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Journalist faces trial in Morocco for Western Sahara comments
Moroccan journalist Ali Anouzla is to stand trial next month over comments about the Western Sahara that he made to the German press, he said on Sunday. The head of the Lakome2 website faces charges of “undermining national territorial integrity” at a trial due to begin on February 9. YAHOO NEWS

Russian LGBT activist fined for ‘propaganda of homosexuality’ online
A Murmansk magistrate court has found activist Sergey Alekseenko guilty of distributing “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” on the Internet. He must now pay a fine of 100,000 rubles (approximately USD $1,260). GLOBAL VOICES

Kenyan blogger arrested for posting photos from KDF attack
Police officers in Kenya have arrested prominent blogger and former NTV journalist Yassin Juma. The reason for Juma’s arrest was related to his social media posts about the terror attack that occurred in KDF camp in El-Adde, Somalia. The attack left an uncounted number of soldiers dead. LAWYER HERALD

JK Rowling to Receive PEN Award for Literary Service
The “Harry Potter” author is to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award. Rowling will be presented her award May 16 at the literary and human rights group’s annual spring gala in New York. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie and Tom Stoppard. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Egypt steps up security for fifth anniversary of uprising
Security has been stepped up in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on the fifth anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of homes have been raided, as the authorities look for activists who might be planning protests against President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. BBC

Vice President Biden criticizes crackdown on dissent in Turkey
Vice President Biden urged “a change of attitude” by the Turkish government toward its domestic critics Friday, saying that the media and all others here must be free to “challenge orthodoxy,” including political and religious beliefs, if Turkey is to thrive. WASHINGTON POST

Following North Korea on Twitter is not a crime, court rules
A South Korean court said on Thursday it had acquitted a man of sympathising with North Korea for following its Twitter account, arguing that simply reading Pyongyang’s social media posts did not violate Seoul’s security laws. He was, however, found guilty of supporting the North in his own blog postings and was sentenced to a one-year jail term. THE GUARDIAN

Hiroko Kuniya’s ouster deals another blow to quality journalism in Japan
Hiroko Kuniya, the widely respected anchor for NHK’s “Close-up Gendai” news analysis program, has been ousted from her position after 23 years with the show. She joins a growing list of prominent news presenters and commentators who have discovered the apparent perils of not kowtowing to the government. JAPAN TIMES