Russia Bans ABC News; Journo Org Urges Putin, Bush For Probe Into Forbes Reporter’s Death

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According to Newsmax.com, Russian government officials have closed down ABC News operations in Moscow:

The departure, which sources say dates back to January, 2006, ended months of negotiations between ABC News President David Westin and senior staff members of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin was reported to have been “incensed” at a Ted Koppel “Nightline” interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev last July.

Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders issued a statement urging President Bush and Putin to request a U.N. probe into the murder of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov. In May, a Russian court acquitted three charged in connection with the slaying of the Forbes journalist:

“Klebnikov is the 13th journalist to be murdered in Russia since 2000. His family, his widow and his two children all have a right to know the truth. For all these reasons, the investigation should start again from scratch.”

Bush and Putin are scheduled to take part in the G8 Summit next week in St. Petersurg.

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