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Publisher Henry Holt & Co. moves up release of “Fire and Fury,” countering President Trump’s legal effort to halt publication of Michael Wolff’s look inside the West Wing. (See PEN America’s statement on this unconstitutional attempt at imposing prior restraint, a form of censorship repeatedly rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.) The White House takes aim at a once-favored media outlet, this time turning on former chief strategist Steve Bannon by urging Breitbart News to consider firing him as chairman. President Trump, while in the White House, “attends” a press briefing down the hall by video, giving a statement on his accomplishments and taking no questions. An Alabama woman files defamation suit against defeated Republican US Senate candidate Roy Moore and his campaign, seeking an apology but no financial compensation for withering personal attacks she faced after surfacing allegations of his sexual advances when she was a minor. Mark Zuckerberg promises to fix Facebook as his 2018 resolution. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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


Publisher Henry Holt Moves Up Release of Michael Wolff’s Trump Book to Friday
The book, “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff, was scheduled to go on sale Jan. 9, but Henry Holt said in a statement that it advanced the release date “due to unprecedented demand,” despite a cease and desist letter from Trump’s lawyers. The book rocketed to No. 1 on the bestseller lists at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com after excerpts surfaced in news reports this week.

Bannon’s Breitbart Role Threatened by Trump Feud
Staffers of conservative media outlet Breitbart worry that Steve Bannon will be forced to step down because of his feud with President Donald Trump. When asked if Bannon should be fired from Breitbart, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said “I certainly think that it’s something they should look at and consider.”

Trump Makes Appearance in White House Briefing Room, but on Screen
President Trump made his first appearance in the White House briefing room during Thursday’s conference. However, he only appeared on-screen. Delivering a digital message meant the president did not take questions from reporters, who would have liked to ask him about Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury,” to be published Friday.

Woman Who Accused Roy Moore of Unwanted Sexual Contact Sues Him for Defamation
Leigh Corfman is not seeking compensation beyond legal costs, according to her lawyer. She is asking for a declaratory judgment of defamation, a public apology from Moore, and a court-enforced ban on him publicly attacking her again. Corfman said the suit seeks “to hold Mr. Moore and those who enable him accountable.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s New Year’s Resolution: ‘Fixing’ Facebook
Zuckerberg will spend 2018 trying to correct persistent problems—including the proliferation of hate speech and misinformation—that have dogged his wildly popular social network for the past two years. Zuckerberg said in a post that “we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools.”


Vienna ‘New Year’s Baby’ Greeted First with Hate, Then Hearts
Public announcements of “New Year’s Babies” are an annual mainstay of newspapers throughout the German-speaking world. But internet rights and refugee support groups say they had never seen a wave of hate directed at an infant to compare with the one that met Asel and her parents, Naime and Alper Tamga.

Protests Greet Erdogan on First France Visit Since Crackdown
Protests over press freedom greeted the Turkish President as he arrived in Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to raise the issue of media freedom with Erdogan. About 30 activists from watchdog group Reporters without Borders held images of jailed journalists outside the Turkish Embassy.

Myanmar President Calls for Reform of Nation’s Military-Drafted Constitution
The speech called also for justice for all recognized minorities, but made no mention of the Rohingya Muslim people. Concern has been growing that Myanmar’s reform program is stalling or even sliding back. This has been compounded by attacks on press freedom, including the detention of several journalists over the past year.

‘Act of Treason’: Fujimori Pardon Reopens Wounds for Victims of Peru’s State Terror
The former Peru strongman pardon has prompted outrage and protests. Many Peruvians believe Fujimori should never have been pardoned, not just because of the gravity of his crimes, but because of the many more alleged human rights violations for which he never faced trial–and probably never will.

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