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Writers join Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in pushing back on the president’s racist hatred with poetry, in a series curated by the Guardian and PEN America. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) says technology companies, the government, and the voting public are ‘not ready’ to address misinformation and attempts to interfere in the 2020 election cycle. (See PEN America’s report on fraudulent news and the prospects for 2020.) Correspondent for OAN, described as a small pro-Trump cable channel, revealed to be on the payroll of Sputnik, the Russian government’s propaganda outfit suspected to have played a role in sowing fraudulent news during the 2016 election cycle. Knight Foundation funds research at 11 universities into the impact of technology on democracy. ESPN reminds employees of its policy on avoiding political discussions after radio talk show host discusses president’s racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen; the host in question, Dan Le Batard, did not host his regular show yesterday morning. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


‘Like Air, I’ll Rise’: Ilhan Omar and Others on Words to Conquer Hate
At this troubling moment in America, when vitriolic speech is dominating the conversation, the Guardian and PEN America reached out to high-profile writers and asked them to share inspiring lines from poems or literature about overcoming hatred and racism.

‘We’re Not Ready’ for Foreign Election Interference in 2020, Says Rep. Adam Schiff
“The tech companies aren’t ready,” Schiff said. “They don’t have, I think, their policies fully thought out yet. The government isn’t ready. We don’t have the technologies yet to be able to detect more sophisticated fakes.”

Trump’s New Favorite Channel Employs Kremlin-Paid Journalist
If the stories broadcast by the Trump-endorsed One America News Network sometimes look like outtakes from a Kremlin trolling operation, there may be a reason. One of the on-air reporters at the 24-hour network is a Russian national on the payroll of the Kremlin’s official propaganda outlet, Sputnik.

Knight Foundation Invests $50 Million into Research on Tech’s Impact on Democracy
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a nonprofit with deep ties to the newspaper industry, is investing $50 million into research on technology’s impact on democracy—from countering online disinformation to how companies such as Facebook and YouTube impact public opinion.

ESPN Host Dan Le Batard Skips Show after Attacking Trump’s Racist Comments
ESPN’s Dan Le Batard did not host his sports radio show Monday morning, reportedly after talking to the broadcaster’s president, Jimmy Pitaro, about the network’s ban on discussing politics. Le Batard criticized Donald Trump’s recent racist comments and ESPN itself on air last week.


Why Pakistan’s Crackdown on the Press Is Getting Worse by the Day
The government and military now share the view that media should support the Pakistani state, not criticize it. As a result, no one’s left to put the brakes on measures, legal or extralegal, taken against journalists who report news authorities don’t like. The military’s in charge, without a coup.

Trial to Open for Philippine Journalist Critical of Duterte
High-profile Philippine journalist Maria Ressa’s libel trial opens Tuesday in a case that press freedom advocates see as government retaliation for her news site’s critical reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte.

Brazil’s Film Sector up in Arms over Jair Bolsonaro’s Censorship Threat
Jair Bolsonaro set his sights on Brazil’s film industry, with the president threatening to shut down Agência Nacional do Cinema (ANCINE), the federal film funding agency, if it refused to apply government-backed “filters” on the movies it invested in.

Gambia: Former President Linked to Journalist’s Murder
In official testimony, an ex-member of a hit squad operating under Gambia’s former strongman leader confessed to killing journalist Deyda Hydara. The confession before the country’s Truth Commission came on the day Gambians are remembering the 25th anniversary of the coup that brought President Yahya Jammeh to power.

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