BBG Media Highlights - April 25, 2013
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More State Department senior officials exiting- The Washington Post, April 24, 2013

Undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs Tara Sonenshine is leaving in July after 15 months in the job, likely headed to an academic or media gig.The Emmy Award-winning former editorial producer of ABC News' Nightline also worked on the Clinton National Security Council and was more recently executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Citations of BBG Broadcasters

The obscure Russian jihadist whom Tamerlan Tsarnaev followed online- Washington Post, April 24, 2013

"There are hundreds of minor commanders within the North Caucasus insurgency," explained Aslan Doukaev, a Chechen journalist and director of Radio Free Europe's North Caucasus service, via e-mail. There's an overarching regional separatist group called the Caucasus Emirate, Doukaev explained, headed by a man named Doku Umarov. Within the Caucasus Emirate's claimed territory, there are several vilayahs, or provinces, such as Dagestan and Chechnya. Within those, there is a jumbled, confusing variety of provincial fronts, sectors and semi-autonomous fighting groups that loosely associate with one another. Dolgatov was the commander of a small group in a small (but historically unstable) district: Kizilyurt, a 62,000-person region of Dagestan, says Liz Carlson, an analyst who has followed Chechnya since 1994.


Two Tibetan monks in China die after self-immolations- BBC, April 25, 2013

The monks, aged 20 and 23, set themselves on fire at the Kirti monastery in Aba county, said Radio Free Asia and Free Tibet. The monastery has been a focal point of protests in recent months. More than 100 Tibetans, mostly young monks, have set themselves on fire since 2011 - many fatally - in apparent protest against Chinese rule. The monks, who reports identify as Lobsang Dawa, 20, and Konchog Woeser, 23, set themselves on fire on Wednesday, US-based Radio Free Asia and London-based Free Tibet said. The monks at the monastery held prayers for the two who died and their bodies were to be cremated on Thursday, Radio Free Asia added. The majority of the self-immolations since 2011 have taken place in ethnic Tibetan areas outside Tibet, many in Aba county.

Also cited by AFP, RTT, and Bangkok Post  


US asks China to safeguard rights of Uighurs in Xinjiang- The Times of India, April 25, 2013

Ventrell asked the Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of this incident, and to provide all Chinese citizens, including Uighurs, the due process protections to which they are entitled not only under China's constitutional laws but under their international human rights commitments as well. During the press conference, Ventrell also urged China to release Memetjan Abdulla, who worked as an editor of the state-run China National Radio's Uighur Service and was detained in July 2009 for allegedly instigating ethnic rioting in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region. On April 1, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. "The exact charges against Abdullah were not disclosed, but Radio Free Asia reported on the sentence and cited a witness at the trial that stated that Abdullah was targeted for talking to international journalists in Beijing about the riots as well as translating articles on the website.

Also cited in The Indian Express 


Six killed in moderate quake in Afghanistan- UPI, April 24, 2013

At least six people died and 64 others were injured Wednesday when a moderate 5.7-magnitude earthquake shook Afghanistan, officials said. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the government of Nangahar province, said the quake damaged a large number of structures in the region, Voice of America reported. Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi, causing a mild panic when some buildings began to sway.


Blame game over Kachin peace talk delays- The Myanmar Times, April 25, 2013

A Chinese official says he is "deeply shocked" by a government minister's comments that Kachin peace talks planned for earlier this month were delayed because China refused to allow international observers to attend. Mr Xiong Guofeng, secretary to the China's ambassador to Myanmar, was responding to an April 19 report on Radio Free Asia in which Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry U Win Tun was quoted as saying that China opposes the presence of monitors from the United States, United Kingdom or United Nations at the talks. "China seemed to be reluctant to invite representatives of the United Nations, the US and Britain to be present at the talks. China showed its reluctance to the Kachin side, not to the government side. The invitation was made by the Kachin side," U Win Tun was quoted as saying.


Tomenko ready to run for Kyiv mayor if opposition nominates him- Interfax Ukraine, April 24, 2014

Batkivschyna parliamentary faction MP Mykola Tomenko has said that he is ready to be the joint candidate for Kyiv mayor of the opposition if the Batkivschyna, UDAR and Svoboda factions nominate him. "My name was considered several months ago. I have a certain rating and support as a single candidate from the opposition. If the party and my colleagues from Svoboda and UDAR support me, I am ready to justify their confidence," he said on Radio Liberty radio station. Tomenko added that a candidate should be selected via a sociology poll of the list of possible candidates.


