DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression
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President Trump delivers threatening ‘fire and fury’ words about North Korea to reporters, and then his Secretary of State tells Americans they should sleep well. Alt-right media outlets aligned with one White House faction engage in organized campaign against Trump administration’s own national security adviser H.R. McMaster. Top Senate Intelligence Committee Democrat wants to talk more to Facebook about how Russians spread fake news stories during the election. Conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media that would give it massive reach into local communities gets opposition from the right, too, on grounds the deal would limit competition. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does its home-state reporting on President Trump’s announcement that Taiwan’s new Foxconn plant would bring 3,000 jobs: Wisconsin taxpayers would need until 2043 to recoup up to $2.85 billion in proposed cash incentives to the company, assuming the best business scenario. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ threat to North Korea sparks new fears of war
“The risk… is that the tit-for-tat rhetoric will escalate, and a small incident could explode and build into a larger conflict,” said Kelsey Davenport, director of nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. “That increases the chance of war or even a nuclear exchange in the region.”
‘The most well-organized campaign in the history of the alt-right’ is targeting national security advisor H.R. McMaster
Infowars Founder Alex Jones interviewed Aleksandr Dugin—who has been linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin and has close ties to Russian fascists and nationalists—as part of a segment attacking McMaster. “He is purging anybody who does not want to have, basically, a war with Russia,” Jones said of McMaster.
Senator Mark Warner Wants to Talk with Facebook Some More About Russia’s Fake News Ops
Senator Mark Warner, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, travelled to California to talk with Facebook leadership after stating he does not believe Russian officials weaponized the voter data they reportedly hacked from various states during the 2016 election.
Conservative Media Voices Line Up Against Trump-Friendly Sinclair’s Purchase Of Tribune
New FCC regulations could facilitate Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media, allowing it to reach more than 70 percent of U.S. homes. While opposition from the left concerns Sinclair’s “must-run segments,” conservatives have focused on the threat it poses to competition and media diversity.
American mosques—and American Muslims—are being targeted for hate like never before
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has found that instances of anti-Muslim bias have spiked since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in June 2015. 2016 saw an increase of over 1,000 annual bias incidents and nearly two hundred hate crimes, including Saturday’s Minneapolis mosque bombing.
Liberal group urges advertisers to boycott Fox’s Hannity
Liberal advocacy group Media Matters, who has previously targeted Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck, called for a boycott on Friday of Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity for “state-aligned disinformation and propaganda,” according to organization president Angelo Carusone.
Climate Report Could Force Trump to Choose Between Science and His Base
Scientists fear President Trump, who has referred to climate change as “a hoax,” will attempt to alter or suppress a special report from the National Climate Assessment set to release this fall. The findings conclude that “evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”
NEW YORK TIMES
A Murder and an Exodus—Another Election in Kenya
A decade ago, elections brought widespread violence to Kenya. Last week, senior election official Christopher Chege Musando was brutally murdered. Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition, claims his death suggests state agents bent on seeing President Uhuru Kenyatta returned to office plan to rig the election.
NEW YORK TIMES
An Ally Is Set to Execute Critics. Will Mr. Trump Be Silent?
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of 14 men who attended political protests during the Arab Spring, including a minor. Human rights groups called on President Trump to intervene on behalf of the condemned men, though Trump told Saudi officials, “We are not here to lecture” on human rights.
NEW YORK TIMES
Russia Wants Innovation, but It’s Arresting Its Innovators
Celebrated physicist Dmitri Trubitsyn was arrested following widely-criticized regulatory investigations, highlighting tensions between Putin’s desire for a dynamic private sector and an enhanced security apparatus. More than 5,000 people have signed a petition appealing to Putin to stop “this shameful example of forceful pressure on a law-abiding business.”
NEW YORK TIMES
U.K. reconsidering Rupert Murdoch’s acquisition of Sky News following Seth Rich conspiracy on Fox News
Members of Britain’s Parliament have cited the Rich story as cause for a full review of the media buy. Former Labour leader Ed Miliband called Fox News’ reporting a “brazen disregard for the ethics of journalism” and said the company’s compliance procedures “failed dismally.”
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