Tensions continue between the New York Times and Fox and Friends over allegations made by the latter regarding a story about U.S. efforts to capture an ISIS leader. Jared Kushner prepares to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, as he continues to deny any collusion with Russian officials. White House Communications chief Anthony Scaramucci spends first weekend in new role on the Sunday talk show circuit. Local governments across the U.S. have been found using Russian-produced security software in spite of the federal government’s warnings about potential vulnerabilities. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator.


DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression

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


New York Times Requests Apology From ‘Fox & Friends Weekend’ Over ISIS Story
Pete Hegseth of Fox News stated the information published in the New York Times helped ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In reaction, Danielle Rhoades Ha of the New York Times wrote that not only did the story run more than three weeks after the raid, but that “the Times described the piece to the Pentagon before publication and they had no objections.”

Kushner Defends His Russia Contacts: ‘I did not collude’
In his first public defense of his meetings with Russian officials during Donald Trump’s campaign and transition, Jared Kushner is presenting his encounters with those operatives as innocent interactions, according to testimony submitted ahead of a high-stakes, closed-door grilling session before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Anthony Scaramucci, New Communications Chief, Woos Trump on TV
Mr. Scaramucci’s pledge to Trump on national television was an open display of his intention to focus on the issue that has consumed Mr. Trump for six months — ending the leaks from his West Wing staff and threatening to fire people if the leaks continued.

Local Governments Keep Using This Software—But It Might Be A Back Door For Russia
The federal agency in charge of purchasing, the General Services Administration, removed Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab from its list of approved vendors. The agency’s statement suggested a vulnerability exists in Kaspersky that could give the Russian government backdoor access to the systems it protects.

Twitter’s Internal Numbers Show It’s Getting Less Awful At Fighting Abuse
New Twitter policies to give users tools to avoid abuse. Users can choose, for example, not to be notified when people outside their network mention their usernames—a common tactic for abusers. The company has seen 40 percent fewer blocks in that scenario, possibly indicating people aren’t seeing as much abuse.


Lipstick Under My Burkha’s release hailed as victory for Indian women
Lipstick Under My Burkha, which depicts the secret world, including the sex lives, of four small-town Indian women, was released at the weekend after months of wrangling with the country’s notoriously prudish censors.

Pyramid Investigation Has Investors Protesting Near Heart of Beijing
Protesters waved Chinese flags, and some held banners appealing to the president, Xi Jinping, to overturn the crackdown on their investment scheme, called Shanxinhui, and the recent arrest of its founder, Zhang Tianming. The protests intended to oppose the government investigation that threatened their earnings.

Venezuela Crisis Enters Pivotal Week, Maduro Foes Protest
Venezuela’s opposition planned to plaster election centers with banners and rally in honor of dead protesters on Monday in a final week-long push to force President Nicolas Maduro into aborting a controversial congress.

Poland’s President to Veto Controversial Laws Amid Protests
The reforms proposed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) would have increased political control over Poland’s judiciary. They triggered an angry response from critics, who accused PiS of trying to curtail the independence of the courts. Days of protests across Poland had followed the proposals by PiS.

Interview: Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai’s Aide Defends Sale of Investigative Magazine
Jimmy Lai announced the sale of his pioneering investigative tabloid Next Magazine to businessman Kenny Wee. The move sparked fears from the Next Media group’s labor union that the outspoken magazine would lose its editorial independence, while Wee has threatened to dismiss employees who are “biased” against him.

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