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Right-leaning media downplays Trump campaign indictments. Facebook estimates 126 million users were served Russian-sponsored content during the last two years. Journalists and editors continue to be exposed for engaging in sexual harassment, leading to upheavals at MSNBC and The New Republic. Fake news site makes rare apology for accusing fallen soldier La David Johnson a “deserter.” -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


‘None Of This Is Real’: Conservative Media Reacts To Mueller Indictments
Conservative media downplayed the immediate impact of the Manafort indictments, insisting that they have nothing to do with Trump or his campaign. They also suggested the probe reflects an unfair attack on a populist president by Washington insiders and media liberals.

Russia-backed Facebook posts ‘reached 126m Americans’ during US election
Facebook believes 120 fake Russian-backed pages created 80,000 posts that were received by 29 million Americans directly, but reached a much bigger audience by users sharing, liking, and following the posts.

After NBC ousts Mark Halperin over sexual harassment claims, TV news executives wonder who is next
Political journalist Mark Halperin’s contract with NBC News was terminated Monday, several days after allegations that he sexually harassed a dozen women during his tenure at ABC News from 1997 to 2007. His swift downfall has the TV news business bracing for more revelations of sexual harassment.

Fake News Purveyors Apologize for ‘Satire’ Story Calling Fallen Soldier a Deserter
Two days after a so-called “satire” site posted a false story smearing the “black soldier,” who was killed during an ambush in Niger earlier this month, as a “deserter,” administrators for the Facebook page that promoted the story apologized and took it down.

Not all campus speakers are created equal (especially when they’re from the German far right)
A dispute is raging at Bard College. The reason: a decision to host Marc Jongen, a leader of Germany’s ascendant right-wing Alternative for Germany party (AfD). Jongen’s party won 94 seats in the Bundestag this year based on a platform of hostility to immigrants, anti-Muslim sentiment, and climate change denial.


Putin Critic Who Fought Pro-Russia Rebels Shot Dead in Ukraine
A prominent couple who were fierce critics of Vladimir Putin and who narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in June was attacked again. This time an assailant killed the wife and wounded the husband.

Bahrain court jails UK-based activist’s relatives
A court in Bahrain has sentenced three relatives of prominent UK-based human rights activist Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei to three years in prison on terrorism-related charges. His brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and a cousin were found guilty of planting “fake bombs.” Alwadaei accused the authorities of torturing them to extract confessions.

NPP youth beat me as police watched – Oman FM Journalist
Police in the Adeiso District of the Eastern Region in Ghana stood by and watched as a journalist and some Assembly members were assaulted by irate youth believed to be New Patriotic Party supporters during an election to choose a Presiding Member for the Adeiso District Assembly.

Danish inventor admits dismembering body of Swedish journalist
A Danish inventor has admitted to dismembering the body of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, whose body parts were found at sea after she interviewed him on board his homemade submarine.

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