Citizens and their leaders in local jurisdictions with economies larger than some countries say they will contest at the state level the Trump administration decision to walk the United States away from the Paris climate change accord. A federal appeals court puts a hold FCC’s plan to overturn an Obama-era limit on expansion of TV ownership, a possible block on conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group’s pending acquisition that would put it in 70 percent of U.S. markets. Michael Pack, a Steve Bannon ally, emerges as the leading candidate to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which controls the country’s international broadcasters and will no longer have a bipartisan board as a firewall between the White House and their work (e.g., filming the Turkish president’s bodyguards beating up protesters in Washington). Putin denies Kremlin cyberattacks but says “patriotically minded” Russians might have meddled in U.S. election. And Evergreen State College closes due to a safety threat received amid protests over how racism is addressed.-Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

 

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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

U.S.

Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord
Representatives of American cities, states and companies, including 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses, are negotiating with the United Nations to have their submission accepted alongside contributions to the Paris climate deal by other nations. “We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview.
NEW YORK TIMES

White House orders agencies to ignore Democrats’ oversight requests
At meetings with top officials for various government departments this spring, Uttam Dhillon, a White House lawyer, told agencies not to cooperate with such requests from Democrats. It appears to be a formalization of a practice that had already taken hold, as Democrats have complained that their oversight letters requesting information from agencies have gone unanswered since January, and the Trump administration has not yet explained the rationale.
POLITICO

Sinclair-Tribune Merger Faces Roadblock as Court Puts Hold on FCC Station Ownership Rule
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to the FCC’s decision in April to restore the so-called UHF discount, which has allowed major media companies to exceed restrictions on the number of stations that they can own. A source close to the situation noted that the temporary stay granted on Thursday extends through June 7, and the real test will come next week after the review is completed by a three-judge panel.
VARIETY

White House eyes Bannon ally for top broadcasting post
Michael Pack, the leading contender for the post, is president and CEO of the Claremont Institute and publisher of its Claremont Review of Books, a California-based conservative institute that has been called the “academic home of Trumpism” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Pack, a former Corporation for Public Broadcasting executive, and Bannon are mutual admirers and have worked on two documentaries together.
POLITICO

Putin denies a Russian state role in U.S. election, but says ‘patriotic’ hackers may have mounted attacks
“Hackers can be anywhere and pop out from anywhere in the world,” Putin said in an address to Russian and foreign media. The Russian president compared hackers to artists who can act creatively, particularly when they are motivated by international relations and in the defense of Russia’s interests. “If they woke up today, read that there is something happening in interstate relations,” he said. “If they are patriotic, they start contributing, as they see it, in the fight against those who do not speak well about Russia.”
LOS ANGELES TIMES

Threat shuts down college embroiled in racial dispute
Evergreen State College, which has been in the spotlight after protests over race boiled over last week, closed Thursday after receiving a direct threat. Bret Weinstein, a professor at Evergreen State, had returned to work Thursday after he was confronted by students calling him a racist and demanding his resignation in response to his disagreement with an administrator’s suggestion that white people consider avoiding campus during a “day of absence” protest, a tradition on campus since the 1970s designed to raise awareness about the contributions of people of color and an opportunity for them to gather and discuss racial issues.
WASHINGTON POST

 
Global

What Mexico is and isn’t doing to prevent violent crimes against journalists
Crimes against journalists are not a new phenomenon in Mexico. Since 2010, roughly 50 journalists have been killed, with only a handful of cases leading to convictions. To address the issue, the Mexican government has implemented several programs and laws over the past few years designed to keep journalists safe and punish those who commit the crimes. The problem is that very few of these programs actually get results.
PBS NEWSHOUR

In Turkey, a Hunger Strike Divides a Country in Turmoil
In 1990, Turkish authorities built a monument to human rights in the center of the Turkish capital. Since May 22, nobody has been able to reach it. For over six months, a tiny group of former teachers and civil servants — a few of the more than 100,000 people who have been purged from their jobs during Turkey’s continuing crackdown on dissent — had assembled at the statue each day to ask for their jobs back.
NEW YORK TIMES

Netizen Report: Ethiopia Claims It Shut Down the Internet to Stop Students From Cheating on Exams
On Tuesday, May 30, Ethiopians woke up to find themselves unable to connect to the internet in the third nationwide blackout since November 2015, which left businesses, universities, banks, and even government media cut off from one another and the rest of the world, making day-to-day work extremely difficult. This shutdown is broader in scope and scale than previous ones; officials have claimed that the shutdown is part of an effort to prevent students from cheating on upcoming exams.
SLATE

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