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Reporter World provides a variety of safety equipment, identification products, specialized high-visibility clothing, pertinent news, product reviews, book reviews and useful links specifically for reporters, writers, assignment editors, news correspondents, journalists, ENG crews, photographers, production staff, directors, segment producers, media security personnel, and freelancers: in short, anyone who is part of the news gathering, information reporting, or documentary film industries.

Whether you're already in-country or preparing for your overseas assignment, keeping up-to-date on important news that affects reporters, correspondents, writers and other information gatherers is vital. In this section, we outline important stories relating to safety and security of reporters, writers and others. We also list important developments in our industry and the passing of key individuals within the community.

Other good places to look for news about missing, detained, imprisoned, tortured or murdered reporters are the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders) and the New York-based, Committee to Protect Journalists.

Please note that all stories are listed in reverse chronological order within each year as indicated. That is, the most recent stories are listed first within each year and as stories are added, older reports are "pushed down" toward the bottom of this page. If you want to add a story, please contact us using the feedback address on our Terms of Service page. If you wish to remain confidential, we suggest using a Hotmail or Yahoo account to send us your tip.

You can also read news stories from other years by clicking on the applicable link in the menu on the left.


December 30, 2005 – Staff at Chinese Daily Walk Out in Protest
Beijing, PRC – An estimated 100 writers, reporters and other journalists walked off the job today to protest the firing of three popular editors at the newspaper.

Staff at the Beijing News, walked out after editor-in-chief Mr. Yang Bin and two senior editors were "reassigned", by local Communist Party officials who have apparently grown concerned at the strident tone the popular newspaper has been taking in recent months. For example, in June of this year, the paper's graphic reporting of violent intimidation of local farmers by alleged government-backed thugs made international news and led to the arrests of a Party official.

Papers such as the Beijing News have been publishing stories to attract readers and advertising revenues, leading to numerous conflicts with Communist Party officials who have traditionally censored all media.

December 27, 2005 - Australian Publishing Mogul Dies
SYDNEY, Australia – Mr. Kerry Packer, this country's wealthiest man has died at the age of 68. Although no official cause of death was given by his family, Mr. Packer was known to have serious health problems, with cancer and a kidney transplant in his recent medical history.

Mr. Packer amassed his fortune through his family's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd., a business he inherited from his father who died in 1974. At that time, the conglomerate consisted of two television stations, five radio stations, nine provincial newspapers and the biggest magazine publishing company in the country. A decade later, Mr. Packer had added another magazine business and expanded programming at Australia's Nine Network.

December 18, 2005 – Political Columnist Jack Anderson Dies
Mr. Jack Anderson, the crusading journalist who butted heads with powerful political figures – and won a Pulitzer prize for his investigative efforts – died last night at the age of 83.

According to sources close to the family, Mr. Anderson was felled by complications relating to his near two-decades long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Despite his debilitating condition, Mr. Anderson wrote his column until July 2004, when, at the age of 81, he felt he was too sick to continue his work.

Mr. Anderson made powerful enemies during his writing career. He angered the US administration when he uncovered secret files that indicated the US government favored Pakistan over India during a 1971 war between the two countries. He also feuded with then FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover about how the FBI fought organized crime within the United States.

Seldom a friend of the powerful, Mr. Anderson even made it onto the former Nixon Administration's infamous "enemies list". Years later, it become known that several plans were discussed to silence the journalist's stories although none of these was apparently acted upon.

December 11, 2005 – Lebanese Journalist Assassinated in Car Bomb
BEIRUT, Lebanon – A popular anti-Syrian journalist and lawmaker was murdered when a powerful bomb blew up his car. Mr. Gibran Tueni had just returned from France the day previous, where he had been living in exile fearing for his life. His driver and an unidentified pedestrian were also killed, and an estimated 30 others were injured in the attack.

Mr. Tueni, aged 48, was instrumental in creating the huge demonstrations that led up to Syria withdrawing its troops from Lebanon in April. This ended an almost three-decades long occupation of the country by its Arab neighbor. The country has been plagued by many car bombings since the murder of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Mr. Rafik Hariri in February.

