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The Washington Post leaves blank the space usually filled with a column by Jamal Khashoggi, an opinion writer and Saudi national who has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday. US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh takes to the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal to try to explain away his angry and partisan testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Several hundred arrests as protestors fill Senate office building to oppose Kavanaugh confirmation. Group of self-designated conservatives demand Washington Post stop referring to columnist Jennifer Rubin, a Trump critic, as a conservative. New study says that 80 percent of Twitter accounts associated with spreading disinformation during 2016 presidental campaign, ar still active, despite efforts to purge fake accounts. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer

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

U.S.

Washington Post Prints Blank Column to Back Saudi Columnist Missing in Turkey
The Washington Post printed a blank column in its newspaper Friday in solidarity with a Jamal Khashoggi, a contributor who went missing while on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The Post’s empty column bore Khashoggi’s byline and the headline: “A missing voice.”
CBS NEWS

Kavanaugh Writes Op-ed Arguing He Is an ‘Independent, Impartial Judge’ after Emotional Testimony
The Supreme Court nominee argued in the Wall Street Journal that he is an “independent, impartial judge” and conceded he “might have been too emotional” in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee. His latest effort to present himself as an impartial judge is another extraordinary decision in a confirmation process full of unprecedented moments.
CNN

More than 300 Protesters Arrested as Kavanaugh Demonstrations Pack Capitol Hill
Protesters were arrested at a US Senate building on Thursday afternoon as crowds of activists descended on Capitol Hill while lawmakers reviewed the FBI’s report on the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Women’s March was one of multiple groups present at the protest at the Capitol building.
CNN

Conservatives to Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin Isn’t One of Us; Hire Someone New
A group of conservatives from the American Principles Project is calling on The Washington Post to stop promoting columnist Jennifer Rubin as a conservative and to “hire a true conservative” to better give voice to those on the right, arguing that the Post’s labeling of Rubin as conservative is an example why most conservatives distrust the media.
THE HILL

Most Twitter Accounts Linked To 2016 Disinformation Are Still Active, Report Finds
Knight Foundation researchers examined millions of tweets and concluded that more than 80 percent of the accounts associated with the 2016 disinformation campaign are still posting—even after Twitter announced back in July that it had instituted a purge of fake accounts.
NPR

Free Speech Issues at Stake in FBI Agent Leak Case
A group of legal scholars is weighing in on the upcoming sentencing of a former Minnesota FBI agent who admitted he leaked documents to a reporter, saying in court documents filed Thursday that the court should consider the value of the agent’s disclosure in determining the proper penalty.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Global

Oleg Sentsov to End Hunger Strike *PEN Case List
Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is to end his hunger strike, according to a letter his lawyer Dmitry Dindze. Sentsov wrote that he was ending his 145-day hunger strike because of the critical condition of his health. From PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel: “Oleg Sentsov has shown us how powerful a lone voice can be in the face of tyranny.” Full statement here.)
KYIV POST

Where is Jamal Khashoggi?
Khashoggi, a journalist who has turned a trenchant and questioning eye on the leadership of Saudi Arabia, entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday to take care of what should have been routine paperwork. Saudi Arabia says he then left. His fiancee, waiting for him, says he did not, and he cannot be found.
WASHINGTON POST

Hong Kong Plans to Expel a Financial Times Editor
The government has declined to renew the visa of the Financial Times’ Asia news editor and Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club vice president Victor Mallet, resulting in his de facto expulsion. Jason Y. Ng, president of PEN Hong Kong, said the move would have “an immediate chilling effect on freedom of expression in the city.”
NEW YORK TIMES

Indonesia Tsunami: Authorities Fight Hoaxes
Authorities in Indonesia say they have identified individuals spreading hoaxes following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Sulawesi and killed more than 1,400 people. The government has released a list of eight instances of reports being spread on social media and chat platforms which it says are incorrect.
BBC NEWS

In India, Lingering Fear of Biometric Data Abuse
“The Supreme Court has curtailed the uses of the national identification program, but fears about the misuse of information collected from a billion people remain, particularly as it relates to surveillance, privacy, and anonymity in online expression.”
NEW YORK TIMES

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