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White House revokes press credentials from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta after a testy exchange in which the president called the reporter rude and a White House intern tried to take away his mic after Acosta refused to stop asking questions. (Read PEN America’s response to the White House’s decision here.) Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Acosta in a tweet of ‘placing his hands on a young woman,’ uploading a video of the incident that many believe to be doctored to support her claim. At the same lengthy press conference Trump accused PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor of asking a ‘racist question’ about the president’s support from white nationalists. UCLA and local politicians are embroiled in a dispute over upcoming national conference of Students for Justice in Palestine planned to take place on campus. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


White House Suspends Press Access for CNN’s Jim Acosta
The White House said it is punishing Acosta for his interaction with a White House press aide who forcibly attempted to remove the microphone from the reporter’s hands as he tried to ask the president a second question.

CNN Accuses White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders of Sharing ‘Doctored’ Video of Jim Acosta
The ongoing battle between the White House and CNN reporter Jim Acosta took another after Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a video that CNN later claimed was manipulated to make it seem as if Acosta was aggressive toward a White House aide.

Trump Accuses Reporter of Asking ‘Racist’ Question after She Presses Him on Nationalism
Yamiche Alcindor, a White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, questioned whether the president’s use of the word “nationalism” at several rallies ahead of the midterm was a dog whistle for “white nationalism,” as many of his critics have suggested. The president responded by calling the question “racist.”

Student Palestinian Group Claims UCLA Trademark Complaint Is Effort to Stifle Speech
The UCLA, a public university, demanded that a student Palestinian group not use renditions of the Bruin Bear, its mascot, in association with the Palestinian flag, which some interpret as an endorsement of violence against Israel. The organization claims that the university is using trademark law to chill the free speech rights of students.


Trial of Russian Director Seen as Test of Artistic Freedom *PEN Case List: Find Out More
Although the charges are focused on a festival that ended almost four years ago, Russia’s artistic community considers it a much larger issue revolving around freedom of expression. In their eyes, the administration of President Vladimir Putin, having long since tamed the news media and the country’s once politically active oligarchs, is now determined to bring the arts to heel.

Chinese Dissident Writer Ma Jian’s Talks Canceled Amid Growing Fears for Hong Kong’s Free Expression
Ma Jian, a U.K.-based writer whose books are banned by Beijing, was scheduled to promote his latest satirical work this Saturday at the annual Hong Kong International Literary Festival. But the writer tweeted late Wednesday that his talks were nixed by Tai Kwun Center for Heritage and Arts, the cultural space hosting the festival.

Journalist Jailed in Cameroon for ‘Attacking State Security’
Mimi Mefo, who heads English news for privately-owned Equinoxe broadcasting, was charged by a military tribunal late Wednesday and placed in preventive detention in the New-Bell prison in Cameroon’s commercial capital Douala.

Death Threats and Denunciations: The Artists Who Fear Bolsonaro’s Brazil
With Jair Bolsonaro about to take power, many artists in Brazil fear the censorship and intimidation they currently endure are about to get worse. Some have employed security guards. Others have fled. The Guardian shares a few of their stories.

After Protest, Booksellers Are Victorious Against Amazon Subsidiary
The uprising, which involved nearly 600 booksellers in 27 countries removing about four million books, was set off by the retailer’s decision to cut off stores in five countries: the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, and Russia. AbeBooks never explained its actions beyond saying it was related to payment processing.

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