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Caged Al Jazeera journalists appear in Egypt court, see trial adjourned

Al Jazeera journalistsThe trial of three Al Jazeera English journalists jailed in Egypt has been adjourned until March 24 and the defendants remain in jail on charges of spreading false news and belonging to a "terrorist group."

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who have been held for more than two months, appeared in court for the second time on Wednesday when witnesses for the prosecution were heard.

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FCC ditches 'Critical Information Needs' study of newsrooms

FCCA study of how journalists actually gather news is being halted, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission says.

A spokesman said Friday the Critical Information Needs study was aimed at finding barriers to entry into the news business, not at trying to monitor and control how journalists do their work, The Hill reported. But he said the FCC will find some other way to study the issue.

"The commission will reassess the best way to fulfill its obligation to Congress to identify barriers to entry into the communications marketplace faced by entrepreneurs and other small businesses," he said.

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Al Jazeera calls for global support of detained staff

jailed al jazeera staffAl Jazeera is calling for a Global Day of Action to demand the immediate release of four of its journalists who have been locked up in Egypt's prisons for months.

People in more than 30 cities will express their solidarity and support on Thursday, with public events taking place in Sydney, Manila, Islamabad, Doha, Amman, Nairobi, Ankara,  Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington and San Francisco.

"Al Jazeera hopes through the attention of the world’s media and partners, pressure can be brought to bear on the Egyptian authorities to hasten the release of Peter Greste, Mohammed Fahmy, Baher Mohamed and Abdullah Al Shamy by reminding them in a united voice, that journalism is not a crime," the media network said in a release on Wednesday.

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YouTube ordered to remove film that sparked violence in Middle East

YouTube ordered to remove filmA federal appeals court ordered YouTube on Wednesday to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in many parts of the Middle East.

The decision by a divided three-judge panel of the ninth US circuit court of appeals in San Francisco reinstated a lawsuit filed against YouTube by an actress who appeared in the video. The ninth circuit said the YouTube posting infringed actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s copyright to her role, and she, not just the filmmaker, could demand its removal.

The court’s ruling addressed control of the clip, not its contents, which YouTube determined didn’t violate its standards.

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Opponents of Pentagon-Budget Cuts Just Played the Entire Media

PentagonOn Monday, large swaths of the news media reported on the Obama Administration's proposed military budget using the same misleading frame. As the New York Times stated in its headline, "Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level."

Fox News chose the same emphasis. "The Army had already been preparing to shrink to 490,000 active-duty members from a wartime peak of 570,000," it stated, noting it will now be between 440,000 and 450,000. "That would make it the smallest since just before the U.S. entered World War II." Reuters' headline: "Budget cuts to slash U.S. Army to smallest since before World War Two."

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Thousands protest for press freedoms in Hong Kong

Hong Kong march for press freedomThousands rallied outside Hong Kong's government headquarters on Sunday, demanding the city's leader uphold media freedoms amid growing anger toward perceived behind-the-scenes intrusions on local media outlets.

Tensions have been rising between forces backing democratic institutions in Hong Kong and China's Communist Party leaders, as the city proceeds with political reforms that could lead to an unprecedented direct election for its next leader in 2017.

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FCC to write new net neutrality rules

fcc rules on net neutralityFederal regulators said Wednesday that they will write new "open Internet" rules aimed at ensuring U.S. broadband providers do not intentionally block or slow down access to any lawful content on the Internet.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that it will not appeal last month's court decision that rejected a previous version of the so-called net neutrality rules, which aim to prevent telecom operators from blocking or slowing online offerings like Netflix or YouTube while promoting services of their own partners.

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