The #2 at the Justice Department issued a cryptic statement waving Americans off unspecified “anonymous allegations” and seemingly casting doubt on news reports on the special counsel’s probe of Russian involvement in the presidential election. CNN head Jeff Zucker says he’s very concerned about a threat level against journalists more serious than most realize: “This is what happens when you try and delegitimize an institution that is doing its job.” President Trump plans to reverse Obama administration rule changes allowing Americans to make cultural and educational trips to Cuba without special U.S. government permission. And The Daily Show Presidential Twitter Library opens today in New York City. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today


Rosenstein prods media for ‘anonymous allegations’ on Russia probe
A top Trump Justice Department official issued an unusual, vague statement Thursday night, casting doubt on a series of recent media reports detailing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s growing probe into the Trump campaign for potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. “Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.”

CNN boss blames Trump for rising threats towards journalists, and says they are worse than people realize
“It is shameful on the part of the administration and other politicians to cause a frenzy against something that is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States,” said Jeff Zucker at a breakfast meeting for reporters. “It does a disservice to this country and its position in the world, and allows a heightened sense of rhetoric against journalists and media organisations.” He spoke after Montana congressman Greg Gianforte, recently pleaded guilty to body-slamming a newspaper reporter who had asked him a question the night before his special election victory. 

Moving to Scuttle Obama Legacy, Donald Trump to Crack Down on Cuba
President Trump on Friday will move to halt the historic rapprochement between the United States and Cuba set in motion by former President Barack Obama, delivering a speech in Miami in which he plans to announce he is clamping down on travel and commercial ties with the island nation to force the government of Raúl Castro to change its repressive ways. Mr. Trump is expected to declare that the Obama-era approach of engagement had amounted to a failed policy of appeasement.

‘The Daily Show’ is unveiling the Trump Twitter Library
The pop-up exhibit will be at 3 West 57th Street in Manhattan, not far from Trump Tower, Comedy Central announced Tuesday. It will feature some of the president’s better known one-shots, organized around such categories as “SAD! A Retrospective” and “The Commander-In-Tweet.” The “Daily Show” will highlight Trump’s insults and contradictions and allow “verified survivors” to remember being on the receiving end of his social media outbursts.


Activist Zoya Svetova shares concerns about human rights violations in Russia
In an interview with Zhanna Nemtsova, respected journalist and human rights activist Zoya Svetova stressed that the situation in Russia has only grown worse in all the years she’s been working for people’s rights. Even though Svetova’s apartment was searched for hours in connection with the Yukos case, she said she tries to remain optimistic, pointing out that protests have been taking place across the country despite arrests.

Journalist, congressional hopeful is shot dead in Honduras
A Honduran journalist running for a congressional seat was shot to death outside his home Thursday in the Caribbean coast city of La Ceiba, authorities and colleagues reported. Funez, 36, was better known as “El Masa” and directed the nighttime show “Panorama Nocturno” on the local channel 45 station. Funez is the 70th journalist slain in Honduras since 2001, according to the governmental National Council on Human Rights. About 90 percent of those killings have never been solved.

Sudan: Women in the Media – the Majority With a Minor Voice
Landing an entry-level gig in a newsroom for Sudanese women is an easy task but attaining higher positions once inside is near impossible, media organizations in Sudan have said. Female journalists in Sudan make up 60 percent of the total number of people who work in the industry, according to the Sudanese Journalists Union, however very few manage to reach editorial positions. Currently there is not a single female chief editor in the 32 political, social, and sports newspapers in Sudan.

Thoughtcrime in Palestine: Where opinions land you in jail
Taher al-Shamali went online at 2am of 7 June and posted: “I have decided to delete Facebook. Stay well all.” Shortly afterwards, the Palestinian journalist was arrested by the Palestinian Preventative Security Forces at his home in Kafr Aqab, near Ramallah. His crime, say his lawyers and rights groups, was criticism of the Palestinian Authority. And his arrest was no exception.

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