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White House bars CNN pool reporter from Rose Garden briefing in retaliation for her unwelcome questions. Move prompts media outcry, including from Fox News journalists. Visa curbs on Chinese students rankle academia. Quarterly earnings report reveals that scandals over data privacy, security, and nefarious content have hit Facebook’s bottom line. Facebook, it’s service blocked in China, is approved by the government to set up an “innovation hub” in the country’s east only to see the green light withdrawn within hours by government Internet regulators. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer


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


White House Bans Network Pool Reporter from Rose Garden Event
After Kaitlan Collins lobbed a few questions at the president, including about Vladimir Putin and Michael Cohen, she was “dis-invited from the press availability in the Rose Garden” because her questions were “inappropriate” and she was “shouting”.

Fox News Announces Support of CNN After White House Bans Reporter
Fox News supports CNN after a reporter was banned from a White House event. “We stand in strong solidarity with CNN for the right to full access for our journalists as part of a free and unfettered press,” said Fox News president Jay Wallace.

Visa Restrictions for Chinese Students Alarm Academia
A a crackdown on visas has left the higher education community wondering how it will adapt to the administration’s effort to stop intellectual property theft and slow China’s push for technological supremacy.

Facebook Implosion: What It Means For Startups
As Facebook’s growth has suddenly decelerated, the slowdown appears to be more than just a quarterly blip due to data privacy and fake news scandals. Investors are now adjusting to the new reality that growth could fall-off for the next couple years.

China Said to Quickly Pull Approval for New Facebook Venture
For several hours, a Chinese government database showed that Facebook had gained approval to open a subsidiary in the eastern province of Zhejiang. Then the registration disappeared and references were partially censored in Chinese media.


China Censors Social Media Posts About Vaccine Scandal, Monitor Says, as Tabloid Suggests Issue has Been Overblown
After last week’s vaccine scandal, censors are keeping a close eye on social media users, while state media has accused some groups of overblowing the issue and the government has reportedly banned coverage of the vaccines from Tuesday onwards.

Israeli Paper Fires Cartoonist Over Orwell Cartoon Criticizing New ‘Nation State’ Law
The Jerusalem Post has fired one of its veteran cartoonists after a drawing critical of the country’s “nation state” law was slammed as antisemitic for depicting politicians as pigs. “The law sucks… but the cartoon is also permanent, uncontainable.”

Vietnamese Blogger Mother Mushroom’s Health Condition Unclear Amid Hunger Strike
Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as Mother Mushroom, may be in failing health in what could be the third week of a hunger strike behind bars, which started after authorities refused to transfer her to a cell away from a hostile cellmate.

Journalists are Being Crushed in South-East Asia
Across South-East Asia, journalists have learned to expect trouble. Governments have come up with a variety of schemes to repress the press, from tax ruses and takeovers to intimidation and cynical crusades against “fake news”.

Lebanon Questions Activists Over Social Media Posts
Lebanon’s security forces are increasingly bringing activists in for questioning over their social media posts, sparking widespread anger in recent days that freedom of expression is being squeezed.

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