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Fake editions of the Washington Post, falsely claiming that President Trump had stepped down, distributed in D.C. on Wednesday. Franciscan University of Steubenville bans Emmanuel Carrère’s ‘The Kingdom’ and removes an English professor as department chair after he assigned the book in class. Vermont attorney general T.J. Donovan deems that former Vermont state representative Kiah Morris was ‘a victim of racial harassment,’ but said the perpetrator won’t be prosecuted because of First Amendment protections for free speech. Reports emerge that the government shutdown’s impact on the Department of Justice could delay civil litigation. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Fake Editions of Washington Post Falsely Claim Trump Steps down
The impostor publication, dated May 1, 2019, featured an extra large headline: “UNPRESIDENTED,” and went on to state, “Trump hastily departs White House, ending crisis.” A fake website designed to look like the Washington Post’s website carried similar language.

Banning a Book, in the Name of ‘True Academic Freedom’
Roman Catholic colleges have some of the most open curricula among religious institutions. But that didn’t stop Franciscan University from banning a book that portrays the Virgin Mary as sexual—and ousting a department chair for teaching it.

Racial Harassment of Ex-Vermont Lawmaker Won’t Be Prosecuted Because It Was Free Speech, Official Says
Attorney General T.J. Donovan said Kiah Morris had been subjected to speech that was “clearly racist and extremely offensive,” but the perpetrator, a self-confessed white nationalist, cannot be sanctioned because of protections of free speech.

Are Federal Courts Shut Down Too? Funding Will Run Out If The Government Stays Shuttered
Despite the Justice Department being one of the agencies left unfunded, federal courthouses have actually continued to operate. But according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, they’ve only got a little over a week’s worth of funding left.


Investigative Journalist Murdered in Ghana
Ahmed Husein, a Ghanaian undercover journalist who helped expose corruption in African football, has been shot dead in the capital Accra.

The Killing of Gdańsk’s Mayor Is the Tragic Result of Hate Speech
Hatred, contempt, and intolerance, if stirred up, promoted, or even just passively accepted by political elites and the media, can and does lead to violent acts and terrifying results. … The murder of Paweł Adamowicz may have been influenced by what we all were exposed to for years.”

YouTube Removes Advert for Far-Right Britain First
YouTube has removed an advert for the far-right Britain First from its platform, after clips promoting the group began appearing on the video-hosting website.

Palestinian Authority Accused of Suppressing Freedom of Speech
Human Rights Watch made the comments during a forum on Palestinian Digital Activism—which is looking for new ways to advocate the Palestinian cause through social media.

Chimamanda Adichie Is Leading the Rise of an African Literature Wave in China
When “Dear Ijeawele” is published in China around April this year, it will garner its author, the celebrated Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a new status: becoming one of few African writers whose body of work has mostly, if not all, been translated to Chinese.

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