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ABC news suspends reporter Brian Ross for four weeks over an inaccurate report about Michael Flynn in the Russia investigation. Billy Bush pushes back on President Trump’s “revisionist history” in reportedly starting to suggest that the voice on the “Access Hollywood’’ tape is not his. A CBS News poll finds nearly three-quarters of Alabama Republicans think allegations of sexual misconduct against GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore are false, and that the media and/or Democrats are behind them. The president skips the Kennedy Center Honors recognizing achievement in the arts, but the honorees speak out anyway. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


ABC News Suspends Brian Ross for 4 Weeks Over Erroneous Flynn Story
Citing a single anonymous source, Ross told viewers during an ABC special report on Friday morning that Flynn was prepared to testify that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, told him to contact Russians. An ABC News tweet about the report was retweeted about 25,000 times before being deleted.

Billy Bush says there were 8 witnesses to Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ comments
In a commentary for the New York Times, Bush said he was disturbed by reports that Trump told allies that he may not be the voice on the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape. “Of course he said it,” Bush added. “And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator.”

Alabama Republicans Say Allegations Against Roy Moore False
Multiple women have come forward to accuse Moore of inappropriately pursuing or touching them when they were teenagers. The poll found 92 percent of Republicans who don’t believe the allegations against Moore say the Democrats are behind the charges, and 88 percent say newspapers and the media are behind them.

Kennedy Center Honors Evoke Politics, Even Without Trump
It was only the fourth time in 40 years that a sitting United States president skipped the gala, which honors the lifetime achievements of artistic trailblazers in music, dance, and entertainment. President Trump did not attend to avoid “political distraction,” but it emboldened honorees to air their angst.

‘The Hate U Give’ YA Book Banned in Texas School District
Angie Thomas’s book, inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, tells the story of a black high school student who witnesses her unarmed friend being shot and killed by a police officer during a routine traffic stop. Thomas took to social media after spotting a tweet by a former resident of Katy, Texas, on the ban.


Moscow Court Upholds House Arrest for Theater Director Serebrennikov *PEN Case List
The Moscow City Court has upheld a lower court’s decision to extend the house arrest for Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov, whose detention on fraud charges stunned the Russian artistic world and elicited support internationally. According to the court, Serebrennikov should remain under house arrest until January 19.

Ipso Launches New Symbol in Fight Against ‘Fake News’
Newspapers, websites and magazines signed up to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) will be able to use the logo as a guarantee to readers they are not being misled. The slogan that accompanies the symbol states: “For press freedom with responsibility”.

Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Promotes Censorship
Apple’s chief executive officer gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday, calling for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity. The same day, one of China’s most-senior officials called for more aggressive government involvement online to combat terrorism and criminals.

‘No Such Thing as Rohingya’: Myanmar Erases a History
Human rights watchdogs warn that evidence of the Rohingya’s history in Myanmar is in danger of being eradicated by a military campaign the United States has declared to be ethnic cleansing. Since August, more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh, driven out by the military’s campaign of massacre, rape, and arson.

The Data Protection Bill is Yet Another Legal Threat to UK Press Freedom
This bill, now making its way through parliament, has the potential to inhibit investigative journalism. Viscount Colville pointed out that the clause gave the information commissioner power to determine, prior to publication, whether a journalist’s handling of personal data is relevant and therefore legal.

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