Second federal judge issues halt to newfangled Trump country-based travel ban citing comments and tweets by the President in finding that the ban unlawfully excludes Muslims (see PEN America statement here).‎ The University of Florida braces for protests as state of emergency is declared to prepare for an appearance by white supremacist provocateur Richard Spencer. Pressed at a Senate hearing, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declines to offer blanket assurance that he won’t jail journalists. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


2 Federal Judges Rule Against Trump’s Latest Travel Ban
The rulings were a second major setback for Mr. Trump in his pursuit of a policy that he has trumpeted as critical for national security. His first attempt to sharply limit travel from a handful of predominantly Muslim countries ended in a courtroom fiasco last month, when a federal court in Seattle halted it.

University of Florida Braces for Richard Spencer
Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida, prompting an outcry over whether his views are protected speech and dividing the campus. Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.

Florida Brewery Crafts Genius Plan To Fill Racist Event With Empty Seats
Here’s a genius plan by Alligator Brewing to “empty the room so his (Spencer’s) disgusting message goes unheard”—giving a free beer to anyone who picks up two free tickets to attend Spencer’s talk, then swings by the brewery instead.

Sessions declines ‘blanket’ assurance to not jail journalists
When asked whether he could pledge to not place “reporters in jail for doing their jobs,” Jeff Sessions replied, “I don’t know that I can make a blanket commitment to that effect. But I will say this, we have not taken any aggressive action against the media at this point.”


Worn down by censors, Iran’s Facebook shuts down
Iran’s oldest social media network, Cloob, is shutting down after years of battling censors, including monitoring the deluge of photos from women not to show hair and removing politically sensitive comments.

Human Rights Groups Call on Vietnam’s Government to ‘Stop the Crackdown’
Vietnamese and international human rights groups called on the government of Vietnam to end what they called an “unprecedented crackdown” on peaceful political expression that has seen at least 25 activists and bloggers jailed or exiled this year.

Trump’s claim of Irish corporate tax cut is ‘fake news’, says prime minister
The Irish prime minister has accused Donald Trump of peddling “fake news” after the US president wrongly claimed that Ireland plans to further reduce its much-criticized 12.5% corporation tax.

Malta journalists take common stand after brutal murder
Malta’s journalists rallied to insist they would not be intimidated by the brutal assassination that silenced the island nation’s foremost investigative writer.

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