"A U.S. investigation into allegations that the American military is buying positive coverage in the Iraqi media has expanded to examine a press club founded and financed by the U.S. Army," reports USA Today. The Baghdad Press Club was created in 2004, "to promote progress amid the violence and chaos of Iraq." A military spokesperson said "members are not required nor asked to write favorably" about the United States.
West Virginia's Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council unanimously approved "a financial disclosure form that would require pharmaceutical companies to reveal how much they spend on advertising and promotion of brand-name drugs" in the state, as well as any "gifts, grants or payments to physicians" in excess of $25.
Guidelines issued by the Australian government's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advise public servants on how to avoid personal notebook comments being disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.
After notifying "foreign Web sites that his newspaper colleagues had been instructed not to commemorate the then-pending 15th anniversary of China's 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy activists," Chinese journalist Shi Tao received a 10-year prison sentence. According to Reporters Without Borders, the court that sentenced Mr. Shi "relied partly on evidence provided by a Hong Kong subsidiary of Internet company Yahoo Inc." The government of President Hu Jintao has repeatedly targeted the media.
Katsuya Okada, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and the main rival to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, has hired PR firm Fleishman-Hillard to help buff his image ahead of the September 11 national election.