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Iraq kicks out al-Jazeera from Baghdad

DOHA, Qatar, April 2 (UPI)
DOHA, Qatar, April 2 (UPI) -- The Arabic-language al-Jazeera Satellite Channel, criticized by the U.S.-led coalition for its coverage of the war in Iraq, has said it is suspending the activities of its correspondents in Iraq after that country's government asked its reporter to leave Baghdad.

homepage: homepage: http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030403-120041-2440r

If This Guy is King? 05.Apr.2003 00:29

old news

...then I hereby declare a code 'feeble' troll alert. Please try to pay attention, Mike.

Al Jazeera Returns to Coverage From Baghdad After Shutdown



l Jazeera, the most-watched Arab-language television news network, resumed its coverage from Iraq yesterday after the Iraqis rescinded a reporting ban on its two correspondents in Baghdad.

The Iraqi government gave no reason when it told the network on Wednesday that one of its two correspondents in the Iraqi capital, Diyar al-Omari, could not report there. It told the other, Tayseer Allouni, to leave the country.

The network, which had six other correspondents reporting in Iraqi-controlled territory, retaliated by suspending its reporting from Iraq altogether.

Iraq gave no reason for its change of heart yesterday. But Al Jazeera reaches an estimated audience of 45 million viewers and the Iraqi government has relied heavily on it to get its message to the Arab world.

Al Jazeera officials said the standoff hurt the network's coverage as much as it hurt Iraq.

"Al Jazeera was at a loss as well," said Jihad Ali Ballout, a network spokesman in Doha, Qatar. "Al Jazeera, at the end of the day, wants to cover the war for all."

Al Jazeera was not the only network to get new reporting life in Baghdad. Lara Logan, a CBS News correspondent, returned to the city yesterday after network executives concluded that the capital seemed relatively stable for journalists.

The Baghdad government clearly wants a corps of journalists on hand for the expected battle there. CNN, which was ejected from Baghdad during the early days of the war, said the government of Saddam Hussein welcomed it to return, but on one condition: that it give the assignment to Peter Arnett, the former NBC News and National Geographic correspondent in Baghdad who was fired last week after giving an interview to Iraqi state television in which he said that the American war plan had failed. Mr. Arnett covered the 1991 Persian Gulf war for CNN.

"Of course," CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said, "we said no."