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DARE To Be Informed

The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression this week.


Trump slams ‘dishonest’ media over ‘sick’ reports of Putin exchange
President Donald Trump bashed news outlets for covering a previously unreported exchange between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Germany earlier this month, tweeting “The Fake News is becoming more and more dishonest!”
Google’s confidentiality rules discourage whistleblowers, U.S. Labor official warns
Confidentiality clauses are commonplace in Silicon Valley, ostensibly to protect trade secrets. But critics say the rules are sometimes so extreme they prevent employees from engaging in their legally protected rights to raise concerns about discrimination, sexual harassment, and other labor violations.
Mormon university instructor fired after Facebook post supporting LGBT rights
Ruthie Robertson said she wrote the Facebook post in large part to let her LGBT friends know that despite the views of her church and employer, she supports the LGBT community. The apparent repercussions of this decision have halted her career plans.
Activists urge voters to stay registered after Trump commission’s data request
Activists are urging people to stay registered to vote after President Trump’s new election integrity commission’s request for voter data spooked some Americans and caused them to cancel their registrations. The commission came under criticism from state officials when it asked for data as personal as the last four digits of voters’ Social Security numbers.


Get out! Chinese agents bar access to the ‘free’ wife of Liu Xiaobo *PEN Case List
Chinese authorities claim Liu Xia is a free woman. But one week after the death of her husband, the Nobel laureate and democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, a visit to the couple’s Beijing home immediately gives the lie to that claim.
Year after reporter killed in Ukraine, no progress in probe
After renowned journalist Pavel Sheremet was killed in a car bombing in central Kiev last year, Ukraine’s president promised all-out efforts to solve the case. Instead, the case is mired in either incompetence or deliberate inaction. In a country where violence against journalists is frequent, reporters feel more in danger than ever.
China censors Winnie-the-Pooh on social media
Internet users in China have reported problems posting references to the warmhearted bear of A.A. Milne’s children’s books on social media sites. The apparent reason? Some commenters are using images of Winnie-the-Pooh to suggest that he shows a resemblance to President Xi Jinping.
Turkey holds six rights activists on charges of aiding terror group
A Turkish court has ordered six human rights activists to remain in custody for aiding a terror group in a case the organization called a “travesty of justice.” Idil Eser, Amnesty’s Turkey director, was detained on 5 July along with seven other activists and two foreign trainers during a digital security and information management workshop.

In-Depth Analysis

Why it’s a bad idea to tell students words are violence
We’re not talking about verbal threats of violence, which are used to coerce and intimidate, and which are illegal and not protected by the First Amendment. We’re talking about speech that is deemed by members of an identity group to be critical of the group, or speech that is otherwise upsetting to members of the group.

Why Congress Should Pass the Russia Sanctions Bill
Although the Senate easily passed a sanctions bill in June to punish Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the White House is quietly lobbying to weaken it. But new sanctions legislation is direly needed—not least because of the dozens of Ukrainian political prisoners who continue to languish in Russian prisons.


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