a prolific book author, died yesterday of thymic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. He was 66.
Born in New York, Mr. Lefkowitz cut his editorial teeth at the New York Post during the turbulent '60s. Before he quit the paper to join the Peace Corps, he held the positions of reporter and assistant city editor.
Mr. Lefkowitz became a book author, chronicling the often-bitter situations of marginalized Americans. For example, his 1997 book titled, "Our Guys: The Glen Ridge Rape and the Secret Life of the Perfect Suburb", examined the complex societal dynamics in play when a mentally challenged girl was lured into a basement and gang raped by a popular group of high school boys, all of whom came from "good" families.
May 21, 2004 - BBC Appoints New DG
LONDON, UK - The British Broadcasting Corporation today named a veteran TV executive as its new director-general. Mr. Mark Thompson, currently chief of Britain's Channel 4 broadcasting group, will replace Mr. Greg Dyke, the BBC's most recent boss who resigned after the release of the Hutton Report.
In the report, Lord Hutton criticized BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan, his immediate editor and the entire BBC editorial process which quoted a then-unnamed source that the British government had "sexed-up" a dossier suggesting that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction. The dossier was part of the evidence that Prime Minister Tony Blair used to justify the Iraqi invasion. The un-named source was later leaked as weapons scientist Dr. David Kelly. Shortly afterward, Dr. Kelly was found dead in mysterious circumstances. The local coroner ruled he was a suicide.
Although the findings of the Hutton Report were widely denounced as being extraordinarily pro-government, they also led to resignations of Mr. Gilligan and BBC Chairman Gavyn Davies.
May 21, 2004 - Iraqi Insurgents Release Spanish Reporter Unharmed
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents near Najaf have freed a Spanish reporter after interrogating him for a short period. According to Spanish National Radio, Mr. Fran Sevilla was captured earlier today enroute to Najaf to cover a Friday sermon from Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Mr. Sevilla was in-country to cover the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq and was reportedly speaking with his bureau on a satellite phone when the line went dead. His captors released him after holding him for approximately four hours.
May 20, 2004 - American Troops Not Guilty of Press Abuse
WASHINGTON, DC, USA - Army paratroopers accused of beating and taunting several journalists detained in Iraq have been found not guilty after an internal review, according to an Army spokesman.
The Reuters news organization said that three Iraqis working for the agency were abused during a four-day detention near Fallujah in January of this year. Reuters went public with its workers' allegations after the US Army report found there was no evidence of abuse. The news agency noted there are disturbing similarities between what its journalists say happened to them and the now well-documented cases of Iraqi detainee torture at Abu Ghraib prison.
Shortly after a US helicopter was shot down and its pilot killed, American troops stopped a car that was said to resemble one seen leaving the scene of the attack. Rather than finding weapons capable of shooting down a military helicopter, four reporters were found inside. The reporters -- three from Reuters and one from NBC -- had valid press identification and one was reportedly wearing a vest with "PRESS" markings. Nevertheless, all four were taken to a nearby detention facility and interrogated. US Army Major Jimmie Cummings said the journalists were given a "routine" medical screening, which included being stripped and having all body cavities examined.
May 19, 2004 - Zimbabwe Journalists' Persecution Continues
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Two journalists working for this country's only independent newspaper were re-arrested today on charges of publishing false material to incite public disorder. The actions are widely seen as another step in Zimbabwe's continuing media crackdown on independent press outlets.
Mr. Bornwell Chakaodza, the editor of the Standard, and Mr. Valentine Maponga, a staff reporter, were held as a result of an article claiming that relatives of a murdered business executive blamed several senior Zimbabwe government officials for his death. The government contents the journalists made up the story and did not speak with the relatives. If convicted, both journalists face up to five years in prison.
May 14, 2004 - British Editor Resigns for Publishing Faked Photos
LONDON, UK - Mr. Piers Morgan, editor of The Daily Mirror newspaper, resigned today after admitting the photos he published purportedly showing British soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees were faked.
Almost immediately after they were published, questions emerged about the authenticity of the pictures. The particular British regiment implicated said that some of the uniforms, weapons and other equipment pictured in the photos were not those used in Iraq and that it had conclusive proof that a large truck seen in the background in at least one picture had never even left Britain.
Although The Daily Mirror said it had published the photos in good faith, it added that "...there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that these pictures are fakes and that the Daily Mirror has been the subject of a calculated and malicious hoax."
May 7, 2004 - Two Reporters Murdered in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Polish TV crew was ambushed today in Mahmoudiyah, a small town approximately 20 miles south of Baghdad. Dead are Mr. Mounir Bouamranea, a veteran news producer, and Mr. Waldemar Milewicz, an award-winning correspondent. According to witnesses at the scene, their murderers were not caught and fled into the crowd.