The attacks have mainly targeted politicians and journalists who have spoken out against Syria's occupation, control and political influence in Lebanon. A spokesman for a group claiming responsibility for the attack was quoted as saying, "we have broken the pen of Gibran Tueni and gagged his mouth forever, turning An-Nahar into a dark night". The term "an-Nahar" is an Arabic word meaning "day".

October 12, 2005 - Knight Ridder Correspondents Kidnapped, Then Released
GAZA, Palestinian Territories – Palestinian gunmen kidnapped and then released two Knight Ridder Correspondents as the pair drove through the central Gaza town of Khan Younis.

Mr. Dion Nissenbaum, an American reporter for the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, and British photographer Mr. Adam Pletts, who was working on assignment for Knight Ridder, were freed Wednesday night after several hours in captivity, according to the newspaper chain.

Palestinian police chief Brigadier General Ala Husni said that both men were apparently abducted by a renegade group of militants who were formerly members of the ruling Fatah political party. According to police, the kidnappers wanted jobs as officers in the Palestinian security forces. When officials refused the journalists were freed.

October 4, 2005 - Editor of Afghan Magazine Arrested
KABUL, Afghanistan – Mr. Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the editor of an Afghan women's rights magazine, has been jailed after a presidential adviser accused him of publishing material unsuitable for this conservative Islamic country.

The troublesome articles included one apparently critical of the Islamic practice of punishing adulterers with 100 lashes of a whip, and another that suggested that giving up Islam should not be a criminal offense.

Under a March 2004 media law, content deemed insulting to Islam is banned. Anyone who writes or distributes this content is subject to unspecified penalties.

September 20, 2005 – Ukraine Official Accused in Reporter's Murder
KIEV, Ukraine - A commission investigating the kidnapping and murder of a Ukrainian journalist in 2000 has accused this country's parliamentary speaker of ordering the slaying. This according to a Web site citing the panel's findings.

Mr. Heorhiy Gongadze, a 31-year old journalist who wrote about high-level corruption, was kidnapped and killed after getting into what he thought was a taxi. His body was found in a forest outside Kiev. According to commission testimony, it showed signs of a severe beating and had been set on fire with gasoline.

According to the commission, Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn had "instigated the abduction," but was part of a larger plot to stifle dissent that also included then President Leonid Kuchma and Interior Minister Yury Kravchenko. Mr. Kravchenko made local news in March of this year when he apparently committed suicide just before being questioned in Mr. Gongadze's murder.

Commentators here suggest the murder ignited protests that eventually led to last year's "Orange Revolution" in which pro-reform politician, Mr. Viktor Yushchenko, was swept into office.

September 20, 2005 – Google Hit With Copyright Lawsuit
NEW YORK, NY, USA – The Author's Guild, an organization that claims membership of over 8000 authors, today accused Google Inc. of "massive copyright infringement". In a lawsuit filed with the US District Court here in Manhattan, the organization said the ubiquitous search engine does not have the legal right to use books currently in the public domain for its own commercial use without permission.

According to the suit, "by reproducing for itself a copy of those works that are not in the public domain, Google is engaging in massive copyright infringement. It has infringed, and continues to infringe, the electronic rights of the copyright holders of those works".

The lawsuit asks the court to grant an injunction to prevent Google from copying the books to prevent authors from suffering irreparable harm by being deprived of the right to control reproduction of their works.

September 11, 2005 - Italian Reporter Abducted, then Released, in Gaza
GAZA, Palestinian Territories - Mr. Lorenzo Cremonesi, a reporter for Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, was kidnapped from his own car near the town of Deir al-Balah in what witnesses say was a coordinated attack by four armed assailants.

Mr. Cremonesi later telephoned his colleagues to explain he was being held by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group affiliated with the Palestinian Fatah faction. Shortly afterward he was released, apparently unharmed, and made his own way back to his hotel.

Local police have received no claims of responsibility nor have any arrests been made in the incident. Mr. Cremonesi's abduction is one of several in recent months.

