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Tuesday, Mar 03rd

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Egypt court orders release of Al Jazeera staff ahead of next hearing

Al Jazeera journalists freedAn Egyptian court has ordered the release of detained Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy on bail.

The retrial was ordered by the country's Court of Cassation last month, overturning a lower court that found them guilty of helping the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

"Bail is a small step in the right direction and allows Baher and Mohamed to spend time with their families after 411 days apart," an Al Jazeera spokesman said on Thursday. "The focus, though, is still on the court reaching the correct verdict at the next hearing by dismissing this absurd case and releasing both these fine journalists unconditionally."

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The U.S. Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a U.S. Drone

Drone death not reportedOn January 26, the New York Times claimed that “a CIA drone strike in Yemen. . . . killed three suspected Qaeda fighters on Monday.” How did they know the identity of the dead? As usual, it was in part because “American officials said.”

There was not a whiff of skepticism about this claim despite the fact that “a senior American official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, declined to confirm the names of the victims” and “a C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.”

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NBC News: Brian Williams suspended for 6 months without pay

Brian WilliamsNBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended for six months without pay following his false claims about an experience he had during the Iraq war, NBC News president Deborah Turness announced Tuesday night.

"We have decided today to suspend Brian Williams as Managing Editor and Anchor of NBC Nightly News for six months. The suspension will be without pay and is effective immediately," Turness wrote in a memo to staff. "We let Brian know of our decision earlier today. Lester Holt will continue to substitute Anchor the NBC Nightly News."

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Chelsea Manning To Join The Guardian U.S. As Contributing Opinion Writer

Chelsea manningThe Guardian U.S. has hired Chelsea Manning as a contributing opinion writer covering war, gender and freedom of information, Katharine Viner, the publication's editor-in-chief, announced Tuesday via Twitter.

Currently serving a 35-year sentence in federal prison for supplying thousands of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, Manning -- who was once known as Bradley -- has written on such topics before. In December, she penned an essay for The Guardian titled "I am a transgender woman and the government is denying my civil rights," and in June she wrote a piece for The New York Times blasting the U.S. government for keeping information from the American people.

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Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?

Bill O'reilly in el salvadorBefore Bill O’Reilly was, well, Bill O’Reilly, he worked for a time as a foreign correspondent for CBS Nightly News, anchored by Dan Rather. O’Reilly talks about that period of his career in two of his books, and in both mentions that in early 1982 he reported from northeastern El Salvador, just after the infamous El Mozote Massacre. “When the CBS News bureau chief asked for volunteers to check out an alleged massacre in the dangerous Morazán Territory, a mountainous region bordering Nicaragua, I willingly went.”

El Mozote is a small, hard-to-reach hamlet. The massacre took place on December 11, 1981, carried out by US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, which was not just trained but created by the United States as a rapid response unit to fight El Salvador’s fast-spreading FMLN insurgency. The killing was savage beyond belief: between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered, decapitated, impaled and burned alive.

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NBC’s Brian Williams told varying versions of rocket fire in Israel-Hezbollah war

Brian WilliamsNBC News anchor Brian Williams certainly has placed himself in dangerous situations in covering wars and natural disasters over the years. But how much danger? With Williams, the answer varies.

In addition to statements about his reporting from Iraq and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that are under review by NBC, Williams has given varying accounts of the risks he faced in reporting on Israel’s war with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in 2006.

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Brian Williams taking himself off air temporarily

Brian WillliamsBrian Williams said he is temporarily stepping away from the "NBC Nightly News" amid questions about his memories of war coverage in Iraq, calling it "painfully apparent" that he has become a distracting news story.

In a memo Saturday to NBC News staff that was released by the network, the anchorman said that as managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" he is taking himself off the broadcast for several days. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in, Williams said.

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