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Transgender service members sue Trump over ban from the US military. New York Times is taking to task for wrongly claiming government report on climate change risked being suppressed from public view; it had already been made available – if little noticed – on the web.‎ ACLU sues Washington, DC Metro on First Amendment grounds over rejected ads. Controversy brews over anti-BDS bill in Congress (see PEN America’s statement here). -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


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


Transgender service members sue over Trump ban
Five active duty transgender service members filed the first lawsuit against President Trump’s directive to ban transgender individuals from the armed forces, arguing Trump’s tweets “already resulted in immediate, concrete injury to Plaintiffs by unsettling and destabilizing plaintiffs’ reasonable expectation of continued service.”

New York Times guilty of large screw-up on climate-change story
The New York Times on Tuesday posted an article incorrectly citing the availability of a climate change report. Their suggestion that the Trump administration may be suppressing the study bears consequences, in large part because it would align with actual transparency problems.

Citing Free Speech, A.C.L.U. Sues Washington Metro Over Rejected Ads
PETA and Milo Yiannopoulos set aside differences and support an A.C.L.U. lawsuit against the agency that runs the Metro system in Washington, D.C. for free speech violations.

Elizabeth Warren Opposes Bill Targeting Israel Boycotts
Elizabeth Warren criticized the Israel Anti-Boycott Act this week, claiming, “I do not support the boycott… but I think outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitution.”

It’s Idiotic to Say a Congressman’s Hijab Painting Violates the Separation of Church and State
A conservative organization, backed by public figures like Sarah Palin, demands that Representative J. Luis Correa remove a high-school student’s painting of the Statue of Liberty wearing a hijab from his office on the grounds that it violates the separation of church and state.


Turkey issues detention warrants for 35 media employees
Turkish authorities on Thursday issued detention warrants for 35 journalists and media workers as part of the country’s ongoing crackdown on people suspected of ties to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. More than 50,000 people have been arrested since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

China and Russia go further in squelching Internet freedom
China is cracking down on loopholes in its firewall, preventing users inside China from accessing platforms outside the country with a new cybersecurity law. Putin signed similar legislation to restrict virtual private networks.

Fifth Venezuela opposition mayor sentenced over protests
Venezuela’s Supreme Court found Mayor David Smolansky, of the opposition Popular Will party, guilty of failing to prevent anti-government protests. Four other opposition mayors have already been found guilty of similar charges.

North Korea Says It Might Fire Missiles Into Waters Near Guam
North Korea disclosed plans to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles into waters near Guam to retaliate against Trump after his “fire and fury” threats. General Kim accused Trump of having spoken “a load of nonsense,” claiming “sound dialogue” is not possible with someone “bereft of reason… only absolute force can work.”

Hope Dims in Myanmar, With Press at Risk
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy party are not doing enough in parliament to resist Myanmar’s free expression restrictions, including laws that criminalize defamation and journalism.

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