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The PEN America office is closed tomorrow and Friday—the DARE will return on Monday, November 27. We wish you and yours a happy and restful Thanksgiving.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s treatment of the White House press corps, asking them to list what they were thankful for before asking their questions, draws condemnation. University of Michigan takes steps to allow Richard Spencer to speak on campus. Voter attitudes ahead of Alabama senate race show evidence of the corrosive impact of fraudulent news. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

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


The Degrading Ritual of Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s Pre-Thanksgiving Press Briefing
The press secretary had enlisted the reporters’ help in mocking the purpose of the briefing; no information was conveyed from the White House to the public. She had shown who was boss: She could hold journalists to an arbitrary rule by making them offer thanks before asking a question, which diminished the journalists’ ability to hold her to the task of answering their questions.

University of Michigan takes step toward letting white supremacist Richard Spencer speak
At a rare special public meeting of the Board of Regents, the University of Michigan took the first step toward letting Richard Spencer—who supporters describe as an alt-right leader and opponents describe as a white supremacist—speak on its campus.

In Rural Alabama Allegations Against Roy Moore Are “Fake News”
People in Bibb County don’t believe the news. And that includes any news about GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, now accused of molesting a 14-year-old when he was a 30-something district attorney in the late ’70s, as well as making sexual advances toward five other teenagers.

America is about to kill the open internet—and towns like this will pay the price
Many of the 1,300 residents in Winlock, Washington, report frustratingly slow connections. There’s no binging on the latest must-watch Netflix show or streaming music on Spotify to suit your mood. No quick downloading of a podcast for your journey to work as you grab your coat. And if the internet’s top regulator, the FCC, gets its way, things may never get better.


Russian senators pass ‘foreign agent’ media law, send to Vladimir Putin to sign
Russia’s upper house of parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill today that would require foreign-funded media operating in the country to register as foreign agents. The legislation will come into force once it is signed by President Vladimir Putin. The move is a direct response to Washington’s decision this month to require Kremlin-backed RT to register as a foreign agent in the United States.

Secular blogger arrested in crackdown on free expression in Egypt
Islam al-Refaei, an edgy blogger known for his sarcastic and profane posts, was arrested and has now been charged with membership of a terrorist group, inciting against the state, and calling for demonstrations without a permit. He’s the latest social media activist arrested in what human rights groups say is a widespread new crackdown on free expression in Egypt.

Bahrain court upholds jail term for activist Rajab
A Bahraini appeals court upheld a two-year jail sentence against high-profile activist Nabeel Rajab, a leading figure in protests that erupted in 2011 during the Arab Spring. He is also on trial in a second case and could face a 15-year prison term over a series of tweets criticizing Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Bahrain, over their military intervention in the Yemen war.

Gay, Out, And On The Airwaves In Kinshasa
“The idea to start ‘Jeuniafrica’ came from a strong need to talk, to be heard,” said radio host Patou Izai, who came out at age 24. “Whenever LGBTI issues were being talked about, it was always in a pejorative manner, whether in the media, in politics, or wherever else. I felt it was very important to try to provide a counter discourse.”

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]