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White House Communications Director Hope Hicks reported to have told Congressional investigators that her work for President Trump has required her occasionally to tell what are described as “white lies.’’ Suggestions that CNN scripted students at its gun control town hall are debunked. Sinclair Broadcast Group bid to merge with Tribune Media and vastly extend the conservative network’s reach into U.S. media markets remains stalled after 10 months. Social media analysis show how outraged reposting of false reports and conspiracy theories helps to amplify them. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Hicks acknowledges white lies, but won’t talk White House in testimony
During closed-door testimony, White House communications director Hope Hicks acknowledged she has had to tell what amounted to white lies for President Trump, according to someone with direct knowledge of her testimony.

Shooting survivor’s father admits email changes in CNN spat
The father of a Florida shooting survivor has acknowledged he omitted words in an email he sent media outlets accusing CNN of using scripted remarks at a town hall on guns and school safety.

Sinclair Deal With Tribune Hits Complications in Washington
At issue is how much power Sinclair, the country’s largest broadcaster, will have over local media markets and national television audiences. Sinclair has argued that by combining forces with Tribune, it will be able to bolster local news coverage and be a stronger competitor to internet giants like Facebook and Google.

How Liberals Amped Up a Parkland Shooting Conspiracy Theory
In looking at the case of the Parkland, Florida, shooting and the crisis actors narrative it spawned, there was another important factor that allowed it to leap into mainstream consciousness: People outraged by the conspiracy helped to promote it—in some cases far more than the supporters of the story.


Portrait of a Turkish Novelist as Prisoner *PEN Case List
“I remember those sentences and shiver. I am living what I wrote in a novel. Years ago as I was wandering in that unmarked, enigmatic, and hazy territory where literature touches life, I had met my own destiny and failed to recognize it. I am now under arrest like my protagonist. I am waiting for the decision that will determine my future as he had. My life imitates my novel.”

Slovakian journalist ‘was investigating political links to Italian mafia’
The Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak was investigating political corruption linked to an Italian mafia group at the time of his murder, according to a summary of his “last investigation” published today.

Analysis: Proposed Amendment Raises Fears About Rights to Free Expression
Myanmar’s controversial protest law has again been tabled in parliament with two major amendments scheduled to be debated this week. The changes include a requirement that the sources of protest funding be identified and the stipulation of jail terms for people using such assemblies to instigate unrest.

Why China banned a ton of words
Just days after the Chinese Communist Party announced that presidential term limits could be abolished, opening the door for President Xi Jinping to continue his rule indefinitely, Chinese government censors issued an extensive list of newly banned words on the popular microblogging site Weibo.

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]