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Les Moonves steps down as head of CBS as new accusations of sexual harassment or assault emerge. President Trump urges the Justice Department to open an investigation into the author of The New York Times op-ed on White House chaos. Google complies with Russian government request to take down YouTube ads by critic of Russian President Putin calling for participation in protests. As a national prison strike continues, read commentary on the restrictions on incarcerated writers’ rights by PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program Manager Caits Meissner. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Les Moonves Out At CBS After Harassment Allegations
Moonves stepped down as the chairman, president and CEO of CBS Corporation after 12 women accused him of sexual misconduct that spanned decades in two reports published in The New Yorker. He is among the most powerful men to lose their jobs following revelations of sexual misconduct as part of the #MeToo movement.
NPR

Trump Wants Sessions to Investigate New York Times Op-Ed
Trump has railed about the publication of the anonymous op-ed, calling its author “gutless” and a “coward” while suggesting the op-ed could damage national security. Now, it appears Trump is taking this a step further and calling for a criminal investigation, though there is no indication the author violated any laws.
CNN

Want to Write Fiction in U.S. Prisons? It Might be Censored on ‘Security Grounds’
“Prison officials around the country have wide latitude to restrict prisoners’ freedom of expression, but restrictions on mail must be rationally related to a legitimate penological interest. Who is qualified to make these decisions, and what can a writer in prison do to call errant judgement into question?”
GUARDIAN

To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library
“Libraries are being disparaged and neglected right when they are most necessary. The founding principle of the public library—that all people deserve free, open access to our shared culture—is out of sync with market logic. But also, so few influential people understand the expansive role that libraries play in modern communities.”
NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

Google Removes Putin Critic’s Ads from YouTube
Google has taken down YouTube ads by Alexei Navalny, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, ahead of elections for regional governors in Russia. The videos showed Mr Navalny calling for Russians to take part in protests on 9 September against raising the retirement age.
BBC NEWS

Imprisoned in Egypt for His Writing, Ahmed Naji is Finally Free *PEN Case List
“No one foresaw that Ahmed Naji would be imprisoned for his novel. After all, no author had ever been subjected to arrest for morality reasons in modern Egypt, and as Naji himself says in this interview: ‘My writings are not political.'”
ELECTRIC LITERATURE

Activists Stage Protest for Filmmaker Detained in Russia *PEN Case List
Human rights activists have held a silent protest in support of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, on hunger strike in a Russian prison, at the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Poland.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Campaign Groups Call for Release of Iranian Journalist Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison over Two Tweets
Amir Hossein Miresmaeli was sentenced to ten years in prison last month after being charged with insulting the government and judicial officials, the “Holy imams of Shia” and publishing lies to disturb public opinion.
PRESS-GAZETTE

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