Berkeley cancels campus speech by conservative media personality Ann Coulter on grounds that campus authorities are incapable of ensuring safety (PEN America urges them to reconsider, citing the university’s duty to keep the campus open to widest breadth of ideas). Meanwhile speech at Alabama’s Auburn University, likewise feared to be a flashpoint for violence, goes off peacefully after a Judge orders that the white nationalist ideologue be permitted to speak. After years of turning the other way and stonewalling, Fox ousts talk show host Bill O’Reilly, under cloud of multiple allegations and settlements of sexual harassment incidents. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


UC Berkeley Declares Itself Unsafe for Ann Coulter
On Wednesday, the University of California, Berkeley, announced that it was canceling a scheduled speech by Ann Coulter, citing security concerns. By allowing threats of violence to cancel a speech from the longtime right-wing provocateur, the university threatens the free speech it was once renowned for defending.

Federal judge stops Auburn from canceling white nationalist Richard Spencher speech
Self-proclaimed white nationalist Richard Spencer spoke at Auburn University in Alabama Tuesday night after a federal judge reversed the school’s cancellation of the event on First Amendment grounds. He was greeted by protestsed that authorities said remained peaceful.

Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News
Bill O’Reilly’s reign as the top-rated host in cable news came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Wednesday as Fox News forced him out after the disclosure of a series of sexual harassment allegations against him and an internal investigation that turned up even more.

No, Mr. President, you can’t do what you want
Two issues are paramount in American politics. The first is whether Trump will get away with his arrogant dismissal of the public’s right to a transparent government free of corrupting conflicts of interest. The seconds is whether those who hold him to account remain focused, mobilized, and determined.

Internet privacy law is about more than selling data
The Trump administration’s eager embrace of legislation permitting internet service providers to sell information about your online browsing habits to advertisers is a terrible mistake. But it is also the first step in a dangerous plan to undo net neutrality and fatten the bank accounts of broadband companies such as Verizon and Comcast.


Russian Journalist Dies in Hospital After Brutal Beating
Nikolay Andruschenko, a Russian journalist, died in a local hospital Wednesday. Andruschenko, who was 73 years old, never regained consciousness after suffering a brutal attack on his way to a meeting last month. He was renowned for his brave investigative reporting on local crime, corruption, and police brutality.

Al-Qeq moved from hospital to prison
Imprisoned Palestinian journalist Muhammad Al-Qeq–who staged a months-long hunger strike in 2016–was transferred to from hospital to prison today. Al-Qeq suspended a 33-day hunger strike in early March after reaching an agreement with Israeli authorities to be released in mid-April

Facebook, Google fight back: ‘Draft hate speech law will gag free expression’
A coalition of tech companies and human rights groups has pushed back against a proposed hate-speech law in Germany, arguing that it could have “grave consequences for the right to freedom of expression in Germany, across the European Union, and worldwide”.

Court rules journalist’s Syria travel ban is lawful
A journalist’s demand to have his passport reinstated after the Foreign Ministry seized it to stop him from traveling to Syria has been rejected by the Tokyo District Court. The judge ruled that the ministry’s confiscation of the document does not infringe on the constitutional right to freedom of the press.

Thailand Tells Internet Users to Unfollow Junta Critics on Social Media — Or Face Consequences
The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has urged Thai Internet users to stop following and sharing posts from the social media accounts of three overseas critics of the military-backed government. Instead of reducing the online followers of the three critics, the unintended effect of the letter and the subsequent media hype it generated is increasing the popularity of the banned social media accounts.

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