BBC and Royal Mail ‘using Ripa terror powers to spy on public’

BBC and Royal Mail ‘using Ripa terror powers to spy on public’

Independent – A senior Cabinet minister has launched a strong attack on public bodies – including the BBC and the Royal Mail –that have powers to carry out secret surveillance on members of the public but are refusing to say how they’re using them. Under controversial legislation, a range of public bodies have the authority to demand that phone companies hand over records of calls, secretly follow people without their knowledge and record their movements. Read Article

Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain

NY Times – Ecuador forcefully rejected pressure from Britain and announced Thursday that it was granting political asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been holed up for two months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London trying to avoid extradition to Sweden. The decision, citing the possibility that Mr. Assange could face “political persecution” or be sent to the United States to face the death penalty, escalated the unusually sharp strains between Ecuador and Britain, and drew an angry rebuttal from Sweden. Read Article

Julian Assange: UK ‘threat’ to arrest Wikileaks founder

BBC – Ecuador has accused the UK of making a “threat” to enter its embassy in London to arrest Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies. Ecuador says a decision on his claim for political asylum will come later. The UK Foreign Office says it can lift the embassy’s diplomatic status to fulfil a “legal obligation” to extradite the 41-year-old. Read Article

Julian Assange ‘will be given asylum in Ecuador’

Telegraph – The WikiLeaks founder took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London on June 19 after losing his appeal against extradition to Sweden where he is wanted over allegations of sexual offences. After formally applying for political asylum, a decision was due this week. In the meantime, a warrant for his arrest for breaching his bail conditions means he is likely to be rearrested if he steps outside the embassy. According to an official close to the government, Correa has already decided to approve Assange’s application. Read Article

U.S. watchdog calls for review of cell phone radiation rules

Reuters – U.S. regulators should take a fresh look at 15-year-old standards on radiofrequency energy from mobile phones, an investigative arm of the U.S. Congress said on Tuesday amid lingering concerns the devices may cause brain tumors. Before a mobile phone comes on the U.S. market, it is first tested to ensure its emissions are within a limit determined by the Federal Communications Commission to be safe for human exposure. Read article

NASA’s Mars Rover Crashed Into a DMCA Takedown

Mother Board – NASA’s livestream coverage of the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars was was practically as flawless as the landing itself, a refreshing alternative to all that troubled Olympics coverage. The broadcast – full of suspense, lucky peanut-eating, and ecstatic congratulations – was slow and hard to reach at times, but NASA servers never failed. Along with burnishing its online publicity credentials, NASA had prepared for a global audience of millions. Read Article

Internet Freedom Under Attack – China keeps up block on Bloomberg website

Financial Times – Bloomberg’s news website remains blocked by China’s state censors a full month after it detailed the riches amassed by the family of Xi Jinping, the man who is expected to be the country’s next president. Although periodic outages of foreign media websites in China are common, the month-long total blackout of Bloomberg is an unusually harsh response, highlighting the extent to which its coverage angered the government. Read Article

Russia slaps ban on alcohol advertising in media

BBC – A far-reaching ban on alcohol advertising has gone into effect in Russia – part of a campaign to tackle the country’s drink problem. The ban prohibits alcohol advertising on television, radio, the internet, public transport and billboards. The ban will also apply to print media from 1 January. Even now they can only put such ads on the inside pages. Read Article

Is time online killing you?

Body and Soul – The average Australian spent 17.6 hours a week online in 2009, according to Nielsen’s Australian Internet & Technology Report 2010. And if you’ve got broadband, or are aged between 16 and 29, you’re likely to fritter away even more time, with the biggest internet users clocking up as many as 22 hours a week. If you think we’ve cut back elsewhere to compensate, you’re wrong. According to the same report, we spend 13.4 hours a week watching TV, and more than eight hours watching DVDs. In part, it’s because we’re multitasking, with 49 per cent of us watching TV while we surf the net. It’s also never been easier to go online. Read article

Israeli journalist reaches plea bargain with state

Associated Press – An investigative reporter who faced indictment for exposing classified military documents has reached a plea bargain with the government that will allow him to avoid jail time, his newspaper and the justice ministry said Thursday. The government had announced in May that it would charge Uri Blau from the liberal Haaretz newspaper with unauthorized possession of state secrets, stirring up fears of a crusade to stifle the press. Read Article

Anesthesiologist Fabricates 172 Papers

The Scientist – Yoshitaka Fujii, a Japanese anesthesiologist, may have just set a new record in scientific misconduct. After an investigating committee organized by the Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists concluded that he never saw the patients he claimed to see, or administered the medicine he claimed to treat them with, a total of 172 papers regarding those patients are up for retraction—a record number by a single author, according to ScienceInsider. “It is as if someone sat at a desk and wrote a novel about a research idea,” the committee wrote in its report, posted in Japanese on the society’s Web site last week (June 29). Read article

