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Turkey releases two VICE News journalists from prison, one remains detained
British journalists Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, who were arrested by Turkish authorities last week, have been released. Yet Mohammed Rasool, an Iraqi journalist based in Turkey who was assisting Hanrahan and Pendlebury, is still detained, and the Turkish government has rejected an appeal for his release. THE NEW YORK TIMES
Iranian official suggests prisoner swap could free journalist Jason Rezaian
The speaker of Iran’s parliament suggested Thursday that Americans imprisoned in Iran, including Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, could be swapped for Iranians in U.S. jails. Rezaian has been detained for more than 13 months and is awaiting a verdict on his trial for espionage and other related charges. THE WASHINGTON POST
Sudanese journalist arrested in Saudi Arabia fears deportation
A Sudanese journalist detained more than a month ago without charge in Saudi Arabia fears that he may be deported to Sudan. Waleed al-Hussein al-Dood runs a website noted for its criticism of the Sudanese government over corruption and human rights abuses. He has been denied access to his lawyer. THE GUARDIAN
Justice Department: Agencies need warrants to use cellphone trackers
The Justice Department announced a policy Thursday that will require its law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant to deploy cellphone-tracking devices in criminal investigations and inform judges when they plan to use them. The policy does not apply to state and local agencies that still use stingrays. THE WASHINGTON POST
Putin’s censorship regime now reaches into the past
The ongoing efforts of the Russian government to curtail its citizens’ access to information that hasn’t been preapproved by the Kremlin is now reaching into the past, according to a group that monitors the IP addresses of websites that have been blocked by censors in Russia. CNBC
Israel bans journalists from voicing opinions in newscasts
The Israeli parliament has passed a law banning journalists working for the country’s public broadcast authority from expressing their opinions on air. Journalists immediately accused the government of trying to stifle dissent. AP
China censors approve first film about gay couple
China has approved for release the first film with gay principal characters, the movie’s director said, in what some are calling a breakthrough in the country’s heavily-censored media. Director Wang Chao announced on Weibo that censors had given “Seek McCartney” permission for a cinema release. AFP
Media watchdog urges Barack Obama to press Saudi King on Raif Badawi
Reporters Without Borders called on President Obama to press Saudi King Salman on the monarchy’s “dismal” human rights record when they meet on Friday. Saudi Arabia is currently holding eight journalists in jail, as well as blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 10 years and 1,000 lashes for founding a liberal website. AFP