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Immigration advocates raise concerns about a proposed Department of Homeland Security rule that would make it harder for families separated at the border to reunite. ACLU sues the US Commerce Department over plans to include questions about citizenship in the 2020 census. Facebook unveils a lineup of news programming. Two House Republicans send letter to the Natural Resources Defense Council, positing that praise for China’s efforts to reduce pollution and criticism of rollbacks for environmental protections in the United States indicate foreign influence – Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator

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


New U.S. Rule Will Make it Harder for Immigrant Children to Reunite with Families, Advocates Fear
The proposed Department of Homeland Security rule, would allow immigration authorities to examine the criminal background and legal status of anyone who steps forward to sponsor unaccompanied migrant children. Immigration advocates say it will force parents in the country illegally to choose between stepping forward to claim their children and protecting themselves from possible deportation.

ACLU Sues Over Plans for Citizenship Question on 2020 Census
Civil rights lawyers sued the U.S. Commerce Department to try to stop plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, calling it an unconstitutional attempt to discriminate against immigrants, which would diminish the political power and influence of Latinos, Asian-Americans, Arab-Americans and immigrant communities of color generally.

Facebook is Funding News programs from CNN, Fox News, Univision and others
Facebook has unveiled its initial lineup of news programming that will be airing in a dedicated section of Watch, the original video content initiative the social network launched last year. While these shows are being produced by outside media organizations, it’s actually Facebook that’s funding them.

Republican Lawmakers Question Environmental Group’s Praise of China
Two House Republicans have questioned a prominent American environmental group, contending that by praising China’s efforts to reduce pollution while criticizing American shortcomings it could be working as an agent of Chinese influence. The N.R.D.C. has fought efforts to scale back environmental protections in the U.S.


IGP: Kadir Jasin Under Multiple Investigations over Blog Entry
Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin is under investigation in Malaysia following his claim that the government spent RM256.9 million in 16 months on expenses for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The case is being investigated under the Sedition Act 1948, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, and Section 500 of the Penal Code for defamation.

As France Debates Fake News Bill, Critics See Threat to Free Speech
French lawmakers debated draft legislation Thursday that is intended to limit the spread of fake news and disinformation during election periods. However, critics say the proposed laws threaten freedom of expression and could give the government undue control over information.

China Fires, Probes Top Newspaper Chief Who ‘Opposed Censorship’
The ruling Chinese Communist Party has expelled Zhang Wei, the party secretary at the Qinghai Daily News newspaper, for “disciplinary violations.” The CCDI said, “he opposed censorship and illegally kept secret party work documents in his possession.” In Beijing, sweeping changes have prompted dozens of journalists to resign.

Wave of Arrests in Egypt Sends Alarming Message at Start of Sisi’s Second Term
Dozens of politicians, writers and human rights activists were attacked June 5 by unknown assailants at the iftar dinner party for the breaking of the daily fast during Ramadan organized by the Civil Democratic Movement. Ever since Sisi was elected for a second term, the authorities have arrested dozens of critics.

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