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The New York Times writes in an unusual full-page editorial “The president is not above the law.” The Washington Post sees Fox News “softening the ground” of public opinion for justifying steps against the special counsel investigation. Digital strategists develop plans for countering fake news during the mid-term Congressional election campaigns. The editorial page editor of the Boulder Daily Camera joins the pushback against private equity owners draining resources from newspapers to maintain profits, but posts his editorial in another Colorado news outlet because his publisher wouldn’t run it. The PEN World Voices Festival opens tonight with more than 150 writers, journalists, and artists offering their takes on our times. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Editorial: The President Is Not Above The Law
Reports point to a growing possibility that Trump may act to cripple or shut down an investigation by the nation’s top law-enforcement agencies into his campaign and administration. Lawmakers need to prepare for that possibility because if it comes to pass, they will suddenly find themselves with the Constitution in their hands.

Trump might survive firing Rosenstein or even Mueller. The reason: Fox News.
The pro-Trump media, led by Fox, would give cover, and huge swaths of Americans would be encouraged to believe that, if the president decides to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein or even special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the action would be not only justified but absolutely necessary.

Democrats scrambling to derail fake news attacks in 2018 races
Cries of “fake news” have become most associated with President Donald Trump, who uses the label to insult news organizations that publish stories he dislikes. But to Democrats, “fake news” refers to the deliberately fabricated information created and promoted to affect voters’ behavior.

Private equity owners endanger Daily Camera’s future
Dave Krieger, editor at the Daily Camera, says: “The Camera takes pride in serving as our community’s public square for discussion and debate of many local issues. To refuse to acknowledge this one would be tantamount to declaring that the Camera’s loyalties lie with its corporate overlords and not the community it serves.”


Russian Investigative Reporter Dies After Fall From Window; Editor Rejects Suicide
Russian investigative journalist Maksim Borodin regularly wrote on crime and corruption. In recent weeks, he wrote extensively about the deaths in February of Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria. Polina Rumyantseva, the editor in chief of Novy Den, where Borodin worked, said that she did not believe Borodin committed suicide.

Thousands of Hungarians Protest Against Newly Elected Leader
The demonstrations came a week after Prime Minister Viktor Orban was elected. The political opposition is in disarray, civil society is under attack, and the news media is almost fully under the control of the state. “Democracy is just inconceivable without the rule of law and free media,” said one protester, Levente Biro.

China’s Weibo reverses ban on ‘homosexual’ content after outcry
The internet company said the initiative was an effort to “create a sunny and harmonious community environment” and comply with the country’s cybersecurity laws. In response, Weibo users posted photos with their partners, comments, and rainbow emojis, accompanied by the hashtags #iamgay and #iamgaynotapervert.

Why Europe, not Congress, will rein in big tech
Europe has been moving aggressively to impose order on the tech space. Companies are readying themselves for sweeping new privacy rules that will go into effect next month across the European Union. They could face billion-dollar fines if they fail to give European users far more control over their personal information.

PEN calls for justice for Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia
“PEN International and our global community believe that Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in direct response to her investigative journalism exposing high-level government corruption in Malta. Yet the very same Maltese government officials that she was investigating are in charge of the ongoing investigation into her murder.”

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]