White House restores access for CNN’S Acosta, ending legal fight

Judge Timothy Kelly ordered the White House on November 16, 2018, to reinstate Jim Acosta's press credentials, whose pass was revoked after a heated exchange with US President Donald Trump. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 20 November 2018
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White House restores access for CNN’S Acosta, ending legal fight

  • Acosta’s credentials were revoked after Trump denounced him as a “rude, terrible person” during a Nov. 7 news conference
  • CNN challenged the move in court and on Friday won a ruling that temporarily reinstated Acosta

WASHINGTON: The White House on Monday restored press access for CNN reporter Jim Acosta, ending a legal fight that had so far gone against the Trump administration.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that the press pass for Acosta, which was revoked after a contentious Nov. 7 news conference with President Donald Trump, was restored but that reporters who ignored new rules for news conferences could have their credentials taken away.
Under the rules, “a journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists,” but a follow-up question may be permitted at the president’s discretion, Sanders said.
CNN, a frequent target of Trump’s criticism of the news media, said in a statement its lawsuit challenging the White House’s actions was no longer necessary.
Earlier on Monday, the cable news network had sought an emergency federal court hearing after the White House said it would again revoke Acosta’s pass once a temporary restraining order reinstating it for a two-week period expired.
Acosta’s credentials were revoked after Trump denounced him as a “rude, terrible person” during a news conference the day after Trump’s Republicans lost their majority in the US House of Representatives in congressional elections.
Trump had erupted into anger when Acosta questioned him about the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico, telling Acosta: “That’s enough, that’s enough,” as a White House staffer tried to take the microphone away from the correspondent.
CNN challenged the press pass revocation in court, arguing it violated Acosta’s First Amendment right to free speech, as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial and administrative process.
In temporarily restoring Acosta’s credentials, US District Judge Timothy Kelly said last Friday that the White House had failed to provide due process. He did not address any alleged First Amendment violations.
In court, US government lawyers said there was no First Amendment right of access to the White House and that Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the news conference and not for his criticism of the president.
Trump, who has long blasted the media, and often targeted Acosta, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the judge’s decision was “not a big deal” and that the White House would establish rules for the press.
 


Israeli premier’s son blocked on Facebook for anti-Muslim posts

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his son Yair visit, on March 18, 2015, the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem following his party Likud's victory in Israel's general election. (AFP)
Updated 17 December 2018
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Israeli premier’s son blocked on Facebook for anti-Muslim posts

  • Facebook deleted Yair Netanyahu’s posts, prompting him to take to Twitter to criticize the social networking giant, calling it a “dictatorship of thought”

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s eldest, Yair, tweeted on Sunday that Facebook blocked his page for 24 hours over apparent anti-Muslim posts and called the leading social network a “dictatorship.”
In a message posted Thursday on his Facebook page after deadly Palestinian attacks, Yair Netanyahu had called for “all Muslims (to) leave” Israel.
“Do you know where there are no attacks? In Iceland and in Japan where coincidentally there are no Muslims,” the prime minister’s son wrote.
In another post he wrote that there were only two possible solutions for peace, either “all Jews leave (Israel) or all Muslims leave.”
“I prefer the second option,” he added.
His comments came after two soldiers were shot dead on Thursday at a central West Bank bus station near a settlement.
On the same day, a baby prematurely delivered after his mother was shot and wounded in a separate attack nearby on December 9 also died.
Facebook deleted Yair Netanyahu’s posts, prompting him to take to Twitter to criticize the social networking giant, calling it a “dictatorship of thought.”
Critics of the prime minister have often attacked Yair as a grown man living in the premier’s residence despite having no official role and benefitting from a bodyguard, a driver and other perks.
They say the parents of the 27-year-old are grooming him for future political power in an attempt to establish a ruling dynasty.