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Friday, Mar 27th

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Journalist Chris Hedges Barred by University of Pennsylvania Over Israel Dig

Chris HedgesJournalist and former New York Times Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges says the University of Pennsylvania disinvited him from a peace conference after he published a column that compared the Islamic State to Israel.

Hedges described the incident in his weekly column for the new website Truthdig, where he writes he had been invited to speak at a conference sponsored by Penn’s International Affairs Association scheduled for April 3.

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60 Journalists Killed In 2014 As Targeting Of International Press Rises

60 journalists killed in 2014The horrific deaths of James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria brought worldwide attention to the dangers journalists face in war zones. The beheadings reflected an alarming trend in 2014 in which international journalists were increasingly targeted and killed.

There were at least 60 journalists killed globally in connection to their work in 2014, according to an annual report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization that advocates for press freedom around the world. The latest death was Afghan cameraman Zubair Hatami, who died Saturday from injuries he sustained in a Taliban attack.

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US journalist killed in failed rescue raid in Yemen

Luke SomersAn American photojournalist and a South African teacher held by Al-Qaeda in Yemen were killed Saturday during a failed U.S.-led rescue attempt, a raid President Barack Obama said he ordered over an "imminent danger" to the reporter.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) previously posted a video online threatening to kill photographer Luke Somers, prompting a second rescue attempt for him by American forces backed by Yemeni ground troops. But an aid group helping negotiate the release of South African Pierre Korkie said he was to be freed Sunday and his wife was told only that morning: "The wait is almost over."

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Reporter quits Chicago newspaper, says governor candidate influenced paper

Bruce RaunerA veteran Illinois political reporter quit his job at the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday and accused the newspaper of bowing to pressure from Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner by removing him from the campaign beat.

Dave McKinney, a 19-year veteran of the paper who covered the state capital, said in his resignation letter that the paper reassigned him after the Rauner campaign accused him of a conflict of interest, which he denies.

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Corporate TV Misses Yet Another Opportunity To Cover Climate Change

Climate marchThe People's Climate March on Sunday was perhaps the largest climate change protest in history. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of New York City. Celebrities and high-profile politicians were among the marchers. The protest was a huge topic on social media.

All in all, it was a perfect opportunity for some of America's biggest news organizations to cover the topic of climate change, something that usually gets either ignored or badly handled. For Sunday talk show hosts, there was even a nice political hook, since the march was pegged to a UN summit that President Obama will be attending.

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USA Today lays off 60-plus staffers

USA todayUSA Today laid off at least 60 staffers on Wednesday in an effort to cut back on costs, with the majority of layoffs taking place in the editorial department, sources at the newspaper confirmed.

The layoffs, first reported by Poynter, come in the wake of Gannett's recent announcement that it will spin off its print division, which includes USA Today and 81 daily local and regional newspapers.

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If You Were An Iraq War Critic, You're Probably Not Being Asked To Go On TV

CheneyKent Conrad’s phone hasn’t been ringing very much over the past few weeks, as Iraq, and the debate over America's future in the country, has once again dominated the news.

The architects of the Iraq war are back in TV studios and on op-ed pages, as are journalists and pundits who promoted the Bush administration’s ultimately bogus case for invading. But Conrad, a former senator who was one of only 23 to vote against authorizing the war in October 2002, hasn’t heard from CNN, MSNBC or any other TV outlet. "Not once," he said, when asked if anyone in the press had reached out regarding the current crisis in Iraq.

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