Prefer to receive this news digest daily? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list.


DARE To Be Informed

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


Et Tu, Delta? Shakespeare in the Park Sponsors Withdraw From Trump-Like ‘Julius Caesar’
New York’s Public Theater lost financial support from two high-profile corporate donors, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America, on Sunday amid intense criticism of its production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” which depicts the assassination of a Trump-like Roman ruler. In a statement, the company said: ”As an institution that believes in free speech for the arts as well as the media, we support the right of the Public Theater to stage the production as they chose.”

After the shootings, calls for unity amid recriminations and finger-pointing
From President Trump to congressional leaders of both parties to ordinary citizens came calls for prayers for the victims of the shootings in Alexandria, Va., that left House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and four others wounded, praise for the Capitol Police officers and, above all, words of reconciliation and unity. But barely on the edges of those remarks was another round of recriminations and a renewed debate about what has brought the country to a point of such division, and what, if anything, can be done to lower temperatures for more than a few minutes.
Senate Rules Committee reassures reporters no rules changes at the Capitol 
The Committee scrambled to reassure reporters that they would still be allowed to wander the halls of the Capitol and Senate buildings to conduct interviews with lawmakers. The restrictions were first relayed Tuesday morning to multiple TV reporters, who were told they couldn’t wait outside hearing rooms or other locations in the Capitol and Senate buildings to try and interview lawmakers anymore. However, there was confusion about where that new edict came from.
Two arrested after brawl outside Turkish ambassador’s residence in DC
Nine people were hospitalized after approximately two dozen protesters turned out in front of the ambassador’s residence shortly after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with President Donald Trump. The U.S. State Department said the Turkish security involved in the altercation appeared to be embassy and Erdogan security staff; an official condemned the actions: “The conduct of Turkish security personnel earlier this week is deeply disturbing.” Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kılıç was summoned to the State Department the week after the brawl.

After pro-Trump yearbook photos were altered, teacher suspended
A New Jersey school district has suspended a teacher as it investigates why the yearbook photos of two high school students were altered to remove President Trump’s name on clothing they wore. In the yearbook, one student wore a sweater vest with Mr. Trump’s name on it; another student wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Trump Make America Great Again.” But neither feature appeared in the photos published in the yearbook. The school’s dress code doesn’t prevent students from expressing their political views.
Tracy K. Smith Is the New Poet Laureate
Ms. Smith has published three volumes of poetry and collected prestigious awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. With the appointment, Ms. Smith will take on a role held by some of the country’s most revered poets, among them Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, W. S. Merwin, Charles Simic and most recently, Juan Felipe Herrera. Ms. Smith said she planned to use the position to be a literary evangelist of sorts, by visiting small towns and rural areas to hold poetry events.


Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny ‘detained’ ahead of anti-Kremlin protests
Russian authorities said that Navalny could face 15 days in prison for failing to follow police orders and violating public order after he called supporters to hold unauthorized protests on Moscow’s main avenue. Thousands of young Russians are marking Monday’s patriotic Russia Day holiday by rallying against government corruption and exerting pressure on President Vladimir Putin. Russia Day commemorates the establishment of the Russian sovereign state in 1990, a year prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Egypt Bans Scores of News Websites in Growing Censorship Crackdown
Journalists see the campaign against them as a step toward banning all but the most state-aligned media, effectively reversing the private media boom that flourished in the final decade of former president Hosni Mubarak’s rule. The spike in censorship has come as a surprise, even to journalists long-accustomed to reporting within strict red lines. Journalists believe the wave of censorship is meant to neutralize debate on an issue that opposition figures say has already eroded some of Sisi’s support among voters who consider ceding sovereign territory unacceptable.

Chinese Censors Have New Target: Celebrity News
A large number of Chinese “celebrity news” blogs have disappeared in recent days after coming under the scrutiny of China’s cyberspace regulators. Their absence comes amid a broader tightening of online and media controls ahead of a once-in-every-five-years meeting of top Communist Party leaders. The Beijing bureau of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s top online regulator, called on the companies to “actively promote socialist core values” and create a “healthy, uplifting environment for mainstream opinion” by combating vulgar and sensationalist coverage of celebrity scandals and lifestyles.
Africa’s North Korea: Reporting From Eritrea, the Land of No Journalists 
Isaias Afwerki, the president of Eritrea announced that all independent media organizations were to cease activity. Private presses were shuttered and broadcasters closed down; journalists were rounded up and put in prison. In 1996, the government passed a law that required all journalists and publications to be licensed by the administration and for publications to be submitted for government approval before dissemination. This climate has led to the country being dubbed Africa’s North Korea.
Longest prison sentence ever for lese majeste
A man was jailed for 35 years on Friday for lese majeste and defamation – the longest prison sentence to date for such a case. The 34-year-old was arrested in Chiang Mai province in December 2015 after allegedly setting up a Facebook account using a different name and profile picture. He was sentenced for posting 10 video clips, pictures and texts referring to the monarchy. He was charged with 10 violations of the lese majeste law, 11 defamation offences, and breaching the Computer Crime Act by posting false information.

Deeper Analysis

Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones and a Fine Line Between News and Promotion
Where’s the line between covering a scoundrel as a news figure and giving him a promotional platform? The question has consumed Megyn Kelly this week, after she showed a trailer Sunday night of her coming feature on NBC about Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who has questioned whether the Sandy Hook school massacre truly happened and asserted that Sept. 11 was an inside job. Coming on only the third episode of her new NBC news magazine, “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly,” the segment has become, as the technical television term goes, a hot mess.

Making Google the Censor
In the aftermath of the recent London attacks, Prime Minister Teresa May called platforms like Google and Facebook breeding grounds for terrorism. She has demanded that they build tools to identify and remove extremist content. Leaders of the Group of 7 countries recently suggested the same thing. A European Union draft law would make YouTube and other video hosts responsible for ensuring that users never share violent speech.

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

Prefer to receive this news digest daily? To subscribe, simply click here and choose DARE: Daily Alert on Rights and Expression from the list.