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White House Communications Director Bill Shine questioned by federal prosecutors about alleged efforts to cover up sexual harassment at Fox News. New Miami Dolphins policy allows for suspending the players who protest on the football field during the national anthem. News organizations consider their coverage of hacked Democratic emails in light of ongoing revelations about who surfaced them and how. Republican politicians are picking up on President Trump’s tactics, denigrating their local news outlets as they campaign in their districts. Report says US-funded broadcaster Radio Free Europe used Facebook ads targeting US citizens, potentially violating bars on domestic propaganda. Conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group’s effort to widely expand its reach appears to be faltering. –Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Bill Shine, Trump’s Top Communicator, Was Questioned by Federal Prosecutors
Bill Shine hired this month as President Trump’s communications chief, brought conservative credentials and heavy baggage with him into the White House. Mr. Shine was subpoenaed last year by a federal grand jury in New York as part of a criminal investigation into Fox News’s handling of sexual harassment complaints.

Miami Dolphins Players Could Face Penalties—Possibly Suspension—for Anthem Protests
The Miami Dolphins have listed anthem protests as “conduct detrimental to the club.” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell mandated a new policy in May requiring players and league personnel on the sidelines to stand during the national anthem. The league left punishment terms up to each team’s discretion.

Does the Mainstream Media Regret Using all those Emails Allegedly Stolen by Russians?
The Post reported in mid-June that Russian government hackers had snaked their way into DNC systems. The Erik Wemple Blog polled a number of news organizations about whether they regretted reporting on the email leaks, whether they’d reexamined their approach in light of the recent indictment.

Nunes Declares War on the Media
While it is not unusual for a member of Congress to complain about the media, Nunes’ airing of a lengthy attack against a prominent local newspaper stands apart—especially in a campaign in which Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, has had little reason to date to spend money at all.

U.S.-Funded Broadcaster Directed Ads to Americans
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which typically broadcasts to audiences in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, bought several ads on Facebook in recent days that were targeted at users in the United States. Both ads were taken down by Facebook because they did not come from an account that was authorized.

FCC claims Sinclair–Tribune Media Merger Would Not be ‘In the Public Interest’
The Federal Communications Commission has published its order calling for a hearing regarding the proposed Sinclair Broadcast Group acquisition of Tribune Media, following an unexpected announcement by Chairman Pai earlier this week where he said he had “serious concerns” about the deal.


India lynchings: WhatsApp Sets New Rules After Mob Killings
WhatsApp has said it will limit how many times messages can be forwarded in India, to curb the spread of false information on its platform. WhatsApp said its users in India “forward more messages, photos, and videos, than any other country in the world”. Users in India will only be able to forward a message five times.

American Detained in Vietnam Convicted, Ordered Deported
A Vietnamese court convicted William Nguyen, 32, from Houston, who was arrested June 10 during protests in the southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City against a proposed law on special economic zones that many say would benefit Chinese investors. The protest was one of several in the country.

Globe Editorial: Ontario’s Ombudsman Stands Up for Press Freedom
Municipal officials in Ontario’s Niagara region issued a statement apologizing for the “inconvenience” caused to a reporter who was expelled from an unruly council meeting and had his laptop confiscated. Ontario’s Ombudsman described the episode not as a mere inconvenience, but as an egregious violation of the journalist’s rights.

Government Urges International Community to Put Jammeh Under Surveillance
The Gambia government has called on the International Community particularly ECOWAS, AU, EU, and the UN as well as the government of Equatorial Guinea, to take note with all the attention required of the subversive efforts and mal-intentions of the former Gambian leader, Yahya JammehFCC.

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