September 10, 2005 - Online Service Helps Convict Writer
HONG KONG, PRC - Yahoo Hong Kong, an online search and e-mail service partly owned by California, US-based Yahoo, has reportedly provided personal account and communications transaction information to Chinese officials in an effort to track down a dissident writer.

Chinese police charged Mr. Shi Tao, a former staffer for the financial Contemporary Business News, with unspecified offenses under the country's vague state secrecy laws. The writer was later convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.

In recent months, Yahoo, Google and MSN have all been accused of censoring blogs, Web content or e-mails in an effort to gain points with China's hard-line communist government.

August 29, 2005 - RSF Announces More Journos Killed in Iraq than in Vietnam
PARIS, France - With yesterday’s death of Mr. Waleed Khaled, an Iraqi soundman working for the Reuters news organization, Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has calculated that 66 journalists, their assistants and other press workers have been killed since the United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003.

RSF noted that the number of journalists who have been killed so far in Iraq has already surpassed the total of 63 journalists killed during the entire Vietnam war. Unlike the Vietnam war that lasted 20 years (from 1955 to 1975), however, the Iraqi invasion has lasted less than 2-1/2 years.

The press organization also observed that war is increasingly dangerous for journalists. The war in the former Yugoslavia republic between 1991 and 1995 was responsible for the deaths of 49 journalists. During a four-year civil war in Algeria that ended in 1996, a total of 57 journalists and 20 media assistants were killed.

August 28, 2005 - Reuters Soundman Killed, Cameraman Injured by US Forces
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A Reuters soundman was shot dead today and a fellow cameraman traveling with him was wounded, apparently by US soldiers.

According to Iraqi police, Mr. Waleed Khaled, 35, was shot once in the face and at least four times in the chest as he was driving a private vehicle in the Hay al-Adil district of west Baghdad. Mr. Khaled and Mr. Haider Kadhem, a Reuters cameraman, were on their way to a story that gunmen had reportedly killed two police officers in the area.

Another Reuters journalist arrived at the scene about an hour later to survey the scene. He reported that Mr. Khaled had his Reuters and US military-issued press ID cards pinned to his shirt in plain sight.

Mr. Khaled is the second Reuters staffer to have been killed by US troops in Iraq since the US invasion in 2003. A third was shot dead in Ramadi in November 2004 under mysterious circumstances. Three weeks ago, yet another Reuters cameraman, Mr. Ali al-Mashhadani, was arrested and is being held in Abu Ghraib prison.

August 8, 2005 - Peter Jennings Dies at 67
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Mr. Peter Jennings, long-time anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, died of lung cancer at his New York home last night. He was 67 years old.

Mr. Jennings was born July 29, 1938, in Toronto and landed his first anchor job at the age of 9, hosting a short-lived Saturday morning children's show called "Peter's People". As an adult, he was first hired by CBC Radio, moving to the network's television counterpart in 1961. Mr. Jennings was hired by ABC in 1964 after he was spotted covering the US Democratic National Convention for CBC News. Only a year later, at 26, he was picked to anchor "The ABC Evening News."

Jennings later became a foreign correspondent for ABC, covering a multitude of stories including the massacre of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich. More recently, he logged over 60 hours of on-air time during the 9/11 attacks. His Canadian background and the many years spent abroad helped him explain many international stories in a more worldly and balanced view than his rivals.

During his career, Mr. Jennings won a total of 16 Emmy Awards; two George Foster Peabody Awards; several Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards; and several Overseas Press Club Awards. He is survived by his wife, Ms. Kayce Freed, and his two children, Elizabeth and Christopher.

August 3, 2005 - US Journalist Found Murdered in Iraq
BASRA, Iraq - An American freelance journalist working in Iraq was found murdered this morning. Mr. Steven Vincent and his translator, Ms. Noor al-Khal, had been abducted last night after leaving a money changing office near Mr. Vincent's hotel.

According to the American embassy, Mr. Vincent's body showed signs of severe violence, including several gunshots to his body and the binding of his hands. Although he had been working on stories concerning the rising tide of fundamentalist Islam (including one piece that appeared in the New York Times just before his death), other theories abound about Mr. Vincent's murder.

