Russian Federation designates nine US-funded news outlets as foreign agents

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Russian media reported on Monday that the Justice Ministry could begin listing global media outlets as "foreign agents" as early as this week.

USA officials protest the validity of Russia's actions, saying the Russian Federation law is far more stringent than FARA, and that Russian Federation uses its foreign agent legislation to silence opposing opinions and independent media, RFE/RL says.

The ministry named the outlets as the U.S. Congress-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and seven of its affiliates, and Voice of America.

A vote on the measures is expected next week.

A Texas police officer is shot dead today in San Marcos
They described him as a hard-working and well-liked member of the department and said he leaves behind a wife and four children. Chief Stapp said it's unclear if the suspect's injuries were self-inflicted or if he was shot by an officer.

Kremlin-funded broadcaster Russia Today was forced to register as a foreign agent in the United States in November, and credentials allowing its journalists to report from Capitol Hill were withdrawn.

The Kremlin has said it fully understands why Russia's parliament plans to discuss banning representatives of USA media organisations in retaliation for what it calls U.S. mistreatment of Russian media.

RT and the Sputnik news agency have been facing significant pressure in the United States over allegations of being involved in attempts to influence U.S. public life, including the 2016 presidential election.

The registration of RT America under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) prompted a mirror-like response in Moscow, with several media outlets funded from overseas being included in the Russian foreign agents list.

Apple agrees to cough up for $15 billion Irish tax bill
The unfair advantage resulted in Apple avoiding as much as 13 billion euros in payments over the course of more than a decade. It's understood that Apple will start paying the €13 billion in back taxes into an escrow account in first quarter of 2018.

The legislation has been condemned by rights groups including Reporters Without Borders, which called the legislation an "eye-for-eye response" that would seriously damage media freedoms.

The ministry further listed Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and several of its affiliates, after warning last month they could be affected.

In the USA, a committee governing Capitol Hill access for broadcast journalists withdrew credentials for Russia's state-funded RT television after it complied with a US demand that it register as a foreign agent.

"We remain committed to continuing our journalistic work in the interest of providing accurate and objective news to our Russian speaking audience", he said.

China's budding coffee culture propels Starbucks
Starbucks furnishes the Shanghai Roastery with Chinese culture-rich decor, blended with the latest trend of augmented reality. It is the first Reserve Roastery to launch in Asia and follows the launch of the inaugural Seattle Roastery three years ago.

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