Trump singles out and beckons female reporter during a press avail, telling her he likes her smile. New York Times copy editors write to top editors to beseech reconsideration of planned job cuts, arguing that expectations of adequate quality control given the magnitude of the cuts are “dumbfoundingly unrealistic.” Editors reply defending the planned cuts. Louisiana Governor vetoes “free speech” legislation aimed to deter and punish protests against speech. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Trump Interrupts Call to Compliment Female Reporter’s ‘Nice Smile’
During a phone call with Ireland’s new prime minister Leo Varadkar, Trump interrupted the conversation to call over Irish journalist Caitriona Perry and tell Varadkar, “She has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well.” The exchange, which was captured on video and widely shared on social media, drew criticism about how Trump treats women.

New York Times reporters plea for copy editors’ jobs in letter to bosses
Following an exchange between New York Times copy editors and management Wednesday over job layoffs and revised editing processes, reporters on Thursday sent a letter to the paper’s top editors to protest the oncoming cuts. Copy editors laid out a dire future for the credibility of the paper if they were removed. Top editors responded they were not entirely eliminating copy editing and that “a majority” of the people affected by the cuts would keep their jobs.

College ‘free speech’ bill vetoed by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday vetoed legislation that was meant to protect controversial speakers on college campuses and to encourage university officials to penalize students who disrupt the speeches. The bill, sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Lance Harris of Alexandria, had passed the Legislature with overwhelming support.

Greg Gianforte should not get a free pass
Gabe Rottman, PEN America Washington director, writes: “Our national commitment to free speech rests on a thin reed: that we can speak without fear of retaliation. The House would be remiss if it does not at least investigate Gianforte’s assault and his false statement. The First Amendment means nothing if lawmakers or law enforcement feel free to respond to questions or criticism with fisticuffs or handcuffs. The House needs to make that abundantly clear by disciplining Gianforte.”

ABC settles $1.9 billion “pink slime” defamation suit
ABC has settled a lawsuit from Beef Products Inc. News for referring to the South Dakota company’s meat product as “pink slime.” A judge ruled in March that ABC journalists “were reckless” in their reporting and that “they engaged in purposeful avoidance of the truth.” The case is another First Amendment test for the media, and will further define the scope of food libel laws across the country.


Messaging app Telegram registers with Russian regulator
The founder of encrypted messaging app Telegram has agreed to register the company in Russia following pressure from local authorities. Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor had warned that Telegram would be blocked if it did not comply with new data laws. Founder Pavel Durov insisted Telegram would not share confidential user data.

Security lockdown in Hong Kong as it marks anniversary of handover
Swaths of Hong Kong have been placed under an unprecedented security lockdown as Chinese president Xi Jinping arrived in the city to mark 20 years since the UK handed the city back to China. Mass protests are expected to greet Xi on the July 1 anniversary, an annual tradition amplified by his presence in the city.

Experts: Mexico opposition party targeted by spyware
Mexico’s scandal of high-tech spying against journalists and human rights defenders widened Thursday with confirmation that leading members of a main opposition party were also targeted. The conservative National Action Party had asked internet watchdog Citizen Lab to investigate suspicious messages after they exposed the scandal last week. The Centro Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, a human rights group, has said its staff members were targeted. Other targets included well-known journalists Carmen Aristegui and Carlos Loret de Mola.

Israel apologizes after Turkish journalists ‘humiliated’ by guards
The three journalists were invited by the Israeli embassy in Istanbul to attend a cybersecurity conference held at Tel Aviv University. But when they arrived, Daily Sabah editor Şeyma Eraz said she and reporters Emre İzkübarlas and Kenan Özcan were pulled from the group of journalists and made to go through a separate security check. Eraz said that security officials demanded she remove her headscarf, and that they also broke some camera equipment while searching their belongings.

Google Must Delete Search Results Worldwide, Supreme Court of Canada Rules
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Google on Wednesday in a closely-watched intellectual property case over whether judges can apply their own country’s laws to all of the Internet. In a 7-2 decision, the court agreed a British Columbia judge had the power to issue an injunction forcing Google to scrub search results about pirated products not just in Canada, but everywhere else in the world too.

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