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Following the government reopening, Pelosi aid says the president’s State of the Union will not take place Tuesday. Iowa House denies press credentials to influential blogger Laura Belin, who has covered the Legislature for years, prompting possible legal action for the House’s content-based restriction. Author Jay Asher files defamation against the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and its director, following multiple claims of sexual misconduct by Asher at Society’s conferences. News anchor Tom Brokaw of NBC apologizes for his statements on ‘Meet the Press’ over the weekend, when he claimed that ‘Hispanics should work harder at assimilation.’ -Nora Benavidez, Director of U.S. Free Expression Programs

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

U.S.

State of the Union Will Not Take Place Tuesday, Pelosi Aide Says
The aide confirmed that the address, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, will not happen—answering a key question about the address’s fate in the wake of the reopening of the federal government.
CNN

Iowa House Denying Press Credentials to Influential Blogger
Laura Belin, who operates the Bleeding Heartland blog, said the House chief clerk hasn’t cited any valid reason for the denial, which she suspects is tied to her critical coverage of Republican leaders and policies.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jay Asher, Author of ‘Thirteen Reasons Why,’ Files Defamation Lawsuit
In the lawsuit, Jay Asher claims that the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and its executive director, Lin Oliver, never properly investigated the complaints against him and ignored exonerating evidence.
NEW YORK TIMES

Brokaw Says He Feels Terrible Commentary Offended Hispanics
NBC’s Tom Brokaw says he feels terrible that his comments on “Meet the Press” Sunday that Hispanics should work harder at assimilation “offended some members of that proud culture.”
ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Global

Mexico Officials Make Arrest in Slaying of Radio Journalist
On January 19 the suspect and other people abducted 34-year-old Jose Rafael Murua Manriquez, who headed Radio Kashana in the town of Santa Rosalia. His body was found the next day among vegetation in the municipality of Mulege.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Wang Quanzhang: China Jails Leading Human Rights Lawyer
China has sentenced prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang to four and a half years in prison for state subversion. Wang had defended political campaigners, victims of land seizures, and followers of the banned spiritual Falun Gong movement.
BBC NEWS

An Ally Held Me as a Spy—And the West Is Complicit
“Free debate and knowledge creation are the antithesis of any authoritarian society. … Western governments’ complicity, primarily by way of silence, gives authoritarian rulers confidence in their actions.”
THE ATLANTIC

Warning Wechat Could Spread Chinese Propaganda during Federal Election
The International Cyber Policy Institute has warned WeChat’s 1.5 million monthly Australian users could be exposed to disinformation, censorship, and propaganda on the closely regulated Chinese messaging service.
SYDNEY MORNING POST

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