DARE: White House Aides Blur the Legal Lines Between Partisans and Public Servants
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White House aides accused of violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits partisan political activity by public officials. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman in San Francisco resigns citing misinformation being spread by the Trump Administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump Administration blocks acquisition of chip maker Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom, citing national security concerns that analysts link to China’s expanding role in the global technology sector. NBC anchor Chuck Todd doesn’t hold back in talking about Trump’s threat to journalism after the President attacks him by name. Metropolitan Opera Maestro James Levine is fired after long career due to findings of serial sexual misconduct. -Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
White House Aides Blur the Legal Lines Between Partisans and Public Servants
Over the past 14 months there have been at least eight complaints against White House officials for potential violations of the statute, according to a review by the agency charged with enforcing it. That number has put the Trump White House on a pace to far surpass the complaints against the staff of his predecessor.
NEW YORK TIMES
ICE spokesman in SF resigns and slams Trump administration officials
James Schwab, a spokesman for the San Francisco Division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has resigned, citing what he says are falsehoods being spread by members of the Trump administration including Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Qualcomm deal over as Trump blocks Singaporean chip maker’s bid
Donald Trump took the unusual step of blocking the Singaporean chip maker Broadcom’s bid for its U.S. rival Qualcomm on Monday night, citing national security concerns and ending what would have been the biggest-ever tech deal.
Chuck Todd responds to Trump’s ‘son of a b—h’ jab: ‘It creates a challenge to parents’
“I bring my kids up to respect the office of the presidency and the president. I don’t allow them to say anything negative, ever, about the president,” Todd said. “It creates a challenge to all parents when he uses vulgarities like that.”
James Levine’s Final Act at the Met Ends in Disgrace
The Metropolitan Opera fired the conductor James Levine, ending its association with a man who defined the company for more than four decades after an investigation found what the Met called credible evidence that Levine had engaged in “sexually abusive and harassing conduct.”
NEW YORK TIMES
Amnesty International Report Warns of Increasing Attacks on Freedom of Expression in Spain
Amnesty International has published a report warning of a “sustained attack” on freedom of expression in Spain, citing “an exponential increase” in prosecutions under a law banning glorification of terrorism or humiliating terrorism victims.
Pen Club Demanding Apology from President Zeman
The Czech Pen Club has slammed President Zeman for attacking the media in his inauguration speech last week and is demanding an apology from the Czech head of state. In a statement sent to the CTK news agency, the Pen Club says the president’s claim that certain media, including Czech public television, attempted to manipulate public opinion amounted to an attack on press freedom.
Xi Jinping: ‘Not my president’ posters emerge outside China
In recent days, anti-Xi posters written in Chinese and English have appeared in several Western universities. The posters began appearing on some U.S. campuses last week, and were later reported in countries including the U.K., France, the Netherlands, Australia, and Canada.
The world simply shrugs at Russian aggression
Questioning Russia’s presence in Crimea, for example, can lead to a charge of undermining the integrity of Russia, as happened to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, condemned to 20 years in prison after a trial marked by torture allegations.
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