Newly elected Congressman Greg Gianforte of Montana is sworn in after pleading guilty to charge of bodyslamming a reporter. The Wall Street Journal fires its chief foreign affairs reporter due to his contacts with an arms dealer. Yale Dean loses her job after a series of offensive and untoward posts on Yelp. Murray Energy goes on the offensive against critics in effort to avert reputational damage, suing talk show host John Oliver and challenging application of New York reporter shield law. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Greg Gianforte sworn in to House days after pleading guilty to assault
The Montana congressman was sworn in on Wednesday, just days after pleading guilty to the assault of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of his election. Last week, Gianforte was sentenced to community service, a $385 fine and 20 hours of sessions for anger management after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault.

Wall Street Journal Fires Reporter With Ties to Iranian-Born Magnate
The chief foreign affairs correspondent of The Wall Street Journal, Jay Solomon, was fired on Wednesday after evidence surfaced that he had become entangled in the business dealings of an Iranian-born aviation titan who was one of his key sources. Solomon was a highly regarded veteran of The Journal and Washington diplomatic circles, and his dismissal came as a shock to the paper’s newsroom.

Yale dean leaves job after after Yelp comments calling people ‘white trash,’ ‘low-class’
June Chu, the former dean of Pierson College at Yale University, was placed on leave after leaving Yelp comments which included calling people “white trash,” “sketchy” and “low-class folks.” The Yale Daily News, a student newspaper, posted screenshots of many of the comments from Chu’s now deleted account.

John Oliver, a giant squirrel and a defamation lawsuit by a coal industry titan
In a 24-minute segment on the decline of the coal industry and President Trump’s tenuous promises to bring it back, the “Last Week Tonight” host railed against the mining giant Murray Energy Corporation and chief executive Robert E. Murray, who has blamed the industry’s troubles on an “evil agenda” by President Barack Obama.

You Snooze You Lose: How Mitch McConnell weaponized our short attention span
Senate Republicans are reportedly close to voting on a bill that would repeal Obamacare and potentially strip insurance from millions of Americans. It’s been virtually absent from broadcast news thanks to McConnell’s tactically ingenious decision to skip the normal committee process and craft his party’s bill behind closed doors, before rushing it to a floor vote, likely next week.


Incoming Hong Kong leader says she defers to China on missing booksellers *PEN Case List
The detention of Hong Kong booksellers in China is not an issue the city’s government should take up, its incoming leader said Thursday. Carrie Lam told CNN that the bookseller case “has to be dealt with in accordance with the mainland’s system.” Lam will be sworn in July 1 as the next Hong Kong chief executive.

Turkish journalist denies sending subliminal message on eve of coup *PEN Case List
A prominent Turkish journalist denied on Wednesday that he sent out subliminal messages to coup plotters who tried to overthrow President Tayyip Erdogan last year, saying he had been put on trial for a crime which did not exist. Mehmet Altan and his brother Ahmet were detained in September and charged with giving coded messages in a television talk show a day before the abortive July 15 military coup.

Angolan Journalist Rafael Marques Indicted for Once Again Exposing Government Corruption
The Office of the Attorney General in Angola indicted award-winning investigative journalist Rafael Marques de Morais for “outrage to a body of sovereignty and injury against public authority,” under the Law on Crimes against the State Security. Marques exposed the illegality of Angola’s Attorney General to act as a property and real estate developer in addition to his legal duties.

Facebook users cry foul over limited rainbow Pride reaction release
The rainbow reaction is suspiciously absent from the profiles of some users who just so happen to live in countries that oppress members of the LGBTQ community. This led to speculation that in limiting the Pride reaction, the company was deferring to repressive regimes.

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