CNN Philippines goes off-air in coronavirus scare

The Philippines has reported just a fraction of the infections seen in hotspots such as China and Italy, with 187 confirmed cases and 14 deaths. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 March 2020

CNN Philippines goes off-air in coronavirus scare

  • The channel would be off-air at least 24 hours
  • A case of coronavirus was confirmed in the building where CNN Philippines operates

MANILA: CNN Philippines stopped broadcasting on Wednesday after a coronavirus case was confirmed in the building where the television channel is based, forcing it off the air while the offices are disinfected.
Viewers tuning in to the local franchise were met with the network’s red logo on a blank screen as it announced it would be off-air for at least 24 hours.
“CNN Philippines will temporarily stop broadcasting on Wednesday after a COVID-19 case was confirmed in the building (in Manila) where the company is located,” the franchise said on its website.
“As a result, CNN Philippines will be off the air for at least 24 hours,” it added, stressing the infection occurred at another company in the building.
It said it would continue to provide news on its website and social media accounts.
“We have prepared for this emergency. For more than two weeks, many of our colleagues have been isolated and working from home already,” a company statement said.
Other Philippine broadcast networks have earlier banned live audiences from their talk, reality, variety and game shows.
The Philippines has reported just a fraction of the infections seen in hotspots such as China and Italy, with 187 confirmed cases and 14 deaths.


US Congress members push for Al Jazeera to register as foreign agent

Updated 13 July 2020

US Congress members push for Al Jazeera to register as foreign agent

  • US Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018 requiring all foreign media outlets based in America to detail their ties to foreign governments
  • The law is part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was adopted in 1938 to identify Nazi propaganda outlets in the US

CHICAGO: The Qatari-owned satellite news channel, Al Jazeera, is facing renewed pressure to register as a foreign agent in the US under a two-year-old law.

After a year-long push, the US Congress amended the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in 2018 requiring all foreign media outlets based in America to detail their ties to foreign governments.

The law is part of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which was adopted in 1938 to identify Nazi propaganda outlets in the US.

They are required to include, “a description of the relationship of such outlet to the foreign principal of such outlet, including a description of the legal structure of such relationship and any funding that such outlet receives from such principal.”

Among news outlets forced to register is the Russian-owned broadcaster RT. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, that prompted the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association — the body in charge of issuing press passes for the US House of Representatives and the Senate — to revoke the outlet’s pass.

Soon after, in February 2019, the China Global Television Network (CGTN) registered under the act and lost access to Congress, although another media outlet funded by the Chinese government, Xinhua News Agency, has not.

Last year, several influential lawmakers demanded the same requirement be imposed on Al Jazeera, whose chairman is Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family.

The broadcaster was founded by the former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who handed over power to his son, Sheikh Tamim, in 2013.

The current emir’s brother has been accused of committing murder and assault against Americans in a Massachusetts-based lawsuit, and the Qatar Charity funded by the Qatar Foundation were recently accused of funding terrorist violence that killed or maimed 10 American citizens in Israel.

The signatories include US Senators Tom Cotton, Chuck Grassley, John Cornyn, Todd Young, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, and Representatives Mike Johnson and Lee Zeldin.

“Qatar’s officials have said that government-controlled media is a form of ‘soft power.’ As such, one can reasonably infer that Al Jazeera is a messaging tool for the Qatari government and on its behalf has engaged in inherently political activities and sought to influence public opinion in the US,” the lawmakers wrote.

Click here to read the letter:

https://www.cotton.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1161

Critics note that Al Jazeera’s videos on YouTube are stamped with the disclaimer, “Al Jazeera is funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government.”