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Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal attorney, claims “truth isn’t truth” and the possibility of “being trapped in lies” in response to special counsel Robert Mueller’s request for the president to testify in the Russia investigation. Counter-protestors outnumber right-wing “free speech” activists on Saturday during a protest in Boston following a similar turnout at the Unite the Right II rally last week in Washington D.C. Revelations surface about actress and director Asia Argento who allegedly paid hush money to a sexual assault victim following her criticism of Harvey Weinstein. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey commits to making changes to the social media platform in the wake of harassment and hate speech, but doesn’t cite timeline for change. Trump’s advisors express concern over White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II testimony in the Russia inquiry, which could strengthen special counsel Robert S. Mueller’s case against the President. -Michele Riggio, Director of Communications

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

U.S.

‘Truth isn’t Truth’: Giuliani Trumps ‘Alternative Facts’ with New Orwellian Outburst
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney on the Russia investigation, said that “truth isn’t truth” when trying to justify why the White House has been dragging its feet over granting an interview between the president and special counsel Robert Mueller.
GUARDIAN

Counter-Protesters Drown Out Right-Wing ‘Free Speech’ Demonstrators in Boston
About 300 counter-protestors drowned out about 30 right-wing “free speech” activists on Saturday, one year after a similar face off. Demonstrators on opposite sides of the political spectrum exchanged barbs and accusations, but there was no apparent violence.
DAILY BEAST

Asia Argento, a #MeToo Leader, Made a Deal With Her Own Accuser
Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. But in the months that followed her revelations about Weinstein, she quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to Jimmy Bennett, an actor and rock musician who said she had sexually assaulted him years earlier.
NEW YORK TIMES

Twitter CEO Commits to Fixing the Platform’s ‘Toxic’ Content Problem, but Gives No Timetable
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says “we’re ready to question everything” about the social networking site that has been overrun by spam, abuse and misinformation. But it is a long-term effort, he says, and he is reluctant to commit to an exact timetable for certain changes to Twitter’s foundation.
CNN

Trump Attacks New York Times Report on Don McGahn’s Cooperation With Mueller
Trump attacked The New York Times for a report describing the extensive cooperation between the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, and the special counsel’s investigators. The report said the president had wrongly believed that McGahn would act as his personal lawyer and solely defend his interests to investigators.
NEW YORK TIMES

 
Global

On the Frontline of India’s WhatsApp Fake News War
Mobs have lynched at least 25 people across India after reading false rumours spread on WhatsApp. Now the authorities in one Indian state are fighting back – by teaching children about fake news.
BBC

Malaysia Scraps ‘Fake News’ Law Used to Stifle Free Speech
Malaysia has repealed its “fake news” law, the first country in the world to roll back such legislation. The law was introduced in March by the previous prime minister Najib Razak, and was widely condemned at the time as an assault on free speech and a tool to muzzle critics from discussing scandals.
GUARDIAN

‘We Are Real’: Saudi Feminists Launch Online Radio
Operating out of a small room in an unknown country, a new internet radio station broadcasts a program aimed at campaigning for greater women’s rights in Saudi Arabia.
BBC

Egypt Internet: Sisi Ratifies Law Tightening Control Over Websites
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has signed a new law that tightens controls over the internet. The legislation on “cybercrime” means websites can be blocked in Egypt if deemed to constitute a threat to national security or the economy. Anyone found guilty of running, or just visiting, such sites could face prison or a fine.
BBC

10 Years for Iran Journalist Who ‘Insulted’ Imam on Twitter
An Iranian journalist has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for “insulting” an imam from the ninth century on Twitter. Mir Mohammad-Hossein Mir-Esmaili, a journalist for the Jahan-e Sanat daily, was arrested while trying to leave the country in April 2017.
AFP

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