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Trump calls out Democrats’ refusal to stand or applaud at key moments during his State of the Union address, agreeing with a supporter who characterized their posture as “treasonous”; he later said comments were ” tongue in cheek.” New York Times files Freedom of Information Act request concerning surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Trump’s trumpeting of his concept of so-called “fake news” echoes among leaders worldwide seeking to discredit critics. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director

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


Treason: Dissing President Trump it’s not. Here’s what is.
In a speech in Ohio, Trump accused Democrats of being “un-American” and “treasonous” when they didn’t applaud as he touted positive numbers about black and Hispanic unemployment in his State of the Union address.

The Times Asks Court to Unseal Documents on Surveillance of Carter Page
The New York Times is asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal secret documents related to the wiretapping of Carter Page, the onetime Trump campaign adviser at the center of a disputed memo written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee.

President Trump cries ‘fake news’ and the world follows
Trump’s supporters applaud his willingness to combat what he sees as unfair or biased reporting. But there has been a second-order effect as well. What has Trump’s usage of “fake news” meant to the world’s discourse over the last year? Find out.

California Congressman Wants Attacking Journalists to Be Federal Crime
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell wants legislators to do more than just use words to convey the importance of a free press. He’s hoping the House of Representative will pass a bill he introduced, the Journalist Protection Act, which would make it a federal crime to harm a journalist in the field with the intent of impeding their work.


China says publisher Gui Minhai held under criminal law, amid protests from Sweden *PEN Case List
China acknowledged that Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai was in custody under criminal law, brushing aside Stockholm’s protests after he was seized under the eyes of Swedish diplomats last month.

Hong Kong Court Throws Out Protest Leaders’ Prison Sentences
Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, and Nathan Law had their prison sentences thrown out by Hong Kong’s highest court yesterday, in a case that has drawn international scrutiny over accusations that the government was carrying out prosecutions to punish political opponents.

Dutch divided over law against insulting the king
A divide has emerged in the Dutch coalition government over an attempt by one of the ruling parties to scrap a law that makes insulting King Willem-Alexander a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

Rapid response will be central to new French anti-fake news law
“The measures that we will be working on from now until March are to create a law about ‘confidence in information’ that will permit us to act very quickly when a fake news story goes viral, particularly during an election period,” said French Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen.

China says publisher Gui Minhai held under criminal law, amid protests from Sweden
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