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President Trump accepts Chinese government demand that he and President Xi Jinping not take journalists’ questions during his visit. The Washington Post story on Alabama GOP Senate candidate’s alleged sexual encounters with teenage girls details how it originated and was substantiated; candidate’s supporters frame a “fake news” defense. State-funded Russian TV channel RT says it will register as a foreign agent in U.S. Twitter halts its verification process after giving a blue check authenticating the account of a white supremacist. The 40,000-member online “incels’’ community that advocates rape in its campaign against women is banned by Reddit as part of its crackdown on forums that incite violence. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


In China, Trump Continues War On Media By Bowing To Demand For No Questions From Reporters
The communist regime of China is known for its oppression of the press. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama made a point of standing for American principles by shining a light on the free press while visiting China. By agreeing to not take questions, Trump leaned into the suppression.

Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32
“These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign,” Moore said. The campaign said that if the allegations were true they would have surfaced during his previous campaigns, adding “this garbage is the very definition of fake news.”

Russia Threatens To ‘Retaliate’ As RT Says It Will Register As Foreign Agent In U.S.
A U.S. intelligence report has said that RT was one of the primary conduits through which the Kremlin sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Russia’s foreign agents law, which Kremlin critics say has been used by Putin’s government to silence dissent, differs significantly from the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Twitter, Facing Another Uproar, Pauses Its Verification Process
The verification of Jason Kessler was quickly met with outrage. That’s because Mr. Kessler is a well-known white supremacist who uses Twitter to spread his message and organize rallies like Unite the Right’s march in Charlottesville, Va., where torch-wielding protesters marched through the streets chanting racist rallying cries.

Reddit Bans ‘Incel’ Group for Inciting Violence Against Women
Reddit’s move against the group fell into the same pattern that other companies, including Facebook and Twitter, and domain registrar services, such as the ones that banned the white supremacy site The Daily Stormer in August, have taken to address violent content.

Russia Twitter trolls deflected Trump bad news
Tweets by Russia-backed accounts such as “America_1st_” and “BatonRougeVoice” on Oct. 7, 2016, actively pivoted away from news of an audio recording in which Trump made crude comments about groping women, and instead touted damaging emails hacked from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.


Moscow court seizes property of prominent director *PEN Case List
Kirill Serebrennikov, arguably Russia’s best known director, was detained and put under house arrest in a criminal case that sent shockwaves across Russia’s art community and raised fears of a return to Soviet-style censorship. The Basmanny district court has ordered the blocking of all of Serebrennikov’s property.

Myanmar jails foreign journalists with Turkish broadcaster for two months
Police initially investigated whether they had violated an import-export rule that carries a penalty of up to three years in jail, but the judge opted to introduce a fresh charge of contravening the 1934 Burma Aircraft Act, which carries a maximum sentence of three months.

Zimbabwe frees US journalist jailed on subversion charges
Martha O’Donovan had been charged with attempting to overthrow Mugabe and undermining or insulting the veteran leader. The arrest of O’Donovan and the seizure of her laptop in a dawn raid at her apartment last Friday came just weeks after the government appointed a cybersecurity minister tasked with policing social media.

Harassment and house arrest in China as Trump has ‘beyond terrific’ time
Li Wenzu got a loud knock at the door from a man claiming to represent the domestic security agency tasked with suppressing political dissent. “The US president is in town,” the 32-year-old mother-of-one says she was informed by the agent. “Do not go anywhere … you must cooperate with our work.”

Azerbaijan ‘dictator’ libel case dismissed by French court
The case against France Télévisions and two of its journalists arose from a report of former president François Hollande’s visit to the country in 2015. The program claimed that French diplomacy was placing business interests ahead of human rights, describing Azerbaijan as “a dictatorship, one of the most savage in the world”.

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