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Today we post the last column written by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi for The Washington Post before his disappearance and apparent murder in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khashoggi issues an impassioned defense of free expression and a forceful call for the free press that the people of the Middle East—and the world—deserve. We hope that these final words will be read and heeded. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab World Needs Most Is Free Expression
“The Arab world faces its own Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power. Governments, whose very existence relies on the control of information, have aggressively blocked the Internet, arrested local reporters, and pressured advertisers to harm the revenue of specific publications.”


Pompeo All Smiles in Meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over Journalist Disappearance
Secretary of State Pompeo said he “did not want to discuss facts” after meeting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for talks over the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi. When asked if they had said whether Khashoggi was alive or dead, Pompeo claimed the matter had not come up.

Where Are the Weeklies? News Desert Report Says They’re Still Kicking
About 1,300 US communities have completely lost news coverage, and many of the 7,100 surviving newspapers have faded into “ghost papers” that are primarily advertising supplements. Half of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. now only have one remaining newspaper—and it’s usually a small weekly.

Fact-checking to “Reach Deeper” into Communities
Ahead of the November 6 midterm elections, the Associated Press is stepping up efforts to counter political misinformation circulating at the local, state, and national levels. Efforts include fact-checking statements from politicians and public figures and building on its partnership with Facebook to debunk misinformation on the network.

Trump Lashes out at the Associated Press, Calls Headline “fake news”
President Trump attacked The Associated Press over its reports of comments he made on the midterm elections, saying the headline “was very different from my quote and meaning in the story.” During a wide-ranging interview, Trump dismissed the idea that he would be to blame if Republicans lose control of the House.


Khashoggi Misinformation Highlights a Growing Number of Fake Fact-checkers
Days after the reported murder of Jamal Khashoggi, misinformation has ballooned. Examples include a conspiracy theory that Khashoggi’s fiancée is fake, and reports of the firing of a Saudi general consul. The Saudi government has threatened anyone who spreads “fake news” online with lengthy prison terms and heavy fines.

The Daphne Project: One Year Later, the Revelations Continue
After the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, Forbidden Stories gathered 45 journalists to pick up Daphne’s work where she left it. Six month after its first publications, the Daphne Project makes new revelations. All these stories are Daphne’s legacy and would not have been possible without her fearless reporting.

How Extensive Restrictions Have Shaped the Story in Xinjiang, China
As soon as reporters arrive in Xinjiang they are shadowed by security officials. Sometimes, it’s just a few. For those from prominent publications, it can be nine or ten. The officials do their best to blend into the background, but they’re always there to intervene should a journalist cross any number of ill-defined lines.

3 Myanmar Journalists in Court over Story the Government Calls False
Kyaw Zaw Lin, Nari Min, and Phyo Wai Win from the Eleven Media Group were arrested after publishing a story alleging fund mismanagement by Yangon government officials. A regional director filed a complaint, saying the journalists violated a law banning publication of “incorrect information” that could cause “fear or alarm to the public.”

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]