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Amid other legal travails, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen drops defamation suit against Buzzfeed over publication of Steele Dossier. Harper’s editor accuses magazine of firing him over a dispute about author Katie Roiphe’s controversial piece questioning the #MeToo movement. Trump accuser Karen McDougal reaches settlement with The National Enquirer, freeing her to tell her story. Tenured Professor at Fresno State under investigation for a tweet calling former First Lady Barbara Bush racist. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Cohen Drops Libel Suits Against BuzzFeed, Fusion GPS
Michael Cohen abandoned the suits as he continues to fight to recover documents and electronic files seized from his possession last week by federal authorities as part of what appears to be a broad criminal investigation into his conduct.

Harper’s Editor Says He Was Fired for Opposing Katie Roiphe Story
Harper’s editor James Marcus said in his statement that the magazine’s publisher, Rick MacArthur, fired him on Friday afternoon for “opposing the publication of Katie Roiphe’s cover story in the March issue.”

Ex-Playboy Model Who Alleged Trump Affair Reaches Settlement with Enquirer Publisher
The settlement means McDougal is no longer bound by the contract with AMI, ending one of two legal battles involving women who say they were paid to stay silent about accounts that would have embarrassed Trump during his campaign.

California Professor: Barbara Bush an ‘Amazing Racist’
A California state university is investigating comments made on Twitter by professor Randa Jarrar who called Barbara Bush an “amazing racist”. A staff attorney for the ACLU Northern California said the statements fall under her First Amendment rights.

Tennessee Lawmakers Punish Memphis for Removing Statues
The Republican-dominated House in Tennessee to punish the city of Memphis for removing Confederate monuments by taking $250,000 away from the city that would have been used for a bicentennial celebration next year.


India Journalist Threatened Over Anti-Rape Cartoon
Swathi Vadlamudi, an Indian journalist and cartoonist, has received online threats over a cartoon that refers to recent incidents of rape. The illustration was meant to condemn two gruesome incidents which made national headlines last week.

Fury in Germany as Rap Duo with Anti-Jewish Lyrics Gets Award
Widespread condemnation of two German rappers, Farid Bang and Kollegah, turned into an uproar when they won an award for best hip-hop album, which contains anti-semitic lyrics, at Germany’s equivalent of the Grammy’s. 

First Saudi Movie Theater in Decades Opens with ‘Black Panther’
Saudi Arabia opens its first new cinema in 35 years this week with a screening of “Black Panther”. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is touting new movie theaters as a sign of historic change in one of the world’s most conservative countries.

Pakistan Journalists Sign Petition Against Curbs on Freedom of Expression
The curbs included several articles being pulled off media websites in Pakistan, removal of online editions of published articles and one media house even asking its anchors to stop doing live shows.

Tanzania’s New License Fees for Blogging Puts the Final Nail in Press Freedom’s Coffin
As part of new online regulations in Tanzania, and what looks like a war against free press and online media, bloggers will now be required to pay an annual fee of $930 before they can begin operations online.

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