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A.G. Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times, raises concerns about dangerous anti-press rhetoric in meeting with President Trump. Newspaper says Trump took pride in popularizing the phrase “fake news” and said other countries had begun banning it; the publisher reminded the president that those were dictatorships where leaders were acting against independent scrutiny. Vice President Pence stands by White House decision to bar CNN reporter from press event. Case against Backpage, publisher of sex ads, positioned as test of First Amendment and free speech on the internet. Multiple allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace emerge against the CBS chairman and chief executive. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

 

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

U.S.

The New York Times Publisher Met With President Trump to Discuss Anti-Media Rhetoric
The publisher of The New York Times said he “implored” Trump at a private White House meeting this month to reconsider his broad attacks on journalists, calling the president’s anti-press rhetoric “not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”
TIME

New York Times Publisher and Trump Clash Over President’s Threats Against Journalism
“I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous… I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence,” says Mr. Sulzberger.
NEW YORK TIMES

Mike Pence Defends White House Banning CNN Reporter From Press Event
“This administration believes in the freedom of the press,” Pence told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview airing Sunday. “But maintaining the decorum that is due at the White House… is an issue that we’ll continue to work forward.”
HUFFINGTON POST

The Sex-Trafficking Case Testing the Limits of the First Amendment
Backpage has repeatedly evaded criminal penalties for its purported complicity in criminal enterprises. Backpage has successfully argued that it can’t be held legally responsible for the criminal conduct of others—no matter how reprehensible.
POLITICO

Les Moonves and CBS Face Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
In recent months, Les Moonves has become a prominent voice in Hollywood’s #MeToo movement. Now six women have accused the C.E.O. of harassment and intimidation, and dozens more describe abuse at his company.
NEW YORKER

 
Global

Why is China Afraid of this Man?*PEN Case List
“Gui Minhai was riding a train when 10 Chinese plainclothesmen stormed aboard and carried him off the train. Three weeks later, Gui was paraded before the media to recite a bizarre and apparently coerced confession. He hasn’t been heard from since.”
WASHINGTON POST

Two Italian Artists Leave Israel After Arrest Over Mural
Jorit Agoch and Salvatore De Luise were arrested in the West Bank city of Bethlehem after spending days creating the mural depicting Ahed Tamimi, a prominent Palestinian protester imprisoned by Israel for eight months for slapping two soldiers.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WeChat Spreads Nationalist Propaganda, Fake News to Chinese Communities Overseas
WeChat remains a main source of news for those staying abroad, but in Australia and the U.S., many of these WeChat accounts publish content that contains nationalist propaganda and fake news about Western society in an effort to drive traffic.
EPOCH TIMES

The U.K.’s ‘Fake News’ Report Suggests Fining Tech Companies for Misinformation
The U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Media, Sports and Culture committee has called for third parties propagating “fake news”, such as Facebook and Twitter, to be held liable in a new report and should face taxes and fines for supporting “harmful” posts.
FORTUNE

Hong Kong Freedoms at Risk if Ban On Pro-Independence Party Proceeds, Former Lawmaker Margaret Ng Warns
Ng has warned that cherished freedoms will suffer “a clear setback” if authorities proceed with the police’s proposed ban on the pro-independence HKNP. “We now have even less freedom of speech… than under… colonial government.”
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

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