Iran court blocks Instagram; ‘Pink slime’ lawsuit OK’d

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – A semiofficial news agency in Iran is reporting that a court is ordering that the photo-sharing app Instagram be blocked in the Islamic Republic over privacy concerns.

The Mehr news agency said late this week that the court order had been given to Iran’s Ministry of Telecommunications to ban the site over a lawsuit. Users in Tehran still could access the application around noon Friday.

Social websites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have already been blocked by censors, though many young and Web-savvy Iranians use proxy servers or other workarounds to bypass the controls. The move comes as there’s even an Instagram account in the name of moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Officials at Instagram Inc.could not be immediately reached for comment.

Court allows ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – ABC’s news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the network’s correspondents and other defendants in a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against the company related to its coverage of a meat product could be deposed following a ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The state’s high court on Thursday denied a petition by the network and other defendants to review the case and largely dismiss it.

The court also lifted a stay issued in April that had prevented the lawsuit’s discovery process, including depositions, to begin.

The court did not express an opinion as to the merits of the appeal.

Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012 seeking $1.2 billion in damages for the coverage of the meat product called lean, finely textured beef, which critics dubbed “pink slime.”

Dakota Dunes-based BPI said ABC’s coverage led to the closure of three plants and roughly 700 layoffs by misleading consumers into believing the product is unsafe.