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Facebook and Twitter suspend a number of accounts linked to Chinese state-backed disinformation campaigns against Hong Kong demonstrators. (See PEN America’s response.) At least 20 stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcasting Group tout Trump campaign hats. State attorneys general from more than a dozen states said to be preparing antitrust investigations into tech giants. North Carolina State University official resigns after posting tweets critical of Republicans. California high school students appear to give Nazi salutes in a video taken at a sports awards ceremony. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Twitter, Facebook Accuse China of Running Disinformation Campaign against Hong Kong Protesters
Twitter suspended 936 accounts likely related to the activity. The company said the disinformation campaign was designed to “sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political protest movement on the ground.”

Sinclair Stations Run ‘Stories’ That Help Trump Sell Campaign Swag
Local broadcasters affiliated with the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting Group ran stories over the weekend that explicitly promoted a Trump reelection campaign fundraising effort.

State Attorneys General Said to Be near Formal Investigation of Tech Companies
The state attorneys general in more than a dozen states are preparing to begin an antitrust investigation of the tech giants, according to two people briefed on the discussions, increasing pressure on the companies.

NC State Official Resigns after Anti-Republican Tweets Come to Light
In an April 15, 2018, tweet, according to screenshots shared by critics, Mike Mullen replied to the conservative activist Charlie Kirk and said that “But, now the GOP is the party of the NRA, neo-Nazis, the KKK, and all manner of Alt-right crazies. You have betrayed your history.”

U.S. High School Students Appear to Give Nazi Salute at Sports Ceremony
A video purportedly shows around 10 members of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica high school in Garden Grove, Orange county, giving the salute while facing a figure at a lectern who is saluting and singing.


South African Journalist Seized in Syria Begs for Help
Shiraaz Mohamed, a South African photojournalist being held captive in Darkoush, Syria, made a desperate appeal to the South African government and international community to help secure his release from gunmen who are demanding $1.5 million in ransom. Mohamed was kidnapped in early 2017.

Owen Jones: Attackers Targeted Me for My Politics
The Guardian columnist Owen Jones has said he believes he was targeted in an unprovoked late-night attack over the weekend because of his anti-fascist politics and warned that divisive rhetoric is emboldening some on the far right to become violent.

China Detains Staff Member from U.K.’s Consulate in Hong Kong for over 10 Days after Business Trip
Simon Cheng Man-kit, a trade and investment officer at the Scottish Development International section of the consulate, attended a business event in Shenzhen on August 8 via the Lo Wu control point, but never returned to the city despite a prior plan to come back the same day on the Express Rail Link, his girlfriend said.

Pakistan to Take Kashmir Dispute with India to World Court
Pakistan said it would take its dispute with India over Kashmir to the International Court of Justice, after New Delhi revoked the special status of its part of the region earlier this month.

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. Inclusion of a given article or articles does not imply endorsement by PEN America of the content or wording of items included in DARE. We welcome your comments. Send your feedback and story suggestions to [email protected]