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Women’s March anniversary nears, with national mobilization planned under more than one organizer. Anonymous account of an encounter with Aziz Ansari stirs vigorous debate about #MeToo. University of Texas at Austin refuses funding linked to Chinese Communist Party after dispute that exposed growing reach of the Chinese government into U.S. academic institutions. Waiting days to come forward, Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton now deny that the President used an expletive to refer to African nations and Haiti. (See LA Times oped by PEN America ED Suzanne Nossel on the effort to ignore and dismiss Trump’s words.) -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


One Year After Women’s March, More Activism but Less Unity
On the eve of the anniversary, a rift is emerging between two groups: Women’s March Inc., which organized the march on Washington and spent much of the year creating more social justice protests, and another organization of activists who planned sister marches last year and believe that winning elections, particularly in red states, should be the primary goal.

Aziz Ansari Allegations Open New Chapter in #MeToo Movement
The #MeToo movement, which brought the problem of workplace sexual harassment and assault into sharp, painful focus, is now bringing the glare of attention to the question of consent. A New York photographer sparked the discussion anew this weekend with allegations of an uncomfortable sexual encounter with comedian and actor Aziz Ansari.

After Cruz raises worries about “propaganda,” UT says it won’t accept money from Chinese foundation
After months of internal uproar and a letter from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the University of Texas at Austin has declared its China center will not accept funding from a Hong Kong-based foundation that the Republican from Texas said helps spread Chinese government propaganda abroad.

Hopes Dim for DACA Deal as Lawmakers Battle Over Trump’s Immigration Remarks
Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton had previously said they did “not recall” the president’s comments. But by Sunday, their recollections appeared to have sharpened, and they began disputing Richard Durbin’s account.


Hong Kong court to rule later on 3 activists’ prison terms
Judges at Hong Kong’s top court said they would issue their decision at a later, unspecified date following the appeal hearing for Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow against the sentences of up to eight months. Bail for the three was extended.

Danish inventor charged with killing journalist on submarine
Danish prosecutors will seek to have inventor Peter Madsen jailed for life for killing Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his homebuilt submarine in a premeditated murder, possibly by either cutting her throat or strangling her.

Philippine authorities move to shut down media site critical of Duterte
Philippine authorities revoked the registration of a leading news outlet critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, renewing questions about the president’s commitment to a free press. Rappler, a popular and pioneering news website, was found to have violated constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media.

In Some Countries, Facebook’s Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News
As Facebook updates and tweaks its service in order to keep users glued to their screens, countries like Bolivia are ideal testing grounds thanks to their growing, internet-savvy populations. But these changes can have significant consequences, like limiting the audience for nongovernmental news sources and amplifying the impact of fabricated and sensational stories.

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]