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Australian police raid public broadcaster amid media crackdown

02:00 PM | 5 Jun, 2019
Australian police raid public broadcaster amid media crackdown
SYDNEY - Australian police raided the headquarters of public broadcaster ABC on Wednesday, the second high-profile raid on journalists in 24 hours in a sharp crackdown on sensitive leaks.

Six police descended on the corporation's offices in Sydney armed with a warrant targeting three senior journalists and executives involved in a two-year-old investigative report.

In 2017, ABC obtained documents that showed Australian special forces had killed innocent men and children in Afghanistan.

The Australian Federal Police said the search was "in relation to allegations of publishing classified material, contrary to provisions of the Crimes Act 1914."

ABC executive editor John Lyons said the search warrant demanded access to reporters' handwritten notes, emails, story drafts, footage, and passwords, among other things -- going through a total of 9,214 documents.

"This is a really serious escalation of the attack on the free media, and that hits the public," he said as the raid continued. "I've never seen an assault on the media as savage as this."

"It's not just about the media. It's about any person out there who wants to tell the media about a bad hospital or a school that's not working. Or a corrupt local council."

A day earlier police raided a journalist's home in Canberra over a report that detailed the authorities' bid to gain powers to spy on Australian citizens communications at home.

Police said there was "no link" between the two raids which relate to "separate allegations of publishing classified material".

Both stories involved sensitive and potentially classified materials and were embarrassing to the Australian government and the security services in particular.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tried to distance himself from the raids, which come just days after the re-election of his conservative government, insisting they were police, not government, matters.

"Australia believes strongly in the freedom of the press and we have clear rules and protections for the freedom of the press," he said during a visit to London.

"There are also clear rules protecting Australia's national security and everybody should operate in accordance with all of those laws passed by our parliament."

- 'Attempt to intimidate' -

Police said that controversial Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was not notified about the raids beforehand and that the issues had been referred by two unnamed agency heads.

Shadow home affairs minister, the Labor party's Kristina Keneally, demanded an explanation for why the raids occurred.

Although the press in Australia can report largely free of political interference, strict defamation laws, court gag orders and state security statutes affect what can be said in print and broadcast.

Australia's Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance union branded the raids a "disturbing attempt to intimidate legitimate news journalism that is in the public interest."

"Police raiding journalists is becoming normalized and it has to stop... it seems that when the truth embarrasses the government, the result is the Federal Police will come knocking at your door."

Associated Press of Pakistan Corporation (APPC) - Pakistan's Premier News Agency

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 24 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 24, 2024.

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

On Saturday, Euro stands at 302  for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 24 February 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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