Disclosure that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had spoken with the Russian ambassador during the trump campaign, seemingly contradicting his sworn testimony at his confirmation hearing, sets off new calls for him to recuse himself from investigating those very types of contacts. Protest rights come under threat across the country from bills filed by Republican lawmakers in at least 16 states. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, takes a look at whether social media access is a constitutional right. -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


Key G.O.P. Lawmakers Say Jeff Sessions Should Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry
Congressional Republicans began breaking ranks on Thursday to join Democrats in demanding that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuse himself from overseeing an investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The Supreme Court is skeptical about an Internet ban for sex offenders
Society rightly is concerned about the possibility that convicted sex offenders — even those who have served their sentences — might prey on children in the future. But does that concern justify banishing them from vast stretches of the Internet that have become the contemporary equivalent of the public square?

When Does Protest Cross a Line? Some States Aim to Toughen Laws
In a season rife with demonstrations over immigration, pipelines, abortion, women’s rights and more, Republican legislators in at least 16 states have filed bills intended to make protests more orderly or to toughen penalties against ones that go awry. Republicans in two other states, Massachusetts and North Carolina, have said they will file protest-related bills.

Trump’s Dead-End War on the Media
Killing the messenger has been a maximum-leader thing since the days of the Roman Republic, when Tigranes the Great ordered the beheading of a courier carrying bad news from the battlefront. Donald hasn’t beheaded any journalists, but his war of words against the press couldn’t get any more bellicose and threatening.


After Trump Win, Anti-Civil Society Forces Are Emboldened in Eastern Europe
Emboldened by signals from the Trump administration, populist leaders across Central and Eastern Europe are mounting crackdowns on nongovernmental organizations, once protected by Washington, that promote open government, aid refugees and often serve as checks on authoritarian governments.

Erdogan slams ‘vulgar, worthless’ headline, promises punishment
With more than 150 journalists and writers in jail here and criticism regularly lobbed at many others, Erdogan’s comments may not come as a surprise. What is a surprise is that the article was written by a journalist considered to be close to the government.

Nigerian court sends Kano musician to prison over new song
A court has remanded the embattled Kano singer, Sadiq Zazzabi, over his newly-released song. The singer was arraigned before the censorship court in Kano for allegedly violating the state’s censorship board law which requires that a songs or movies should pass a censorship screening before it is released.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee speaks out on campus violence: No room in India for intolerant Indian
There is no room in this country for an intolerant Indian and students in India’s universities must engage in “reasoned discussion and debate” rather than “propagate a culture of unrest”, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.

Debating in whispers: opposition fearful ahead of Turkish referendum
Turkish opposition officials have warned of a campaign of harassment and intimidation by the government in the run-up to next month’s referendum on a presidential system that would grant sweeping powers to President Erdoğan.

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