March 8, 2007

TOP STORIES * March 1-7

Closing the Books in Oregon

All 15 of the public libraries serving Jackson County, Ore., are scheduled to close after Congress failed to reauthorize a $400 million subsidy for rural economies. The libraries were recently rebuilt or remodeled, and residents blame the pending closures on local mismanagement, the declining timber industry, and indifference on Capitol Hill.

Secret Wiretap Snafu Blew NSA’s Cover

Experts are watching a $1 million lawsuit against the government, filed by an attorney who was accidentally given a top secret document tracking his phone conversations with an Arab charity. The suit is unique because it is the only one, out of more than 50, with proof of government spying on U.S. citizens. Wired News reports that the Washington Post had been given a copy of the document, but turned it over to the FBI without covering the story.

Payola Payoff’s Mixed Blessing For Indie Music

A $12.5 million settlement for accusations of payola against CBS Radio, Clear Channel and others has independent music producers hopeful for new exposure. But an agreement to ensure thousands of hours of air time for small labels is strictly voluntary, and not covered by the FCC settlement.

Sources:

“Largest library closure in U.S. looms / Federal funding dries up, leaving 15 branches in Oregon county on brink”
San Francisco Chronicle, March 4, 2007

“Top secret: We’re Wiretapping you”
Wired.com March 5, 2007

“FCC payola probe boosts indie music”
Hollywood Reporter, March 6, 2007

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