As presidential in-laws recruit Chinese investors with special visas in a Beijing ballroom, a Washington Post journalist reports being threatened, harassed, and forced to delete photos while others are barred from interviewing and told to leave because, as a PR person said, “This is not the story we want.” The EPA moves to sideline the role of academic research in regulation by dismissing members of a major scientific review board. Records stolen from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in a new hacking scandal are interspersed with fake documents and promoted online by far-right forces, but some French media decline to publish or comment on the material until after the vote. -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


Reporters were forced out of the room during the Kushner family’s presentation to wealthy Chinese investors
Representatives for the Kushner family reportedly asked journalists to leave the room during a presentation they were making to wealthy Chinese investors in Beijing, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.

E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board
A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate.

FCC to investigate, ‘take appropriate action’ on Colbert’s Trump rant
Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert’s controversial joke about President Trump drew the attention of the Federal Communications Commission. The agency received “a number” of complaints about Colbert’s commentary earlier in the week, according to the FCC’s chief. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai promised to “take the appropriate action” following a comprehensive investigation of Colbert’s remarks.

States Consider Legislation To Protect Free Speech On Campus
A handful of states, including Illinois, Tennessee, Colorado and Arizona, have passed or introduced legislation designed to prevent these incidents from happening. The model bill they are based on would require public universities to remain neutral on political issues, prevent them from disinviting speakers, and impose penalties for students and others who interfere with these speakers.

Atheists File Suit Against Trump’s ‘Religious Liberty’ Executive Order
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court, the Western District of Wisconsin. The action maintains that the president’s order would selectively benefit churches and religious organizations by allowing them to endorse political candidates without risking their tax-exempt status.


French media ordered by electoral commission not to publish content of messages
It warned news outlets in France that journalists could face criminal charges for publishing or republishing the material, under laws that came into effect at midnight forbidding any commentary liable to affect the presidential race.

Facebook Aims to Tackle Fake News Ahead of U.K. Election
The social network published a series of advertisements in newspapers in Britain on Monday, giving advice to its millions of users in the country on how to spot misinformation online. It also said it had removed tens of thousands of possibly fake accounts in Britain, and had tweaked its algorithms in the country to reduce the amount of misinformation and spam that people will see in their Facebook news feeds.

Stephen Fry Is Being Investigated for Alleged Blasphemy in Ireland
Stephen Fry is being investigated for allegedly committing blasphemy, according to a report by the Irish Independent. The allegations stem from comments Fry made about the concept of gods on The Meaning of Life, a show airing on Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTÉ, in 2015.

Report: Israel committed 31 violations against Palestinian journalists in April
Israeli forces committed 31 violations against journalists in the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported. The agency explained in its monthly report that the Israeli forces deliberately target journalists as part of a policy aimed at limiting their activity and role in exposing Israeli practices and violations.

Ai Weiwei: How Censorship Works
In the space of a month in 2014, at separate art exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai that included my work, my name was blotted out — in one case by government officials and by exhibitors themselves in the other case. Some people might take such treatment in stride, as nothing to get huffy about. But as an artist, I view the labels on my work as a measure of the value I have produced — like water-level markers at a riverbank. Other people might just shrug, but I can’t. I have no illusions, though, that my unwillingness to shrug affects anyone else’s willingness to do so.

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