BBG Media Highlights - July 17, 2013
About Our Broadcasters
Voice of America could air in the US as anti-propaganda law is dropped - The Verge, July 16, 2013
Earlier this month a legal change went into effect that many are worried will enable government-run organizations like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe - all arms of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) - to distribute their federally-funded radio and TV shows to the unsuspecting public. But even with the change, major advocacy groups don't think that the government is planning to flood the airwaves with propaganda. The BBG's aim is to broadcast news into countries where state-run media makes it impossible to get objective journalism. Its staff has the freedom to write and publish what they please, and they're legally barred from attempting to sway public opinion in the United States.

Also mentioned in Huffington Post Live, paidContent
Citations of BBG Broadcasters
The Oromo and the War on Terror in the Horn of Africa - Al Jazeera, July 16, 2013
According to organisations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, however, Gerba was guilty of being Oromo and talking of the plight of his people. Shortly before his arrest, Gerba had described the challenges facing his community, telling Voice of America "Anyone who speaks the [Oromo] language and does not belong to the ruling party is a suspect and can be taken to prison any time." Gerba and other incarcerated Oromo (Oromo rights groups estimate there are around 20,000 Oromo political prisoners in Ethiopia) continue to spark protests in Ethiopia and across the global Oromo diaspora.

Int'l community continues aid to N. Korea despite sanctions - Yonhop News Agency, July 27, 2013
The Washington-based Voice of America said the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) has set aside US$1.07 million this year for repairing 14 schools and kindergartens in the communist country, in addition to buying textbooks and school supplies for 350,000 North Korean children. [...] The World Food Program told Radio Free Asia earlier this week that a lack of donation has pushed it to scale down its food aid to North Korea by 85 percent. The U.N. food agency has halted operations in June at five of its 14 food factories in the North due to grain shortages.

Pussy Riot Has a New Music Video - The Hairpin, July 16, 2013
Pussy Riot, the Russian punk activist group, has a new song. I can't say with any authority that this song is "good" but it is certainly "hardcore." It's also definitely the first protest song I've heard with the (translated) lyric, "she makes salads and sometimes eats them." [includes video footage from RFE/RL]

Chinese People At Higher Risk Of Stroke Than Whites - redOrbit, July 16, 2013
"People who had heart disease or stroke, about a fifth of them, still continued to smoke and only a third of people had regular physical activities," the study's co-author Koon Teo, an epidemiologist at Canada's McMaster University, told Voice of America. "Just about two-fifths of them ate what we determine as a healthy diet."

Sudan's Bashir leaves Nigeria amid calls for his arrest - UPI, July 16, 2013
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir left Nigeria less than a day after he arrived for a summit as human rights activists sought his arrest on war crime charges. Activists had filed suit in Nigeria's Federal High Court to force the arrest of Bashir, charged by the International Criminal Court on accusations of war crimes and genocide in Sudan's Darfur region, Voice of America reported Tuesday.

Uzbekistan Bans Iftar, Kills Fun - EurasiaNet, July 17, 2013
This just in from the Uzbek Ministry of No Fun: For the remainder of the holy month of Ramadan, government employees, which in authoritarian Uzbekistan includes not only ministry and law enforcement workers, but also those toiling for government-run banks and medical clinics, shall go straight home after work and not consort with anyone. So reports the Uzbek service of Radio Free Europe. Apparently, it is not bad enough that Ramadan, which requires Muslims to fast during the day and eat only after sundown, falls this year during the longest days and hottest part of summer in blistering Central Asia.

US to get wider access to South China Sea for military warships and aircraft - RT, July 16, 2013
Carl Baker, program director of the Pacific Forum of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Voice of America that talks of a base-sharing plan is another indicator that the US may be creating a permanent presence in the Philippines. "I think that's sort of the model that they're following," he said. "So they can put people on these bases on a more permanent basis without calling it 'permanent basing.'"

In the foreign language press

NK's unreasonable demand let int'l basketball training program derail - Hankok Ilbo, July 15, 2013
International NGO 'Coaches International' gave up its basketball training camp program for North Korean students because of North Korea's unreasonable demands, RFA Korean Service reported on July 15, 2013.

Rabiah Adawiyah's Mobs (Providing Protection) from Authorities - Moheet,  July 16, 2013
Three days ago, a prominent leader in al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, refused to leave Rabiah Adawiyah Mosque's circle (in East Cairo) to do an interview with Alhurra channel in its Cairo office by the Nile River. Muslim brotherhood leaders, are also scared to leave Rabiah Adawiyah Mosque's circle. They are afraid of getting caught by the security forces.

Mr. Richardson contacted new NK representative to UN - Munhwa Ilbo, July 17, 2013 

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson recently met North Korean diplomats who reside in New York, according to Radio Free Asia's Korean Service report on July 17. The Richardson's office told RFA that Mr. Richardson have contact with NK representative to United Nations for talks.

Of Interest
Censuring the Censors - Foreign Policy, July 16, 2013
Cracking down on Internet content has long been de rigueur in Muslim countries, but a recent spate of censorship reveals a problem spiraling out of control -- no doubt triggered by the increase in protests against unpopular regimes. In June, Saudi Arabia suspended access to the popular messaging application Viber and threatened similar action against WhatsApp and Skype. Pakistan, ushering in its first-ever democratic transition of power, dashed hopes for reform when its new information technology minister began her first day on the job with a public threat to block Google for failing to expunge "blasphemous" content.By breeding mistrust of government institutions and deepening fault lines between leaders and a frustrated, networked younger generation, this trend stands to destabilize a swath of countries at the heart of today's global security challenges. Reversing this trend will require a concerted effort from governments, religious leaders, and especially technology companies around the world -- both those threatened by state censors and those that have played a surprising role in making this new era of censorship possible.

Google Said to Weigh Supplying TV Channels - New York Times, July 16, 2013
If Google has its way, you might someday get cable television the same way you get Gmail: through any ordinary Internet connection. Foreshadowing a new challenge to entrenched cable and satellite providers, Google is one of several technology giants trying to license TV channels for an Internet cable service, according to people with direct knowledge of the company's efforts.

China smartphone owners swell number of internet users - BBC, July 17, 2013
China now has 591 million internet users, according to the latest official figures from the country. The China Internet Network Information Centre added that 464 million citizens accessed the net via smartphones or other wireless devices. The headline figure marks a 10% rise on last year and indicates 44% of the country's population uses the web and other net services.

Exclusive: How Ukraine Wooed Conservative Websites - Buzzfeed, July 16, 2013
Several conservative bloggers repeated talking points given to them by a proxy group for the Ukrainian government - and at least one writer was paid by a representative of the Ukrainian group, according to documents and emails obtained by BuzzFeed. [...] The emails and documents, which include prepackaged quotes from election officials and talking points that some writers copied nearly word-for-word, offer a glimpse into how foreign governments dodge tight Justice Department regulations on foreign propaganda to covertly lobby in the United States: The payments were routed through a front group in Belgium to an American consultant, who has urged writers not to cooperate with a reporter investigating the campaign.
About Us

The Broadcasting Board of Governors is an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international broadcasting media, whose mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. BBG broadcasts reach an audience of 203 million in more than 100 countries and in 61 languages.  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).