Mr. Bouamrane, aged 36, had worked for Polish TV for over a decade. Mr. Milewicz, aged 47, had worked for TVP for over 20 years and had served in other war-torn regions such as Chechnya and Afghanistan. Mr. Milewicz had received numerous awards and commendations for his reporting.
A third TVP journalist, cameraman Mr. Jerzy Ernst, was shot in the arm and is currently in an American army military facility here in Baghdad. According to Ernst, who was well enough to speak on Polish television, the crew had set out early in the morning for Najaf, the scene of much violence in recent months. The road they were traveling on was blocked so the Iraqi driver, who was not injured, decided to take another route. Gunfire soon erupted and the three reporters were hit.
Although their vehicle reportedly had a windshield sticker identifying it as a press car, it is not known if any of the reporters were wearing any other press identification or body armor. The crew had been in-country for only three days but wanted to cover the particularly dangerous region of Mahmoudiyah, an area in which several foreigners have been murdered in as many months. Two CNN employees were killed earlier this year in the same area.
May 5, 2004 - Photographer Shot in Gaza
GAZA, Palestine Territories, Israel - A Palestinian photographer was apparently shot by an Israeli soldier here today. Mr. Mahmoud al-Hams was taken to a nearby hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Mr. al-Hams, aged 24, is an Agence France-Press photographer, and was reportedly hit in both legs while taking pictures of Palestinian schoolchildren throwing stones at Israeli soldiers. The army said it was conducting a military operation in Gaza after a pregnant Jewish settler and her four young daughters were ambushed in their car and shot to death.
April 30, 2004 - Major TV Chain Pulls Broadcast of News Show
BALTIMORE, MD, USA - The Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Baltimore, Maryland-based owner of 62 television stations in 39 US cities, announced it will bar its ABC-affiliate stations from airing tonight's Nightline tribute to US troops killed in Iraq. The broadcaster claims the segment is a political statement disguised as news.
ABC News plans to devote the entire show to the tribute, in which news anchor Ted Koppel will read the names of the 523 fallen American soldiers as their photographs are shown. In a prepared release, Sinclair said the Nightline segment "...appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq."
Sinclair's planned boycott, however, drew sharp criticism from a number of sources. US Representative Maurice Hinchey, a New York state Democrat, said that Sinclair's decision "...is being made by a corporation with a political agenda without regard to the wants or needs of its viewers". Mr. Hinchey is a leading congressional critic of newly relaxed media ownership regulations adopted last year by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Center for American Progress, a Washington-based liberal think tank, also noted that Sinclair's executives have donated more than $130,000 to President George W. Bush and his political allies since 2000.
April 28, 2004 - Los Angeles Times Names New Editors
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Mr. John Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times has announced that Mr. Michael Kinsley has been named editorial and opinion editor of the paper. Ms. Janet Clayton has been named assistant managing editor for state and local news.
Mr. Kinsley previously served as the editor of The New Republic and Harper's magazines. He was also the founding editor of the online magazine, Slate, and was previously a correspondent at Time magazine. According to the L.A. Times, Mr. Kinsley will be responsible for The Times' daily editorial and letters page, the Commentary page (the so-called "op-ed" page), and the Sunday Opinion section. Ms. Clayton has served as its editorial editor since 1995. In her new role, Ms. Clayton will oversee the paper's California news coverage through bureaus in Orange County, the San Fernando Valley, Ventura County, the Inland Empire, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and other locations in the state.
April 20, 2004 - Founder of Guinness World Records Dies
LONDON, UK - Mr. Norris McWhirter, the co-founder of Guinness World Records, has died at the age of 78. A spokesman for the company announced that Mr. McWhirter suffered an apparent heart attack yesterday at his home in south-west England. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Mr. McWhirter will be remembered for co-founding the "Guinness Book of Records" (now known as "Guinness World Records") but he was also an accomplished writer, sports commentator, athlete and political activist. The book was first published in 1955, and has now been translated into 37 languages and has sold more than 100 million copies.
April 15, 2004 - French Journalist Released
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Mr. Alexandre Jordanov, a journalist working for Paris-based Capa Television was released yesterday after being kidnapped and held for four days. During his ordeal, Mr. Jordanov says he was constantly threatened and moved frequently.
Mr. Jordanov was abducted on Sunday while videotaping an American military convoy. His cameraman, Mr. Ivan Ceriex, was released the next day.
April 14, 2004 - Czech Journalists May be Released
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Minister of Culture Mofeed al-Jazaeri said today that three Czech journalists kidnapped on Sunday are alive and might be released as early as today. The three men, who have been identified as Czech Television reporter, Michal Kubal, Czech Television, cameraman Petr Klima, and Czech Radio reporter, Vit Pohanka, are believed to have been kidnapped while driving toward the Jordanian border.
