Some Republican members of Congress start to step up to defend the modest federal support for the arts and humanities now under threat, registering that these funds flow to their own states and constituents. The Washington Post starts tracking how the administration metes out access such as interviews or the sole seat on the Secretary of State’s plane during an important diplomatic mission to news organizations and journalists that “play nice.” And celebrants won’t be assembling for Philadelphia’s largest Cinco de Mayo event this year, canceled due to fears that it might be targeted for immigration raids. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Republicans Start Lining Up to Fight for the N.E.A. and N.E.H.
Some conservatives are thrilled over the prospect of eliminating federal programs for the arts and humanities. However, several key Republican lawmakers are expressing support for the programs.

Tracking the special treatment media get when they play nice with the White House
It is not the proper job of journalists to provide favorable coverage, but rather to hold powerful figures accountable. However, in the Trump administration, that doesn’t get you far, at least in terms of access.

Philadelphia Cinco de Mayo Event Cancelled Due to ICE Raid Concerns
Organizers, after reflecting on concerns within the Mexican-American community about an increasing number of immigration-enforcement raids being conducted throughout the country, made the decision to not go forward with this year’s El Carnaval de Puebla.

US judge asks Google to name people who searched for fraud victim
Google has been served with a search warrant by a Minnesota judge which requires the firm to hand over personally identifiable information on anyone from one town who has searched for a particular name.

Rex Tillerson’s Hope for a Media-Free Bubble May Burst
Rex W. Tillerson, the new Secretary of State, offered the diplomatic understatement of the month on Saturday when he told the sole reporter he permitted on his airplane: “I’m not a big media press access person. I personally don’t need it.”


Another journalist killed in Mexico’s violent Veracruz state
An attacker shot a journalist to death Sunday in the Mexican state of Veracruz, who is at least the 11th journalist slain over six years in a region plagued by drug gang violence and allegations of government corruption.

Turkey’s Erdogan says jailed journalist a terrorist agent
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused a jailed Turkish-German journalist of being a terrorist agent in comments likely to cause further unease in Berlin over the incident.

US reporters praise German journalists for questioning Trump
US journalists had praise for their German colleagues after a White House press conference with Chancellor Merkel and President Trump. One German journalist said US reporters were “shocked” by the pointed questions.

For this Russian dissident, holding Putin accountable was almost deadly — twice
Dissident Vladi­mir Kara-Murza believes he somehow survived two attempts to murder him with a sophisticated and virtually untraceable poison — the same kind of attack that has killed a host of other Putin opponents in the past decade.

‘Anti-national’: Is free speech being stifled at Indian universities?
Self-described patriots have accused many who criticize the Indian government of being “anti-national”, a fight that has seen students sent to jail and injured. Some students say they live in a period where free speech in university spaces are directly under attack.

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