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Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell rejects criticism of his decision to block an election security bill that supporters say could have helped protect against future attempts at foreign interference. In response to President Trump’s latest racist tirade, this time taking aim at the city of Baltimore, journalists of color push media organizations to describe racist rhetoric and behavior as such, and include coverage of these as an integral part of their news reporting. Forty writers who are themselves refugees, immigrants, or the children of immigrants call on U.S. Congress to put an end to the ‘atrocious conditions for asylum seekers being detained today.’ Fact-checking nonprofit offers recommendations to Facebook to prevent the spread of misinformation on its platforms, including the extension of its fact-checking efforts to Instagram. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


McConnell Defends Blocking Election Security Bill, Rejects Criticism He Is Aiding Russia
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his decision to block an election security bill and lashed out at critics who suggested he was helping Russia, accusing them of engaging in “modern-day McCarthyism” to “smear” his record.

Black Journalists Push Media to Cover ‘Hyper-Racial’ Moment in Politics
Media outlets’ approach to covering race is frustrating some prominent journalists of color at a time when Trump’s language—as he recently called a civil rights leader a “con man” and referred to a predominantly black district as a “disgusting rat and rodent infested mess”—is threatening to define the campaign.

U.S. Writers Recall Their Migrant Journeys in Protest at Asylum Seekers’ Treatment
Forty authors, all of whom have migrated to the U.S. or are the children of migrants, signed an open letter pleading with Washington politicians to take action over inhumane conditions in detention centers on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Full Fact Has Been Fact-Checking Facebook Posts for Six Months. Here’s What They Think Needs to Change
Full Fact, the independent U.K. fact-checking organization, signed on as one of Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners in January. Six months in, the organization has released a report about its experience so far—what it’s learned, what it likes, and what it thinks needs to change.


China Says Most Muslims Have Been Released From Camps. Others Say: Prove It.
Chinese government officials said most inmates held in internment camps across the Xinjiang region had been released and given work. But experts and members of Muslim minority groups from Xinjiang who have fled abroad quickly contested the claim, saying there was no evidence of mass releases.

Tanzanian Journalist Abducted
A leading Tanzanian newspaper Mwananchi reports that Erick Kabendera, who writes for local and international newspapers, was abducted by people who are said to be police officers. Police have immediately denied being involved.

Bong Joon-ho’s Palme d’Or Winner ‘Parasite’ Pulled from China Festival
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite,” this year’s Palme d’Or winner, was canceled from screening as the closing film for China’s FIRST Film Festival for “technical reasons,” making it the fifth festival film to run into trouble with Chinese censors this year.

Prominent Russian Journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza S. Dies Age 59
Vladimir Kara-Murza Sr., one of Russia’s most prominent journalists and a pioneer of independent post-Soviet television, has died at the age of 59 in Moscow. Kara-Murza Sr. gained prominence in the early 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and during democratic reforms that came under President Boris Yeltsin.

Putin Opposition Leader Jailed Again after Suspected Poisoning
Alexei Navalny, a prominent Russian opposition leader, was discharged from a Moscow hospital and sent back to jail, despite claims by his doctor that he may have been poisoned by an unknown chemical agent while in custody.

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