The most shocking attack on a U.S. journalist this year was the murder of Chauncey Wendell Bailey, Jr. in Oakland, Calif., in August. He was 57. Bailey, a former Oakland Tribune reporter who was editor of the Oakland Post, was gunned down in Oakland during his morning walk to work. According to the San Jose Mercury News, a 19-year-old suspect was arrested who told detectives he considered himself “a good soldier” for killing Bailey. The motive for the killing apparently was negative stories Bailey had written about Your Black Muslim Bakery where the young man worked. He told detectives he was worried about future stories he thought Bailey might be researching. The Bailey murder prompted journalists in the San Francisco Bay area, media organizations and local university journalism schools to form an investigative team to complete Bailey’s work and to answer questions about his death. In another violent incident in Houston, a pre-dawn drive-by shooting shattered windows and damaged the control room at radio station KPFT-FM, whose motto is “Radio for Peace.” Program director Ernesto Aguilar believed it was the work of a listener angry about a program or topic aired by the station. Earlier this month, there was another positive development in the long campaign to gain federal protection for journalists asked by lawyers and federal prosecutors to identify confidential sources. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted overwhelmingly to approve the Free Flow of Information Act, a bill that would give protection to both reporters and their confidential sources. A similar federal shield law bill passed the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in early August. The new bill now goes to the full Senate. And leadership of the U.S. House announced several days ago that there’s a good chance the bill will be voted on by the full House this week. In a related development there is concern about a Washington D.C. federal judge’s decision in August ordering five journalists to identify government officials who told them that the former government scientist Steven Hatfill was a suspect in anthrax attacks in 2001. Hatfill is suing the Justice Department under the Privacy Act, claiming his personal information was discussed. The five journalists being sued by Hatfill are Allan Lengel of The Washington Post, Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman of Newsweek magazine, former USA Today reporter Tony Loci and James Stewart of CBS News. Enactment of a strong shield law is one of the top priorities of the Newspaper Association of America and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. But a major obstacle continues to be the Bush White House and Justice Department, which oppose the bill on grounds that it could hurt law enforcement and make it more difficult to trace leaks of sensitive security information. Echoing the sentiments of many of his colleagues, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller told the World Association of Newspapers on World Press Freedom Day in May that the decision to publish government secrets is never easy—and it has become even more difficult since the September 11 attacks in the U.S. A positive sign in recent months was the U.S. Senate’s approval of the Open Government Act in August. The bill would make the Freedom of Information Act stronger by imposing penalties on federal agencies that fail to respond to FOI requests within 20 days. A similar bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives in March by a wide margin. Among the reasons cited for a stronger law is that seven federal agencies have gone more than 10 years without responding to requests for information under the current law. On another front, The Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein remains detained in Iraq by the U.S. military. He has been held since April 2006 but has never been charged nor given a public hearing to defend himself. The military claims it has information linking him to insurgent activities, but will not release it, saying it is classified. One allegation against Hussein, 35, was that he took photos in Iraq that were synchronized with explosions, indicating he had advance knowledge. The AP examined 900 of his photos and said there was no indication he was at the scene before attacks occurred. And the AP continues to strenuously object to Hussein’s detention. Concern continues over the Pentagon’s policy of refusing media requests to cover military hearings for terror suspects being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay. The Associated Press has argued that the decision violates the Defense Department's own regulations. The AP agrees some parts of the tribunals – called Administrative Review Boards – may need to be closed but that it would be a mistake to close them entirely. Meanwhile, there were reports that a cameraman for the Al-Jazeera television network, Sami al-Haj, held at Guatánamo Bay for more than five years without charge, was in failing health after staging a hunger strike. Pentagon spokesman Commander Jeffrey D. Gordon said the reports were false. Al-Haj is the only journalist known to be imprisoned at Guatántamo Bay. Three reporters for CNET Network, an online technology newsletter, sued Hewlett-Packard, accusing the computer company of violating their privacy by obtaining their private phone records. The company was the focus of a scandal last year after disclosures that its board hired private investigators to learn if directors had leaked sensitive information to reporters at CNET, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Hewlett-Packard later admitted its investigators used subterfuge to obtain the reporters’ phone records, and apologized. A bill to limit the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ability, granted under the USA Patriot Act, to have virtually unlimited access to electronic communications transaction records with no judicial oversight was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The action was hailed by The Campaign for Reader Privacy, a coalition of organizations representing publishers, authors, librarians and booksellers. In September, the former anchor of the “CBS Evening News”, Dan Rather, filed a $70 million lawsuit against the CBS network, claiming he was made a “scapegoat” for a discredited story about President George W. Bush’s service in the National Guard. Rather, 75 left CBS in June 2006 after 44 years with the network. On October 4 it was learned that a 2004 lawsuit brought by a coalition of publishing and author associations against the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has been withdrawn after OFAC removed regulations that prevented U.S. publishers from releasing the works of authors from countries designated as “outlaw” nations. The suit was originally filed after OFAC, which enforces U.S. trade embargoes against such “enemy” nations as Cuba and Iran, issued regulations in 2003 that called for U.S. publishers to obtain a license from the Treasury Department in order to edit and publish the works of authors from so-called outlaw nations. OFAC’s regulations included stiff fines and imprisonment for violations.