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Ecuador leader may insist on digital-only dailies

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa delivers a nationally televised speech from the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Correa said that he has abandoned a unique and ambitious plan to persuade rich countries to pay Ecuador not to drill for oil in the pristine Yasuni rainforest preserve. The idea was to set a precedent in the fight against global warming by lowering the high cost to poor countries of going green. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) -- Ecuador's combative president is threatening to try to force the country's newspapers to go all-digital as a way to save paper.

Rafael Correa has long had a prickly relationship with Ecuador's opposition-owned newspapers, and his Twitter statement Monday is a jab at papers backing a proposed referendum to block oil exploration in the pristine Yasuni national park.

Correa announced last week that he's asking a loyal Congress to back drilling in Yasuni. Rich nations had refused to fund his plan to protect the biodiverse Amazon preserve as a hedge against global warming.

Correa tweeted that if the necessary signatures are gathered and there is a referendum, he'll propose that newspapers be published in digital format alone "to save paper and avoid so much indiscriminate cutting of trees."