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Three actors, two from Iran and one from Syria, travel from London to Brooklyn for the New York performance of The Jungle, a new British play set in the refugee camp in Calais, France, in defiance of the Trump administration’s ongoing Muslim travel ban. Media group Nexstar strikes a deal to buy Tribune Media, putting it on course to becoming the largest operator of local TV stations in the United States. D.C.-area Advisory Neighborhood Commission votes to rename city street in front of the Saudi Arabian Embassy ‘Jamal Khashoggi Way.’ Temple University professor and CNN analyst Marc Lamont Hill fired from CNN and reprimanded by the university for comments made at the United Nations about Israel and the Palestinians. Around the world, more journalist killings are being linked to organized crime. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


How 3 Actors Overcame Trump’s Travel Ban to Take the New York Stage
Trying to get two Iranians and a Syrian into Trump-era America to perform a drama that is inherently sympathetic to refugees was daunting. Over several months, a coalition of celebrities, religious leaders, and politicians joined forces in an effort to persuade the administration to grant the actors a waiver from the ban.

Tribune Media and Nexstar in $4.1 Billion Local TV Takeover
U.S. media group Nexstar is set to become the country’s largest operator of local TV stations after a deal to buy Tribune Media for about $4.1 billion. It comes three months after Tribune’s sale to Sinclair Group, currently the largest U.S. local TV operator, failed over regulatory hurdles.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission Votes to Rename Street in Front of Saudi Embassy for Slain Journalist Jamal Khashoggi *PEN Case List: More Here
Leaders in a D.C. neighborhood have voted to rename a street in front of the Saudi Embassy after Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post journalist who was murdered inside the Saudi Embassy in Turkey in October.

U.N. Speech by Temple Prof. Draws Fire from University’s Board Chair
The chairman of Temple University’s board came out firing against professor Marc Lamont Hill for a speech he made at the United Nations criticizing Israel and its treatment of Palestinians.

Hate Speech Is Showing up in Schools. Censorship Isn’t the Answer.
“The result is that students do not enjoy equal speech rights. And too often, that means students of color and low-income students are slighted. We must change that—not by reducing the rights of some students, but by expanding the rights of all.”


I’m a Journalist in a Turkish Jail. Why Is Erdogan Afraid of People like Me?
“My case, and others like it, belies the notion that Erdogan is any kind of believer in press freedom or human rights—an image he’s tried to cultivate in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. My arrest was a perverse confirmation of the authoritarianism I’ve spent the past several years chronicling and opposing.”

Fake Putin Twitter Account Fooled More Than a Dozen Major News Outlets
A review by Mother Jones found at least 13 major outlets, including The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Wired, and Politico, had been fooled by the account. In their stories, many of the outlets didn’t just embed tweets from the account but explicitly framed them as the voice of the Russian president.

Supreme Court Rules against Vice in Press Freedom Battle against the RCMP
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against VICE Media and national security reporter Ben Makuch in their battle against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in a case that pitted the role of journalists against the role of police and prosecutors.

Killings of Journalists Show the Bloody Fingerprints of Organized Crime
This year, at least a dozen journalists have been killed by members of organized crime. In many cases, the crimes go unpunished by authorities who are hostile to the news media or are involved in criminal activity themselves.

Twitter’s Caste Problem
Given the magnitude of caste-based aggression and harassment on Twitter, its blindness to caste in India is alarming. The platform has a responsibility not to simply promote free speech but to also guarantee the freedom of expression and safety of its most vulnerable users.”

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