Global Report

USA

A Miami journalist has been “chipped”.

Implantable-ID company Applied Digital Solutions has put its product into science writer Angela Swafford.

The VeriChip can carry a unique identification number and is wirelessly writeable, according to the WorldNetDaily .

Swafford’s work has appeared in New Scientist and Astronomy.

ROMANIA

Following a series of protests, 35 journalists have left their jobs
at Evenimentul Zilei, one of Romania’s most influential dailies,
accusing the paper’s Swiss owners of interference in editorial policy.
The resignations were prompted by the employers’ plans to replace key
staff, reported the Southeast European Times . Evenimentul Zilei is
owned by Switzerland’s Ringier SA group, which bought the paper last
April. The group is one of the largest publishers in Central and
Eastern Europe. In a statement, the journalists said they were
resigning as an act of solidarity with editor-in-chief Dan Turturica,
one of those allegedly slated for replacement. Last month the company
announced plans to demote Turturica, sending him on a mission to the
city of Bacau, ostensibly to conduct a feasibility study for a new
edition.

YEMEN

Yemeni security forces are looking for the chief editor of the Al
Hurriya daily, Abdul Karim Sabra, and have besieged his home and
office, a statement by the Yemeni Journalists Union said, adding that
the move does not augur well for democracy in the country. The Khaleej
Times said the statement criticised a judgment passed by a court in
South East Amana which sentenced Sabra and Abdul Qawi Al Qabati, a
writer, to two-year jail terms and ordered the shutting down of the
newspaper for one year. Meanwhile the Minister of Justice has ordered
steps should be taken to appeal the court ruling on Abdul Karim Al
Khaiwani, chief editor of the daily Al Shoura , who is serving one
year. His paper was suspended for six months.

PHILIPPINES

Two high school students have been arrested for the 2004 murder of a
journalist, which one suspect described as a “thrill killing”. The body
of Stephen Omaois, a radio journalist and writer for a regional news
weekly, was found near the town of Tabuk in November. A detained
16-year-old student has confessed to police that he and five classmates
smashed the victim’s head with rocks after making a pact to kill the
first person they met, reports The Star . One of the five other
suspects has since been arrested on the boy’s deposition, while the
other four remain at large. The first suspect told the police the
murder pact was made while the group drank in a bar. He and his mates
then stepped out of the bar and found Omaois, whom they took to a
forest near their school. They bashed the victim’s head and stabbed him
with barbecue sticks.

JAPAN

Freelance journalist Yu Terasawa is taking his fight against press
clubs to court, says The Japan Times . “Kisha” press clubs have long
been criticised for their closed, controlled nature and the privileges
accorded solely to their members. Now Yu Terasawa is trying to buck the
system by filing a civil suit against the government at the Tokyo
District Court.

PERU

A Peruvian journalist seized by a mob of armed villagers in a remote
Andean jungle has been released four days after he was abducted, beaten
and tied to a post for supporting a copper mining project.

Duber Mauriola, who runs a small local radio station, was seized by
locals fearing contamination of their land from the British-run Rio
Blanco mine project, said Reuters.

ARGENTINA

President Nestor Kirchner has blamed “yellow journalism”after
criticisms that he took too long to respond to the Buenos Aires
nightclub inferno which killed nearly 200 people, reports the South
Atlantic news agency MercoPress. Relatives of the victims had
questioned why he did not cut short a five-day break.

GAMBIA

Reporters Sans Frontieres has called for an independent commission
to probe the shooting of Gambian journalist Deida Hydara, pointing to
similarities between his death and those of other critics of the Banjul
regime.

Agence France-Presse says Hydara, its correspondent in the west
African country “was gunned down in cold blood and there are many who
see the government’s hand behind the murder”.

BANGLADESH

Journalist Dip Azad survived a murder attempt when a homemade bomb
thrown at him failed to explode. A correspondent for the Khulna-based
national daily Jugantor , Azad was targeted by two assailants on a
motorcycle, who escaped. In 2004, three journalists were murdered in
the region, which is said to be plagued by illegal armed groups.

TAIWAN

A revolt by the Association of Taiwan Journalists has been sparked
by Foxconn (Hon Hai)n suing journalist Joyce Kuang of the Commercial
Times . Her article, headlined “Intel’s new platform to benefit Hon
Hai” was about the introduction of a new electrical socket. The
Inquirer reports that the company’s chairman “went incandescent”.

The ATJ is getting together with other press associations to send
protest letters to Hon Hai customers including Dell, Sony and Nokia.

CHINA

Reporters Sans Frontieres has condemned the arrest of journalist Shi
Tao and urged the EU to press China’s premier Wen Jiabao to stop unfair
arrests of journalists. It has also called on the Chinese authorities
to release Shi, arrested at his home in the Shanxi province for
“disclosing confidential government information”.

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