Global Report - 11.02.05

LOS ANGELES

John
Beard, lead anchor on the 10 pm local news programme on Fox-owned
television station KTTV Los Angeles, has been moonlighting lately. In
two shows on the Fox network, the hit drama “24” and offbeat comedy
‘Arrested Development,’ he appears in cameos as a newscaster.

Tim
Iacofano, a producer on “24,” told The Wall Street Journal the
programme wanted Mr Beard because it proved easier than training an
actor to act like a reporter.

WASHINGTON

The
US Department of Health and Human Services has acknowledged that it
paid a syndicated columnist for work on behalf of Bush administration
efforts to promote marriage. The disclosure came a day after President
George W Bush called for an end to paying commentators to promote his
policies.

Conservative commentator Armstrong Williams and
syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher both had publicly backed Bush
policies while being paid by the government without disclosing it.

Mike
McManus, who writes a weekly column syndicated in 30 to 40 newspapers,
said he was paid to train marriage mentors in 2003 and 2004.

TURKEY

Professor
Muammer Aksoy , an academic, journalist and writer who was murdered in
Ankara 15 years ago, has been commemorated on the anniversary of his
death, reported the Anatolia news agency . The ceremony, held near his
tomb, was attended by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)n
secretary-general Önder Sav and members of some non-governmental
organisations.

IRAQ

UNESCO
Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has made an urgent plea for the
release of French newspaper reporter Florence Aubenas and her Iraqi
translator Hussein Hanoun al- Saadi, who have been missing in Iraq
since 5 January. He also deplored the lack of security for media
workers in the country. Ms Aubenas, a reporter for French daily
newspaper Libération, and al-Saadi, were last seen in Aubenas’ hotel in
Baghdad.

They are believed to have been kidnapped, but the
motives of their possible abduction, whether political or financial,
have not been ascertained.

A concert, (right), organized by
Libération and Reporters Without Borders, has been held in Paris as a
show of solidarity with the journalist and her translator.

VENEZUELA

Officers
from the Venezuelan Scientific and Criminal Investigations Unit raided
the home of Patricia Poleo, editor of ‘ El Nuevo Païs’

newspaper, in Caracas.

Poleo
said the officers had an order to search for documents related to her
investigation into the so-called “Anderson case”. Poleo has been
investigating an alleged extortion network in which a number of
prosecutors may be implicated. Her investigation revolves around public
prosecutor Danilo Anderson, who was in charge of a case examining the
April 2002 coup d’état until he was murdered in 2004, reports IPYS/IFEX.

CONGO

A
reporter with the Congolese private daily La Référence Plus was taken
into custody on Monday and imprisoned in the western town of Matadi on
defamation charges brought by two national oil executives.

The Committee to Protect Journalists called for his immediate release.

In
September, a Kinshasa court sentenced José Wakadila, in absentia, to 11
months in jail for defamation, and ordered his newspaper to pay a fine
equivalent to US$600, the director of Matadi central prison, told the
local press freedom group Journaliste en Danger (JED) . But André
Ipakala, editor of the Kinshasa-based La Référence Plus, said neither
the newspaper nor Wakadila’s lawyer had been informed of the court
judgment. The newspaper has lodged an appeal, reports allAfrica.com

MOZAMBIQUE

RSF
has called on the Mozambican authorities to protect Jeremias Langa,
news director of the privately-owned television station Soico TV (STV)n
. The journalist was kidnapped at gunpoint in Maputo. He was held
briefly and threatened with “the same fate as journalist Carlos Cardoso
if [he] continued to talk too much.” Cardoso was killed in 2000. Langa
was previously attacked and threatened by armed men in October 2004.

The police investigation into that incident was inconclusive, according to Reporters Without Borders.

VIETNAM

Reporters
Without Borders welcomed the release from prison of Dr Nguyen Dan Que,
Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly (pictured) and journalist Nguyen Dinh Huy,
aged 73. They were among nearly 8,500 prisoners freed as part of
traditional pardons granted during Lunar New Year celebrations in
February. The organisation said it hoped the men would be able to
resume a normal life free of police surveillance and harassment. It
also pointed out that three other dissidents were still behind bars
simply for having posted articles online critical of the government.

PHILIPPINES

The
publisher of a weekly newspaper was in serious condition after being
shot four times in the chest in the latest attack on journalists in the
Philippines, according to AFP. Maximo Quindao, 46, editor and publisher
of the Mindanao Trucknews weekly in the southern city of Tagum, was
shot by two men on a motorcycle just outside his office on Saturday,
police said. His wife Teresita said the attack may have been
politically motivated.

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