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Rebekah Brooks formally charged over phone hacking; move announced by prosecutors last month

REBEKAH-BROOKSFormer Rupert Murdoch protege Rebekah Brooks has been formally charged with conspiring to hack into the phones of hundreds of well-known people and their associates, a move first announced last month by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service.

The development had been expected since July 24, when prosecutors named Brooks as one of eight people accused of participating in a campaign of espionage which targeted more than 600 celebrities, sports stars, politicians and crime victims.

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Media, ACLU to argue against censorship at Guantánamo

Media argue against censorship at GuantanamoThe chief war court judge has agreed to let media and civil liberties lawyers argue for openness at the start of a pre-trial hearing at Guantánamo in the death-penalty case of five alleged conspirators in the Sept. 11 attacks.

A consortium of 14 media groups, including The Miami Herald, and the American Civil Liberties Union separately filed motions protesting protective orders that shield the public from access to secret information in the case.

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Oil and gas industries go to war against media coverage of fracking hazards

Oil and gas company attack media for reporting fracking hazardsSince late 2009, there’s been a slowly-growing wave of attacks from the unconventional oil and gas industry on media outlets that cover the controversies surrounding hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other shale gas practices.

Reporters who write for publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Reuters to the New York Times have had their professional bona fides called into question after unearthing documents and facts that challenge claims that fracked shale gas is cheap, abundant, and clean.

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Newspaper Uses Photoshop To Make Syria Look Even Worse Somehow

The Kronen Zeitung is Austria's largest newspaper, with a daily readership of around three million people. Yesterday, those readers were treated to the image on the left of war-torn Aleppo, bombed out and desperate. Except, as one sharp-eyed Redditor points out, that wasn't the scene at all. It was just another Photoshop job.

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NBC Invents War-o-tainment Reality TV Show

Stars Earn StripesIf you've watched the Olympics on NBC you've probably seen ads promoting a war-o-tainment reality show cohosted by retired U.S. General Wesley Clark, co-starring Todd Palin, and with no apparent role for reality.

The ads brag about the use of real bullets in a way that promoters of the new Batman movie probably wouldn't try. But the chances that any of the celebrities engaged in "war competition" on NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes"  will be shot and killed is essentially what it was for John Wayne, as he promoted war while dodging it (even if nuclear weapons testing got him in the end).

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Fox, MSNBC viewers see world differently

FOX newsThe television remote control has become a de facto ballot in today’s hyper-polarized world of politics.

Turn the dial to the left to watch MSNBC and it’s more likely you lean left. Turn it to the right to tune in Fox, and it’s more likely you lean right. Which cable news channel people watch has become a bona fide indicator of what they think about taxes, health care, immigration and the size and scope of the federal government, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

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No Filming on Public Land: You’re Under ’Terrorist Law’

Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.

John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law. "I’m stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous," he said.

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