BBG Media Highlights - May 20, 2013
About Our Broadcasters
Burma's Thein Sein in historic visit to US - AFP, May 20, 2013
Thein Sein, who took office as a nominal civilian in 2011, surprised even cynics by freeing hundreds of political prisoners, easing censorship and letting long-detained opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi enter parliament. Speaking at the office of Voice of America, Thein Sein said he would tell Mr Obama that the reform path is stable and call for a complete end to the economic sanctions which the United States has mostly suspended.
Also mentioned by BBCIrrawaddy

Iran's Revolutionary Guard warns protesters ahead of June election - AP, May 19, 2013
Iranians use proxy servers and other methods to bypass censors and access many popular websites, including Facebook and Twitter, and news sites such as BBC and Voice of America.

BBG Holds Town Hall - Radio World, May 17, 2013
On Wednesday, a meeting by the Broadcasting Board of Governors focused on the new fiscal budget currently in the hands of Congress, as well as recent international trips by some of the Governors, including a meeting at the beginning of May in Russia to discuss the future of an American media presence there.

China launches fifth TV propaganda on Tibet self-immolations - Tibetan Review, May 19, 2013
China Central Television (CCTV), China's state television broadcast service, aired on May 16 evening a prime time news feature blaming what it calls the "Dalai clique" and foreign media for encouraging a spate of self-immolations in Tibet under its rule. The documentary is also to be aired in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian to the global audience. [...] The CCTV documentary also accuses the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia of constantly hyping the self-immolation incidents, thereby perpetuating such fiery actions.

When the music dies: Azerbaijan one year after Eurovision - Al Jazeera, May 19, 2013
Typically, stories on Azerbaijan are a difficult pitch to the international press, and often even significant human rights developments are covered only by outlets with a strong focus on the former Soviet Union, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Eurasianet.
Citations of BBG Broadcasters
Former Chechen rebel: 'I have nothing to do with' Boston bombings - CNN, May 19, 2013
In an interview this week with Voice of America, Khadjimuradov said he believes federal investigators questioned him because they wanted to know whether Tsarnaev had used a shooting range in the area. "Because they say he has shooting practice here in New Hampshire. That's like two or three times. So he bought fireworks here, from New Hampshire, you know? And he buy some ammunition for guns here in New Hampshire. And before the attack, like three or four weeks, he came to my house," he said.

Iraq violence kills 11, police kidnapped - AFP, May 19, 2013
A police lieutenant colonel said 10 security forces members had been kidnapped. Defence ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari gave the same number, telling Al-Hurra TV they were four police, four border guards and two civilians. The Ramadi area is one of the main centres of the Sunni protest movement in Iraq, which began almost five months ago.

Ramzan Kadyrov threatens to shut down his Instagram account - Foreign Policy, May 17, 2013
It looks like FP collected Ramzan Kadyrov's 11 weirdest Instagrams just in time. Today brought news that the Chechen president is threatening to close his popular account. According to Radio Free Europe, the threat comes after Kadyrov posted a photograph of himself standing next to Bekkhan Ibragimov, a Chechen who everyone thought was serving jail time for his part in the 2010 killing of a Russian soccer fan.

China jails disappeared Tibetan monk writer for five years - Tibetan Review, May 18, 2013
For writing a book which lamented China's misrule and persecutions in Tibet, a popular Tibetan monk author has been jailed for five years in Tsekhog (Chinese: Zeku) County of Qinghai Province on May 14, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA, Washington) May 16, citing local Tibetan sources. The report said Gartse Jigme, 36, was sentenced at a secret trial for his book "Courage of the King" which was first published in 2008.

North Korea Pushes Ahead on Agricultural Reforms - The Diplomat, May 17, 2013
Despite the recent crisis, the proposed reforms seem to be going ahead. At the Workers' Party of Korea's (WPK) plenary meeting in March, for instance, Kim announced a new strategic line that called for the "parallel development of the economy and nuclear arms build-up," a line reiterated ad nauseam by DPRK officials and state media ever since. Then, in April, Radio Free Asia, citing sources inside the country, reported that in parts of North Korea farmers were indeed being told they will be able to keep up to 30 percent of their harvests this year.

Can SC registrar become complainant in judges' detention case? - The News, May 20, 2013
The Voice of America (VOA) has hinted that Mr. Faqir Hussain, the registrar of the Supreme Court, could become complainant in the case even if the earlier complainant Aslam Ghuman Advocate decided to withdraw his complaint. The registrar has declined to offer any comment on the record about the development since he hadn't heard about the report of the VOA.

In the foreign language press:


Ban Ki Moon calls for political solution to Syrian crisis- Ayoooh (Egyptian news and information site) May 17, 2013

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has discussed the Syria crisis with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  Ban Ki-moon said the UN is urging Syria to allow experts into the country to investigate possible use of chemical weapons, Radio Sawa reported. 


U.S. announces new sanctions against Syria  and blacklisted four Syrian government ministers- Elwatan News (Egyptian news and information site) May 17, 2013

According to Radio Sawa, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against the Syrian government Thursday, blacklisting four senior officials, a private television station that it said had colluded with Syrian authorities and an airline it accused of delivering weapons from Iran.  The same day, the State Department labeled as a terrorist Mohammad al-Golani, for being the leader of the al-Nusra Front. The group is one of forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but also pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.


Also cited in Al Youm Al Sabe'a, Elgornal and Akhbarak


Syria's Banias massacre toll up to 145: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights- Alahram (Egyptian daily newspaper) May 16,2013

According to Radio Sawa, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has now documented the deaths of at least 145 people in a sectarian massacre earlier in May in the coastal city of Banias, the watchdog said Thursday. The number of identified victims, among them children and babies, has risen because dozens were missing, their bodies buried in their burnt-down homes, or under the rubble of their houses, said the Britain-based group.



Israel has new diplomatic mission in one of the Gulf states: Reports- Yemenat (Yemeni news and information site) May 12, 2013

Israel has opened a new diplomatic mission in the Gulf, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday, citing a Finance Ministry paper being submitted for cabinet approval this week.  "The new Israeli diplomatic mission is located in the UAE," Eli Nissan, Israeli political analyst, said in an interview with Radio Sawa.
Of Interest
Fate of Fata radio stations in doldrums - The News, May 20, 2013
The fate of three popular state-run radio stations and employees working there is in the doldrums due to failure of the resourceful Fata Secretariat to fulfill their requirements. One of the four Fata radio channels set up in Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan Agency, was blown up by suspected militants a few years ago. The remaining three channels established in Jamrud, Khyber Agency and one each in Razmak and Miranshah in North Waziristan are on the verge of collapse, apparently due to lack of resources.

Public TV Channel Starts Broadcasting in Russia - RIA Novosti, May 19, 2013
Russia's Public Television started broadcasting on Sunday, offering TV viewers newscasts, films, entertainment and cognitive programs. The new TV channel, which will not run any commercials, is to become accessible free of charge on Sunday in the networks of all operators of cable, satellite and IP-television. The TV channel can also be watched by accessing its website at

Internet speed drops as Iran election looms - Al Jazeera, May 19, 2013
Iran is tightening control of the internet ahead of next month's presidential election according to users and internet experts in the country. Social network users previously sparked violent street protests over claims of election fraud after voting in 2009. The authorities deny such claims, but have not explained exactly why service has become slower.
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).