NEWS BLACKOUT AT WORLD CUP

PARIS - Leading international news agencies launched a boycott of the 2007 Rugby World Cup yesterday, plunging the event into controversy on the eve of its opening game.

PARIS - Leading international news agencies launched a boycott of the 2007 Rugby World Cup yesterday, plunging the event into controversy on the eve of its opening game.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters, the Associated Press, Getty Pictures and the German agency, DPA, said no text, photo or video news on the World Cup would be sent for 24 hours in protest at restrictions imposed by the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board, on the transmission of photos during games.

"Fundamental rights are at stake, there is no question of letting them be flouted in the name of the protection of the financial interests of the IRB," said AFP chairman Pierre Louette. - Sapa-AFP

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