April 12, 2004 - French Videographer Captured in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The French government has demanded the immediate release of Mr. Alexandre Jordanov, a journalist working for Paris-based Capa Television. Mr. Jordanov was reportedly captured yesterday while videotaping an attack on an American military convoy.
According to Mr. Franck Duprat, an editor working with Jordanov on a show called, "The Real News", the videographer was likely kidnapped as he was driving on the road near Baghdad.
January 31, 2004 - Iraqi Council Bans Al-Jazeera For One Month
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The US-backed Governing Council here has barred news channel Al-Jazeera from all government access and news conferences for a period of one month.
The prohibition on one of the most popular television news stations in the Middle East -- the second in less than six months -- went into effect three days ago and is reportedly punishment for allegedly slandering prominent Iraqis.
January 30, 2004 - BBC Reporter Quits After Hutton Report Released
LONDON, UK - Mr. Andrew Gilligan, a BBC reporter at the center of the controversy around the death of weapons inspector, Dr. David Kelly, has resigned.
Mr. Gilligan left the BBC after a government inquiry led by Lord Hutton criticized his factual reporting and the BBC's editorial supervision of him. According to the BBC, Mr. Gilligan conceded some of his story was wrong, and apologized for it, but also added that he felt that the BBC had been made the scapegoat of the inquiry and the victim of a "grave injustice".
In May of last year, Mr. Gilligan spoke on the BBC program, Today, and claimed that the British government had "sexed up" a dossier about Iraqi-owned weapons of mass destruction. The dossier was one of the key pieces of information used by the Blair and Bush governments to justify invading Iraq. On July 10th, Dr. Kelly was named as the suspected source of Mr. Gilligan's report. A week later, Dr. Kelly was found dead under mysterious circumstances, the victim of an apparent suicide.
January 28, 2004 - Publisher of Mein Kampf Sentenced to Probation
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - The publisher of a Czech translation of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" was sentenced to three years of probation today. Mr. Michal Zitko was charged with promoting Nazism.
In 2000, Mr. Zitko reportedly published a Czech-language translation of the infamous book in which the Nazi leader laid out his so-called "final solution" for Jews and Gypsies as well as Germany's destiny to rule the world.
Mr. Zitko had earlier received a three-year suspended sentence but it had been overturned by an appeals court. Prague's Municipal Court re-sentenced the publisher ruling the book might well have influenced neo-Nazis active in the country.
January 25, 2004 - John Honderich Resigns as Publisher of Toronto Star
TORONTO, ON, Canada - Mr. John Honderich, Publisher of Canada's largest circulation newspaper, the Toronto Star, has announced he will leave the company effective May 5, 2004.
Mr. Honderich held various positions at the Toronto Star throughout his long tenure, including Publisher (10 years) and Editor (6 years). The industry veteran joined the paper in 1976 as a reporter, and his departure is seen by many as a power struggle between Mr. Honderich and the current paper's board of directors.
January 24, 2003 - Investigative Journalist Dies
WINSTON-SALEM, NC, USA - Ms. LaVerne Stevenson, an award-winning investigative journalist, died yesterday, reportedly of chronic lung disease. She was 76.
Ms. Stevenson, wrote under the name of Bunny Harris and had retired five years ago after a long career as a journalist. She first wrote for the (now defunct) Raleigh Times and later for The Charlotte Observer during a time where women, if even allowed to write professionally, were relegated to "soft" news such as cooking columns or society stories. She continued writing as a freelancer for 15 years after the birth of her daughter.
January 24, 2004 - Photographer Helmut Newton Dies in Accident
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Noted photographer Helmut Newton died yesterday after a traffic collision here in Los Angeles. He was 83 years old.
According to April Harding, a spokeswoman for the LAPD, Mr. Newton apparently lost control of his Cadillac near the Chateau Marmont, an upscale hotel where he lived during the winter months.
Mr. Newton's photographs were featured in magazines such as Playboy, Elle and Vogue, but he was best known for his stark, black-and-white nude photos of lean women. The photographer is survived by June, his wife of over 50 years. Mrs. Newton is an artist who works under the name Alice Springs.
January 22, 2004 - Banned Zimbabwe Paper Publishing Again
HARARE, Zimbabwe - The popular Daily News, Zimbabwe's only daily newspaper, published an eight-page edition today after local police allowed the embattled paper to resume operation. Some Harare intersections were plagued by traffic jams during the day as drivers stopped to buy the paper from overwhelmed street vendors.
The Daily News has been a frequent critic of President Mugabe's 23-year rule. In September, a new state-run media commission, denied the newspaper a license to publish. During the raid, police seized computers and other necessary printing equipment. According to Mr. Sam Sipepa Nkomo, publisher's chief executive, the police have yet returned some computers and the paper's subscription list.
Under Zimbabwe's restrictive media laws, the government has the arbitrary power to withdraw publication licenses, confiscate printing equipment and jail journalists for up to two years for crimes against the state. It has exercised this right in numerous cases where media outlets have opposed government policies or held officials up to unfavorable scrutiny.
January 19, 2004 - Belarus Government Says Russian TV Bureau Can Reopen
MINSK, Belarus - The government today gave a leading Russian TV station permission to reopen its local bureau. The ruling came nearly seven months after the government closed down the Minsk bureau of NTV and expelled its chief correspondent for "slandering the government."
The government of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has been accused of stifling the press and intimidating legitimate political opposition. Last May, for example, it shuttered Belarusskaya Delovaya Gazeta, a popular newspaper here, that allegedly insulted President Lukashenko. The paper was allowed to re-open four months later.
January 16, 2004 - Private Investigator Had File On Reporter
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Police here have seized files from the office of Mr. Anthony Pellicano that they say indicate the private investigator was linked to a death threat against a local reporter.
According to law enforcement, Ms. Anita Busch, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, was investigating possible links between actor Steven Seagal and organized crime. Court documents filed here on Thursday claim police had found a file in Mr. Pellicano's office that included Ms. Busch's physical description, the license plate of her car, and her home address. Click here to read the original coverage on this story.
January 16, 2004 - Bangladeshi Journalist Assassinated
KHULNA, Bangladesh - Mr. Manik Saha, a staff writer for the New Age newspaper and a correspondent for the Bengali language service of the BBC, was assassinated yesterday. He was 49 years old.
According to media watchdog group, Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders), Mr. Saha was the first journalist in the world to be killed this year. A police spokesman said the reporter had just left the local press club when unidentified attackers hurled an explosive device -- possibly a grenade -- directly at him. He was killed instantly.
Mr. Saha had been a journalist for two decades and often wrote about sensitive subjects such as the Asian Mafia, cross-border smuggling and various rebel groups. His murder came less than two weeks after the BBC ran a crime story he wrote.
January 15, 2004 - Media Watchdog Calls To Reopen Iraq Investigation
PARIS, France - Reporters Without Borders called today to reopen the US military inquiry into what actually happened during the infamous Palestine Hotel attack in Baghdad on April 8, 2003.
According to RSF, the US Army is responsible for "criminal negligence" in connection with the shooting. The attack on the hotel -- where many journalists were known to be operating -- directly caused the death of two reporters: Ukrainian cameramen Mr. Taras Protsyuk (working for the Reuters news agency) and Spaniard José Couso (who was working for the Spanish TV station, Telecinco).
The announcement came after the release of RSF's independent investigation of the incident. The investigation reportedly gathered evidence from journalists in the hotel at the time, from other journalists "embedded" with various US Army units, and from US soldiers and officers directly involved in the incident.
January 10, 2004 - French Journalists Sentenced in Pakistan
KARACHI, Pakistan - A Pakistani court today sentenced two French journalists to six months in prison for alleged visa violations. Prosecutors had originally asked for reporter Marc Epstein and photographer Jean-Paul Guilloteau to be jailed for three years.
Both journalists were on assignment for the French magazine L'Express and were arrested traveling to the southwestern city of Quetta. In his ruling, Judge Nuzhat Ara Alvi noted the journalists' visas allowed travel only to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
Officials also alleged Mr. Epstein and Mr. Guilloteau were involved with making a "fake documentary" showing Taliban rebels sneaking into Pakistan from Afghanistan, although neither was charged with these allegations. Mr. Khawar Mehdi Rizvi, a Pakistani journalist, who was working with the two Frenchmen was also arrested at the same time. Read the original story here.
January 10, 2004 - Zimbabwe Editor and Two Writers Arrested
HARARE, Zimbabwe - Police arrested an editor and two reporters working at the Zimbabwe Independent today after the government charged the newspaper published a story that allegedly defamed President Robert Mugabe.
In a piece titled, "Mugabe grabs plane for Far East holiday", the paper claimed that the president commandeered an Air Zimbabwe jet for a family vacation in Asia. According to the story, many passengers previously booked on the borrowed Boeing 767's flights to London were stranded while other arrangements had to be made for them. Mr. Mugabe does not have his own jet but has commandeered planes from the national airline for his own flights in the past.
Mr. Iden Wetherell, editor of the newspaper, was arrested at his home and expected to be charged with criminal defamation of Mugabe. Reporters Mr. Dumisani Muleya and Mr. Vincent Kahiya were also arrested.