News Archive In Focus – Media (782 articles)

Whilst the media has been referred to as the “opiate of the masses”, we could also suggest that it serves a vital aspect of human societies; disseminating information. However, this valuable and powerful ability is one reason why the media can often be seen as both a powerful tool for good and bad. Since the 1950s, in the countries that have reached a high level of industrialization, the mass media of cinema, radio and TV have a key role in political power with the power of some of the largest media machines resting in the hands of an elite few.Keep up to date with a look at our Media news archive of 782 articles on the topic CLICK HERE

Ashton’s spokesman, US psychological warfare expert

PressTV – The replacement of an American agent with the former spokesperson of the European negotiator has raised serious questions about the motives behind the move. Being the spokesman on the P5+1 negotiating team indicates that Mann is an information outlet channeling all the data from the talks for the global public opinion. The means of information dissemination now lies in the hands of US agents and not European negotiators, the report said. Read article

Julian Assange’s application to reopen extradition case turned down

The Guardian – The supreme court has reaffirmed its rejection of Julian Assange’s appeal against his extradition to Sweden, turning down an unusual, last-minute request to reopen the case. In a short statement, issued only two days after Dinah Rose QC submitted a written plea for the case to be reheard, the court declared that her application “is without merit and it is dismissed”.The terse phrasing suggests a degree of judicial disapproval of the extended process and leaves Assange’s lawyers with the choice of appealing the decision to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg or agreeing to the extradition requests. Read Article

Syrian rebels tried to get me killed, says Channel 4 correspondent

Guardian – The chief correspondent of Channel 4 News has claimed that Syrian rebels deliberately tried to get him and his crew killed by gunfire from government forces in a bid to discredit the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Alex Thomson alleged a small group from the Free Syrian Army deliberately guided the vehicle in which he and his Channel 4 News colleagues were travelling into what he described as a “free-fire zone” on a blocked road near the city of al-Qusayr, because “dead journos are bad for Damascus” Read Article

Therapy by Phone Good Against Depression

MedPage Today – Receiving cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) over the phone is just as effective in primary care patients as when counseling is done face-to-face, and phone CBT may keep patients in treatment longer, researchers found. Patients had significant improvement in depression scores with both means of treatment (P<0.001), but significantly fewer stopped telephone-based therapy (P=0.02), David Mohr, PhD, of Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues reported in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read article

Read article: Phone therapy and exercise can ease chronic pain; Short-term pill-free therapy may help insomniacs

WebMD names Pfizer executive as new CEO

Reuters – Health information website WebMD Health Corp named Pfizer Inc executive Cavan Redmond as its CEO, entrusting the industry veteran with the task of reviving its flagging business after the company ended talks to sell itself. WebMD is one of the best-known websites for information on everything from cancer to better eating habits, but has recently warned of falling profits as it struggles to attract advertisers. Read article

Researcher Retreats on Sexual Enhancement Claim for Watermelon

MedPage Today – Chalk up the widely publicized report that watermelons can enhance erections, much like a certain PDE-5 inhibitor, to a stretched version of the truth by a university PR officer seeking a good story for the Fourth of July. A somewhat red-faced plant scientist, who was quoted extensively in a Texas A&M press release, backed away from claims that the summer picnic staple actually can promote erections. But he didn’t abandon the notion entirely. Read article

Al Jazeera English Forced Out of China

Epoch Times – Chinese officials on Monday forced the shutdown of the English-language bureau of Al Jazeera in Beijing by denying the renewal of press credentials to its journalist in China and refusing to allow a replacement. The decision was reportedly driven by Al Jazeera’s release of a documentary about slave labor camps in China in November last year. Read Article

UK: Persistent cough ‘could be lung cancer warning’

BBC – The public should be vigilant about persistent coughs as they could be a sign of lung cancer, a new government advertising drive is warning. The campaign, which is being run in TV, radio, print and online media, recommends people with coughs lasting three weeks visit their GP. Read article

How the Murdoch press keeps Australia’s dirty secret

Newstatesman – The illegal eavesdropping on well-known people by the News of the World is said to be Rupert Murdoch’s Watergate. But is it the crime by which Murdoch ought to be known? In his native land, Australia, Murdoch controls 70 per cent of the capital city press and the only national newspaper. Australia is the world’s first murdochracy, in which smear by media is power. The most enduring and insidious Murdoch campaign has been against the Aboriginal people, who were dispossessed by the arrival of the British in the late 18th century and have never been allowed to recover. “Nigger hunts” continued into the 1960s and beyond. Read Article