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122 Journalists around the World lost their lives to targeted Killings, Natural Disasters and Accidents

IFJ is an international federation of Journalists’ trade unions which represents more than 6,00,000 journalists from 140 countries

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FILE - In this Sunday, July 31, 2011 file photo, Taliban fighters hold their heavy and light weapons before surrendering them to Afghan authorities in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan. VOA
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January 1, 2017:  2016 was a tough year for journalists around the globe. Around 122 journalists and media professionals lost their lives to targeted killings or in natural disasters and accidents. India witnessed the death of 5 scribes and was in the eighth position on a list, which was topped by Iraq.

According to the annual report of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), countries like Africa, Middle Ease and Arab World regions, Asia Pacific, Europe and the America witnessed targeted killings including murders, crossfire incidents and bomb attacks.

The IFJ said that Iraq has the highest number of media killings. With 15 targeted killings, it is ahead of Afghanistan and Mexico with 13 and 11 killings respectively. Next on the list is Yemen with 8, Guatemala and Syria with 6, India and Pakistan with 5 killings. India, Pakistan, Yemen and Syria saw no or little change in the number of targeted killings from 2015, mentioned PTI.

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According to the statistics published by the largest global federation of Journalists’ trade unions, in addition to 93 targeted killings, 20 Brazilian sports journalists died in a plane crash in Medellin, Colombia.

Although the number of targeted killings of journalists in 2016 was less from the previous years’, the IFJ warned against reports of rising threats, intimidation and self-censorship. These acts attack freedom of expression, mentioned PTI.

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According to the report, in India, Bureau Chief of Jan Sandesh Times, Tarun Mishra, died on 14th February. Bureau Chief of Dainik Hindustan, Rajdeo Ranjan, on 13th May; Journalist with TaazaTV, Indradev Yadav died on 16th May; Bureau Chief of Jai Hind, Kishore Dave on 22nd August and Correspondent of Dainik Bhaskar, Dharmendra Singh, on 12th November. India has 6 reports of targeted killings of media professionals in 2015 including journalists from Hindi daily Dainik Jagaran and news channel Aaj Tak.

According to PTI, IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, “Any decrease in violence against journalists and media staff is always welcome but these statistics and the continued deliberate targeting of media workers in many incidents causing loss of life give little room for comfort nor ground for hope to see the end of the current media safety crisis.”

IFJ has recorded at least 2,297 killings of journalists in cross-fire incidents, bomb attacks and targeted assassinations till 2015.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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USA: Everything you want to know about Security Clearance; Find out here!

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas.

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Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA
Former CIA Director John O. Brennan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, March 11, 2014. President Donald Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. We take a look at what that means.

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance allows a person access to classified national security information or restricted areas after completion of a background check. The clearance by itself does not guarantee unlimited access. The agency seeking the clearance must determine what specific area of information the person needs to access.

What are the different levels of security clearance?

There are three levels: Confidential, secret and top secret. Security clearances don’t expire. But, top secret clearances are reinvestigated every five years, secret clearances every 10 years and confidential clearances every 15 years.

All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance. VOA
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Who has security clearances?

According to a Government Accountability Office report released last year, about 4.2 million people had a security clearance as of 2015, they included military personnel, civil servants, and government contractors.

Why does one need a security clearance in retirement?

Retired senior intelligence officials and military officers need their security clearances in case they are called to consult on sensitive issues.

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Can the president revoke a security clearance?

Apparently. But there is no precedent for a president revoking someone’s security clearance. A security clearance is usually revoked by the agency that sought it for an employee or contractor. All federal agencies follow a list of 13 potential justifications for revoking or denying a clearance, which can include criminal acts, lack of allegiance to the United States, behavior or situation that could compromise an individual and security violations. (VOA)