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Attacks on relevant questions that journalists ask of Trump administration continues, picked up by the Cabinet officials, spokespersons, and TV hosts. President Trump’s personal lawyer seeks to block Stormy Daniels’ lawyer from speaking to the press about her defamation lawsuit. Journalists push back more on falsehoods and evasion during the White House press briefings. Long-time prize-winning editorial cartoonist fired from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after cartoons critical of Trump administration are spiked. –Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Lou Dobbs Says White House Should ‘Assign’ Someone to ‘Slap the Hell out Of’ Reporters at Briefing
The attack on the White House press corps continued on Fox Business when host Lou Dobbs suggested that the White House should assign someone with the specific job of slapping reporters. Referring to White House reporter and CNN contributor Brian Karem, Dobbs then said, “You would think someone would be assigned to slap the hell out of somebody.”

Michael Cohen Seeks Restraining Order to Stop Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer from Speaking to the Press
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen filed for a restraining order late Thursday against Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, to prevent him from speaking to the press about the adult film star’s lawsuit. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 days before the 2016 election, as part of a hush agreement to prevent the porn star from publicly discussing her alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Tensions Boil Over in White House Briefing Room
Sarah Sanders has proved more adept than her predecessor at dodging and obfuscating while avoiding the sort of open hostilities that characterized Sean Spicer’s time behind the lectern. But Thursday, after weeks of building tension, frustrations among reporters boiled over.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Dires Editorial Cartoonist Rob Rogers
Editorial cartoonist, Rob Rogers, was fired Thursday. In recent weeks, a number of his cartoons, including some on President Donald Trump, were killed by the paper’s editorial director, Keith Burris. Mr. Rogers said he began to feel “a lot more pushback” about his work after Mr. Trump announced his run for office in 2015.


Activists In Myanmar Say Facebook Needs To Do More To Quell Hate Speech
Civil rights groups and digital rights activists in Myanmar are taking action and demanding that Facebook beef up its moderation of Burmese-language content to curb hate speech. They are also trying to educate Internet users about creating a safer, more civil space for online discussions.

Kashmiri Journalist Shujaat Bukhari, a Voice for Peace, Is Killed Image
Shujaat Bukhari, a well-known journalist in Kashmir who worked to bring stability and peace to the mountainous, war-afflicted region, was shot to death on Thursday. It was the first time in nearly a decade that a journalist has been murdered in Kashmir, a region that has long divided India and Pakistan.

Sudan’s Security Apparatus Ban Journalists from Reporting
Sudanese security service Thursday enforced a new crackdown on journalists and the press as it withdrew the licence of a journalist reporting for a pan Arab newspaper and confiscated the entire print-runs of local newspapers. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the recent restrictions against the newspapers in Sudan and called on the NISS to stop press censorship.

Police Face Legal Action Over Use of Facial Recognition Cameras
Two legal challenges have been launched against police forces in south Wales and London over their use of automated facial recognition (AFR) technology on the grounds the surveillance is unregulated and violates privacy.

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