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The Trump Administration says it will sue California to block the state’s new law protecting net neutrality. The Washington Times issues retraction and apology for printing falsehoods that fueled conspiracy theories about a slain Democratic National Committee staff member, and says it has deleted the material where it can. An Arizona federal judge, citing free expression protections for private companies, blocks enforcement of a measure that compels businesses contracting with the state to submit a pledge that they are not boycotting Israel. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

The Trump Administration Is Suing California to Quash Its New Net Neutrality Law
The Trump Administration said it will sue California in an effort to block what some experts have described as the toughest net neutrality law ever enacted in the United States, hours after California became the largest state to adopt its own rules requiring Internet providers to treat all web traffic equally.
WASHINGTON POST

Retraction: Aaron Rich and the Murder of Seth Rich
“The Washington Times published an op-ed column titled, “More cover-up questions: The curious murder of Seth Rich poses questions that just won’t stay under the official rug” on March 1. The Column included statements about Aaron Rich, the brother of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, that we now believe to be false.”
WASHINGTON TIMES

Judge Bars Arizona from Enforcing Law that Tells Contracted Companies not to Boycott Israel
In the ruling, Judge Diane Humetewa said the law denying state and local government contracts to firms unless they agree not to boycott Israel or companies that operate there interferes with First Amendment rights, and that the state cannot use its economic power to deny people their right to speak and act on their beliefs.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Art Censorship at Capitol Fought at DC Circuit
The D.C. Circuit grappled Friday with whether an artist suffered discrimination when his contest-winning art was removed from the U.S. Capitol complex. Representative of the 2014 protests in Ferguson, MO, the painting by former St. Louis teen David Pulphus was removed after police associations and Republican lawmakers protested the work as anti-police.
COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE

 
Global

Demands to release Shahidul Alam gather force at UN General Assembly *PEN Case List
Demonstrators called for freedom of the press and protection of journalists in Bangladesh as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed addressed the General Assembly. Shahidul Alam, photojournalist and activist, has been in police custody since August 5 following comments on the government response to student protests.
THE NEW NATION

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Demands to Allow Ukrainian Consul and Doctors to Visit Sentsov *PEN Case List
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine issued a demand to allow the Ukrainian consul and doctors to visit Oleg Sentsov, after the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia released a photo of him receiving medical care. The Russian authorities claim he is receiving regular medical attention, contrary to the claims of Sentsov’s lawyer.
112 INTERNATIONAL – UKRAINE

Egypt Sentences Activist for ‘Spreading Fake News’
Human rights activist Amal Fathy, detained since May after posting a video criticizing the government over the extent of sexual harassment in the country, has been given a two-year suspended sentence and a fine for “spreading fake news.” Egypt recently passed a law that tightens controls over the internet, condemned by rights activists.
BBC NEWS

Bangladesh to Consider Amending Law Curbing Free Speech
Bangladesh will consider making changes to a law that journalists say could suppress free speech. The Digital Security Act combines the colonial-era Official Secrets Act with new provisions such as allowing police to arrest individuals without a warrant.
REUTERS

Censored in China
“In spite of the restrictions on free speech in China, I’ve always had positive experiences at academic conferences. My first indication that something was amiss this time came when I arrived at the university and was told politely that my name wasn’t on the agenda because my remarks hadn’t been cleared by the authorities.”
JAMIE METZL

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