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The editor of one of New Mexico’s leading newspapers, The Albuquerque Journal, issued an apology over an editorial cartoon that many people interpreted as a bigoted attack on DACA recipients. In spite of the president’s attacks on the New York Times, notably for efforts to call into question the credibility of its reporting, digital-only subscriptions soar. Members of Parliament from the U.K. grill tech giants in Washington, D.C., on issues including privacy and fraudulent news. More than 100 New York City public defenders protest Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s seemingly arbitrary arrests of their clients. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

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


New Mexico Newspaper Apologizes for Cartoon Portraying ‘Dreamers’ as Muggers
The editor of one of New Mexico’s leading newspapers, The Albuquerque Journal, issued an apology over an editorial cartoon that many people interpreted as a bigoted attack on Hispanics. In addition to criticism from subscribers, political leaders and immigration advocates, The Journal faced outrage from some of its own staff.

The New York Times digital paywall business is growing as fast as Facebook and faster than Google
The paper brought in $340 million in online subscriptions for 2017, a 46 percent spike over the previous year. Even more impressive: that’s the average annual growth rate since the paywall started in 2011. That equals Facebook, which grew its business 47 percent last year, and it’s much faster than Google, which grew at a 23 percent clip.

Members of the U.K. Parliament grill American tech giants over the spread of fake news.
The lawmakers took up lines of inquiry both specific to Russian interference and broader, more open-ended topics, such as the development of online ad targeting, the future of news media, and the role of global Web platforms in public discourse.

More than 100 New York City attorneys protest after Ice arrests Bronx man
The nonprofit Legal Aid Society helped organize the strike. Spokesman Redmond Haskins said: “The presence of Ice officers in our courthouses and the perception that no immigrant is safe to seek their day in court, is threatening to upend our entire legal process and the principles upon which it stands.”


Ethiopia Releases Blogger, Opposition Figure *PEN Case List
Ethiopia’s attorney general ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners on Thursday, state media reported, including journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega and opposition leader Andualem Arage whose jailings drew international condemnation.

How Myanmar forces burned, looted and killed in a remote village *PEN Case List
On Sept. 2, Buddhist villagers and Myanmar troops killed 10 Rohingya men in Myanmar’s restive Rakhine state. Reuters uncovered the massacre and has pieced together how it unfolded. During the reporting of this article, two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, were arrested by Myanmar police.

‘Weaponization’ of free speech prompts talk of a new hate law
The far right has “co-opted” the issue of free speech, and their activism is not a principled defence of a Charter value, but “a sly political strategy to divide opponents on the left, humiliate them and cast them as hypocrites and unconstitutional, to clear a way for unconstitutional ideas,” PEN Canada board member Omar Mouallem said.

Saudi writer gets prison for criticizing royal court
It’s the latest case targeting critics of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversaw the arrest of dozens of prominent Saudi figures for not publicly supporting or for criticizing his domestic and foreign policies. Rights groups have described the 32-year-old prince’s crackdown on dissent as authoritarianism.

Moscow Court Rules Uzbek Journalist Feruz Must Stay in Russia
A district court judge said on February 9 that Feruz must remain at an immigration detention center until all documents needed for departing Russia are filed. Following the ruling by the Basmanny district court, Feruz’s lawyer said his client hopes to leave for Germany next week and has plane reservations for February 15.

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog to monitor online content under draft law
The regulation would allow the watchdog to halt materials streamed online, social media posts, and films offered by Internet-based providers like Netflix if they are deemed a threat to national security or moral values. President Erdogan and his government have been criticized for curtailing freedom of speech and basic freedoms.

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