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BANGKOK — A court in military-ruled Myanmar on Friday sentenced detained U.S. journalist Danny Fenster to 11 years in prison after finding him guilty on several charges including incitement for allegedly spreading false or inflammatory information.
Fenster was also found guilty by Than Zaw Aung of violating visa regulations and contacting illegal organisations.
Fenster was detained in May. Fenster is still facing two additional charges in a different court. These are for allegedly violating the antiterrorism law and a statute that covers treason as well as sedition.
Fenster was detained at Yangon International Airport on May 24 as he was about to board a flight to go to the Detroit area in the United States to see his family. He is the only foreign journalist who has been convicted for a serious offense since February when the army overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.
Frontier Myanmar magazine, where Fenster is the managing editor, stated that it was “deeply disappointed in this decision.”
In a statement, the magazine said that the charges were based on the allegation that Fenster was still working at Myanmar Now, an independent news outlet banned by the military after the Feb. 1 coup, when in fact he had left months earlier and joined Frontier. According to the statement, the court “disregarded significant evidence” that Fenster had worked for the magazine.
“There’s no evidence to convict Danny for these charges,” Thomas Kean (the magazine’s editor in chief) stated in the statement.
The military-installed government has cracked down hard on press freedom, shutting virtually all critical outlets and arresting about 100 journalists, roughly 30 of whom remain in jail. Some closed outlets continue to operate without a license and publish online while their staff avoid arrest. The army’s takeover was met with peaceful protests and then dealt with using lethal force. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has detailed the deaths of more than 1,200 civilians, in addition to about 10,000 arrests. Since then, armed resistance has spread and U.N. experts as well as other observers worry that civil war could result from the incipient rebellion.
Fenster’s next challenge is the two additional charges that his lawyer said Monday had been filed in a different court in Yangon.
Than Zaw Aung said one of the new charges comes under a section of the Counterterrorism Act that is punishable by from 10 years to life in prison. The military-installed government has said it would apply the law harshly in cases involving opposition organizations it has deemed to be “terrorist.”
The other charge under the penal code is usually referred to as treason or sedition, and carries a penalty of seven to 20 years’ imprisonment.
The hearings on the original three charges have been held at the court in Yangon’s Insein Prison, where Fenster is jailed. They were closed to the media and the public. Fenster’s lawyer has provided accounts of the proceedings.
Subway has filed a new version of its lawsuit accusing it of misleading the public about its tuna products. Lab testing revealed that they contain animal proteins, not the “100% tuna .”
Karen Dhanowa, Nilima Amin, who filed the third version of their proposed class-action this week in San Francisco federal court. They are located in Alameda County.
Subway stated in a statement that it would seek to dismiss the “reckless, improper” lawsuit.
Subway stated that the plaintiffs had “filed three meritless complains, changing their stories each time” and that the “high-quality, wild caught, 100% tuna was strictly regulated in the United States as well as around the globe.
The original complaint stated that Subway’s tuna sandwiches, wraps and tuna salads were “bereft” of tuna. An amended complaint stated that they weren’t 100% sustainably landed skipjack or yellowfin tuna U.S. The second version was dismissed by District Judge Jon Tigar last month. He said that the plaintiffs didn’t prove they purchased Subway tuna on the basis of alleged misrepresentations.
He didn’t rule on the merits and gave the plaintiffs another opportunity to present their case.
The Nov. 8 lawsuit is based on the testing of 20 tuna taken from 20 Subway locations in Southern California by a marine biologist.
It said 19 samples had “no detectable tuna DNA sequences,” while all 20 contained detectable chicken DNA, 11 contained pork DNA and 7 contained cattle DNA. Many people are unable to eat different meats due to religious or diet restrictions. The complaint stated that Subway had mislabeled tuna products and “duped” customers into paying higher prices.
Amin said she ordered Subway tuna products more than 100 times from 2013 to 2019, and always checked the menu to ensure she would be eating “only tuna.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for fraud and violations of California consumer protection laws.
Authorities said that five people were injured in a chain reaction crash at a San Francisco anti-vaccination demonstration.
The crash occurred shortly before 6 p.m. at the San Francisco entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, where there was a protest billed as a “nationwide walkout” against government-mandated vaccinations against Covid-19, California Highway Patrol spokesman Andrew Barclay said. Barclay stated that the injuries sustained by the officers and the employee of Golden Gate Bridge were not life-threatening. He said that two other bridge workers were also injured and were released from the hospital.
The incident occurred in the northbound lanes, which were closed by authorities after protesters threatened “to take over” the road.
The protesters did not enter traffic, he stated, but the lane was still blocked by a concrete barrier, officers, trucks, and patrol cars.
Aerial video captured by NBC Bay Area shows an SUV and a sweeper truck colliding directly next to the barricade. The vehicles collided with a truck at the barricade and thrust the truck into the officers and three bridge workers. Barclay stated that the cause of the accident is being investigated.
The protesters were angered by mandates at the federal, state and local levels requiring employees at large businesses, schools, city agencies and elsewhere to get vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid-19.
Vaccination data from 20 cities with mandates showed that inoculation rates among employees who were required to get the shots were 15 percentage points higher than among the general populations of their cities and counties.
Tim Stelloh is a reporter for NBC News based in California.