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Infowars traffic and downloads surge, and controversy rages, as outlet is banned from Facebook and Youtube. Newsprint tariffs strangle local newspapers. Tribune Media calls off proposed deal with Sinclair in the face of regulatory resistance. U.K. denies visas for a dozen international writers attending Edinburgh Book Festival. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer


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


Infowars App Downloads Surge After Tech Giants Ban Alex Jones Content from Platforms
Just days after Facebook, Apple and YouTube removed content and podcasts from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his brand, Infowars, from their platforms, the Infowars mobile app surged in popularity in the United States.

Trump’s Newsprint Tariffs Hasten Local Newspapers’ Demise
The Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on Canadian newsprint is hastening the demise of local newspapers, forcing struggling publications to cut staff, reduce the number of days they print and, in at least one case, shutter entirely.

Tribune Calls Off $3.9 Billion Sinclair Media Deal
Tribune said in a statement Thursday that it has terminated its merger agreement with Sinclair, scuttling a $3.9 billion deal that would have given the broadcasting group an even broader reach into American living rooms.

Home Office Refuses Visas for Authors Invited to Edinburgh Book Festival
A dozen authors who were planning to attend this year’s Edinburgh international book festival have had their visas refused, according to the director, Nick Barley, who warned that the “humiliating” process would deter artists from visiting the U.K.

Mandatory Gender-Neutral Pronoun Rules are a Threat to Campus Free Speech
A recent “gender identity” policy proposal at the University of Minnesota could compel students and faculty to use the pronouns that their gender-nonconforming peers prefer. Those who refuse to comply could risk being fired or expelled.


Dangerous News: Two Reuters Reporters Uncovered a Mass Killing in Myanmar. Their Journey has Put Them at Odds with Their Own People. *PEN Case List
Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo embraced the heady freedoms of post-junta Myanmar and exposed a massacre of Muslims. The government’s prosecution of them over their reporting is seen as a test of the country’s nascent democracy.

Ukrainian Hunger Striker Oleg Sentsov ‘Near End’ in Russian Jail *PEN Case List
Sentsov went on hunger strike to press Russia to free 64 jailed Ukrainians whom he calls political prisoners. On Facebook his cousin Natalya Kaplan quoted a letter from Sentsov. She wrote: “He can hardly stand up. He wrote that the end is near.”

Zimbabwean Opposition Official Tendai Biti Deported from Zambia
Biti, a newly elected member of parliament for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, is wanted in Zimbabwe for allegedly inciting violence after urging opposition supporters to defend their votes in last week’s disputed election.

Belarusian Nobel Laureate Alexievich Cancels Event in Ukraine Amid Threats
Belarusian writer and Nobel Literature Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich said that she learned about threats against her and the organizers of the meeting and therefore decided to cancel the event planned at the Green Theater in the Black Sea port city.

Inside Google’s Effort to Develop a Censored Search Engine in China
Google analyzed search terms entered into a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for a censored search engine it has been planning to launch in China, according to confidential documents seen by The Intercept.

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