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Books imported from China to the United States face 25 percent tariff as part of the Trump Administration’s trade war. White House launches campaign to encourage users of Facebook, Twitter, and Google to share their experiences of censorship as part of a campaign to ‘fight for free speech online.’ Idaho high school newspaper drops its name with a derogatory allusion to Native Americans and encourages the school’s football team to do the same, dividing the student body over issues of free expression, inclusion, and community. Georgia court hears arguments in a case brought by students who claim that Georgia Gwinnett College violated their free expression rights. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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

U.S.

Books a Target of New China Tariffs
According to a notice issued earlier this week by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, books are among the $300 billion worth of Chinese imports that face a potential 25 percent tariff following the failure of the U.S. and China to reach a new trade agreement.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

White House Escalates War against Facebook, Google, and Twitter with a Campaign Asking Users to Share Stories of Censorship
The campaign asks users to share if they had been censored on the platforms, tapping into Trump’s long-running claim that tech giants are biased against conservatives, and also offers to send respondents newsletters about “President Trump’s fight for free speech.”
WASHINGTON POST

A High School Newspaper Opposed Its School’s Nickname, and the Debate Is Dividing the Student Body
Students from Teton High School in Driggs have walked out of class twice in recent days to support the 90 year-old nickname, while the school newspaper has vowed to change its name to distance itself from a word staffers consider an ethnic slur.
WASHINGTON POST

Court Hears Arguments in Georgia Campus Speech Dispute
The dispute began in 2016 when a student, Chike Uzuegbunam, filed the lawsuit against the college in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, arguing his free speech rights were violated. Uzuegbunam said a college official told him he couldn’t distribute flyers sharing his Christian faith where he was standing on campus.
ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

 
Global

Free Speech Concerns in Bangladesh as Writers, Activist Arrested
Police arrested three people, two writers and an activist, in the past week under the country’s controversial Digital Security Act and the Information and Communication Technology Act. The arrests have raised fears of a crackdown on freedom of expression and have drawn criticism from activists and international rights groups.
AL JAZEERA

Right-Wing Comedian’s Prison Sentence Sparks Free-Speech Debate in Bolsonaro’s Brazil
Brazilian law, which is largely modeled on the U.S. system, includes in its constitution echoes of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression. But a criminal provision that allows penalties for those who “disrespect” public officials opens a loophole for censorship.
WASHINGTON POST

Fewer Rainbows, Less Social Media for China’s LGBT Community
China’s LGBT community has had a tough year: censors have shut down social media forums, news media have curbed coverage of gay issues, and online shops have removed rainbow-themed products. The tighter restrictions have led the LGBT community in China—fearing a crackdown—to prepare for muted celebrations of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia on Friday.
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

Opinion: Saudi Arabia’s Repression Shouldn’t Be Rewarded with a World Cup
“Women, journalists, members of the LGBTQ community, and all fans of the game should ask why its most-watched event may be held in a country where their rights are not respected. And World Cup athletes should not have to compete where human rights are so severely compromised.”
WASHINGTON POST

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