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Russia threatens US media with ‘tit-for-tat’ crackdown after Kremlin-controlled RT complains of ‘persecution’

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Russia on Monday threatened US media operating in the country with new legal restrictions after Kremlin-controlled broadcaster RT complained of persecution by Washington.

The Russian justice ministry sent letters to “a number of US media operating in Russia” warning them of the “unacceptability of breaching Russian law,” its press service said in a statement quoted by Interfax news agency.

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It said the letter was “a tit-for-tat measure in response to the persecution of Russian media in the United States.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which is US-funded, reported it received a letter warning its activities could fall under a controversial law that forces NGOs to register as “foreign agents”.

This law, passed in 2012, has not so far been used against media.

It obliges groups with so-called “political” activities and international funding to call themselves “foreign agents”, a term that recalls Stalin-era repression and Cold War espionage.

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The rules have seen some organisations reject much-needed funding from abroad, while others have closed down.

A government source was quoted by Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti as confirming the existence of the letters.

The source said US media received “an official letter informing them of upcoming changes in Russian legislation about the broadening of the list of NGOs that can be named ‘foreign agents.'”

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The source said the letters had gone out to media including the Voice of America multimedia broadcaster and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and its regional websites, one of which specialises in news from Moscow-annexed Crimea.

The source stressed that “these actions concern only American media, and this is an exceptional measure in response to the possible assignment of ‘foreign agent’ status to RT in the US.”

The warnings come after the Kremlin on Friday criticised “unprecedented pressure” on Russia’s RT state-controlled broadcaster in the United States and warned of possible reciprocal action.

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RT, which broadcasts in English and other languages, said last month that the US Justice Department had asked it to register as a “foreign agent.”

According to RT, the channel has been given a deadline of October 17 to register under FARA, a law written in 1938 to blunt Nazi propaganda, which specifically exempts news organisations.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Fox News financial experts baffled by Trump’s latest attacks on his own Federal Reserve chairman

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Two financial experts on Fox News couldn't figure out why President Donald Trump was lashing out at the Federal Reserve chairman on Friday.

Trump has continually berated Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, who the president nominated in 2017. Trump believes that Powell should not have raised interest rates and has not moved quickly enough to cut them.

On Friday, Trump questioned whether Powell was a “bigger enemy” to the United States than Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump's attacks came shortly after Powell delivered a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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‘This is not a joke’: Trump-loving professor fumes after his QAnon rant results in bursts of laughter

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An Arizona community college professor melted down after students laughed at his presentation of a right-wing conspiracy theory.

Adjunct professor Douglas Belmore, who teaches English at Mesa Community College, showed 14-minute YouTube video in at least two of his classes promoting an online conspiracy theory about satanic pedophiles that have allegedly infiltrated the government, media and entertainment industry, reported the Phoenix New Times.

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White House thought freeing rapper A$AP Rocky and having him grovel before Trump would win black voters: report

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President Donald Trump's unusual efforts to get rapper A$AP Rocky out of Swedish custody after he was arrested for -- and later convicted of -- assault was reportedly part of a White House strategy for winning over black voters.

Yahoo News reports that the campaign to get A$AP Rocky released from jail was designed to eventually "facilitate a scene that would bolster Trump’s image among African-Americans."

Trump, who weeks earlier had gotten in hot water for telling four women of color to "go back" to their home countries despite all being American citizens, apparently believed that helping a high-profile black celebrity would bolster his reputation among black voters who have been among the least likely to support him throughout his first term.

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