Nepal's King Gyanendra has moved to tighten his grip over the kingdom by clamping down on the media.
He has imposed a ban on independent news broadcasts and threatened to punish newspapers for reports that run counter to the official monarchist line. The state-run radio announced Thursday that private radio stations would no longer be allowed to broadcast any news or opinion. All broadcasts are to remain "purely entertainment." Phone lines and Internet links were cut on Tuesday when the king fired the government and imposed a state of emergency, so a strike call by Maoist rebels did not reach the people. The king has urged the rebels to return to peace talks or face other measures. But the rebels, who are fighting to replace the monarchy with a communist state, have not yet reacted.