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Conservatives, liberals, and free expression experts parse the Roseanne Barr firing. Apparent killing of Russian journalist in Ukraine was a hoax staged by security services in an apparent effort to expose plotters who had put a bounty on his head. Google under fire for contract to use its artificial intelligence capabilities for a Pentagon contract involving achieving greater precision in drone strikes. White House Press Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders chokes up while answering a 13-year-old student journalist’s question about what the Administration is doing to prevent school shootings. -Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer

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


Roseanne Barr’s Right to Offend and Our Right to Say No
The decision to fire Barr after her racists tweets has prompted backlash from individuals on every side of the political spectrum. While the decision prompted surprise and relief from the left, the right cries free speech and censorship.

‘Murdered’ Russian Journalist Turns Up Alive
Arkady Babchenko, a Russian journalist and Kremlin critic who was reported murdered appeared—alive—at a news conference at which Ukrainian authorities said they had staged the killing, sparking a wave of outrage.

How a Pentagon Contract Became an Identity Crisis for Google
The dispute has fractured Google’s work force and caused grief for some senior Google officials as they try to straddle the gap between scientists with deep moral objections and salespeople salivating over defense contracts.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Chokes Up Over Child’s School Shooting Question
After Benje Choucroun, a 13-year-old journalist, prompted Sanders for an answer regarding action to be taken to prevent school shootings and gun control, Huckabee chokes up, and dodges the question altogether.


Denmark Passes Law Banning Burqa and Niqab
In a 75-30 vote with 74 absentees, Danish lawmakers approved the “burqa ban” law presented by Denmark’s centre-right governing coalition. The government says it is not aimed at any religions while others say it’s a blatant attack on free expression.

Uganda Imposes WhatsApp and Facebook Tax ‘To Stop Gossip’
Uganda’s parliament has passed a law to impose a controversial tax on people using social media platforms. The law should come into effect in July but there remain doubts about how it will be implemented.

Scotland Declines to Introduce Misogynistic Harassment Law
Campaigners calling for an end to violence against women have expressed disappointment after an independent review of hate crime laws in Scotland stopped short of recommending a new offense of misogynistic harassment.

Court Removes Novelist Ahmed Nagy from Travel Ban List
The Cairo Criminal Court ordered authorities to remove the name of novelist Ahmed Nagy from the travel ban list, after he was acquitted of charges of publishing and writing an article with “obscene sexual content”.

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