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US Budget Plan Would Cut Most VOA English Radio Programs


The new U.S. budget proposal would eliminate most Voice of America English broadcasts, as well as radio programs in 12 other languages.

The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors said programs in some other languages would be expanded, and there would be an increase in total spending on international broadcasting in President Bush's 2008 budget plan.

Under the proposal, VOA would eliminate all 14 hours per day of VOA NewsNow English broadcasting, but would continue English-to-Africa programs and the Special English broadcasts that use a limited vocabulary.

The proposed budget calls for increased VOA broadcasting to North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as continuing a daily Somali program set to begin next week.

The plan also seeks the elimination of VOA broadcasts in Cantonese, Uzbek, Croatian, Greek, Georgian and Thai. Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Hindi and Russian radio would also be cut, but those services would continue television programming. Other services would be reduced.

Any cuts would have to approved by Congress. A similar bid to cut English radio programs was made in the proposed 2007 budget. That budget has never been approved.