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California Attorney General to sue Trump Administration over new census question that would ask respondents to reveal their citizenship. EPA imposes new rules prohibiting scientists from relying on studies where participant privacy protections are in place, and dramatically narrowing the breadth of scientific information that can form the basis for decisions. Activists quietly bear the brunt of being at the forefront of political and social struggles, suffering a high personal toll. Stormy Daniels brings defamation suit against Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, who accused her of lying. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


2020 Census Will Ask About Respondents’ Citizenship Status
In an eight-page memo Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the Justice Department has requested that the census ask who is a citizen in order to help determine possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, to help enforce that law.

The E.P.A. Says It Wants Research Transparency. Scientists See an Attack on Science.
The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a major change to the way it assesses scientific work, a move that would severely restrict the research available to it when writing environmental regulations.

They Push. They Protest. And Many Activists, Privately, Suffer as a Result.
Along with the long hours, constant confrontation, and frequent heartbreak they experience, activists work for little or no pay and sometimes struggle for basic needs like food and shelter even as they push for societal change.

Stormy Daniels sues Trump lawyer for defamation
The lawsuit now alleges that Cohen defamed Daniels by suggesting that she is lying about her alleged 2006 affair with Trump. The suit specifically points to a statement Cohen made last month: “Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage,” he said.

How rightwingers have attacked Parkland students with lies, hoaxes, and smears
No issue unites the American right more than their opposition to gun control. The spectacle of hundreds of thousands participating in the #marchforourlives, led by young people, was always going to draw a full-spectrum response. This group of idealistic young people have officially become the right’s leading hate figures.


Pakistan’s military is waging a quiet war on journalists
Anyone who attempts to report on what’s happening in Pakistan now runs the risk of disappearing. When [Vox] was investigating abductions of civilians from Waziristan in 2015, [its] sources were threatened and told not to speak to journalists.

A courageous Angolan journalist is on trial for fighting corruption
Journalist and activist Rafael Marques de Morais has spent nearly two decades uncovering sleazy dealings and official malfeasance. Last year he was one of five people awarded the Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy. Now he finds himself on trial.

Vietnam briefly detains dissident singer after European tour
Often dubbed a Vietnamese version of “Pussy Riot” or Lady Gaga because of her activism and provocative style, Mai Khoi was among dozens of dissidents on the watch-list of Communist-ruled Vietnam for her strong words against the system.

Don Quixote helps Spanish booksellers in free speech battle
In defiance of a court order banning a book that investigates drug trafficking in Spain, the Madrid Booksellers’ Guild has launched an online tool that automatically pulls some 80,000 words from the classic novel to piece together the contents of the banned work.

Four More Years of Censoring Culture in Egypt
With the Sisi regime all but certain to take power for another four years this week, the future for liberal artistic expression in Egypt looks bleak. For many Egyptians trying to maintain their culture, everyday life is marked by the need to watch over one’s shoulder for who may be listening in.

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