North Carolina Democrats and Republicans reach a compromise on the repeal of a controversial law requiring individuals to use the public restrooms corresponding to their gender at birth. The deal, criticized as inadequate by LGBT advocates, is aimed at resolving a boycott of the state by businesses and sports leagues. Two conservative talk show hosts get into major dust-ups: Bill O’Rielly goes after congresswoman Maxine Waters on her politics and her hair; Sean Hannity and and Ted Koppel trade barbs about who is really “bad for America.” PEN America hosts a Washington, DC conference with Foreign Policy magazine and the Newseum on The Future of Truth with experts on the media, science and national security sparring over the erosion of trust and trustworthiness in public discourse. 
– Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


North Carolina lawmakers, Governor announce ‘compromise’ to repeal ‘Bathroom Bill’
Republican lawmakers and the Democratic governor of North Carolina say they’ve reached a deal to repeal the controversial “bathroom bill” that restricts the abilities of transgender people to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity. But LGBT activists quickly denounced the proposed bill, which would limit the ability of local officials to extend protections to transgender people for at least four years.

After apology, Bill O’Reilly continues attacks on Maxine Waters
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly issued an apology Tuesday to Maxine Waters, the California congresswoman, after criticism about comments he had made about her hair. But his expression of regret was immediately followed by a broadside on how Ms. Waters refused to be on his show because “she does not want to be challenged.”

Sean Hannity is still upset Ted Koppel said he was ‘bad for America’
Fox News host Sean Hannity has been outspokenly upset after veteran news anchor Ted Koppel ran a clip from an interview with Hannity roughtly three weeks ago. In the televised footage, Koppel expresses he thinks Hannity’s show is “bad for America” and conservative media has responded by calling the clip “edited fake news”.

Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’
An Energy Department supervisor told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in communications. The Office of International Climate and Clean Energy is the only office at DOE with ‘climate’ in its name, and it may be endangered as Trump reorganizes government agencies.

‘Unreal when it targets you’: Faceless trolls attack online
Near the end of her congressional campaign, Erin Schrode quickly became the latest target of The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website known for internet trolling. After Schrode’s information was posted in the comments section, her email and social media accounts have been polluted with a torrent of slurs and disturbing images.


Mexican news editor shot as attacks against journalists soar
A Mexican journalist was shot and injured early on Wednesday in the eastern state of Veracruz, the latest in a spate of attacks against reporters in Mexico. The 51-year-old news editor was shot outside his home and has been identified as Armando Arrieta Granados.

Lawyers for detained German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel to take case to Turkish top court
After an appeal against journalist Deniz Yucel’s detention was denied, his lawyers on Wednesday took the case to Turkey’s highest court. They submitted an application this week arguing that his imprisonment violated his physical integrity, personal freedoms, right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, among other breaches.

Hungary plan that could shutter Soros’s university is called ‘political vandalism’
A law put forward by the Hungarian government would force a university founded by philanthropist George Soros to close. The move was the latest development in a crackdown on free expression under Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has embraced Trump and denounced Soros, a frequent target of attacks by the right-wing media.

Egypt ‘one of the biggest prisons for journalists’
It has been 100 days since Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein was arrested and detained by the Egyptian authorities. Since then, Egypt continues to witness a further crackdown on the media. Hussein is one of at least 26 journalists currently imprisoned for their work in Egypt.

The arts thrive in Putin’s Russia – though they play a complex game of censorship
The Russian state’s paradoxical nature regarding censorship becomes especially apparent when considering the country’s thriving arts scene. It is these contradictions of governance, and their peculiar influence on the Russian art world, that aid and abet Putin’s rule, and ultimately, help generate support for the Russian president.

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