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Britain should abandon its plan to cut funding for the BBC World Service or at least ring-fence some parts of it, including BBC Arabic, in the light of the upheaval in the region, parliamentarians said on Wednesday.

An influential cross-party committee of MPs has called for the cuts to the BBC's World Service to be reversed to protect its global reputation. The Commons foreign affairs select committee said the 16% budget cut imposed on the service as part of the government's comprehensive spending review had "long-term ramifications"...

Some of America's rival broadcasters have expressed outrage at the fact that the BBC World Service Trust has applied for the US government funding to help combat censorship in countries like China and Iran.

Foggy Bottom is flat out denying a British news report on Sunday that said State Department money would be awarded to the BBC to combat Internet censorship around the world. "The BBC World Service is to receive a "significant" sum of money from the US government...

The U.S. State Department will be funding an anti-jamming program for the BBC World Service in repressive regimes. But statements given before Parliament show that the real target is China's "Great Firewall."

The BBC World Service is to receive a "significant" sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China.

In a 2010 BBC survey, respondents in Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya and Turkey were asked how much they would miss the services of the BBC, CNN International, Voice of America or Al Jazeera. The Egyptian respondents said they would miss the BBC more than Al Jazeera.

The World Service has a unique ethos little understood in the UK. Most people in Britain know of, but seldom listen to, the English language radio service – but the bulk of the weekly 180 million audience to listen in their own languages – 45 of them a decade ago, 31 of them today, 26 of them following last week's cuts.

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