News Headlines - Wednesday August 27th 2003
UK DEFENCE SECRETARY DENIES CONSPIRACY TO NAME DR KELLY
UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon denied there was a "conspiracy" to name Dr David Kelly as the source of allegations, contained in a BBC story, that the Government had "sexed up" a dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Giving evidence to the Hutton Inquiry into Dr Kelly's apparent suicide, Hoon said there was never "some sort of conspiracy, some sort of strategy, some sort of plan covertly to make his name known".
Hoon also took opportunity to attack BBC Radio 4 Today programme's defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan's original report that triggered events culminating in Dr Kelly's death.
He said he took "particular exception" to the report and claimed Gilligan had failed to give the Ministry of Defence proper opportunity to respond to the allegation that the Government had exaggerated Iraq's weapons threat.
The inquiry continues, with Prime Minister Tony Blair expected to give evidence tomorrow (Thursday).Read More:
JOURNALISTS HARASSED IN MEXICO
Journalists in Mexico still face harassment from soldiers and the police despite steps to improve the freedom of expression over the last five years, the Organisation of American States said.
The group's special envoy for free speech said that reporters and photographers covering stories of human rights violations or corruption were frequently intimidated.
"Attacks are directed at silencing accusations of serious human rights violations, and investigations into drug trafficking and politically sensitive issues," Eduardo Bertoni said.Read More:
CANADIAN MEDIA GROUPS SLAM 'IRRELEVANT' CHARGES IN PHOTOJOURNALIST'S MURDER
Canadian media groups have dismissed the charges brought by Iran against two of its intelligence agents in connection with the murder of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi as "irrelevant".
They have urged the Canadian government to demand an independent inquiry.
Charging low-level officials with the murder of Canadian national Kazemi, who died from a blow to the head sustained during her detention in Iran, was the easy way out for Iranian authorities, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression said.Read More:
HONG KONG REPORTERS' METHODS TO BE PROBED
News companies in Hong Kong are to be investigated over whether they pressurise reporters to use unethical methods to come up with exclusive stories.
The Hong Kong Journalists' Association said its probe came as a result of the jailing of a magazine journalist for three months for bribing a security guard.
Sudden Weekly reporter Alven Leung Shun-key gave the guard money in exchange for being allowed to photograph a film shoot of Wong Kar-wai's film 2046.Read More:
PHILIPPINES CONDEMNED OVER JOURNALISTS' SAFETY
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the continuing violent attacks on media workers in the Philippines.
In a letter to the state's president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the IFJ urged a full government investigation into the murder of Noel Villarante.
The organisation also called for the safety of all other journalists to be ensured.