One theory, for example, offers that he was murdered as part of an "honor killing" in retaliation for his relationship with his female translator, Ms. Noor al-Khal. The relationship reportedly angered several local religious officials who previously threatened the couple. Ms. Noor al-Khal was also shot, and is in serious, but stable, condition at a Basra hospital.

July 9, 2005 - Boxer Charged in Sports Writer's Murder
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Mr. James Butler Jr, a boxer who fights under the ringname "The Harlem Hammer" has been charged in the murder of Mr. Sam Kellerman, a freelancer who covered the pro boxing beat. Mr. Kellerman was 29.

Police alledge that Mr. Butler used a hammer to kill Mr. Kellerman and then set fire to the apartment to cover up the original crime. According to police, the two men were friends and Mr. Butler had been staying at Mr. Kellerman's apartment for a few weeks before the murder.

July 6, 2005 - US Federal Judge Orders NYT Reporter Jailed
WASHINGTON, DC, USA - US District Judge Mr. Thomas Hogan has jailed New York Times reporter Ms. Judith Miller for refusing to divulge a source to a grand jury. Judge Hogan has made it clear that he may continue to hold Ms. Miller for civil contempt until the grand jury finishes its investigation, possibly in October.

The grand jury is ostensibly investigating who in the Bush White House leaked an undercover CIA operative's name to Mr. Robert Novak, a conservative commentator and open supporter of the Bush government. Although it is a serious crime to release the identity of an operative – some would argue a treasonable offense, especially in time of war – Mr. Novak has apparently not been charged in the incident despite the fact he was the writer who originally released the operative's name.

The case illustrates that although many American reporters think they are protected by their First Amendment rights guaranteeing the freedom of the press, they are subject to the rulings of federal judges who may not necessarily agree that journalist sources should be protected.

July 2, 2005 - Iraqi TV Producer Murdered
MOSUL, Iraq - Mr. Khalid al-Attar, a producer working for Iraqi-based al-Iraqiya television, was abducted at gunpoint yesterday by a number of unidentified assailants. His body was found late yesterday. He was 43 years old.

According to Reporters Without Borders, Mr. al-Attar's murder brings to 61 the number of journalists who have been killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. Like many of the other murders of journalists in this country, local police have no immediate suspects in Mr. al-Attar's killing.

June 24, 2005 - Shana Alexander Dies of Cancer
LOS ANGELES, CA, USA - Trailblazing female journalist Ms. Shana Alexander, known best for her spirited "Point-Counterpoint" debates on the CBS show "60 Minutes", has died of cancer. She was 79.

Ms. Alexander began her journalism career in print, writing for magazines such Newsweek and National Geographic. She was the first female staff writer at Life magazine and the first female editor at McCall's magazine. She also wrote several nonfiction books including a bestseller about kidnap victim Patricia Hearst.

Ms. Alexander was a trailblazer for thousands of female reporters and journalists who followed her. She covered the women's rights movement in the 60s and 70s, the Nixon White House, the Vietnam War, and the murders of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

June 12, 2005 - French Journalist and Guide Freed
PARIS, France - Ms. Florence Aubenas, a reporter for the Paris-based Liberation newspaper, and Mr. Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi, her Iraqi guide and translator, have been freed by their Iraqi kidnappers. Both were released today after being held for nearly five months.

Mr. Bernard Bajolet, the French ambassador to Iraq, was quoted as saying both Ms. Aubenas and Mr. al-Saadi were released yesterday and were happy and healthy. It is unknown who the pair's kidnappers were but the official maintained that no ransom was paid to secure the release.

Ms. Aubenas was scheduled to return to France today while Mr. al-Saadi returned home to the Baghdad suburb where he reportedly lives. The two had disappeared on January 5th after leaving Aubenas' hotel complex.

May 31, 2005 - News Editor Murdered in Bangladesh
DHAKA, Bangladesh - An unknown number of attackers have killed a popular newspaper editor based in Comilla, a small community in eastern Bangladesh.

Mr. Golam Mahfuz, editor of the Comilla Muktakantha daily newspaper, was stabbed to death yesterday at his home. He was 39.

