Democracy

Chinese Reporters Fight Pay to Praise Plan

Chinese moneyA leading state-run newspaper in China has scrapped a controversial appraisal system in which reporters would get paid more if they pleased the Communist Party's central propaganda department. The plan prompted a rebellion by the paper's reporters, one of whom posted an open letter condemning it on the Internet.

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SLAPPing Speech

Thanks to Molly Ivins for mentioning our work in her recent column about "strategic lawsuits against public participation" (SLAPPs), in which corporations file harassment lawsuits to silence their critics. Ivins cites the experience of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, which "has already spent $10 million defending itself against a lawsuit filed by Isuzu Motors Ltd.

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Spreading Democracy, for Shah

"The Bush administration is expanding efforts to influence Iran's internal politics," including increasing aid to exile groups and airing "longer broadcasts criticizing the Iranian government" on Voice of America satellite TV programs. Under secretary of state for political affairs R.

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From Britain, with Love - and Focus Groups

The Iranian presidential campaign of Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, "a conservative former revolutionary guard air force commander whose candidacy has the blessing of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei," is patterned after that of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, reports the Guardian.

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KFC Tries Silencing More Than The Chickens

Two members of the animal welfare committee of Yum Brands Inc, KFC's parent company, resigned after being asked to sign a confidentiality agreement which would have required them to refer all media inquiries to KFC's corporate headquarters. Over the last three years Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University and Dr. Ian Duncan of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, have advised KFC on improving animal welfare standards. Both objected to the proposed agreement as amounting to censorship.

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