Britain gives more money for BBC Arabic service

AP, Wednesday 22 Jun 2011

Mideast uprisings prompt government to pour $3.5 million more into Arabic broadcasts, despite broader cuts in the state-mandated broadcaster's budget

The British government says it will provide extra money for international Arabic-language broadcasts by the BBC in light of the uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday that BBC World Service would receive an additional 2.2 million pounds ($3.5 million) a year for the programs.

Last year the government made a 16 per cent cut to the World Service, which had received 270 million pounds a year.

The broadcaster scrapped several international radio services, including Serbian, Macedonian and Portuguese for Africa.

Wednesday's announcement initially appeared on a government website under the headline "Massive U-turn on BBC World Service funding." It was quickly changed. The Foreign Office says an employee is being disciplined.

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