Although police had no immediate suspects in Mr. Mahfuz's murder, local authorities said they were holding four men for questioning. It was not clear if these men were considered suspects or merely witnesses.

May 30, 2005 - Singapore Reporter Arrested in China
HONG KONG, PRC - Mr. Ching Cheong, a reporter for the Singapore-based Straits Times, has been arrested by Chinese authorities for allegedly obtaining state secrets.

According to his wife who appeared on local television, Mr. Ching was arrested in Guangzhou on April 22, shortly after he received documents from an unidentified source. He has been in custody ever since.

The documents involved with his arrest are said to include information for a book about Mr. Zhao Ziyang, the ex-Communist Party leader, a sensitive topic for the Chinese government.

May 28, 2005 - Kuwaiti Court Acquits Journalist
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait - Mr. Adel Eidan, a reporter working for Dubai-based satellite television network al-Arabiya was acquitted today of spreading false news. The charges arose from Mr. Eidan's report concerning violent attacks between local law enforcement officials and a new extremist group operating in the country.

Shortly after Mr. Eidan's report, al-Arabiya aired a retraction but Kuwait's Interior Ministry said the damage had already been done and accused the reporter of spreading "panic".

After the verdict was announced, Mr. Thafer al-Bader, Mr. Eidan's lawyer, promised his client will sue police for beating and otherwise mistreating the reporter during his detention.

May 22, 2005 - Romanian Reporters Released
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Three Romanian journalists along with their Iraqi-American guide and translator, were released today after being kidnapped and detained in Iraq for almost two months. All four are apparently unharmed and in good spirits.

Prima TV reporter Ms. Marie Jeanne Ion and her cameraman Mr. Sorin Miscoci, print journalist, Mr. Ovidiu Ohanesian, and their Iraqi-American guide, Mr. Mohammed Monafwere, were snatched in Baghdad on March 28.

The four were kidnapped in an effort to force the Romanian government to pull its 800 troops out of Iraq. The Romanian government refused and negotiations to free them began almost immediately. Officials in Bucharest have refused comments concerning the conditions under which the journalists were released, other to maintain the country did not pay a ransom.

May 2, 2005 - Toronto Reporter and Environmentalist Dies
TORONTO, Canada - Mr. Bob Hunter, a fixture on the national environmental beat and an active community leader here, has died. He was 64.

He joined Toronto's CityTV in 1988 as the station's ecology reporter after stints writing for newspapers such as the Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star and Montreal Gazette. He was also a prolific writer who wrote several books including "Greenpeace" and "Warriors Of The Rainbow." Mr. Hunter also penned almost a dozen episodes of CBC TV's popular Beachcombers series.

May 2, 2005 - China Jails Reporter for 10 Years
BEIJING, PRC - A financial reporter has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for providing state secrets to foreigners. Mr. Shi Tao, a reporter for Contemporary Business News, had received the lightest possible sentence given his March 2005 conviction for providing undisclosed information to outsiders.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, China's official media outlet, Mr. Shi was convicted of leaking the contents of a confidential memo to a foreign publication, which in turn, published the information on the Web. Mr. Shi was also convicted of publishing articles on non-official sites that called for reforms to the country's political system.

April 29, 2005 - Sri Lankan Journalist Killed
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - A mainstream Tamil journalist has been killed just hours after being kidnapped from a popular restaurant here in the city, according to local police.

Besides being a columnist for Sri Lanka's English newspaper the Daily Mirror, Mr. Dharmeratnam Sivaram, was a director at the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site. According to police, Mr. Sivaram was abducted by four men yesterday and led away to a waiting vehicle. His lifeless body was discovered the next day after an anonymous phone call to the police. He was 46 years old.

Mr. Sivaram was no stranger to threats and violence. In December 2001, he was in his office when a group of men surged in, and then beat and stabbed the writer. No arrests were ever made in that attack.

April 17, 2005 - Mexico Radio Reporter Succumbs to Shooting
MEXICO CITY, Mexico - According to police, Ms. Guadalupe Garcia Escamilla, a 39-year-old reporter who was shot last week outside a Nuevo Laredo, Mexico radio station has succumbed to her injuries.

