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President Trump’s first State of the Union address appraised on 2018 scale of truthfulness, divisiveness, and adherence to rule of law. New health care company announced by Amazon and partners raises more questions from privacy experts about the amount of personal data the online retailer is gathering as it expands into more sectors. Facebook bans ads for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in new step to cleanse platforms of misinformation and bad actors.

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


Winners and losers from Trump’s State of the Union address
President Trump delivered his second address to Congress and his first official State of the Union address last night. And a year after his first address earned plenty of praise, Trump did his best to re-create its aspirational, highflying tone. At least for most of the speech.

Amazon already has huge amounts of our data. What happens when you add health care to the mix?
As the online retailer expands into new industries—cloud computing, drones, tech gadgets, moviemaking, and now health care—some privacy experts say the company’s increasingly dominant role in our lives raises concerns about how personal data is collected and used.

Facebook Bans Ads for Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies
The social network said it would ban all ads for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in order to stop promotions that it sees as “frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”

A Paper Tears Apart in a City That Never Quite Came Together
The turmoil at L.A. Times in recent months is a reminder of the slow decline of a newspaper that had long been a cohesive force in Los Angeles civic life. But more than that, it is symptomatic of something that this community has struggled with for nearly half a century: the absence of strong institutions to bind it together.


Uyghur Muslim Scholar Dies in Chinese Police Custody
Muhammad Salih Hajim, a prominent Uyghur Islamic scholar, died “in custody,” about 40 days after he, his daughter, and other relatives were detained in the Xinjiang regional capital Urumqi.

UK mass digital surveillance regime ruled unlawful
The three judges said the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act, which paved the way for the snooper’s charter legislation, was “inconsistent with EU law” and lacked required safeguards—including the absence of “prior review by a court or independent administrative authority.”

Sri Lanka journalists remember killed, abducted colleagues
Dozens of Sri Lankan journalists and media rights activists lit candles and held placards yesterday to remember dozens of journalists who were killed, abducted, or disappeared under a previous government.

Kenya TV stations to remain off-air after Odinga ‘inauguration’
Three of Kenya’s biggest television stations will remain off-air until further notice because they had planned to broadcast the opposition leader’s unofficial “inauguration” in Nairobi. Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i told reporters they would stay closed until investigations were complete.

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