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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald {Newspaper} - 1974-01-05,Lethbridge, Alberta Subtle pressures and threats of expulsion hampered some reporters, but new media freedom was also gained in 1973 CENSORSHIP An ASSOCIATED PRESS world survey China strengthens central power By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Press freedoms the world over continued to lose ground in 1973, often falling victim to upheavals and wars. But while local media came increasingly under the controls of their Kovernments, dispatches from foreign correspondents remained almost universally free from outright censorship. The ability of foreign reporters to gather news, however, often was hampered by subtle pressures, threats of expulsion and the erosion of their chief source—an independent local press, ’ Notable exceptions were Thailand and Turkey. A student rebellion in Thailand brought in a civilian government that pledged freedom to an energetic press. And in TurJiey press liberty was restored when more than two years of martial law ended with return to civilian rule. Another important development was the new willingness of Soviet dissidents to speak to Western reporters. This is what Associated Press correspondents found in their annual survey of censorship the world over: The new civilian government has promised that freedom of the press will be a cornerstone of the constitution to be introduced early this year.    • South Korea has no formal press censorship, but the press was restricted by the country’s national security and anti-communism laws. . The martial-law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos continued to control the once-free press in the Philippines-But outgoing dispatches were allowed to move freely. Increasingly restrictive, although unofficial, press censorship remained in effect in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia. The Laotian press was entirely run by government officials. organized a national wire service, but by year’s ««1 it, too. being threatened with Special to The Herald PEKING “ The sudden shakeup of China's military leadership, involving new commanders m eight of the country’s 11 military r^iOBS, coiim m the greatest surprise since the downfall of the defence minister, Lin Piao, 28 months ago. A tentative assessment suggests that the two developments may not be unrelated. Official accounts of the Lin episode are still sketchy, but enough has been revealed to indicate that stime key military units were compromised by their connivance or acquiescence In Lin’s alleged coup. The fact that none of the figures In the currmt shakeup were removed at the time suggests they were not personally implicated, but there is »me reason to believe the new assignments have been fashioned as a means of bringing the military wa« beine threatened wiin lasmonc--------- - ------- -. closure. The government also regions more closely under the au^nty of the seized the last three private political leaders in Peking. Europe rica The flow of news in most of Africa deteriorated in 1973 under an official assumption that the purpose of the press is to bolster national development. In most x;ountries, outgoing dispatches were not formally censored, but the lack of a free domestic press and the occasional threat of expulsion made newsgathering difficult. Most governments also screened all incoming newspapers and magazines. An extreme case was Uganda, where the military regime of President Idi Amin threw out the last foreign correspondent and forced Ugandan representatives of two major foreign news agencies to flee on short notice. Relations between South Africa’s white-minority government and local English-language newspapers worsened markedly during the year. Prime Minister John Vorster threatened to impose controls in 1974 unless the newspapers toned down issues “tending to incite racial feelings,” The flow of news in and out of Rhodesia, also run by a white-minority government, remained uncensored but more than a dozen foreign reporters were banned from the country. A new junta in Greece has put fresh pressures on the closely censored national press to conform to the government stance. Foreign correspondents, who so far have been hampered only by the threat of expulsion, have been subtly urged to tone down their stories. Both Spain and Portugal continued to censor all national media. Neither hampered foreign journalists. Turkey was a rare reversal of the international pattern. Press freedom was restored there in September after 29 months of martial law. Soviet Union Asia E>espite the withdrawal of United States forces, foreign correspondents continued to report freely from Indochina although travel and access to news events became imore difficult. But South Vietnam expelled two Americans and one Japanese for stories the government found too critical, and others were called before the ministry of information and given “warnings” about certain dispatches. The South Vietnamese press continued to labor under an imposed "self-censorship," And each publisher was required