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Venezuela shuts down Globovision

U.S. asks that freedom of press be respected

MIAMI — The battle between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the local media has heated up again after watchdogs seized Globovision’s transmission equipment Friday, halting the 24-hour news net’s live broadcasts.

Regulatory agency the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) accused the net of using microwave frequencies without permission.

Protesters attempted to stop the confiscation, while the U.S. Embassy in Caracas issued a statement asking that freedom of the press be respected.

Late Friday night, a grenade was tossed at Conatel headquarters, shattering windows and destroying the entrance; no one was injured.

Globovision has filed an appeal arguing that Conatel’s actions were harsh, irregular and conducted in an illegal manner.

Launched in 1994, the 24-hour news net focuses on local coverage and is transmitted on terrestrial television.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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