CNN’s Jim Acosta has heated exchange with White House Aide Stephen Miller over implications and motivations behind President’s sweeping proposal to curb legal immigration. Former White House reporter for Sputnik News says his Russian government bosses pushed him to promote story of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich as source of Clinton campaign email leaks, and fired him when he refused. Facebook rolls out “related news” function aiming to swarm false stories shared in feeds with factual information. Amid FCC review for large-scale acquisition of local TV stations Sinclair Broadcasting argues for more consolidation in local news. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director.


White House aide blasts CNN reporter for ‘cosmopolitan bias’
The explosive episode occurred as Miller took questions from reporters on a bill endorsed Wednesday by President Donald Trump that seeks to cut legal immigration to the United States in half. The policy would favor would-be immigrants with advanced skills, education and mastery of English.

Reporter says ‘Russian propaganda outlet’ pushed him to cover conspiracy theory at the center of a White House lawsuit
Andrew Feinberg, former White House correspondent for Sputnik, first made the allegations when he left the Russian outlet in May. His story is newly relevant in light of a lawsuit that accused President Trump and the White House of playing a role in a “fake news” story designed to advance the same conspiracy theory.

Facebook fights fake news with links to other angles
“Related Articles” will appear below links to stories lots of people are posting about, or that are suspected to be false news and have been externally fact checked by Facebook’s partners. It will then surface links to reporting on the same topic to provide different viewpoints, and to reports from the fact checkers.

Sinclair’s Ripley: Fewer Local TV News Teams Would Strengthen Output
Ripley’s comments come as Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media—which would create a station group of unprecedented size, with nearly 80% national reach—moves through the regulatory approval process. The move has sparked opposition from a breadth of individuals and groups including free speech advocates and opponents to Sinclair’s conservative political agenda.

Sinclair Broadcasting—and 2 Maine TV stations—under fire for pro-Trump segments
In the midst of CBS-affiliated WGME’s evening newscast, a taped commentary from Trump’s former special assistant Boris Epshteyn aired, trumpeting the administration’s position with what could be described as a selective use of facts. There was no rebuttal, no context, and no alternate point of view.

Senate Crackdown on Online Sex Trafficking Hits Opposition
Some lawyers and members of the technology community say that while they support the policing of websites that knowingly encourage sex trafficking, the broad language of the bill opens other online entities to new legal challenges. There is concern that websites would begin to actively and pre-emptively delete and police users’ posts and videos.


High-profile lawyers targeted in Mexico spyware scandal
Mexico’s surveillance scandal widened to encompass a pair of prominent human rights attorneys probing a multiple homicide case whose victims include a photojournalist and an activist. Other Mexican targets of the spyware have included journalists investigating high-level corruption and opposition politicians and activists.

National League for Democracy votes to keep prison sentences for Facebook posts
Changes to Myanmar’s Telecommunications Law will allow defendants in online defamation cases to be released on bail and will prohibit uninvolved parties from suing. People convicted under the law’s controversial Section 66(d) will still face prison sentences of up to three years, plus possible fines. The law is seen as part of the legal apparatus used to suppress criticism of the government and the military.

Russian Human Rights Body Opposes Journalist’s Deportation To Uzbekistan
Russia’s presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights says the ordered deportation of Novaya Gazeta correspondent Ali Feruz to Uzbekistan contradicts the Russian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. Feruz, who has been waiting since 2014 to receive refugee status, will likely face incarceration and torture if he is deported to Uzbekistan.

French journalist detained in Turkey
Turkish authorities have arrested a French national on charges of links to a Kurdish militia which Ankara regards as a terror group, the latest foreign reporter to run into trouble in the country. The latest arrest comes amid growing alarm over press freedom in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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