to keep $40,000 on deposit for any fines imposed by the government, a requirement that kept smaller papers shut down. In Cambodia, freedom of the press deteriorated after President Lon Nol declared an emergency last March when his palace was bombed in an assassination attempt. Since then, opposition papers have been disbanded and editors of the remaining publications toe the official line. Foreign coverage of Russia gained a major new source last year as prominent dissidents such as physicist Andrei Sakharov and author Alexander Solzhenitsyn became increasingly willing to speak out. But Kremlin authorities cracked down on underground journals, arresting many dissidents or driving them into exile. A steady flow of stories by and about dissidents moved unhindered out of the Soviet Union, But two AP correspondents were detained by police while covering Jewish demonstrations, and a Swedish reporter lost his accreditation because of stories he wrote on the protesters. The Kremlin abruptly ended its jamming of Russian-language'broadcasts by the Voice of America, the BBC and West Germany's Deutsche Welle. The move apparently was in response to Western pressure for a freer flow of information. No official announcement was made. Latin America Most Latin Atnerican governments maintaitied some form of crippling control on the press last year. New regimes in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay tightened the clamps on their lands, and the prognosis for 1974 was bad. The Argentine press was threatened by a string of kidnappings, bombings, killings and legal inixtads by the state in 1973. Freedom of the press survived but faced an insecure future. Juan Peron’s return to power raised fears that he would reimpose the strictures of his first reign. One threatening step was the reactivation of an' old law prohibiting foreign agencies from transmitting Argentine news to Argentine media. Newspapers quickly televisions stations in Buenos Aires and two in other cities. A new military junta in Chile quickly imposed stiff censorship. Several foreign correspondents were expelled. Six of Santiago’s daily newspapers were closed. In Uruguay, the military pressured President Juan Etordaberry into seizing dictatorial powers and firmly shackled the press. Then they cracked down on the leftist and Communist press. Foreign reporters were ordered to show copies of their dispatches to the government at the end of each day. Brazilian censors continued their close scrutiny of the local press. For the first time since 1968, they were checking news coming from abroad. Outgoing news was not censored, but security services kept close tabs on foreign correspondents. In Honduras, strongman Gen. Oswaldo Lopez Arellano decreed that reporters writing stories maligning the “national economy or public credit” would be punished by jail terms. Middle East The year’s major Mideast story, the October war, some* times appeared to be a war of communiques. Reporters often were reduced by wartime secrecy to forwarding conflicting official reports. But Egypt, Syria and Israel >rovided almost dally iriefings by top officials and occasionally organized tours of the front. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s post-war declaration that a free press is a “political necessity” came as a pleasant shock to many in an area where traditionally only Lebanon and Kuwait have allowed the press any liberty. Some of the war reporting was effective enough to sting Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan into banning interviews with soldiers and curtailing trips to the front after the ceasefire. Strict military censorship was imposed temporarily in Lebanon during government clashes with Palestinian guerrillas. The curbs were lifted, but in late November the publisher of Beirut’s leading newspaper and his top reporter were jailed for printing a secret resolution from the Algiers Arab summit. Viewed in this li^it, the moves imply a shift in China’s delicate internal power balance in favor of the central government headed by premier Chou En-lai. If so, it is a shift that has beenaccomphshed Witt considerable finesse, for it has been effwtw not by purge but by the simpler expedient of shuffling the estabUshed commanders. If the moves suggest a strengthening of the central authorities at the ex|«nse of regional power bases, they can also be viewed as a means of reasserting poUUcal control over the army. No less than six of the eight new commanders doubled as provincial political bosses in their previous posts, an arrangement that effectively circumvented the doctrine that Uie army is subordinate to the party: Whether this practice will now end will not be clear until the party names new secretaries in each of the provinces. But It is a fact that the army’s obedient role has been heavily stressed in recent days. While tìie new assignments In the regions appear to mark an important stage in the recovery from the Lin affair, they leave unfilled the key posts at the centre that fell vacant at the time of the coup. These include Lin’s old job as defence minister and those of two other figures who disappeared aloi» with him, the chief of staff and the navy commander. The faQure to announce appointments to these posts along with the shuffling of ^ remoMl commands could indicate it has been difficult for the political leadership to reach a decisim on the matter, or that an announcement is being delayed until the meeting of the national people’s congress, China’s supreme legislative body, "nie congresis is to meet shortly for the first time in nine years, and could be used as a platform for naming the top military men.    ,    ^ The favorite for the defence ministers post remains Yeh Chien-ying, an old Red Army hero who has been doing the job on an acting basis smce the coup. But Li Teh-sheng, widely tipped to be the new chief of staff, can apparenUy be ruled out as a r^ult of the new regional appointments: Formerly chief political commissar of the forces, he appears on the new list as commMder the Sh^yang military reiion, which includes the bitterty contested frontier with the Soviet Umon where a series of armed clashes were fought in 1969. This is certainly the most important of the military commands, with an estimated 600,000 of the forces’ 2.8 million men under its jurisdiction, and the political leaders, forever warning of the danger of an attack by the Russians, may have decided that Li would be of more value there than as chief of staff in Peking. This interpretation is reinforced by the fact that U, installed by the recent party congress as one of chairman Mao Tse-tungs five deputies, presumably would have had a voice in the new assignments. Li, a stockily built man in his late fifties with a constant fro^, replaces another leading party man, Ghen Hsi-lien, the Shenyang post.    ^ Chen, 60, had held the job for ne^ly 14 years, and supervised the massive troop buildup that te^an when China’s relationship with the Soviet Union turned sour. Chen’s new assignment, as commander of tne Peking units, is a post that has been vacant since the incumbent was purged in the last stages of the cultural revolution.    . It is an important military command in the capitalregion, but there are many who suspect that the assignment is only a prelhninary to Chen’s appointment as chief of staff, a post that would be at least nominally superior to his previous rammand. It is less easy to see how the change in the other key military sector, the Nanking region, can be construed as a promotion for its previous commander, Hsu Shih-yu. Hsu, 67, had occupied the post for more than 15 years, supervising the trwps in a large area of the Vangtse basin that includes Shanghai. He now is named as commander of Canton region in the south, a large and sensitive area but one that is not generally considered as important as Nanking. Replacing Hsu in Nanking is the former Canton commander, ’Ting Sheng-ting. This is one of three direct swaps among the new assignments: Also trading posts are the commanders of the Tsinan region southeast of Peking and the Wuhan region in central China, and the commanders of the Lanchow region in the northwest, bordering Mongolia, and the Foochow region in the southeast, facing Taiwan. Taken together with changes in the Sinluang and Chengtu regional commands that have been announced in the past year, the new appointments leave only one of the military regions, Kunming in the southwest, in the command of a man, Wang Pi-cheng, who has been at his post long enough to establish any sort of base—and even he took over after the demise of Lin Piao. Few armies on a war footing can have experienced such a rapid changeover in top commands: But then the People’s Liberation Army is no ordinary army, and the past two years have been no ordinary times. DUNLOP FORD’S ^ SELL-OUT Exhibition Pavilion January 23rd to 26th No changes in RCMP uniforms OTTAWA (CP) — No changes are planned for RCMP uniforms, despite what former prime minister John Diefenbaker says, Solicitor-General Warren Allmand said Friday. Two checks with the federal force had shown “absolutely no changes in insignia or crests” are being considered, he told the Commons, Mr. Diefenbaker (PC ~ Prince Albert), who first raised the matter Thursday, said he has a copy of an RCMP administrative memo indicating the crown would be removed from crests on the uniforms of sergeants, staff sergeants and sergeant majors. Mr. Allmand said the memo actually dealt with postal codes, not uniforms. Mr. Diefenbaker said outside the House that Mr. Allmand had better take another look. ‘'It’s just further evidence ... that this government is against the RCMP,” he told reporters. “The tinkering still continues." This was a reference, to the crest debate of 1973 in which Mr. Diefenbaker char^ that the words Royal Canadian were to be removed from the RCMP name on cars and buildings. Alittletalk...goes a long way Call Long Distance to say how things are going. To hear how things are. it’s a great way to travel. Fast and easy and low in cost. You’re there in seconds. And your call will mean so much. Who should you call Long Distance? Make it a surprise. Make it soon.    - ägtT L0H9 cffsfanc« íc«eps yöutn touch w'tlh good news Nj V-! ;