Newscasters and analysts express shock and disbelief after Trump-Putin press conference in which the President repeatedly sided with the Russian leader and expressed distrust for US intelligence agencies. Wire service reporters credited for asking the tough questions that, to some analysts and former senior US officials, prompted answers from the President that bordered on treasonous. FCC initiates in-depth inquiry into proposed Sinclair-Tribune acquisition, signaling prospect that the transaction may not win regulatory approval. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


TV Anchors Agape After the Trump-Putin Appearance
After President Trump criticized US intelligence agencies and declined multiple opportunities to blame Putin for interfering in American elections during their summit, multiple TV anchors seemed to channel a level of genuine shock rare even in the chaotic Trump era.

After a Stunning News Conference, There’s a Newly Crucial Job for the American Press
“What happened on that stage needs to be made undeniably clear to every American citizen…That job will fall, in part at least, to the American press, which will find itself in the uncomfortable position of calling a spade a spade, with none of the usual recourse to false equivalence or ‘both sides with equal weight’ coverage.”

FCC Chair Expresses ‘Serious Concerns’ About Sinclair’s Bid for Tribune
Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai announced he has “serious concerns” about Sinclair’s $3.9 billion purchase of Tribune Media and has called for a hearing on the matter.

Congress Steps Up Efforts to Reverse Newsprint Tariffs
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle are increasingly working on finding relief for the newspaper industry, which has been hit hard by tariffs imposed on Canadian groundwood paper imports by the Trump administration.


Jailed Reporter in Myanmar Challenges Prosecution’s Version of His Arrest *PEN Case List
Reuters reporter Wa Lone, jailed for months by Myanmar’s government, has challenged the prosecution’s account of how he and his colleague Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested.

Egypt Passes Law to Regulate Media as President Sisi Consolidates Power
Egypt’s parliament passed a law giving the government sweeping powers to regulate traditional and social media, a move critics say will boost the Sisi regime’s ability to crack down on free speech and dissent.

Israeli Parliament Votes to Ban State and Army Critics from Schools
Israel’s parliament has passed a law that could ban groups critical of the armed forces or the state from entering schools and speaking to students. Legislators passed the law by 43 votes to 24 in a move that its detractors say will stamp out free speech in the educational system.

More African Governments are Trying to Control What’s Being Said on Social Media and Blogs
Increasingly, African governments are looking at the internet as a threat and are using a motley of targeted shutdowns, surveillance, and arbitrary legislation to silence digital users.

Hong Kong Police Seek Landmark Ban on Pro-Independence Party
Police in Hong Kong sought to ban a political party which promotes independence for the city, citing it as a potential national security threat as Beijing ups pressure on challenges to its territorial sovereignty.

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