The Russian parliament (the Duma) passed on a third reading on 13 November an amendment to the anti-terrorist law sharply curbing press freedom by banning the media from putting out news that “hindered an anti-terrorist operation” or was “opposition propaganda against an operation or an attempt to justify such opposition.” Its vague terms gave the government power to prosecute any journalist or media outlet reporting on terrorism or the war in Chechnya. November 25, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Putin demands revision of anti-terrorist law June 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation Help by sharing this information “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says RSF_en News BelarusEurope – Central Asia News ______22.11.2002 – Foreign media under censorship pressure for Chechnya reportingReporters Without Borders protested strongly today at two attempts by the Russian authorities to censor foreign media covering the fighting in Chechnya and Russian “anti-terrorist operations.””In the space of just a few weeks, Russia has sunk into straight censorship,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to President Vladimir Putin. “Parliament adopted an anti-terrorist law allowing prosecution of any journalist who reports on the Chechnya situation, several media have been penalised for their coverage of the recent Moscow theatre hostage-taking, and now the authorities are criticising and censoring the foreign media for reporting on Chechnya.””We ask you to veto the amendments to the anti-terrorist law and put an end to the pressure being exerted on the Russian and foreign media for their Chechnya coverage,” he said.At an airport in Ingushetia on 20 November, Russian security agents seized four cassettes of footage about Chechen refugees from Hans-Wilhelm Steinfeld, Moscow correspondent for the Norwegian public TV station NRK. The film was later returned to him, but two of the cassettes had been partly erased.The Russian embassy in Germany wrote on 13 November to Fritz Pleitgen, head of the German public TV station ARD, complaining about German media coverage of the Moscow hostage-taking, especially by ARD, whose reporting he called “shocking, totally unacceptable and disgraceful for a public institution.””The biased editing” and “choice of disgusting words” in the reports raised doubts about Moscow’s determination to reach a political solution to the conflict, the letter said, suggesting that the Russian authorities might not cooperate with ARD. to go further News BelarusEurope – Central Asia News Follow the news on Belarus President Vladimir Putin vetoed an amendment on 25 November to theanti-terrorist law severely restricting press freedom. He asked the twohouses of parliament to set up a joint committee to revise the amendment,which would ban the media from putting out news that “hindered ananti-terrorist operation” or was “opposition propaganda against anoperation or an attempt to justify such opposition.” RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” Receive email alerts Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown May 28, 2021 Find out more May 27, 2021 Find out more
U.S. Customs and Border Protection(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.) — Border Patrol agents arrested a man smuggling over $500,000 worth of cocaine in the car that he was travelling in with his wife and son. The arrest took place on Thursday in San Clemente, California, when agents observed a suspicious vehicle traveling past them at around 85 MPH, weaving between lanes and around drivers, according to ABC News affiliate KGTV. The vehicle stopped at a shopping mall, where the driver walked about quickly with his wife, before being confronted by agents who asked for consent to search their vehicle. The couple agreed and agents uncovered a duffel bag containing 20 brick-shaped packages of cocaine, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Border Patrol. Agents also discovered a package of cocaine in a shopping bag near the infant’s car seat. The 21 packages of cocaine weighed over 51lbs combined, and authorities estimate it has a street value of $512,500.As agents questioned the male driver of the vehicle, his wife took their infant son to a nearby mall, saying she needed to use the restroom. The pair did not return and were subsequently located around a quarter of a mile from the site of the arrest. The driver, identified only as a 34-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested and turned over, along with the seized cocaine, to the Orange Country Drug Enforcement Administration office. The mother and infant were released. Though valued at a significant amount of money, the haul is relatively minor compared to some made in recent years. In March 2019, authorities in New York seized 3,200 pounds of cocaine in a shipping container, which had an estimated street value of $77 million.In June of the same year, authorities in Philadelphia seized 16.5 tons of cocaine from a cargo ship, which had a street value of $1 billion. In total, authorities seized 388,970 pounds of cocaine at border crossings or in domestic field operations between 2012 and 2018, according to the most recent data available from the Congressional Research Service. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.