Sri Lanka Express

Cold War: Russia to audit CNN, others in retaliation for attacks on RT

   By Hassina Leelarathna
The Russian parliament has ordered a check of  CNN and other U.S. media outlets operating in the country, in retaliation for attacks on Russian media in the United States.

The parliament's lower house, the State Duma, called for its information and telecoms committee to audit activities of CNN, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and other U.S. media for “compliance with  Russian legislation," according to a press release published on the body's website.


 
The order was initiated by lawmaker Konstantin Zatulin, from the country's
ruling party, United Russia, who said the audit was a response to calls
from American politicians for a probe into Russian state outlets accused
of interfering in the U.S. presidential elections, in particular RT.

According to the release, Zatulin pointed specifically to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s

( D-New Hampshire)  bill to Congress that would give the Department of Justice
new authority to investigate RT.                     

  On March 14, the senator from New Hampshire, Jean Shaheen,   submitted
to Congress a bill that provides the US Department of Justice with additional
powers solely for the purpose of checking the Russian TV company RT for
compliance with US legislation on foreign agents.

"We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian
government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,"
Shaheen said in a statement introducing the bill.

Shaheen suggested RT may be violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act requires individuals or entities hired to act in a "political or quasi-political capacity" on behalf of foreign governments to register.
The Duma’s press release said “ the prosecution on the basis of a specially adopted repressive legislative act can damage not only the business reputation of the Russian television company, but also Russia as a whole.”

"The times are reviving, when in the United States Donald Duck, together with Mickey Mouse, were considered agents of the Kremlin. In this situation, one must be mutually polite, " the Duma press release quoted Zatulin as saying.

  Konstantin Zatulin
   Jeanne Shaheen

"Extremist elements" in India, US warns

he US State Department has issued a travel advisory on India, alerting  Americans  that the country has ‘active extremist elements.’  
It has also cautioned citizens against traveling to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

“The US government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens and interests. US citizens should avoid travel to Afghanistan, as no region in the country is immune from violence,” the State Department said in its worldwide caution.

“A number of established terrorist organizations, indigenous sectarian groups, and other militants pose a danger to US citizens in Pakistan. Extremist elements are also active in India, as outlined in a recent emergency message. Terrorists have hit a wide variety of targets and institutions in Bangladesh,” it added.