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First hearing scheduled for today in CNN suit against the president and top aides over denying correspondent Jim Acosta his credentials to cover the White House. Vice President Pence presses Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to pardon Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, imprisoned for reporting on human rights violations. (Read more about PEN America’s activism on the case.) FBI releases new report on increase in hate crime reporting. Police arrest protesters, including state senator, in Georgia state capital as they call for full count of ballots in governor’s race. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


CNN’s First Legal Threshold in Acosta Case: A Temporary Restraining Order
CNN’s lawsuit against the Trump administration will get its first major test today, when a federal judge will hold a hearing on whether to grant a temporary restraining order to restore White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s hard pass.

CNN and Jim Acosta Lawsuit Is about Free Speech, Free Press, and Due Process
CNN’s lawsuit against President Trump and top White House aides focuses on two main issues: the right to free speech and free press, and the right to due process. Two iconic Supreme Court cases will come into play here, but it’s a lesser-known lower court decision that could most help CNN’s cause: Sherrill v. Knight (1977).

Pence Presses Myanmar’s Suu Kyi to Pardon Reuters Journalists: Official *PEN Case List: Find Out More
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence pressed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi “multiple times” to pardon Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists jailed in her country, a senior White House official said.

New FBI Data Shows Rise in Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes
Hate crimes targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in the United States spiked about 37 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to data released by the FBI. The rise is based on data that reflects an increased number of law enforcement agencies reporting to the federal government—numbers that show an overall 17 percent increase in hate crimes.

Georgia Senator Arrested at Vote Demonstration at State Capitol
Georgia public safety officials said police arrested 15 protesters, including Democratic state Sen. Nikema Williams, during a demonstration inside the state Capitol as they called for uncounted ballots from last week’s election to be tallied.


Top China Diplomat Defends Crackdown in Muslim Minority Region
Wang Yi, China’s foreign Minister, defended a security crackdown affecting one of the country’s largest Muslim minorities, and told reporters that conditions in the remote western region of Xinjiang were a “domestic issue.” He cautioned foreigners against believing “gossip and hearsay” about the situation.

Former High Court Chief Robert French to Lead Inquiry into Free Speech on Campus
Robert French, chancellor of the University of Western Australia, has been tasked with developing a framework akin to the Chicago principles on free expression, adopted by dozens of universities in the United States, and to investigate “realistic and practical options” for managing areas of conflict.

Freedom To Publish: Interview with Iranian Publisher Azadeh Parsapour
“Always I worry about my writers,” said Azadeh Parsapour, founder of the London-based Nogaam Publishing, a press launched in 2012 to digitally produce Farsi writings that are censored in Iran. “Whenever I hear that a blogger has been arrested, or someone has been arrested because they tweeted something, I’m shivering all day.”

Dostoevsky Book among Hundreds Banned in Kuwait
Saad al-Anzi, who heads the Kuwait international literary festival, said the information ministry had banned 948 books including Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. The censorship committee works under a 2006 law on press and publications, which outlines a string of punishable offences for publishers of both literature and journalism.


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