Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declines an on-camera response to reporters asking about Syrian gas attack, issuing only a written statement. A federal appeals court rules that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay workers from job discrimination in an expansion of workplace protections to include sexual orientation. Trump Administration choices for key Department of Education roles signal potential retreat from enforcing civil rights in schools and on college campuses. And a principal resigns after high school reporters used investigative journalism skills to probe her credentials. -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


LGBT Job Discrimination Is Prohibited by Civil Rights Law, Federal Appeals Court Rules
A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Tuesday that long-standing federal civil rights laws prohibit discrimination on the job against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. It was the first ruling of its kind from a federal appeals court.

2 Education Dept. Picks Raise Fears on Civil Rights Enforcement
A lawyer who represented Florida State University in an explosive sexual assault case and another lawyer who during the 2016 presidential campaign accused Hillary Clinton of enabling sexual predators have been chosen for key roles in the Department of Education.

These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned.
The students began digging into a weeks-long investigation that would result in an article published Friday questioning the legitimacy of the principal’s degrees and of her work as an education consultant. On Tuesday night, the principal resigned.

NYPD officers accessed Black Lives Matter activists’ texts, documents show
Undercover officers in the New York Police Department infiltrated small groups of Black Lives Matter activists and gained access to their text messages, according to newly released NYPD documents obtained by the Guardian.

Here’s How The White House Is Legitimizing The Pro-Trump Media
Donald Trump is the nation’s most powerful assignment editor. The pro-Trump “Upside-Down” media is working hard to go mainstream, and it’s doing so with help of a powerful ally: the White House.


Myanmar’s State Counselor Alters Draft of Hate Speech Law
Myanmar’s State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is adding her own provisions to a draft law combating hate speech. The State Counselor has asked other democracies around the world for advice on crafting the legislation, and is expected to put the draft before lawmakers this year.

Vladimir Putin Defends China’s Internet Censorship
Vladimir Putin has defended China’s online censorship, declaring that the internet cannot be a place of excessive “quasi-freedom.” China’s so-called ‘Great Firewall’ of measures is one of the most prohibitive national internet policies in the world.

Free speech under threat in New Zealand universities
An Auckland university professor has written an open letter rejecting the “forceful silencing of dissenting or unpopular views” on university campuses. The professor claims that the problem is “we often don’t know the difference between free speech and hate speech.”

Muslim feminism or Sharia censorship? There’s trouble brewing in the the land down under.
Islamists who promote Sharia censorship have silenced the most famous and celebrated ex-Muslim thinker of our time, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, forcing her to cancel her tour in Sydney, Australia, after the threat of death and violence.

Double standards: Do all journalist lives matter?
Little attention is paid to reporters from the Global South who are killed, abused, or left stranded by foreign media. When the story dies down, they are often left to deal alone with hostile governments or non-state actors.

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