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News Headlines - Friday August 22th 2003


A broadcast journalist has been shot dead by two gunmen in the Philippines.

Noel Villarante, who worked for radio station DZJV, was gunned down in a hail of bullets outside his home in Santa Cruz.

According to reports one gunman first opened fire on him outside his home but Villarante managed to flee inside.

When family members tried to take him to hospital, a second gunman began shooting to prevent them from leaving.

The gunman then shot the journalist at point-blank range and continued shooting him as he lay on the ground wounded.

The 32-year-old also wrote for the Laguna Score newspaper and he had often criticised regional authorities for corruption.

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  • IFEX
  • CPJ
  • RSF


    Rupert Murdoch's Star TV is facing tough opposition from the Indian government over plans to expand its news operation.

    Opponents of the station's dominance of India's satellite television market are calling on the government to enforce foreign ownership rules.

    The rules, which were established in March, ensure that firms broadcasting or uplinking news from India by satellite must not be more than 26% foreign owned and editorial control must be in Indian hands.

    Murdoch's News Corporation has traditionally used strong news and sports channels, often based on exclusive ownership of sports rights, to establish dominance in a market.

    Star India is hoping its news channel, which has quickly jumped to the number two spot with a 21% share of the Hindi news market behind the India Today Group's Aaj Tak with 43%, can extend and cement the dominance won by its mix of soaps and game shows.

    "We have done everything right, we have done everything by the book," Peter Mukherjea, chief executive of Star India said.

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  • Reuters

    A human rights group has condemned the continued detention of three Basque journalists under Spanish anti-terrorism legislation.

    Iñaki Uria, Xabier Alegria and Xabier Oleaga have been held since February when the Basque language paper Euskaldunon Egunkaria was closed down because of alleged links with terrorist group ETA.

    International PEN alleged all the men had been tortured during their period of imprisonment and called on the Government for a full judicial review of their cases.

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  • IFEX

    A Zimbabwean journalist has gone into hiding after he was attacked by a gang of men.

    Flata Kavinga, a reporter for the English-language weekly The Midlands Observer, was punched, kicked and hit with a plank of wood in an alleyway near a nightclub in Kwekwe.

    According to reports the gang of six men - including some from the ruling Zanu-PF party - approached Kavinga and accused him of being a member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

    The reporter was treated in hospital and has gone into hiding to avoid reprisals following his discharge.

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  • IFEX
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