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Venezuela's RCTV Channel Faces Deadline

The Venezuelan government has given an opposition-aligned television station a midnight deadline to agree to carry speeches by President Hugo Chavez or face shutdown for a second time.

Venezuela's telecommunications commission issued the deadline, saying Radio Caracas Television International, or RCTV, must follow regulations that would require it to interrupt regular programming to broadcast the speeches.

RCTV says it intends to be an international channel and has asked the commission to clarify its rules.

Last month, RCTV began airing its programs via cable and satellite after being forced off the air by President Chavez in May.

Mr. Chavez refused to renew RCTV's license to broadcast on a public frequency for allegedly backing a failed coup against him in 2002. RCTV denies the accusations.

Other national private networks also opposed Mr. Chavez, but their criticism of the government is now softer and they have kept their licenses.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters..