Philippines' leading TV network ordered to halt operations

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine government agency has ordered the country’s leading broadcast network, which the president has targeted for its critical news coverage, to halt operations. The National Telecommunications Commission ordered ABS-CBN Corp. to stop operations after its 25-year congressional franchise ended Monday. The network’s application for a renewal has been pending in Congress. Congressional leaders have asked the commission to grant it a temporary license to continue operations while its renewal request is pending, but the government’s solicitor general has said it cannot operate without an approved franchise. Media watchdogs have accused President Rodrigo Duterte of trying to muzzle critical independent media, but government officials said the network must comply with the law.