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Linda - The Washington Post is reporting that the Associated Press is distributing a photo of a Marine fatally wounded in battle, choosing after a period of reflection to make public an image that conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it. Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard, 21, of New Portland, Maine, was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan. The image shows fellow Marines helping Bernard after he suffered severe leg injuries. He was evacuated to a field hospital where he died on the operating table. The picture was taken by Associated Press photographer Julie Jacobson, who accompanied Marines on the patrol and was in the midst of the ambush during which Bernard was wounded.
Tom - Images of U.S. soldiers fallen in combat have been rare in Iraq and Afghanistan, partly because it is unusual for journalists to witness them and partly because military guidelines have barred the showing of photographs until after families have been notified. Jacobson, who was crouching under fire, took the picture from a distance with a long lens and did not interfere with Marines trying to assist Bernard. The AP waited until after Bernard's burial in Madison, Maine, on Aug. 24 to distribute its story and the pictures. An AP reporter met with his parents, allowing them to see the images. Bernard's father after seeing the image of his mortally wounded son said he opposed its publication, saying it was disrespectful to his son's memory. Responded AP senior managing editor John Daniszewski: "We understand Mr. Bernard's anguish. We believe this image is part of the history of this war. The story and photos are in themselves a respectful treatment and recognition of sacrifice."
Linda - Computer Weekly is reporting that US internet service providers are hoping to persuade the US government to accept a low threshold for the definition of broadband communications, that according to submissions to the FCC. The FCC is consulting on the technical definition of broadband to help the government spend $7.2bn in loans and grants for broadband projects as part of the Obama administration's economic stimulus package. AT&T is arguing for a lower threshold, saying that regulators should keep in mind that not all applications like voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) or streaming video, that require faster speeds, are necessarily needed by unserved Americans.
Tom - AT&T's main broadband competitor Verizon Communications Inc. and Verizon Wireless asked the FCC to stick to the present speeds of at least 768kbps downstream and 200kbps upstream. By way of contrast, the UK's Digital Britain plan calls for a universal 2mbps service by 2012. Free Press, a public interest group, said broadband should be considered a critical infrastructure. It called for a symmetric service, with the end-user experiencing a minimum of 5mbps for uploads and downloads. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) already rates the US as a broadband laggard. In a 2008 research paper, the US ranked 19th with an average advertised rate of 9.6mbps. The top three countries were Japan with 92.8mbps, Korea with 80.8mbps and France with 51mbps. The UK was 15th with 10.7mbps.
Linda - In international media news, two Bangladeshi newspapers have apologized after publishing an article taken from the Onion, a satirical US website which claimed the Moon landings were faked. The Daily Manab Zamin said US astronaut Neil Armstrong had shocked a news conference by saying he now knew it had been an "elaborate hoax". Neither they nor the New Nation, which later picked up the story, realised the Onion was not a genuine news site. Both have now apologised to their readers for not checking the story. The story was published on the Onion's website last week on Monday and on Wednesday, the Daily Manab Zamin translated it into Bengali, attributing it to the Onion News Network in Lebanon, Ohio. It then ran in New Nation on Thursday. Daily Manab Zamin, the only tabloid newspaper in Bangladesh, published an apology to its readers on Thursday, saying the report had "drawn a lot of attention". Said the tabloid: "We've since learned that the fun site runs false and juicy reports based on a historic incident, We are sorry for publishing the report without checking the information."
Tom - AFP is reporting that online writers in Vietnam who touched on the sensitive topic of China relations have been arrested in a "mounting crackdown" which drew strong condemnation last Friday from a global press watchdog. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for the immediate release of Pham Doan Trang, a journalist for prominent news website VietnamNet, and Bui Thanh Hieu, who blogs under the name Wind Trader. Both were arrested late last week allegedly over "national security" issues. The mother of another blogger confirmed to AFP that her daughter, Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 30, was arrested by about 15 officers around midnight Wednesday at their home in the southern coastal city of Nha Trang. All three bloggers had posted articles about sovereignty issues in the South China Sea, where Vietnam and China are engaged in a boundary dispute over the Spratley and Paracel archipelagos.
Linda - New York-based Human Rights Watch on Friday called for all charges to be dropped against the three online writers and said the latest arrests are "yet another effort by the Vietnamese government to silence government critics." CPJ's Asia programme director, Bob Dietz, said in a statement: "Vietnam is already one of the world's worst violators of Internet freedom, and recent actions only underscore that reputation," Last week, Vietnamese newspaper reporter Huy Duc was fired after writing comments in a personal blog highlighting human rights abuses committed by Vietnam's former communist ally the Soviet Union. Vietnam late last year tightened curbs on bloggers to ban views seen as opposing the state or undermining national security. The country's traditional media are all linked to the state.
Tom - According to THR.com President Obama's televised primetime addresses are having a tougher time getting airtime on the broadcast networks A day after news broke of the president's plan to address a joint session of Congress on health care issues in primetime Wednesday, none of the Big Four networks have said it would carry the address live. After a brief honeymoon after Obama's January inauguration, the broadcast networks have become increasingly frustrated by the frequency of his requests for primetime coverage. The pre-emptions wreak havoc on the networks' schedules and cost millions of dollars in lost ad revenue. Fox became the first network to break ranks in April by declining to carry the president's news conference after reportedly losing as much as $6 million by moving "American Idol" in February to accommodate Obama's second news conference. In July, Fox again declined to cover an Obama news conference, with the other three broadcast networks also showing reluctance to surrender primetime real estate. It took several days and an agreement by the White House to move the event up an hour to 8 p.m. ET to get ABC and NBC in line. Fox did air the President's address on it's sister cable news channel.
Linda - The Associated Press is reporting that Yale University has removed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book about how they caused outrage across the Muslim world, drawing criticism from prominent alumni and a national group of university professors. Yale University Press, which the university owns, removed the 12 caricatures from the book "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen. The book is scheduled to be released next week. A Danish newspaper originally published the cartoons — including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban — in 2005. Other Western publications reprinted them. The following year, the cartoons triggered massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia. Rioters torched Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.
Tom - Michael Steinberg, an attorney and Yale graduate was among 25 alumni who signed a protest letter sent last Friday to Yale Alumni Magazine that urged the university to restore the drawings to the book. Other signers included John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum and Seth Corey, a liberal doctor. In a statement explaining the decision, Yale University Press said it decided to exclude a Danish newspaper page of the cartoons and other depictions of Muhammad after asking the university for help on the issue. It said the university consulted counterterrorism officials, diplomats and the top Muslim official at the United Nations. The statement said: "The decision rested solely on the experts' assessment that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims."