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Venezuelan Legislature Approves Media Regulation Bill

Venezuelan legislators loyal to President Hugo Chavez have passed a measure they say is designed to limit sex and violence in the broadcast media but opponents say is intended to limit press freedom.

The lawmakers passed the measure late Wednesday on a party-line vote. Supporters say it is designed to protect children from scenes of sex and excessive violence on television and radio.

But opponents say the law is merely an attempt by President Chavez to control the media and news content and to muzzle critics of the president.

Under the measure, violators would face heavy fines and even have their licenses revoked. Officials say the bill has been sent to President Chavez for his signature.