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Russia approves ‘big brother’ surveillance law
The “Yarovaya law,” a strict anti-terror law that requires phone and Internet providers to store all communications records for six months, passed through the lower house of Russia’s parliament on Friday. NEWSWEEK

Mediator terminates efforts to free Japanese journalist held hostage in Syria
The Syrian mediator between Japan’s government and a militant group that abducted journalist Jumpei Yasuda in Syria, announced Wednesday that he will no longer be negotiating for Yasuda’s release due to the Japanese government’s lack of cooperation. JAPAN TODAY

Turkey blocks news and social media sites after deadly attack
Less than an hour after a coordinated suicide attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, Turkey’s government banned Twitter and Facebook inside the country on the grounds of “national security and public order.” Since 2011, the Turkish government has issued more than 150 internet bans. VOCATIV 

Soldiers arrest journalist for filming them queuing for cash
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army arrested a freelance journalist who was covering the chaos at cash queues in Central Harare. They took his camera and detained him at the Zimbabwe Defense Forces Headquarters. NEW ZIMBABWE

Free speech trial in Morocco
Hearings resume this week in the case of seven Moroccan journalists who trained citizen journalists to use StoryMaker, a news publishing app. They are accused of violating national security and financing propaganda. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison.

Luxembourg tax whistleblowers convicted
Former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet received twelve- and nine-month sentences respectively for leaking documents, and reporter Edouard Perrin was acquitted of all charges. LuxLeaks was the biggest expose of corporate tax deals until last month’s publication of the Panama Papers. BBC NEWS

The threat to Pakistani womens’ free speech
Online harassment in Pakistan differs from the West. A woman who dares to venture into a public space, including social media, is perceived as being out of control, or out of the protection of her male family members. There is a very real threat the online persecution could be coupled with physical harassment. THE NEW YORKER