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CNN investigation reveals how Julian Assange received both deliveries of potentially hacked material related to the 2016 U.S. election and visits from known Russian hackers during his extended stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Committees in both Houses of Congress scrutinize the increasing power of tech and social media platforms, including Google and Facebook. Twitter says Trump’s racist tirade toward four Democratic congresswomen of color doesn’t violate its policies, but won’t clarify why this is the case. Neo-Nazi and founder of the far-right news website The Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, liable for $14 million in damages to Tanya Gersh, a Jewish woman whose family was the target of a concerted campaign of online harassment and ‘troll storm’ that included doxxing and death threats. Trump administration says it will begin enforcing ‘gag rule’ that bars taxpayer-funded family planning clinic staff from referring patients for abortions. -Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager

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


Exclusive: Security Reports Reveal How Assange Turned an Embassy into a Command Post for Election Meddling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 U.S. election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Big Tech Behemoths Face Grilling from U.S. Lawmakers as Hearings Kick off
At the House subcommittee on antitrust, commercial, and administrative law, the tech giants will face lawmakers who are increasingly skeptical of the incredible power large tech firms hold over markets such as digital advertising, in Facebook and Google’s case.

Twitter Says Trump’s Tweet Didn’t Violate Its Rules against Racism but Won’t Say Why
Twitter said the president’s tweets didn’t violate its policies, but independent researchers who study social media said they struggled to see why. The platform bars attacks on people on the basis of their race, ethnicity, or national origin.

Daily Stormer Founder ‘Should Pay $14m’ in Damages, Judge Says
Neo-Nazi website publisher Andrew Anglin should pay $14m in damages to a Jewish woman subjected to a “troll storm” at his urging, a U.S. federal magistrate recommended. Tanya Gersh said that Anglin had published 30 articles on the Daily Stormer website about her, some of which had included contact information.

Trump Administration Begins Formally Enforcing New Abortion Restrictions
A ban on abortion referrals at taxpayer-funded family planning clinics is taking effect immediately. This means that clinics receiving family planning grants to provide contraception and other services to low-income women will have to stop providing abortion referrals or lose their funding.

House Passes Saudi Measures, Prepares to Send More to Trump’s Desk
The House passed two measures aimed at cracking down on Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, including a bill to impose sanctions on the people who ordered or carried out the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
*Find out more about PEN America’s advocacy on behalf of Jamal Khashoggi here


Pakistani Journalists Hold Protests to Denounce Censorship
Pakistani journalists held nationwide protests to denounce rampant censorship by the country’s powerful security services, massive layoffs due to budget cuts, and months-long delays in payments of their wages.

Police Investigating National Security Leak Grilled Whistleblower about Journalists
Guardian Australia has learned that police, at least initially, were highly interested in whether journalists had acknowledged they might be committing crimes while accepting leaked documents from whistleblower David McBride. The revelation fuels the belief that police attempted to build a case against the journalists after the leak.

A Journalist Returned to Somalia to Tell Positive Stories—Then Terrorists Killed Her
Hodan Nalayeh made telling uplifting and inspiring stories about Somalia her métier. But that zeal and determination came to an end on Friday, July 12, when Hodan was killed in an assault on Asasey Hotel in the southern Somali city of Kismayo.

Ex-Captive Japanese Journalist Jumpei Yasuda Denied Passport by Gov’t
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who returned home last year after more than three years of captivity in Syria, said the government has denied him a new passport, effectively preventing him from traveling overseas.

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