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Jeff Bezos accuses American Media Inc., the company behind The National Enquirer, of extortion and blackmail, setting off speculation of ties between AMI’s actions and the White House. Google has apparently begun pulling websites from search results in Russia, at the request of the government. Museum of Modern Art is set to close this summer for four months of renovation to add $400 million of infrastructure for gallery space for women and artists of color. U.S. intelligence sources reportedly intercepted conversation in which Saudi crown prince claimed he wanted to go after Jamal Khashoggi ‘with a bullet.’ -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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


Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of ‘Extortion and Blackmail’
The richest man on earth accused the nation’s leading supermarket tabloid publisher of “extortion and blackmail,” laying out a theory that brought together international intrigue, White House politics, nude photos, and amorous text messages.

New York’s MoMA Is Closing to Diversify the Art Canon
The museum’s galleries will shut its doors on June 15, reopening in October as a more inclusive space celebrating contemporary artists who have traditionally been overlooked in the art world.

Part of KSU Cheerleader’s Lawsuit Dismissed against Sheriff, Ex-Lawmaker
The suit alleged that Sheriff Neil Warren and former lawmaker Earl Ehrhart had violated her constitutional rights out of racial and political animus, after they said publicly that the cheerleaders’ kneeling during the anthem was unpatriotic.

Stop Saying Books Are Dead. They’re More Alive Than Ever
After more than a decade of decline, the number of independent bookstores is on the rise—despite the dominance of online retailers. … Sales of physical books have increased every year since 2013, and were up 1.3 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year.


Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Jamal Khashoggi *PEN Case List: Learn More
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia reportedly told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed in October, if Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and end his criticism of the Saudi government.

Google Is Pulling Websites from Searches at Russia’s Request
An unnamed Google employee told Russian business-focused newspaper Vedomosti that the tech giant had finally begun to comply with the Russian government, removing 70 percent of the sites banned by its communications agency.

BBC Journalists Freed in Uganda
A team of BBC journalists has been freed on bail following their arrest in Uganda. The journalists were looking into the illegal sales of government drugs and were detained on Wednesday night.

EU’s Approach to Tackling Hate Speech Might Actually Be Working
The EU released a report showing that 89 percent of content flagged to social networks gets analyzed within 24 hours, and that the companies remove 72 percent of content reported as illegal hate speech in total.

German Regulator Orders Facebook to Restrict Data Collection
Germany’s anti-monopoly regulator has ordered Facebook not to combine user data from its WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook apps without consent, after a major three-year investigation into potentially anti-competitive actions.

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