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President Trump dismisses news coverage countering his “great day” in Puerto Rico, tweeting “The Fake News Media is out of control!” With Senate Intelligence Committee leaders expected to endorse findings that Russia sought to sway the 2016 election, new findings suggest Russia-linked Facebook ads with divisive messages targeted specific demographic groups in crucial swing states. In the wake of Las Vegas massacre, Roseanne Cash writes of the death threats she has received for campaigning against gun violence and calls on fellow country music artists to reject the alliance the National Rifle Association has fostered with them and their fans. Satire also speaks volumes as for the fifth time, The Onion prints its headline “No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Trump knocks some news media for coverage of his Puerto Rico visit
“A great day in Puerto Rico yesterday. While some of the news coverage is Fake, most showed great warmth and friendship,” the president wrote on Twitter. He didn’t specify which media outlet was “fake.”
POLITICO

Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin
Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal. The ads employed a series of divisive messages aimed at breaking through the clutter of campaign ads online, including promoting anti-Muslim messages.
CNN

Rosanne Cash: Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.
“Last year, I performed at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Marc Cohn, and the Harlem Gospel Choir, and we got death threats. People wanted to kill us because we wanted to end gun violence. That’s where we are: America, 2017,” Cash wrote.
NEW YORK TIMES

The Onion’s Las Vegas Shooting Headline Is Painfully Familiar
The satirical website The Onion published a headline that echoed the thoughts of many Americans who were, once again, processing a horrific mass shooting. “‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.” The headline was not new. It was the fifth time The Onion had published it.
NEW YORK TIMES

History proves how dangerous it is to have the government regulate fake news
There is a huge amount of empirical data from different countries throughout history that make it clear that even democratic governments tend to use this kind of power to silence opponents and shut down speech they don’t like.
WASHINGTON POST

 
Global

Rattling Afghanistan’s powerful: Etilaat Roz newspaper exposes corruption
Eschewing the support from politicians and power brokers that most Afghan newspapers rely upon has ensured the paper editorial autonomy. But in a country with minuscule newspaper sales, the downside of such independence is a business that is permanently on the brink of bankruptcy.
THE GUARDIAN

Police launch investigation after threatening letters sent to Hong Kong Free Press staff
Hong Kong’s Criminal Investigation Department opened a case after a letter was sent to the home of the family of HKFP co-founder and chief editor Tom Grundy. The “warning” letter stated that Grundy should “tread carefully” and be wise about his actions and their consequences.
HONG KONG FREE PRESS

Two Hong Kong Political Journals Close Shop After Four Decades
The pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper marked the closure of the two magazines as “the end of an era” in a city where freedom of speech, press, and association are being eroded under the political influence of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
RADIO FREE ASIA

Journalist arrested over report Grace Mugabe gave used underwear to supporters
Kenneth Nyangani, a Zimbabwean journalist from NewsDay newspaper who reported that Grace Mugabe, the first lady, donated used clothing including underwear to supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party, has been detained and charged with causing a criminal nuisance.
THE GUARDIAN

Report shows pressure on news to favor government
A new report on the challenges faced by independent media in Cambodia in 2016 highlights a pervasive atmosphere of pressure on journalists to give favorable coverage to the government and ruling party allies, and concerns among the media—ultimately vindicated—about a possible pre-election crackdown.
PHNOM PENH POST

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