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Nineteen Democratic Attorney General’s wrote to Trump Administration to challenge proposed rule allowing medical workers to deny health care based on religious grounds. Walmart removes Cosmopolitan magazine from check-out lines under pressure from conservative lobbyists citing #MeToo. Edits to Anti-Israel Boycott Act aimed at addressing free speech concerns. Sacramento home seller seeks to exclude Trump supporters as potential purchasers of her real estate. Former FBI agent charged with leaking classified information to The Intercept. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


New York Threatens to Sue if the Trump Administration Moves Forward with “Religious Protections” for Medical Workers
A proposed rule would allow healthcare providers to decline medical care, such as abortions or sex reassignment surgery, for “religious, moral, [or] ethical” reasons. Critics say it will enable providers to discriminate against marginalized patients.

Walmart Partners with Conservative Group to Remove Cosmo from Checkout Lines
Walmart partners with NCOSE to remove the magazine so customers would not be exposed to its “sexually exploitative” content. Critics pointed out how removing the magazine seems misguided, counterproductive, and opportunistic.

Edits to Israel Anti-Boycott Act Meant to Address Free Speech Concerns
A new act would shield Israel and Israeli businesses from international boycotts by penalizing those seeking to collect information in pursuance of a boycott. Edits were aimed at alleviating concerns of free speech protections.

Sacramento Home for Sale, but Not to Trump Supporters
Homeowner says “no Trump supporter[s]” as potential buyers. According to the Fair Housing Act, political affiliation isn’t included in the seven protected classes. “People have a right to believe what they want to believe and shouldn’t be restricted,” says 
Attorney Allen Sawyer.

Former FBI Agent Charged with Leaking Classified Information
Terry Albury was charged with “knowingly and willfully” transmitting information relating to national defense to The Intercept. The attorneys said Albury “accepts full responsibility” for the alleged conduct.


Mexican Police Officers Found Guilty of Murdering Journalist in Rare Conviction
Two police officers have been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Moisés Sánchez, marking a rare conviction in a country where crimes committed against media members almost always remain in the realm of impunity.

Woman Becomes First South African Imprisoned for Racist Speech
Vicki Momberg yelled racial slurs at police officers, making her the first person in South Africa to be imprisoned for racist speech. The case sets a precedent that could result in “an increasing number of people, across the political spectrum, being jailed.”

‘Fatty on a Train’: China’s Internet Users Try to Skirt North Korea Censorship on Kim Jong Un Visit
With public accounts focusing on news about North Korea being censored by Chinese authorities, internet users kept each other abreast on Kim Jong Un’s visits to Beijing’s sites by resorting to nicknames to get around the censors.

Singapore Squares up to Human Rights Group Over ‘Fake News’
A parliamentary committee in Singapore is reviewing measures to prevent “deliberate online falsehoods”, mirroring efforts in various countries to tackle fake news. Activists worry that the laws could be used to stifle free speech.

Egypt Targeted ‘Fake News’ Ahead of Presidential Elections
The campaign against the media has become extreme in the lead up to next week’s presidential elections, where the authorities are using charges of “fake news” to tighten censorship. “It’s a nightmare to be a journalist in Egypt nowadays.”

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