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Trump insults ABC reporter Cecelia Vega at White House press conference saying she never thinks; White House then edits transcript to omit the swipe by changing “think” to “thank.” Chinese journalist accused of slapping a man during a political event in the UK. US Ambassador to China reportedly defeats White House scheme to end all student visas for Chinese students to study in the U.S. Jemele Hill, former ESPN reporter known for sparring with President Trump, joins the Atlantic. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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

U.S.

Trump to Female Reporter: ‘I Know You’re Not Thinking. You Never Do.’
In a press conference yesterday he responded to Cecilia Vega’s comment with “That’s okay. I know you’re not thinking. You never do.” The White House official transcript altered Trump’s comments, depicting him as saying, “I know you’re not thanking.” After reporters publicized the alteration, the White House corrected its transcript.
NEW YORK MAGAZINE

U.S. Considered Ban on Student Visas for Chinese Nationals
White House hawks earlier this year encouraged Trump to stop providing visas to Chinese students. While the debate focused on spying and the proposal was shelved, aide Stephen Miller, known for anti-immigration policies, argued his plan would also hurt elite universities whose staff and students have been critical of Trump.
FINANCIAL TIMES

Jemele Hill Joins The Atlantic as Staff Writer
Hill, who covered the intersections of sports, race, and culture on ESPN, sparked controversy last year when she called Trump a white supremacist on her personal social media channels. White House officials including Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called for Hill to be fired shortly after the comments were made.
VARIETY

For Private Prisons, Detaining Immigrants Is Big Business
A surging prison population in the 1980s led to a boom in for-profit prisons. Today, they have become the government’s default detention centers for undocumented migrants, who face inhumane treatment, a dearth of educational programs, and violent crackdowns on efforts to demand better conditions.
NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

Chinese Reporter Accused of Slapping Man at Political Event in Britain
The event on the sidelines of the Conservative Party annual conference was meant to discuss “the erosion of freedom, the rule of law and autonomy in Hong Kong.” Kong Linlin, a reporter from Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, began shouting from the audience: “You are a liar. You are anti-China… The rest are all traitors!”
NEW YORK TIMES

Hungary’s Top News Portal Closes Briefly to Highlight Media Freedom Concerns
Journalists working at Index.hu, the largest source of independent news in Hungary, fear the two investors who took control of the news portal last month may be linked to Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his ruling right-wing Fidesz Party and may try to curb their editorial freedom.
REUTERS

Hong Kong Marks National Day With Protests Over Loss of Freedom, Democracy
On the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, more than 1,000 people marched to a protest outside government headquarters in protest at growing curbs on freedom of expression in the city. “Speech is not a crime!” the protesters chanted, and in response to planned sedition laws: “Smash Article 23!”
RADIO FREE ASIA

Brief Detention, Fine, and Regional Ban for French Journalist Looking Into Zhanaozen
Vincent Prado was working on an investigation of the 2011 protests in Zhanaozen, which ended that December with Kazakh security forces firing on civilian protesters, killing at least 16 people. Prado was reportedly fined for “violating migration laws” and banned from filming in the Manghystau region.
THE DIPLOMAT

Cartoons that ‘Humiliate Officials in Rwanda Now a Crime
Drawing cartoons or producing writing that “humiliates” a government official is now a criminal offense in Rwanda, according to a new law. A cartoonist who breaks the law faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $1,145. If the cartoon targets a member of parliament or top-ranking official, the penalty doubles.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

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