Donald Trump spends his weekend vetting Cabinet picks and dashing off menacing tweets chiding Hamilton and SNL. Some judge the twitter wars a ruse to deflect attention from Trump’s fraud settlement and choice of an Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions, whose racist record was too much for even a Republican Senate to swallow when he was nominated for a federal judgeship. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

PEN America’s take on today’s most pressing threats to free expression


Chilled by Trump Tweets? You Should Be
This weekend we saw President-elect Donald Trump lash out twice at Americans who were exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. His reaction should chill every American with its implication: A President Trump may well try to suppress speech.

Israeli Artists Warn Why Trump’s Apology Demand Is So Dangerous
After a year and a half of clashes with the government of PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Esti Zakhem, chairwoman of the Israeli Actors’ Guild, knows what it is like to be demonized and scapegoated by politicians who campaigned on a platform of sticking it to the cultural elites, and use the arts to exploit ethnic and racial divides.

Alec Baldwin fires back with some presidential advice after Trump angrily tweets about ‘SNL’
Donald Trump is still unhappy with Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live.” After the “30 Rock” star reprised his role as the president-elect on Saturday night’s show, Trump had some thoughts. “It is a totally one-sided, biased show — nothing funny at all,” Trump tweeted, “Equal time for us?”

The Trump-‘Hamilton’ controversy shows why live theater still matters
For the first time in our collective lives, a person who is going to run this country has gone to war with a Broadway production. Think about this. For whatever reason — an attempt to deflect attention from other looming scandals, an eternally itchy Twitter finger, a desire to defend a comrade — a president-elect of the most powerful country on Earth is using his pulpit to run down a Pulitzer and Tony-winning musical that is, it’s safe to say, far more beloved than he is.

Two historians explain why you should care when Trump ditches journalists
No one thinks Trump should be prevented from enjoying a meal with his family. But for decades, a “protective pool” of journalists has followed the president or president-elect wherever he goes, ensuring independent coverage of the leader of the free world should a crisis arise.


Egypt hands journalist union head two years in prison
An Egyptian court sentenced the head of a journalists’ union and two board members to two years in prison for harbouring colleagues wanted by the law and spreading false news, judicial sources said.

New Thai Cybercrime Law Would Open Back Door To Censorship
An online right advocate pointed out Monday that the latest proposed changes to the Computer Crime Act and its supporting laws would provide the authorities with direct access to deleting things from the internet.

Egyptian court orders release of journalist Ismail Alexandrani
A Cairo criminal court has ordered the release of journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani, detained over charges of joining the now banned Muslim Brotherhood group and spreading false news.

Muslim clerics urge for blogger’s death penalty to be applied
Mauritanian Muslim clerics have called for the death sentence to be carried out against a blogger, Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir. The blogger’s post on Islam and racial discrimination was said to have provoked many in a country where the caste system remains a sensitive subject.

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