World News Missed in November

Tanzania, November 7

Cpj Calls On Tanzania Authorities To Release Staff Angela Quintal And Muthoki Mumo

Angela Quintal, Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Muthoki Mumo, CPJ’s Sub-Saharan Africa representative, are being held by the Tanzanian government.

The two press advocates were detained from their hotel room after Tanzanian authorities searched their belongings and took their passports, preventing them from leaving the country.

“We are concerned for the safety of our colleagues Angela Quintal and Muthoki Mumo, who were detained while legally visiting Tanzania,” said Joel Simon, CPJ’s executive director. “We call on the authorities to immediately release them and return their passports.”

Russia, November 12

Battling the Bots

A team of analysts have made it their mission to track Russian disinformation campaigns, including the most famous example which was carried out during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The head of the team at the company New Knowledge, Kris Shaffer, uses data science and artificial intelligence to examine how online propaganda campaigns work.

By combing through datasets of tweets, Facebook posts and online articles, Shaffer is able to map out accounts that are working together to spread similar messages to push false narratives.

Tanzania, November 16

EU: Tanzanian Government Pressure On Its Envoy Forced His Recall To Brussels

The European Union is reevaluating its relationship with Tanzania after expressing concern over the country’s recent crackdown on the media, political parties and the LGBTQ community.

Other international actors including the World Bank and Denmark have already stopped millions of dollars worth of projects with Tanzania, citing the East African nation’s policies of banning pregnant girls from school and criminalizing the questioning of official statistics.

The surge of critique from western donors and pressure from the Tanzanian government forced the Tanzanian ambassador to return to Brussels.

“This unprecedented attitude is not in line with the long established tradition of bilateral dialogue and consultation between the two parties, which the EU deeply regrets,” the bloc said in a statement.

India, November 18

In ‘Digital India,’ Government Hands Out Free Phones to Win Votes

The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, has promised a smartphone in every home and is using the devices he gives out to campaign.

Citizens who have received these phones have reported getting calls from “the Raman government” urging them to vote. Other digital campaigning initiatives have been used on WhatsApp and Facebook.

According to the New York Times, many of the 2.9 million people who have received the phones have found themselves targeted by campaigners.

Germany and Saudi Arabia, November 19

European Travel Ban For 18 Saudis Over Khashoggi Killing

Germany, in coordination with France and the U.K., has instituted a travel ban on 18 Saudi nationals allegedly involved in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

“As before, there are more questions than answers in this case,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass while revealing the sanction.

Mass also said the 18 Saudis are “allegedly connected to this crime.”

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh officials said Khashoggi was killed after a government attempt to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia from Turkey “failed.”

Israel and Palestine, November 20

Watchdog Groups Decry ‘Innate Bias’ Of Media Towards Israel During Latest Gaza Flare-up

The pro-Israeli community has accused the media of bias towards Israel during the latest Israeli-Palestinian skirmish.

More than 450 rockets were fired towards Israel in 48 hours, and media watchdog groups say that coverage of the flare-up did not mention the months-long attacks by Palestinian rioters prompted by Hamas.

“The silence is absolutely deafening, as it speaks volumes of the about the moral myopia of the media,” said Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).

An AP Cameraman Was Shot in Gaza While Wearing a ‘Press’ Vest

An Associated Press cameraman was shot and injured while reporting on a protest in Gaza City.

Rashed Rashid, 47, was shot in the leg while operating a live camera during a weekly demonstration near the Israel-Palestine border. He was wearing a blue helmet and a brown protective vest with the word “PRESS” written in white.

Rashid’s co-workers said the shot appeared to have come from the Israeli side of the border. Doctors said he had several bone fractures above the ankle and would need surgery.

Turkey, November 23

Turkey Foreign Minister Says Trump Wants To Avoid Khashoggi Death

President Donald Trump challenged the conclusion from U.S. intelligence officials that the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkey foreign minister Melvut Cavuslogu criticized Mr. Trump’s remarks, saying “Trump’s statements amount to him saying ‘I’ll turn a blind eye no matter what.’”

Additionally, Cavuslogu described many European nations’ response to Khashoggi’s death as “artificial” and “cosmetic,” referring to the European travel ban impositions on some Saudi citizens allegedly involved with the killing.

Poland, November 25

Poland Is Intimidating Our Journalists: U.S.-owned Polish Broadcaster

Polish broadcaster TVN says it’s facing intimidation following the entry of Polish internal security authorities into cameraman Piotr Wacowski’s home.

The authorities called Wacowski to a hearing over accusations of spreading Nazi propaganda after he went undercover to report on a neo-nazi group for a broadcast in January.

Poland’s National Prosecutor’s Office said it was premature to accuse Wacowski, and that the case had been referred to a regional prosecutor’s office for further examination.

“We are treating this as an attempt to intimidate journalists,” said TVN in a statement.

China, November 27

Lu Guang: Award-winning Chinese Photographer Disappears in Xinjiang

Three-time World Press Photo Award winner Lu Guang has disappeared while visiting China’s Xinjiang region. Guang focuses on environmental and societal issues in China.

His wife Xu Xiaoli was told by officials that her husband had been taken away by national security officers of the heavily-controlled region. She said she did not know whether her husband had done anything to provoke government anger.

Officials were unable to provide any more evidence of his disappearance.

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