Turks call in U.S. Ambassador in Ankara to complain about detention of Turkish embassy bodyguards by Washington DC police after the guards took part in a violent crackdown on protesters. Officials decline to call fatal‎ stabbing of a black student at University of Maryland a hate crime pending further investigation. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross lauds absence of protesters against Trump in Saudi Arabia, apparently not realizing protests are illegal there (see PEN America’s statement on free expression lapses on Trump trip here). And the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities resigns. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


Officials Decline to Call Fatal Stabbing of Black Student a Hate Crime
The authorities charged Sean C. Urbanski, 22, with assault and first- and second-degree murder in the death of Richard W. Collins III, 23. On Sunday, officials said they were investigating the killing as a possible hate crime. But in a news conference late Monday, the Prince George’s County state’s attorney, Angela D. Alsobrooks, said Mr. Urbanski’s motive was unclear, though she did not rule out racial animus.

Cabinet member praises absence of protest in a country where protests are illegal
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross praised President Trump for a trip to Saudi Arabia that was so successful it didn’t draw a single protester. One problem: Protests are illegal in Saudi Arabia. In an interview Monday with CNBC, Ross said he found it “fascinating” that there was not a “single hint” of protests during Trump’s visit to the kingdom.”Not one guy with a bad placard,” Ross observed.

National Endowment for the Humanities chairman announces resignation
The chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is resigning effective Tuesday — the same day the Trump administration will roll out a federal budget blueprint expected to make big cuts to domestic programs. William Adams, who has chaired the NEH since 2014, announced his resignation in a statement on Monday.

The world is going to $#!+, but our language shouldn’t
Although neither the right nor the left is innocent in the embrace of profanity, they tend to use it differently. On the right, salty language establishes authenticity. On the left, the use of vulgarity seems more desperate, born of a need to keep up with the competition in a media environment that thrives on both pithiness and shock. But it is also driven by nagging worries about “the new normal.”


Turkey summons U.S. envoy over Washington street brawl
Turkey summoned the U.S ambassador on Monday to protest the treatment of Turkish security officials in the United States during a visit by President Tayyip Erdogan last week, the foreign ministry said. Turkey blamed the violence on demonstrators linked to the militant Kurdistan Workers Party while Washington’s police chief described the incident as a “brutal attack” on peaceful protesters.

Journalist seeking asylum in U.S. gives up, returns to Mexico
A Mexican journalist seeking asylum in the U.S. after reporting on police brutality gave up his fight and returned to his country last Tuesday after spending nearly four months in an immigration detention center he described as “hell.” This year is on pace to become the deadliest for reporters in Mexico. Six reporters have been murdered, the most recent last Tuesday in Sinaloa.

Father of slain Maldives journalist says his government stalling probe
Yameen Rasheed, 29, author of The Daily Panic blog, was stabbed to death outside his apartment in the Maldives capital, Malé, last month. His father, Hussain Rasheed, has told the Indian Express he fears the country’s government is seeking to shield individuals involved in organising the killing: “In the absence of international pressure, I am afraid this case will go the same way of so many others killed for their beliefs in the Maldives.”

On Finland, the United States, and the freedom of information and of the press
Precisely because Finland is worthy of kudos for its protection of free expression over the years, it is all the more interesting what it does not protect. In a 2012 case, right-wing Finnish political leader Jussi Kristian Halla-aho was convicted of the crime of “inciting hatred against an ethnic group” for allegedly defamatory statements he made about Islam. In a ruling of the Supreme Court of Finland, Halla-aho was fined and ordered to remove the offending statements from his blog.

An epic man-against-machine tournament is taking place in China but Chinese viewers can’t watch it live
Google’s major consumer services have long been gone from China, but its artificial-intelligence branch has recently made headway in the country in the form of an epic tournament between man and machine in the board game Go. But Chinese Go fans can’t watch the tournament: three Chinese journalists told Quartz that they have received oral directives from the authorities that their organizations are not allowed to live broadcast the event.

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