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News Headlines - Friday August 29th 2003
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL ANNOUNCES DECISION TO QUIT
The UK Government's director of communications Alastair Campbell is to resign.
Campbell is likely to leave his post in a matter of weeks.
He has been at the centre of a storm all summer, since a BBC journalist ran a report in which the Government - and later Campbell in particular - was accused of "sexing up" a dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
Events led to the apparent suicide of the story's source, weapons scientist Dr David Kelly and the ongoing Hutton Inquiry into his death.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said of his loyal ally: "(Campbell was) an immensely able, fearless, loyal servant of the cause he believes in who was dedicated not only to that cause but to his country ... he was, is, and will remain a good friend."
CANADA IMPLICATES IRAN'S TOP LAWYER IN PHOTOGRAPHER'S MURDER
Canada has accused Iran's chief prosecutor of "potential implication" in the murder of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zhara Kazemi.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham said Canadian officials pressed Saeed Mortazavi on his involvement in Kazemi's death during a meeting last week, but that no satisfactory answer was given.
Canadian opposition figures and media groups have alleged that Mortazavi was actually present during the interrogation of Kazemi, who died from a blow to the head after being detained for taking photos in Iran.
AL-ARABIYA DEFENDS EXTREMIST BROADCAST
The Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV network has defended its controversial broadcast of a masked Islamic extremist threatening to kill the US-formed Iraqi governing council, saying it was news that could "save lives".
The US was outraged at Tuesday's broadcast, calling on Al Arabiya's Arab shareholders to prevent further acts of "incitement to murder and terrorism".
But the channel's news editor Salah Nejm said that by not broadcasting the warning it "might have blocked information that could have helped save lives".
GROUP CALLS FOR RELEASE OF TUNISIAN JOURNALIST
Reporters Without Borders has demanded the immediate release of a Tunisian journalist who has been on a hunger strike since he was arrested and jailed.
Abdallah Zouari, who works for Al-Farj, an unofficial publication of the Islamic opposition movement Ennahda, was detained earlier this month for "violating an administrative control measure to which he is subject".
The 46-year-old, who has previously served an 11-year prison sentence, began the hunger strike to protest at his arrest by plainclothes police officers.
REPORTER BEATEN BY POLICE OFFICERS IN CONGO
Police officers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have assaulted and beaten a journalist during a confrontation with opponents of the Government.
Désiré-Israél Kazadi, a reporter working for the daily newspaper Le Phare, was attacked while covering a story on the opposition group Union for Democracy and Social Progress.
According to reports Kazadi was assaulted after hiding in a shed and was beaten by three police officers despite identifying himself as a journalist.
He suffered injuries to his back and shoulders.
PLIGHT OF IRANIAN JOURNALISTS' RAISED
The plight of journalists working in Iran has worsened, Reporters Without Borders has warned.
The organisation said the country's hardline rulers were cracking down on the media and continued to obstruct the investigation into photographer Zahra Kazemi's death.
Reporters have been threatened, arrested and received police summonses and more than 20 are in jail, Reporters Without Borders said.