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Further allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh surface and delay the nomination; prof. Christine Blasey Ford, who has faced harassment and death threats since coming forward, agrees to testify to the Senate. Following efforts to disparage Christine Blasey Ford’s account of events and motives, including by President Trump, dozens of women share the difficulties they faced in reporting abuse using the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport. “Early Days” statue in San Francisco, widely seen as a symbol of colonial oppression, removed from public square. Twitter blocks account of actor James Woods, known for conservative points of view, for a tweet from July sharing a hoax meme. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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

U.S.

Senate Judiciary Panel’s Top Democrat calls for Delay in Kavanaugh Hearing After New Allegation
Ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein called late Sunday for a delay in further consideration of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Members of Congress disagreed on whether there should be an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
WASHINGTON POST

#WhyIDidntReport: Survivors of Sexual Assault Share Their Stories After Trump Tweet
When the #MeToo movement erupted on social media last year, people who had been sexually harassed, abused, or assaulted went public with their stories. Survivors of abuse responded by rallying around a new hashtag, #WhyIDidntReport, to highlight the difficulties, fear, anger, and shame that so often surround sexual harassment and assault.
NEW YORK TIMES

A 124-Year-Old Statue Reviled by Native Americans – and How It Came Down
San Francisco’s ‘Early Days’ statue was seen by many as a symbol of colonial oppression, depicting a Native American on his back, defeated by a Catholic priest and anglicized vaquero. After decades of effort, the Early Days statue, a symbol of oppression to many Native Americans, was removed.
THE GUARDIAN

Conservative Actor James Woods Tweeted a Hoax Meme in July. Twitter Just Locked Him Out of His Account.
The actor James Wood was locked out of his account last week because of a tweet that Twitter found violated its rules. The tweet in question featured a hoax meme claiming to be from Democrats that told men not to vote in the midterm elections, according to the AP.
WASHINGTON POST

Marc Randazza is Fighting To Keep Nazis and Trolls On Twitter in the New Speech Wars. Here’s Why.
The new speech wars are a push and pull between individuals, governments, and platforms. At the center of this is attorney Marc Randazza, fighting for Nazis, satanists, and unapologetic trolls.
BUZZFEED NEWS

 
Global

“May My Country Forgive Me for Getting Caught”: A Deep Dive Into The Emotional Pleas of Venezuela’s Silenced Journalists
On August 29th, Venezuelan journalist, Jesus Medina Ezaine, was arrested by government authorities in Caracas. Many press advocacy groups were outraged including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which condemned the arrest and subsequent detention of Ezaine by the country’s intelligence services.
MEDIAFILE

Kenya Lifts ban on Lesbian Film ‘Rafiki’ Ahead of the Oscars
The ban on the film Rafiki portraying a lesbian romance has been lifted in Kenya has been lifted for one week. Residents will be able to watch the film for seven days after a judge temporarily lifted a ban on the film, making it eligible to be entered for a Foreign Language Oscar.
THE INDEPENDENT

The Total Collapse of Freedom, Pluralism and Diversity in Turkey’s Mainstream Media
Mainstream media in Turkey are heavily restricted, with Freedom House categorising the Turkish media as ‘not free’ and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranking Turkey 154th out of 180 countries in its 2017 World Press Freedom Index. 150 media outlets have been shut down, and mass trials are being held under the state of emergency launched after the failed 2016 coup.
MEDIA POLICY PROJECT

Ban on Pro-Independence Party ‘Inconsistent’ with Hong Kong’s Core Freedoms, Says US Consulate
Security chief John Lee issued a ban of the Hong Kong National Party, citing “national security, public safety, public order, protection of freedom and the rights of others.” The US Consulate General in Hong Kong has said the banning of a pro-independence party was “inconsistent” with the values of freedom of expression and freedom of association.
HONG KONG FREE PRESS

China Has Silenced American Academics for Years. Now They’re Pushing Back.
Many academics who specialize in China fear that if they are critical, the Communist rulers will deny them a visa. A professor who speaks honestly about human rights abuses may fear a rebuke, or worse, from university administrators, who in turn fear losing their satellite campus in China—or the lucrative flow of Chinese students to their school.
WASHINGTON POST

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