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In wake of bomb threats against CNN and public officials, news organizations tighten security and examine the role of the President’s rhetoric in fueling tensions. After condemning attempted terror plots and calling for unity, Trump quickly returns to attacking Democrats and the media. New York Times reports, based on accounts from senior US officials, that Trump insists on using iPones that are not secure and have been bugged by the Chinese and Russians who use information gleaned to inform their strategies toward him. Trump denies story in a tweet. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Trump Decries “Political Violence” after Years of Stoking It
Amid reports that explosive devices were sent to some of Trump’s most high-profile critics and adversaries, his critics say he has a reckless penchant for, at a minimum, celebrating violence against his enemies—and, at worst, inciting it. The president briefly cast himself as a uniter, infuriating critics and sparking an argument about America’s political discourse.

Donald Trump Attacks “Media Hostility” after Mail Bombs
In scripted remarks at a rally in Wisconsin, the president vowed to catch the perpetrator, while calling on the media to end “constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories”. The president’s critics called his comments hypocritical, as he often uses vicious language against his opponents and the press.
BBC NEWS *Read our reaction to the news here.

When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn
Trump’s aides have repeatedly warned him that his cellphone calls are not secure, and that Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping. The president refuses to give up his iPhones, and White House officials say they can only hope he refrains from discussing classified information. On Thursday morning, Trump described these reports as “soooo wrong!”

Trump Inciting “Violence:” More than 200 Retired Journalists Condemn President’s “Un-American” Attacks on Press
211 journalists signed an open letter charging that Trump’s behavior and rhetoric has amounted to a violation of the First Amendment. The journalists also voiced support for PEN America’s recently filed lawsuit, which argues that “official acts” Trump has taken against news outlets amount to an unconstitutional attempt to stifle criticism.
*Find out more about PEN America’s lawsuit here.

Debunking 5 Viral Images of the Migrant Caravan
A group of Honduran migrants traveling through Mexico toward the United States has attracted enormous amounts of attention in recent days, including a litany of false, misleading, and unproven statements circulating on social media. Some of this misinformation has been fueled by US officials, including President Trump.


EU Rebukes Putin with Human Rights Prize to Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker
Oleg Sentsov has been awarded the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov prize, in a sharp criticism of Russia’s human rights record. The award is the first to a recipient from the former Soviet Union in nearly a decade. Previous honorees include Nelson Mandela, Alexander Dubček, and Malala Yousafzai.
*PEN Case List: read our reaction to the news here.

Saudi Arabia, in Reversal, Suggests Khashoggi’s Killing Was ‘Premeditated’
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said that new evidence indicated that the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been “premeditated,” yet another shift in the kingdom’s official story of how he was killed. Saudi Arabia’s narrative has already been met with widespread skepticism.
*PEN Case List: find out more here.

Rights Groups Push for Yes Vote in Irish Blasphemy Referendum
Irish voters will decide on Friday whether to remove a clause in the country’s 1937 constitution that makes blasphemy a criminal act. Voters will choose whether to amend the clause that says: “The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

Meet the Female Nightcrawlers of Manila
“Jing Perez works the night shift as a researcher and fixer in metropolitan Manila, mostly for foreign news outlets, collecting information and arranging interviews inside impoverished neighborhoods that have been at the receiving end of President Duterte’s war on drugs and state-sanctioned extra-judicial killings.”

DARE is a project of PEN America’s #LouderTogether campaign, bringing you a daily-curated roundup of the most important free expression-related news from the U.S. and abroad. Send your feedback and story suggestions to DARE@pen.org