World Bulletin/News Desk
Journalists at one of Ukraine's few independent TV stations rallied on Saturday, alleging that President Viktor Yanukovich's leadership was trying stealthily to silence independent media ahead of an October parliamentary election.
TVi station, which is known for investigative journalism and which is often critical of the Yanukovich leadership and leading lights around him, was the subject of a raid by tax police last July.
A tax evasion case against TVi's chief executive has since been dropped. But the station says local cable companies have come under pressure to either give it up or move it to more expensive packages, significantly cutting its viewer base.
Critics of the Yanukovich leadership see the moves against TVi as aimed at stifling potentially damaging reporting by the independent media before the Oct. 28 parliamentary election when his Party of the Regions will have to battle to keep its majority.
The government is unpopular because of tax and pension reform which has pushed back the retiring age and Yanukovich's party now faces a united opposition of several parties brought together by the prosecution and jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
These critics say harassment of the independent media is part of a trend towards increased authoritarianism in the country since Yanukovich came to power in Feb. 2010.
"There are only a few TV stations left like TVi which has dared to provide balanced coverage of the situation in Ukraine," Yury Lukanov, head of the independent journalists' union, told Reuters on the fringe of a rally which drew about 1,500 people.
"The authorities don't like this. They prefer simple propaganda channels. That's why they are doing all they can to shut down this channel," he said.
Yanukovich last Monday told a World Newspaper Congress meeting in Kiev the alleged lack of media freedom in his country was due to ignorance and the lack of objective information about the real state of affairs in Ukraine.
His speech to the congress was interrupted by a dozen Ukrainian journalists who stood and held up anti-censorship banners. Security guards tore the banners out of protesters' hands.
"The goal of all honest journalists is to criticise the authorities. Only a journalist who tells you about the authorities' mistakes, their crimes, their wrong-doings - only this person can call himself an honest journalist," TVi editor-in-chief Vitaly Portnikov told the rally.
"When you destroy independent media you are punishing not just the opposition but civil society," he said.
Speaking on board the papal plane on his way back from a two-day visit to Egypt, the pontiff said there was a need for "negotiations with a view to a diplomatic solution".
The tragedy occurred Thursday, when the six-story building came crashing down for reasons that are being investigated, the Red Cross said.
Critics are marking the milestone by lambasting his struggle to convert campaign promises into tangible achievements, which his supporters blame on obstruction by his opponents.
"I think the general picture is that we are on target to have a conclusion on May 22," Tsipras said in Brussels, referring to a scheduled meeting of eurozone finance ministers needed to approve the deal.
EU President Donald Tusk made the announcement to 27 European Union leaders holding a special meeting -- without Britain -- on Brexit, Merkel told reporters.
South Sudanese government forces targeted a town in the north on Wednesday, displacing civilians the UN said may be headed toward the border with Sudan.
Judge Kristine Baker of the US Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas issued the order late Friday, less than 24 hours after the state executed the 38-year-old convicted multiple murderer Kenneth Williams.
"He slipped, he was injured and briefly hospitalised and will not join us this afternoon," said Massimo Mallegni, mayor of Pietrasanta.
In a bruising contest against pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron, Le Pen is hoping to broaden her base wide enough to win the decisive second-round election, despite polls suggesting she is 20 points behind.
The 27 leaders quickly agreed on the negotiating guidelines as they met without Britain for the first time since Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the divorce process a month ago.
Abe met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, assuring her that he "continued to trust the UK economy after separation from the European Union," he told a press conference in London on Saturday.
Orban was summoned to a meeting with top officials from the European People's Party (EPP) over the law that could force the closure of a Budapest university founded by US billionaire George Soros.
"There will inevitably be a price and a cost for Britain, it's the choice they made," Hollande said as he arrived at a Brussels summit.
Turkish General Staff says more than 90 terrorists also injured in operations in northern Iraq, northeastern Syria
Opponents started rallying on April 1 against moves to strengthen his hold on power, hoping they would be a tipping point in the economic and political crisis.