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Arrest made after Illinois cemetery is defaced with swastikas. Gay valedictorian at a Catholic high school gives his speech via bullhorn after the school rejects it. Starbucks bias training to take place this afternoon. FBI urges businesses and consumers to reboot their routers as protection against Russian malware. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Man in Custody after Swastikas Found Painted on Gravestones
Authorities in southwestern Illinois say a suspect is in custody after swastikas were found spray-painted on several homes and dozens of grave markers at a nearby cemetery. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports employees at Sunset Hill Cemetery in neighboring Glen Carbon found swastikas on 150 to 200 headstones.

Catholic Diocese Banned A Valedictorian’s Speech, So The Teen Found A Megaphone
A Roman Catholic diocese in Kentucky reportedly banned valedictorian Christian Bales from giving a speech it deemed too political―so the teen decided to use a more unconventional way to speak out, using a megaphone outside the school’s graduation venue Friday to deliver an impassioned speech on his peers’ activism.

Starbucks to Close over 8,000 Stores for Anti-bias Training
After the arrests of two black men at one of its stores, the coffee chain’s leaders have reached out to activists and experts to form a curriculum for its 175,000 workers on “unconscious bias training,” typically designed to get people to open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender, or other identities.

FBI Tells Router Users to Reboot Now to Kill Malware Infecting 500k Devices
The FBI is advising users of consumer-grade routers and network-attached storage devices to reboot them as soon as possible to counter Russian-engineered malware. Known as VPNFilter, the malware allowed attackers to collect communications, launch attacks on others, and permanently destroy the devices with a single command.

You Can only Protect Campus Speech if You Acknowledge Racism
“The next generation is not dominated by so-called snowflakes or cowards, but rather by young adults determined to advance their notions of equality and justice, just as previous generations have done. One of the greatest, and most often overlooked, dangers to free speech on campus is that it will come to be associated exclusively with those who aim to offend.”


Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker On Hunger Strike In Russia Agrees To Treatment *PEN Case List
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who opposed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and is now on hunger strike in a Russian prison, has agreed to receive medical treatment, Russia’s prison authorities say. Sentsov is currently serving a 20-year prison term after being convicted on terrorism charges widely believed to be politically motivated.

Will FIFA Force Russia to Make the World Cup Friendly to LGBT People?
“The World Cup is meant to be a joyful celebration of sport and humanity, yet many LGBT people will not be celebrating the games… Establishing human rights policies was a vital first step for FIFA. The hard part is implementing them, especially with repressive prospective hosts who intend to “sportswash” their international images.”

China’s Weibo Microblogging Site Deletes Posts by Embassies
China’s most popular microblogging site Sina Weibo is censoring foreign embassies’ posts on topics ranging from US-North Korea relations to stock market regulation, including selectively deleting comments to make their authors appear more pro-China, stopping them from being re-shared, or disabling comments.

‘Dictator’ Erdogan Magazine Cover Elicits Protests in France
French magazine Le Point‘s latest issue, which profiled the Turkish leader’s policies, was met with several protests. In Avignon, police were deployed after a group of Erdogan’s supporters tried to remove posters at a kiosk. The kiosk owner later told Le Point that the men threatened to set his establishment on fire.

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