Liberia: Report - Liberia's Gov't Officials Engaged in Corruption With Impunity- AllAfrica, April 24, 2013

However, in reaction to the U.S. State Department Report, Justice Minister Christian Tah and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) Chairperson Frances Johnson-Morris Allison agreed that corruption remains a menace in Liberia. In an interview with the Voice of America (VOA), Justice Minister Tah said Liberia has made significant progress in rooting out corruption and improving the justice system. She said Liberia, having inherited a completely dismantled social and justice system as a post-war country, is determined to continue the improvements.


From the foreign-language press


EU adopted and carried out sanctions against North Korea- Korean National Security Net (South Korean outlet), April 24, 2013

EU has adopted UN's sanctions against the North Korea -- resolution '2094' -- and implemented them starting from April 23. Maja Kocijancic, a spokesperson of EU's Foreign Affairs and National Security said, "The EU is discussing possible additional number of EU autonomous measures beyond this very robust UN package," according to RFA's Korean Service.


CTBTO "North Korean nuclear test evidence is founded"-Nocut news (South Korean newspaper), April 24, 2013

CTBTO (the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) have claimed that they have found a  material at a North Korean nuclear test site last February and it could prove North Korea has conducted a recent nuclear test.


Magnetic bomb kills Syria Electricity Ministry official in Damascus- Sada Albalad (Egyptian news and information site) April 25, 2013

A senior official at Syria's Electricity Ministry has been killed by a magnetic bomb attached to his car.  The car bombing was carried out on Wednesday in al-Baramkeh neighborhood in the capital, Damascus, and killed Mohammad Abdul-Wahab Hassan, the director of Qualification and Training Department of the ministry, Radio Sawa reported.


Sinai and Israel top Hagel's talks with Morsi and [Defense Minister] Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi - Egypt Mob (Egyptian news and information site) April 25, 2013

According to Radio Sawa, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Egypt Wednesday, following stops in Israel and Saudi Arabia. The secretary is making his first trip to the Middle East since taking office in January to discuss  defense ties, security concerns and regional developments.


A progress made in Boston Marathon bombing investigation- American investigators visit Dagestan- FANA News (Federation of Arab News Agencies) April 24, 2013

The wife of slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Katherine Russell, is "doing everything she can" to assist federal authorities who are investigating the attacks, Radio Sawa reported.

Also cited in Mahatati and Anayemeni

Of Interest

Russian TV Channel to Experiment With Paywall - Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2013

A Moscow-based TV channel is planning to become the first Russian one to charge for viewing its content online, a bold move in a country where customers are used to free content and the television market is dominated by state-controlled broadcasters. Russia's independent TV channel Dozhd, meaning "rain" in Russian, plans to start charging viewers for online broadcasts and full-length versions of its programs, the channel's general director, Natalia Sindeyeva, said Tuesday.


How People in the Middle East Actually Use Social Media - The Atlantic, April 24, 2013

To more rigorously study how people in the Arab world access news and information, rate the credibility of information sources, and use social media, Northwestern University in Qatar commissioned a survey among people in eight Arab countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Qatar, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE. Harris Interactive conducted a mix of face-to-face and telephone interviews with 9,693 adults aged 18 and older. Participants were asked a wide range of questions on media--from matters of newspaper use, book reading and blogging to online banking and gaming--with a heavy emphasis on Internet use. Participants were interviewed in late 2012 and early 2013. Northwestern University in Qatar built an interactive site to make the data available to the public.


Gravely damaged media pluralism - Economist, April 23, 2013

ONE of the most discussed issues in Bulgarian media is the topic of the deteriorating media freedom in the country. Consistently ranking last among European Union members the country keeps regressing. Bulgaria now ranks 87th in Reporters Without Borders' latest annual Press Freedom Index, down from 35th in 2006.


Is the Hijab Worth Fighting Over? - New York Times, April 24, 2013

The Ukrainian group Femen restarted the international debate about Muslim veils when it declared "Topless Jihad Day" on April 4, staging protests against the hijab and in support of an activist in Tunisia. A group of Muslim women then organized a counterprotest called "Muslimah Pride Day," defending the hijab. Is either party dealing with a serious issue? Is the hijab worth fighting over? 


How is the sequester affecting federal agencies?- Washington Post, April 25, 2013

The government-wide spending cuts known as the sequester took effect on March 1, forcing $85 billion in budget reductions by the end of September. The federal workforce faces furloughs, hiring freezes, and reduced overtime. Agencies say the cuts will mean reduced government services. Initial effects include closing of contract airport towers and longer customs lines, but other reductions will materialize in coming months. Congress's new short-term funding plan locks in the cuts while shifting some agencies' funds to help ease the burden. Check back for updates.  

About Us
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency, supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 175 million in 100 countries. BBG broadcasting organizations include the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).