Fear and furor surge in response to the Trump administration’s proposal to abolish National Endowments. The House and Senate Intel Committees disavow President Trump’s wiretap claims as unsubstantiated, and Britain assails Spicer for repeating a discredited claim tying the supposed wiretaps to British intelligence. Meanwhile, the White House continues to dig in on the charge. All of the above makes for a 5-alarm Spicer press briefing.
-Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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

U.S.

Outraged Cultural Icons Demand Trump Spare Arts Funding
President Donald Trump has confirmed fears that he plans to do away with National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, but the nation’s most prominent artists and cultural figures are already fighting back.
ARTNET

White House Fires Back After Bipartisan Congressional Intel Leaders Counter Trump’s Wiretap Claims
President Trump stands by tweeted claims that President Obama authorized surveillance of his campaign headquarters before the November election, despite the Senate congressional intelligence committee countering those accusations.
NBC

Secretary Tillerson allows Fox News, excludes others from DMZ meeting
During his trip to the Korean Demilitarized Zone Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson excluded the pool reporter representing U.S. networks from a meeting, allowing a team from Fox News to be admitted instead.
POYNTER

The Real Cost of Abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts
President Trump’s budget proposal to cut the NEA, whose grants are bestowed to all 50 states in the nation and in all congressional districts, would have a disproportionate impact on organizations in rural and underserved communities.
THE ATLANTIC

Congressional intel committees should return to protecting American privacy
One would think that the revelations about the extent of CIA cyber operations and techniques would have produced some kind of reaction from its congressional overseers. Instead, their silence has been deafening.
THE HILL

 
Global

Call to respect Fiji journalists after third attack
The Fiji Media Association is calling on members of the public to respect the work of journalists in the country. This comes after the latest attack on a journalist in the country—the third in the past two months.
RADIO NEW ZEALAND

Report calls Kenya to account on surveillance, human rights abuses
A report that investigates the role of state-sponsored surveillance in Kenya charges that information gathered by authorities – outside of the procedures required by Kenyan law – is used to facilitate human rights abuses.
AFRICA TIMES

Berlin artists stand in solidarity with imprisoned German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel
Prominent actors, authors, and journalists gathered in Berlin to protest the imprisonment of journalist Deniz Yücel. They called on Turkey to release him, but are also sending a message to populists in Europe.
DEUTSCHE WELLE

While Scolding Trump, Mexico Seeks to Curtail Citizens’ Rights
Even as Mexico fumes over President Trump’s aggressive stance toward its people, the Mexican government is quietly trying to rip up basic legal protections for its citizens at home and gut longstanding efforts to fix the nation’s broken rule of law.
NEW YORK TIMES

This Journalist Is Going Through Hell For Exposing Illegal Beach Sand Mining In Tamil Nadu
All hell has broken loose for Sandhya Ravishankar ever since she published a four-part series on illegal beach sand mining along the Tamil Nadu coast, receiving threats on the phone and over social media.
HUFFINGTON POST

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