Ms. Garcia Escamilla had been in critical condition since her shooting and had remained in hospital. This is the second killing of Mexican journalists in as many weeks. On April 9, 2005, a director of La Opinion, Mr. Raul Gibb Guerrero, was assassinated by unknown gunmen. Federal police are now investigating both killings, as well as the recent disappearance of Mr. Alfredo Jimenez, a reporter working for El Imparcial de Hermosillo.

No arrests have yet been made in either murder nor Mr. Jimenez's disappearance but police suggest all three may be linked to the reporters' own investigations and stories about Mexico's power drug cartels.

April 10, 2005 - Mexican Editor Shot Dead
MEXICO CITY, Mexico - Mr. Raul Gibb Guerrero, director of La Opinion of Poza Rica newspaper, was shot to death yesterday in what police are calling a professional hit by local drug dealers.

According to Ms. Silvia Gibb Guerrero, the editor of La Opinion, Mr. Gibb Guerrero had written several articles recently exposing various drug cartel activities. Despite this, the director preferred to travel without bodyguards or other protection.

Mr. Guerrero’s assassination is the third attack in the last two weeks involving Mexican reporters. On Tuesday, Ms. Guadalupe Garcia Escamilla, aged 39, a radio reporter in Nuevo Laredo, survived after being shot several times at close range by an unknown assailant. In an apparently unrelated incident, Mr. Alfredo Jimenez, a reporter for the newspaper El Imparcial de Hermosillo was reported missing after failing to show up for a meeting with a colleague over a week ago.

April 5, 2005 - Author Saul Bellow Dies
BOSTON, MA, USA - Noted author Mr. Saul Bellow died today at his home in Brookline, a suburb of Boston. He was 89.

Mr. Bellow was born in Lachine, Quebec, near Montreal in 1915, and grew up in Chicago. He gained his first degree at the University of Chicago and subsequently did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. His first novel, Dangling Man, was published in 1944, and his second, The Victim, in 1947. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship which spawned The Adventures of Augie March (winning the National Book Award for fiction in 1954). Other works followed including Seize The Day (in 1956), Henderson The Rain King (in 1959), Herzog (in 1964), Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories (in 1968), and Mr. Sammler's Planet (in 1970). His book, Humboldt's Gift (in 1975) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Although Mr. Bellow had taught for decades at the University of Chicago, in 1993 he accepted a position at Boston University to teach a first-year class dealing with young men in literature. He was married five times, had three sons and, born just five years ago, a daughter.

April 2, 2005 - Grisly Details Emerge on Canadian Reporter's Death
OTTAWA, ON, Canada - Dr. Shahram Azam, a staff physician of the Iranian Ministry of Defence, applied for refugee status in Canada after describing the condition of Mrs. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian reporter who died under mysterious circumstances in Iran.

Mrs. Kazemi, an Iranian born, but naturalized Canadian citizen, was working in Tehran taking pictures of an infamous prison when she was arrested in June. Shortly after her arrest, she was dead. The few witnesses who were allowed to see her during her captivity and after she died, described her as looking severely tortured and beaten. The Iranian government has consistently maintained that Mrs. Kazemi simply slipped and hit her head during interrogation.

Dr. Azam says he was the attending physician in the Tehran jail in which Mrs. Kazemi was being held and had examined her. Confirming allegations of her family and Canadian government officials, Dr. Azam maintains that Mrs. Kazemi suffered injuries from severe torture including a broken ear drum, fractured fingers, forcible removal of several fingernails, major swelling of her head consistent with a blunt object force, the removal of skin as a result of severe whippings and, according to his nurse, damage to her entire genital area as a result of several sexual assaults. The Canadian government is continuing to press its Iranian counterparts for answers in this matter.

March 29, 2005 - Three Romanian Journalists Kidnapped in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Three journalists have apparently been kidnapped just hours after interviewing Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Mr. Ayad Allawi. Mr. Mohammed Monafwere, a local guide working for the three journalists, was also kidnapped.

