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Azerbaijan limits foreign radio broadcasts

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BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Foreign radio broadcasts can no longer be offered on local frequencies in Azerbaijan, the communication ministry said Thursday.

RIA Novosti said the decision to ban the presence of foreign radio services on local frequencies was made by the National Television and Radio Council in Azerbaijan Tuesday.

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The ban, which went into effect at the start of the new year Thursday, means the broadcasting licenses for international media groups like the BBC and Voice of America have been terminated in the oil-rich country.

Domestic TV and radio broadcasts in Azerbaijan will also now face more stringent regulations including being solely broadcast in Azerbaijani. The only broadcasts that will be allowed to be offered in other languages are news and educational broadcasts, which can feature foreign languages but must include Azerbaijani subtitles.

The new regulations also limit the maximum length of an educational broadcast to 30 minutes, RIA Novosti said.

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