German prosecutors: man admits Bulgarian journalist attack

A portrait of slain television reporter Viktoria Marinova is placed on the Liberty Monument next to flowers and candles during a vigil in Ruse, Bulgaria, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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German prosecutors: man admits Bulgarian journalist attack

BERLIN: German prosecutors say the suspect arrested in the slaying of a Bulgarian television journalist has confessed to the attack but denies raping and robbing her.
The Celle prosecutors office said Friday that the suspect, who has been identified in Bulgaria as 21-year-old Severin Krassimirov, told them he had not meant to kill TV reporter Viktoria Marinova.
Prosecutors say the suspect confessed to being under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he got into an argument with a woman he did not know in a park. They say he told them he hit her in the face and threw her into bushes but “denied the intent to kill.”
Prosecutors say Krassimirov, who was apprehended Tuesday in Germany on a European arrest warrant, will be extradited within the next 10 days.


What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

Updated 15 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Debating War and Peace by Jonathan Mermin

  • Mermin shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news
  • The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations

The First Amendment ideal of an independent press allows American journalists to present critical perspectives on government policies and actions; but are the media independent of government in practice? Here Jonathan Mermin demonstrates that when it comes to military intervention, journalists over the past two decades have let the government itself set the terms and boundaries of foreign policy debate in the news.

Analyzing newspaper and television reporting of US intervention in Grenada and Panama, the bombing of Libya, the Gulf War, and US actions in Somalia and Haiti, he shows that if there is no debate over US policy in Washington, there is no debate in the news. 

Journalists often criticize the execution of US policy, but fail to offer critical analysis of the policy itself if actors inside the government have not challenged it. Mermin ultimately offers concrete evidence of outside-Washington perspectives that could have been reported in specific cases, and explains how the press could increase its independence of Washington in reporting foreign policy news. 

The author constructs a new framework for thinking about press-government relations, based on the observation that bipartisan support for US intervention is often best interpreted as a political phenomenon, not as evidence of the wisdom of US policy. Journalists should remember that domestic political factors often influence foreign policy debate. The media, Mermin argues, should not see a Washington consensus as justification for downplaying critical perspectives.