The three were identified as correspondent Ms. Marie Jeanne Ion, 32, cameraman Mr. Sorin Dumitru Miscoci, aged 30 -- both of whom work for Bucharest-based Prima TV -- and Mr. Ovidiu Ohanesian, aged 37, a reporter for the Romania Libera newspaper.

According to witnesses, the three were abducted last night near their hotel, in Baghdad's upscale Jadriya neighborhood. The area is considered moderately safe and is surrounded by a protective concrete wall.

March 2, 2005 - Prominent Azerbaijani Magazine Editor Assassinated
BAKU, Azerbaijan - A popular magazine editor here was murdered today in the lobby of his Baku apartment building. Mr. Elmar Huseinov was the founder and editor of Monitor, a political magazine. He was 38.

Opposition parties immediately claimed Mr. Huseinov was killed to silence his articles, many of which had been critical of the Azerbaijani government and the country's widespread political corruption.

The government twice shuttered the editorial offices of the Monitor and four years ago, Mr. Huseinov was served six months in prison after losing a libel suit brought by the mayor of Baku.

February 22, 2005 - Writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante Dies
LONDON, UK - Mr. Guillermo Cabrera Infante, a Cuban-born novelist who was an important voice in Spanish-based literature, has died in London. He was 75.

According to his agent, Mr. Cabrera had been very ill recently, suffering from complications of advanced diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease. Among his credits and awards, the author won the prestigious Miguel de Cervantes prize for his outstanding contributions to Spanish literature.

February 21, 2005 - Video Appears to Show Indonesian Journalists Freed
BAGHDAD, Iraq - As a follow-up to a story run on February 18, a videotape surfaced today that appears to show that kidnappers have released two Indonesian journalists. The two reporters had been identified earlier by their press IDs as correspondent Ms. Meutya Viada Hafid, aged 26, and Budiyanto, a male cameraman who goes by a single name, aged 36.

Those who saw the videotape said it showed a masked gunman handing Budiyanto a pen, a copy of the Quran, and a prayer cap. Budiyanto kissed the Quran and immediately put on the cap. Ms. Hafid was given a scarf.

February 21, 2005 - Writer Hunter S. Thompson Suicides
ASPEN, CO, USA - Hunter S. Thompson, a noted counterculture writer who popularized so-called "Gonzo Journalism" has died at his home. He was 67.

The author of books such as "The Great Shark Hunt", "Hell's Angels" and "The Proud Highway" apparently shot himself yesterday at his home, located close to Aspen. Mr. Thompson was an American literary icon at the height of the Watergate era, and was reportedly the inspiration behind the irrepressible "Uncle Duke" character in Gary Trudeau's comic strip Doonesbury.

Local police officials suggest Mr. Thompson took his own life after suffering for over a year with various illnesses and complications after surgery.

February 18, 2005 - Indonesian Journalists Kidnapped
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A videotape released earlier today shows two missing Indonesian reporters flanked by masked gunmen, holding up their press ID cards and passports.

The two were identified as correspondent Ms. Meutya Viada Hafid, aged 26, and Budiyanto, a male cameraman who goes by a single name, aged 36.

Both Metro TV workers had been missing since Tuesday after being stopped by unknown assailants dressed in what appeared to be military uniforms. The kidnapping occurred while the journalists were traveling in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

February 11, 2005 - Playwright Authur Miller Dies in Connecticut
NEW YORK, NY, USA - Mr. Arthur Miller, arguably the greatest playwright of the twentieth century, died yesterday of congestive heart failure at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut. He was 89.

Born on October 17, 1915, Mr. Miller was one of three children. His father lost much of his money in the Depression and could not afford to send Miller to college. Instead, the young man did manual labor at a New York warehouse to earn enough money to put himself through the University of Michigan, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1938.

He decided to become a playwright early on and many of his college plays received accolades. Besides the "Death of a Salesman", Miller wrote "All My Sons," "The Crucible," "A View From the Bridge," "After the Fall," "The Price" and more over a span of 60 years.

February 9, 2005 - Assassins Murder Journalist in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen in the southern city of Basra have murdered an Iraqi reporter working for Al-Hurra, a US-funded television station. Mr. Abdul Hussein Khazal al-Basri was gunned down as he left his home early this morning. His 3-year-old son, Mohammed, was also shot and killed in the same attack.

