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China bans BBC World News from airwaves after U.K. banned Chinese network

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BBC World News has been banned from airing in mainland China one week after the United Kingdom withdrew the broadcasting license for the state-sponsored China Global Television Network (CGTN) in an apparent tit-for-tat move from Beijing.

Last Friday, Ofcom, the U.K.’s media regulator, announced that it had revoked a license for CGTN to broadcast in the country.

The Global Times, an English-language newspaper in China, reported Friday local time that the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) has prohibited BBC World News from airing in the country, with the NRTA saying the channel had “infringed the principles of truthfulness and impartiality in journalism.”

In a statement posted to Twitter Friday afternoon, the BBC said: “We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favor.”

A spokesperson for the BBC told this reporter that they “were never allowed in mainland China and Chinese homes. They limited our distribution and also blacked out our reports on Chinese subjects, so BBC World News was only available in international hotels.”

According to Reuters, the NRTA issued a statement saying an investigation concluded that the British broadcaster’s reporting on China “seriously violated” regulations that news organizations be “truthful and fair.”

The Global Times referenced “biased” BBC reports about China, in particular the BBC’s coverage of the authoritarian regime’s detainment of more than a million Uighur Muslims at camps in the northwestern Xinjiang province. In a story last week, the British outlet reported that, according to a Uighur detainee, systemic rape and torture are prevalent at those camps, which China’s foreign ministry has denied.

China’s treatment of the minority group has drawn worldwide criticism. At the very end of his tenure last month, then-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the regime’s actions against Uighurs as “genocide.”

“Chinese observers said the BBC has turned into ‘a rumor mill’ that deliberately throws mud at China, and the decision to suspend its broadcast sends a clear message that China doesn’t accept fake news,” The Global Times also wrote.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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