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Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announcing the ending of DACA to journalists, takes no questions. “It is un-American to threaten journalists,” a trade group representing major publishers tells the NRA about its video ad that includes the line “In short, we’re coming for you.” Verrit, a new information platform, launches with facts, statistics, and quotes carrying authentication codes. Drive for non-partisan election redistricting gains some bipartisan support through friend-of-the-court briefs from current and former members of Congress filed with the Supreme Court ahead of important gerrymandering case. – Dru Menaker

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


Trump Chooses Sessions, Longtime Foe of DACA, to Announce Its Demise
President Trump has expressed conflicting emotions about those who were brought to the country as children, but Jeff Sessions expressed no such qualms, saying, “There is nothing compassionate about the failure to enforce immigration laws.”

Trade group bashes NRA: ‘It is un-American to threaten journalists’
“When you use such incendiary language as ‘we’re coming for you,’ it is our right to suggest in the strongest terms that your behavior is blatantly irresponsible as it may incite violence against journalists,” writes Chris Pedigo of Digital Content Next.

What even is Verrit, the news source endorsed by Hillary Clinton?
Verrit is supposed to be something that’s useful for Clinton supporters who like to argue online about politics. From its early presence, it appears that Verrit finds and repackages talking points and statistics, and puts them into a more shareable format.

Bipartisan swath of lawmakers files Supreme Court briefs against gerrymandering
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push for non-partisan redistricting gained significant support, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich signing on to his amicus brief at the Supreme Court and Arizona Sen. John McCain filing a separate friend-of-the-court brief. Then 36 current and former members of Congress followed suit.

Detroit redefined: city hires America’s first official ‘chief storyteller’
The position, believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, was conceived to give Detroiters a way to connect and discuss issues that don’t get covered by the city’s traditional media, and to create “meaningful and impactful ways to give Detroiters and their neighborhoods a stronger voice.”


Indian journalist critical of Hindu extremists is shot dead in Bangalore
Gauri Lankesh, a senior Indian journalist and activist, has been shot dead outside her home in Bangalore. Lankesh was the editor of a Kannada-language tabloid that has frequently been critical of Hindu extremists.

French Court Hears Case Of Journalists Accused Of Calling Azerbaijan ‘Dictatorship’
A French court began hearing a lawsuit by Azerbaijan’s government against two French journalists it accuses of defamation, in a case described by the defendants and media freedom activists as an attempt by Azerbaijani authorities to export censorship beyond the country’s borders.

Thailand’s military government tightens grip on media
The Thai military government’s continued enforcement of strict media laws and restrictions to target critics and independent reporting, and legislative efforts to take greater control over media, are leaving journalists in Thailand with an increasingly narrow space for free expression.

China’s Internet Crackdown Is Another Step Toward ‘Digital Totalitarian State’
Beijing has given assurances that “official” VPNs will be made available to businesses which need them, but that is likely to trigger further alarm bells, given widespread accusations of Chinese economic espionage and intellectual property theft.

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