President Trump is interviewed by Time on the subject of falsehoods, and repeats many of them. Diplomatic cables to embassies say U.S. visa applicants who have ever been in an Islamic State-controlled area should now be subject to a mandatory reviews of their social media. Conservative Mike Huckabee comes to the defense of the National Endowment for the Arts, pointing out that the real beneficiaries are not Hollywood stars but poor kids for whom a partially federally funded community arts project may be their only chance at finding their creative gifts. – Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


President Trump’s cascade of false claims in Time’s interview on his falsehoods
President Trump had a remarkable interview with Time magazine about falsehoods, in which he repeated many false claims that have repeatedly been debunked. Here is a round-up of his key misstatements.

US ordered ‘mandatory social media check’ for visa applicants who visited ISIS territory
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a “mandatory social media check” on all visa applicants who have ever visited ISIS-controlled territory. Memos obtained provide details into a revised screening process that President Donald Trump has described as “extreme vetting.”

Mike Huckabee: A conservative plea for the National Endowment for the Arts
The former AR governor makes an argument for the NEA, citing his own background in the arts: “It may seem as though the [money] allocated to the NEA…is money to be saved. But to someone such as me—for whom an early interest in music and the arts became a lifeline—this money is not expendable, extracurricular or extraneous. It is essential.”

Prosecutors think they can extract data from phones seized during Inauguration Day protests
Court papers filed yesterday indicate that prosecutors are trying to break into locked smartphones seized during arrests made on Inauguration Day. More than 100 phones were seized by law enforcement on January 20th when 214 people were arrested on felony rioting charges related to demonstrations held in protest of President Trump.

The media should become a true opposition party
What if, rather than reflexively assuming its defensive posture of “objectivity,” the press embraced this opportunity to go full-offense? If the press can find a way to conceptualize itself as a true opposition party, then perhaps American journalism might stand for something that would be of value to readers and viewers.


Ukrainian parliament committee wants activists, journalists to declare their assets
Parliament’s anti-corruption committee on March 22 approved an amendment that will require activists of non-governmental organizations and editors of mass media to file electronic asset declarations. The legislation is seen as an effort by the authorities to crack down on their critics and anti-corruption activists.

Kenya: Police arrest journalist probing use of excessive force
Tension is high after Standard Media Group journalist Isaiah Gwengi was arrested Wednesday evening by police officers from the Quick Response Team based in the town. The police are said to have been on rampage since Tuesday evening and the journalist has been investigating the use of excessive force by the officers.

Laws dictating censorship in India need to be within constitutional limits, says filmmaker Shyam Benegal
During the panel discussion titled ‘Censorship Woes: M&E’s Battle Against a Thousand Cuts’ on the second day of annual FICCI Frames, veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal made it clear that no matter what people believed, the laws dictating censorship had to lie within constitutional limits.

‘Sometimes I laugh at this farce’: six writers on life behind bars in Turkey
Six persecuted writers describe the mental and physical toll of living in the country that jails more journalists than any other. Three of the inmates featured are being detained under state of emergency rules which forbid written communications, and have given their testimonies verbally through intermediaries.

Using copyright laws to protect free speech
A controversial but crucial copyright reform is currently underway in Brussels. The proposed “publisher’s neighboring right” would start to fix a system that undermines publishers’ potential to innovate and grow — protecting journalism and safeguarding its role in the democratic process.

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