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News organizations unite behind moment of silence this afternoon to remember Capital Gazette shooting victims. Tech worker activism rears its head as products like Twitter assume a central role in polarized politics. New York Times reporter whose records were seized in Senate Intelligence Committee Leak investigation is reassigned. Protester against Trump Immigration policies shuts down Statue of Liberty on July 4th. Critics pounce as Trump defender, Professor Alan Dershowitz, complains of being shunned on Martha’s Vineyard. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Global moment of silence planned today to honor Capital Gazette shooting victims
Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor in chief of the The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which owns The Sun and the Capital Gazette, announced the moment of silence in a letter to colleagues Monday. He wrote that the organization’s commitment to exercising its First Amendment rights “has never been so severely tested.”

Employee Uprisings Sweep Many Tech Companies. Not Twitter.
“Sooner or later, Twitter’s executives and employees are going to have to make a decision about which is more important, Mr. Trump’s tweets or the company’s desire to promote a healthy public conversation. It’s hard to see how both are tenable.”

New York Times reassigns reporter Ali Watkins, reporter in leak investigation
Times executive editor Dean Baquet announced a “fresh start” for a reporter whose phone and email records were secretly seized by the Justice Department earlier this year in a leak investigation. In a staff memo, Baquet said the Times abhorred the actions of the government in the case but was “troubled” by Watkins’ conduct.

A woman climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July to protest migrant family separations
The woman was part of a group of protesters and had declared that she wouldn’t come down until “all the children are released.” Earlier, other protesters unfurled a banner over a railing around the base of the statue saying “Abolish ICE!” At least seven people were arrested on Liberty Island and the site was closed to visitors.

Alan Dershowitz says ‘friends on Martha’s Vineyard’ are shunning him for defending Trump
The reason, he says, is his unrelenting defense of President Trump’s civil liberties—a position that Dershowitz says he would have also taken for Hillary Clinton had she won the presidency and was similarly under investigation amid calls for impeachment.

South Carolina police object to high-school reading list
A police union in South Carolina has challenged the inclusion of Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds’s All American Boys and Angie Thomas’s multiple award-winning novel about police brutality, The Hate U Give, on a school’s summer reading list, describing it as “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police.”


U.N. experts seek urgent release of widow of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo *PEN Case List
Liu Xia, an artist and poet who suffers from depression, has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the prize in 2010. She has never been charged with any crime, and was last seen in public at his funeral accompanied by Chinese authorities.

Tech Giants Win a Battle Over Copyright Rules in Europe
In defeating the proposal, the technology industry showed that it still held considerable influence, even as it has faced widespread criticism over privacy violations, the spread of misinformation, accusations of anticompetitive business practices, and concerns about smartphone overuse.

Uganda’s new social media tax ‘attacks free speech’ say rights groups
The upfront fee of 200 shillings ($0.05) a day was introduced on July 1. Rights group Amnesty International urged Ugandan authorities to scrap the tax, calling it “a clear attempt to undermine the right to freedom of expression.”

Liberia’s House of Representatives Passes to Decriminalize Speech
The House of Representatives has voted in favor of the passage into law a bill seeking to decriminalize free speech. The Lower House’s decision followed recommendations contained in a report by the House joint Committee on Information, Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Broadcasting and Judiciary.

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