U.S. President Donald Trump toasts French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) during a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Western political leaders encouraging hostility towards the media are playing with fire and posing an increasing threat to democracies, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned Wednesday in its annual index of press freedom.It cited the Czech Republic, down 11 places at 34th, where President Milos Zeman turned up at a news conference with a fake Kalashnikov inscribed with the words "for journalists," and Slovakia, down 10 places at 27th, where then Prime Minister Robert Fico called journalists "dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes".Criticism of the news media by politicians and media personalities was also particularly virulent during the French presidential election campaign in 2017, it said.
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