Launched one year ago this month, Al-Hurra (meaning "The Free" in Arabic) was launched by the US government and aimed at Iraqi audiences. It competes against outlets such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya within the country. Some fundamentalist Muslim clerics have denounced Al-Hurra as nothing more than American propaganda.

Before joining Al-Hurra, Mr. al-Basri, aged 40, had worked at Iraq's Radio Sawa and served as an editor of a local newspaper in Basra.

February 9, 2005 - BBC Journalist Murdered in Somalia
LONDON, UK - According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, one of its segment producers was ambushed in Mogadishu, Somalia today and shot dead by a local militiaman.

Ms. Kate Peyton, 39, who worked as Africa producer for the BBC, was apparently shot in the back while walking with BBC reporter Peter Greste near the Sahafi Hotel in downtown Mogadishu. Mr. Greste was not injured.

The two reporters had just arrived in Somalia and were doing prep work for a series of in-depth reports on the country. Ms. Peyton lived in South Africa and had joined the BBC in 1993.

February 8, 2005 - Group Claims Execution of Italian Journalist
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A posting on a Web site used by several militia groups in Iraq claims that Ms. Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian journalist working here, has been executed. There has been no independent corroboration of this claim.

Analysts note the Web post was written by a different group than had earlier claimed to have kidnapped Ms. Sgrena. The Italian government has not announced any further details concerning its journalist.

February 6, 2005 - Broadcaster Bob McAdorey dies in St. Catharines, Ontario
TORONTO, ON, Canada - Mr. Bob McAdorey, a popular Canadian radio and TV personality who helped establish the rock ’n’ roll era in this country and set the musical agenda for two generations of young adults, died yesterday. He was 69 years old.

Mr. McAdorey grew up in Niagara Falls and began his broadcasting career in 1953 landing a spot on a local radio station. A few years later, he moved to CHUM, Canada's top AM station where he hosted the all-important afternoon drive slot. Here, he introduced new acts such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to the country and helped cement rock 'n' roll into Canada's music scene.

By 1980, Mr. McAdorey had made the move to television and worked for then-fledgling network Global TV as its entertainment editor. Eventually he got his own show, dealing mainly with entertainment and movies, and branded it with his irreverent sense of humor.

February 5, 2005 - Italian Journo Kidnapped in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Unknown gunmen have seized an Italian reporter working in central Baghdad last night. According to on-scene witnesses several men lay in wait for Ms. Giuliana Sgrena outside a mosque where she was covering a sermon. As soon as she exited the mosque, she was confronted by armed kidnappers and hustled into an awaiting car. Nearby security guards shot at the gunmen but were unable to prevent the kidnapping.

Ms. Sgrena, a staffer for the newspaper Italian Il Manifesto, had been on assignment in Iraq several times, and had just returned to the country two weeks ago. Her newspaper has opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq and fiercely criticized the Italian government's decision to send 3,000 Italian troops to Iraq.

The Islamic Jihad Organization, through a Web site posting, has claimed responsibility for Ms. Sgrena's kidnapping.

January 11, 2005 - Iran Government Denounces Torture Allegations
TEHRAN, Iran - The government here has denounced writers and other journalists who previously claimed they were tortured into making confessions.

Nearly two dozen journalists and writers have been detained since September 2004 in a crackdown on the press. Several of the writers have testified that they were tortured into confessing their works, insulted sacred beliefs and endangered national security. Their articles were critical of the hard-line government.

January 6, 2005 - French Journalist and Guide Kidnapped in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Ms. Florence Aubenas, a reporter for the Paris-based Liberation newspaper, and Mr. Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi, a local guide, were snatched yesterday by an unknown group of kidnappers.

Witnesses said that Ms. Aubenas and Mr. al-Saadi had just exited a popular Baghdad hotel when unknown gunnmen hustled the pair into a waiting vehicle that quickly sped away. It is unknown whether the kidnappers' motives are religious or monetary.

End of the 2005 News page.