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Nearly 400 journalists globally join up to investigate 13.4 million leaked files on international business dealings. One reported finding is that hundreds of millions of dollars from Kremlin sources backed Russian billionaire’s investments in Silicon Valley, including Facebook and Twitter stakes. In advance of President Trump’s China stop, journalists wonder about his response to Beijing’s press freedom crackdowns including any limits on US media reporting on trip. Conservative Daily Caller website fires editor over agreement to run regular column by white nationalist-linked provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. Cyclist who gave presidential motorcade the middle finger fired from her job at a government contractor. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


What to Know About the ‘Paradise Papers’ Leak
The Paradise Papers show that Russia’s Gazprom and VTB Bank poured funds into two investment vehicles that in turn purchased more than $1 billion worth of shares in Facebook and Twitter. Those vehicles are owned by a Russian tech mogul named Yuri Milner, who also has an $850,000 stake in a startup co-founded by Kushner.

Reporters see China trip as test of Trump’s media views
On previous presidential trips, the Chinese government has often sought to limit the access of the U.S. traveling press corps. Past U.S. leaders have typically set aside whatever beefs they had with the media to push back on their Chinese counterparts, but no president has attacked the press like Trump.

Daily Caller’s opinion editor fired over Milo Yiannopoulos column
The Daily Caller came under immediate fire on social media for giving platform to Yiannopoulos, a controversial figure associated with white nationalism who resigned from the right-wing Breitbart website earlier this year over comments he made about pederasty.

Woman Fired For Flipping Off Donald Trump’s Motorcade
Juli Briskman said she emphasized to the company executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.

The Washington Post, Miami Herald, InfoWars and other U.S. sites spread Russian propaganda from Twitter
“The fact that these fake accounts were able to fool legitimate news outlets into repeating their messages shows just how difficult it is for even well-informed Americans to identify Russian-produced propaganda on social media,” said Senator Mark Warner.


US woman charged over tweet allegedly insulting Robert Mugabe
Police have transferred Martha O’Donovan, who works for the Harare-based Magamba TV, to the city’s central police station and confiscated her laptop. There have been several arrests in recent years for actions deemed to undermine the president, although no one has ever been convicted.

Jail Time for Disrespecting China’s Anthem Jumps From 15 Days to 3 Years
Offenders could face imprisonment for “deliberately distorting the lyrics or music of the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China, singing the national anthem in a distorted or derogatory fashion, or insulting the national anthem in other ways,” said the amendment to the criminal law.

Russian police detain hundreds in nationalist protests
Demonstrators in Moscow chanted “Putin is a thief” and “freedom for political prisoners.” Police in riot gear moved to break up the protesters and detained dozens. Among those detained were all of the protest’s organizers, nationalist leader Ivan Beletsky told state news agency Interfax.

Bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown to be cut from Hong Kong school history
The Chinese government has for a long time put pressure on Hong Kong’s Education Bureau to promote patriotism among the city’s students. Both Beijing and Lam are hard-line advocates of national education: the adoption of patriotic Chinese studies in local Hong Kong schools to foster a greater sense of identity with Mainland China.

Afghanistan Acts to Ban WhatsApp, but Claims Move Is Temporary
A statement from the Ministry of Communications denied that the ban constituted a threat to free expression. “WhatsApp and Telegram are just applications for contact and the sending of audio messages, and this does not affect freedom of speech,” it said.

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