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White House spokeswoman pronounces ESPN anchor Jemele Hill’s tweet ‎calling President Trump a white supremacist a “fireable offense.” ESPN says her apology for the remarks has been accepted. African American Republican Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina speaks frankly to Trump on the President’s “sterile” approach to race and the Charlottesville protests. Cal Berkeley braces for speech by conservative impresario Ben Shapiro. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


Trump’s press secretary offers suggested punishments for two Trump critics
Sarah Sanders suggested that former FBI director James Comey should face criminal punishment for allowing negative information about the president to be leaked to the New York Times, and that ESPN reporter Jemele Hill should be fired for her comments about Trump and race.

After Charlottesville, Black Republican Gives Trump a History Lesson on Racism
Tim Scott rebutted Trump’s claim that “both sides,” racists and anti-racist protesters, were responsible for the violence in Charlottesville, and called it a “sterile” response. He delivered a pointed history lesson on America’s legacy of racism to Trump.

Unprecedented measures at Berkeley for conservative writer’s speech, from pepper spray to emotional counseling for students
Prior to a talk by Ben Shapiro, UC Berkeley offers counseling to students who are stressed by the commotion. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on security, and police can now use pepper spray on protesters.

Can Cops Force You to Unlock Your Phone With Your Face?
iPhone X’s new feature, Face ID, make it easier to unlock phones. But could police officers legally force someone they’ve arrested to look into their phone to unlock it?


Violence can erupt in Cambodia without warning: US warns citizens
After the shut-down of an English-language newspaper The Cambodia Daily, the expulsion of an American NGO, and the arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha on the ground of treason and conspiracy with Washington, The US Embassy in Phnom Penh issued a security warning to Americans about possible violence in Cambodia.

Kashmiri Journalists and Activists Face Twitter Censorship at Indian Government’s Request
People who have tweeted about the conflict in Indian-administered Kashmir may soon be censored on Twitter, at the request of the Indian government. Is it an “attempt at intimidating those who post the truth that will never be shown by Indian media”?

‘Farewell’: Qiao Mu, dissenting academic, leaves China for US
A journalism professor had emerged as an increasingly isolated voice of dissent in the nearly five years under Xi Jingping’s rule. Friends said he had decided to leave after seeing his academic career wrecked by his refusal to fall into line.

Lawyer Who Worked for Egypt’s Disappeared Himself Vanishes
The prosecutor said Mr. Hegazy was being detained on charges of disseminating fake news and running an illegal organization. The Egyptian authorities also reacted furiously to the Human Rights Watch report and blocked access to its website.

Spain Catalonia: Ballot papers for banned referendum to be seized
Catalonia’s public prosecutor ordered the seizure of all ballot papers ahead of a banned independence referendum deemed illegal. Catalonia’s pro-independence leaders appealed to the international community to support their “right of freedom of expression and the right to vote”.

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