FCC is expected to vote today to repeal net neutrality rules. Former VP Joe Biden issues equivocal apology to Anita Hill for how she was treated during Clarence Thomas hearings. Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson sues Fox News host Jeanine Pirro for defamation after she claims he directed a protestor to throw a rock at a police officer’s face. Music mogul Russell Simmons angrily denies claims of rape and assault by multiple women whose accounts are corroborated by people told at the time of the incidents. Actress Salma Hayek publishes blistering op-ed about Harvey Weinstein’s quid pro quo sexual harassment directed at her. PBS host Tavis Smiley off the air amid harassment allegations. NY Senator Chuck Schumer files police report based on forged court document alleging harassment against him; right-wing commentators had begun to leak rumors about the document. Nine European news agencies call on internet giants to pay copyright royalties on news content for which they invest nothing and on which they make millions. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director


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


The FCC is Expected to Repeal Its Net Neutrality Rules Today, in a Sweeping Act of Deregulation
Federal regulators are expected to vote today to allow Internet providers to speed up service for some apps and websites—and block or slow down others—in a decision repealing landmark, Obama-era regulations for broadband companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Joe Biden on Anita Hill’s Sexual-Harassment Testimony: ‘I Owe Her an Apology’
For the second time in the past month, former vice president Joe Biden has tried to atone for his role in the aggressive questioning of Anita Hill during a now-notorious 1991 congressional hearing.

Black Lives Matter Activist Sues Fox News Host ‘Judge Jeanine’ Pirro for on Air Defamation
Civil rights activist DeRay McKesso is suing Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, claiming she defamed him while discussing a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter movement.

Russell Simmons Denies 9 New Accusations of Sexual Misconduct
Nine new women have come forward alleging sexual misconduct or assault by music mogul Russell Simmons. Four say Simmons raped them. “I vehemently deny all these allegations,” Simmons said in a statement.

Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too
Actress Salma Hayek is breaking her silence about Harvey Weinstein in a New York Times op-ed. “Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.”

‘This Has Gone too Far,’ Says Defiant Tavis Smiley After PBS Suspends His Show for ‘Misconduct’
PBS is “indefinitely” suspending distribution of the late-night talk show “Tavis Smiley” after multiple misconduct allegations emerged against the show’s 53-year-old host.

Schumer Files Police Report After Fraudulent Document Emerges
Senator Chuck Schumer reported to the Capitol Police the existence of a fraudulent document that described false allegations against him. Right-wing commentators had begun to leak rumors on social media about the document.


Net Giants ‘Must Pay for News’ from Which They Make Billions
Nine European press agencies, including AFP, called on internet giants to be forced to pay copyright for using news content on which they make vast profits.

Chinese Dissident’s Widow Sends Desperate Letter*PEN Case List
Friends of the late Chinese democracy advocate and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo voiced concern about his widow’s health after she sent a letter showing signs of deep depression. The poet Liu Xia, 56, has been under police watch without charges since her husband was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

For a Preview of Life Without Net Neutrality, Go Online in China
China’s internet, provided through telecom giants aligned with the Communist Party, is a digital dystopia, filtered by the vast censorship apparatus known as China’s Great Firewall. Some sites load with soul-withering slowness, or not at all. Others appear instantly. Content vanishes without warning or explanation.

China’s CCTV Surveillance Network Took Just 7 Minutes to Capture BBC Reporter
It took Chinese authorities just seven minutes to locate and apprehend BBC reporter John Sudworth using its powerful network of CCTV camera and facial recognition technology. The chase was a stunt set up to illustrate just how powerful and effective the Chinese government’s surveillance system can be.

Sudan Papers Go Online for Freedom from Censors
Sudanese journalist Adil al-Baz no longer fears a crackdown by security agents over his articles since he launched an online newspaper. In a country of increasing media censorship, Baz is among several independent journalists who have left newspaper jobs and launched online papers or websites.

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