Israeli TV station shutdown averted

An Israeli TV station critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says its shutdown over a debt to the government has been averted.

Channel 10 was due to go dark this week after lawmakers rejected its request to defer payment of an $11 million royalty bill. Critics charged that this was part of a broader government campaign to muzzle the press.

But a spokesman for the station said Tuesday that broadcast regulators have voted to extend its license until the end of the year. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Regulatory agency spokeswoman Liat Cohen confirmed that regulators threw Channel 10 a lifeline on Monday. The attorney general's office said earlier in the month that the debt should not compromise freedom of expression.

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