Journalist, Washington DC
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Nov 2, 2015

Special Report – U.S. places weak limits on messaging by foreign governments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under the First Amendment, the U.S. Constitution generally prevents the federal government from censoring any media. And while the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department regulate radio station ownership and messaging by foreign governments, it’s easy for other nations to legally reach American audiences.

A law administered by the FCC, the Communications Act, bans foreign governments or their representatives from owning a radio license for a U.S. broadcast station. The law, first enacted in 1934, does not apply to cable or satellite outlets, such as Russia’s RT or Qatar’s Al-Jazeera, or to Internet sites, according to FCC officials.

Nov 2, 2015

FCC, Justice Department investigate covert Chinese radio network

WASHINGTON/BEIJING, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The Federal
Communications Commission and the Justice Department are
investigating a California firm whose U.S. radio broadcasts are
backed by a subsidiary of the Chinese government, officials
said.

Both investigations come in response to a Reuters report
published on Monday that revealed the existence of
the covert radio network, which broadcasts in more than a dozen
American cities, including Washington, Philadelphia, Boston,
Houston and San Francisco. (reut.rs/1Wrflt4)

Nov 2, 2015

Special Report: Exposed – Beijing’s covert global radio network

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In August, foreign ministers from 10 nations blasted China for building artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea. As media around the world covered the diplomatic clash, a radio station that serves the most powerful city in America had a distinctive take on the news.

Located outside Washington, D.C., WCRW radio made no mention of China’s provocative island project. Instead, an analyst explained that tensions in the region were due to unnamed “external forces” trying “to insert themselves into this part of the world using false claims.”

Nov 2, 2015

U.S. places weak limits on messaging by foreign governments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under the First Amendment, the U.S. Constitution generally prevents the federal government from censoring any media. And while the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department regulate radio station ownership and messaging by foreign governments, it’s easy for other nations to legally reach American audiences.

A law administered by the FCC, the Communications Act, bans foreign governments or their representatives from owning a radio license for a U.S. broadcast station. The law, first enacted in 1934, does not apply to cable or satellite outlets, such as Russia’s RT or Qatar’s Al-Jazeera, or to Internet sites, according to FCC officials.

Nov 2, 2015

Exposed: Beijing’s covert global radio network

BEIJING/WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – In August, foreign
ministers from 10 nations blasted China for building artificial
islands in the disputed South China Sea. As media around the
world covered the diplomatic clash, a radio station that serves
the most powerful city in America had a distinctive take on the
news.

Located outside Washington, D.C., WCRW radio made no mention
of China’s provocative island project. Instead, an analyst
explained that tensions in the region were due to unnamed
“external forces” trying “to insert themselves into this part of
the world using false claims.”

Jul 23, 2015

Exclusive: Military school knew of doctor’s macabre ways for decades

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The president of the U.S. military’s medical college said he took swift action after learning in 2013 that John Henry Hagmann, a former Army doctor teaching there, was injecting students with hypnotic drugs, inducing shock by withdrawing their blood, and performing rectal exams in class.

Hagmann was escorted off the Uniformed Services University campus in Maryland, and the college quickly offered students blood tests to determine if they had been exposed to any diseases, school President Charles Rice said. The college also launched an internal investigation into Hagmann’s conduct, and it forwarded information to law enforcement authorities and the Virginia Board of Medicine, which revoked Hagmann’s license last month.

Jun 19, 2015

U.S. doctor sanctioned for ‘abhorrent and abnormal’ troop training

By John Shiffman

RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) – A state board revoked the license of a former U.S. Army doctor on Friday, finding that he plied students with hypnotic drugs during battlefield-trauma training and performed dangerous procedures, including intentionally inducing shock.

The doctor, John Henry Hagmann, was cited for training he provided in 2012 and 2013 in Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Great Britain. Students testified on Friday that Hagmann also performed penile nerve blocks and instructed them to insert catheters into one another’s genitals.

Jun 17, 2015

Special Report: Military knew about bizarre methods of doctor hired to train troops

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, a doctor now accused of performing macabre procedures on the troops that he trained took steps to cloak his battlefield-medicine classes in secrecy. The doctor, John Henry Hagmann, often required that those who took or helped teach his courses sign non-disclosure agreements.

The agreements may have helped ensure that his most extreme training methods – including allegedly inducing shock among students – would remain confidential.

Jun 17, 2015

Military knew about bizarre methods of doctor hired to train troops

WASHINGTON June 17 (Reuters) – For years, a doctor now
accused of performing macabre procedures on the troops that he
trained took steps to cloak his battlefield-medicine classes in
secrecy. The doctor, John Henry Hagmann, often required that
those who took or helped teach his courses sign non-disclosure
agreements.

The agreements may have helped ensure that his most extreme
training methods – including allegedly inducing shock among
students – would remain confidential.

Jun 9, 2015

Doctor who trained U.S. troops suspended for macabre techniques

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Since retiring from the U.S. Army in 2000, Dr. John Henry Hagmann has helped train thousands of soldiers and medical personnel in how to treat battlefield wounds. His company, Deployment Medicine International, has received more than $10.5 million in business from the federal government.

The taxpayer-funded training has long troubled animal rights activists, who contend that Hagmann’s use of live, wounded pigs to simulate combat injuries is unnecessarily cruel.

    • About John

      "John Shiffman is an enterprise correspondent based in Washington. He is co-author of Priceless, a NYT bestseller published in nine languages, and author of the forthcoming Operation Shakespeare (Simon & Schuster 2014). Contact him at john.shiffman@reuters.com"
      Joined Reuters:
      2011
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