Oregon senator’s fiery words test free speech limitsNovember 29, 2022 GMT
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon state senator who made veiled threats against the Oregon State Police and the Senate president said Tuesday that he's pursuing a freedom of speech lawsuit against fellow lawmakers who sanctioned him.
British conspiracy theorist banned from most of EuropeNovember 4, 2022 GMT
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The government of the Netherlands has banned British conspiracy theorist David Icke from entering most of Europe for two years amid fears his planned presence at a weekend demonstration in Amsterdam would spark unrest.
Settlement requires Arkansas senator to unblock criticsAugust 17, 2022 GMT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas state senator will be required to unblock critics from his social media accounts under a settlement a national atheists' group said it reached with the state on Wednesday.
California’s Newsom goes to Washington; 2024 chatter followsJuly 12, 2022 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom heads to Washington this week, speculation about his national political ambitions won't be far behind.
‘Terrorism’: Abe killing seen as attack on Japan’s democracyJuly 11, 2022 GMT
TOKYO (AP) — An attack on democracy and freedom of speech. A throwback to the political murders of prewar Japan. Terrorism.
Lawsuits challenge Oklahoma anti-protest law; riot chargesJune 24, 2022 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Six Oklahomans have filed two federal lawsuits that challenge a state law intended to crack down on protesters and that allege their civil rights were violated when they were arrested in Oklahoma City in 2020.
Ban on conversion therapy stands in La CrosseJune 15, 2022 GMT
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — The mayor of La Crosse has refused to veto the city's ban on conversion therapy, despite pressure from a coalition group.
The coalition includes people from local churches, led by former City Council members Tom Sweeney and Lorraine Decker.
Hawaii governor signs student journalism protections billMay 23, 2022 GMT
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday signed legislation providing freedom of speech and press protections to students publishing school-sponsored media at Hawaii public schools and the University of Hawaii.
Judge: Jackson schools infringed on educators’ free speechMay 11, 2022 GMT
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's second-largest school district had “vague, overbroad and unconstitutional" restrictions on educators' freedom of speech, a judge ruled.
South Korean activist resumes flying anti-North leafletsApril 28, 2022 GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean activist said Thursday he launched a million propaganda leaflets by balloon into North Korea this week, in his first such campaign while standing trial for past leafleting under a contentious new law that criminalizes such actions.
Finnish court acquits lawmaker in freedom of speech caseMarch 30, 2022 GMT
HELSINKI (AP) — A Finnish court on Wednesday acquitted a Christian Democrat lawmaker and former interior minister of alleged incitement against gay people, in a case considered an important precedent on the limits of freedom of speech in the Nordic country.
US expands travel bans on Chinese officials for persecutionMarch 22, 2022 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday expanded existing U.S. travel bans against Chinese officials whom it accuses of repressing ethnic and religious minorities.
The State Department said it is barring those targeted from traveling to the United States due to their involvement in crackdowns on freedom of speech and religion in China and abroad.
Arizona Republican who backs white nationalism is censuredMarch 1, 2022 GMT
PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Senate voted Tuesday to censure Republican Wendy Rogers, whose embrace of white nationalism and calls for violence drew bipartisan condemnation.
Rogers is in her first term in elected office but has built a national profile among the far right with inflammatory rhetoric and vociferous support for former President Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Wisconsin GOP votes to limit race theory at UW schoolsFebruary 23, 2022 GMT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislators set their sights on the University of Wisconsin System on Tuesday, passing bills that are likely headed for vetoes but that will give the GOP talking points on the campaign trail heading into the November election.
Professor suspended over video sues Michigan universityJanuary 27, 2022 GMT
DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan professor asked a judge Wednesday to immediately reinstate him, two weeks after he was suspended for making a sarcastic video for students that included profanity and criticism of Ferris State University's COVID-19 policies.
Olympic athletes urged by activists not to criticize ChinaJanuary 18, 2022 GMT
GENEVA (AP) — Athletes at the Beijing Olympics were urged by human rights activists Tuesday to avoid criticizing China because they could be prosecuted.
The International Olympic Committee has said athletes will have freedom of speech at next month's Winter Games when speaking to journalists or posting on social media.
Polish PM calls Facebook ban on far-right party undemocraticJanuary 6, 2022 GMT
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister on Thursday criticized as undemocratic a Facebook ban imposed on a far-right party for alleged violations of the social network's rules on the fight against COVID-19 and hate speech.
Polish president vetoes media bill that targeted US companyDecember 27, 2021 GMT
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president on Monday vetoed a media bill that would have forced U.S. company Discovery to give up its controlling share in Polish television network TVN.
For many, it was a victory for freedom of speech and media independence in a country where democratic norms are being challenged by the nationalist government.
Polish lawmakers overturn senate veto on disputed media lawDecember 17, 2021 GMT
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president will have the final decision on a controversial media bill seen as targeting a U.S.-owned TV network that's often critical of the Polish government, after lawmakers on Friday overturned a Senate veto on the proposed legislation.
Town drops charges against man who displayed profane flagDecember 8, 2021 GMT
BLUE RAPIDS, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas town has dropped all charges against a man prosecuted for flying a flag outside his home with a profanity against President Joe Biden, a civil rights group said Wednesday.
Ethiopia seeks to restrict media reporting on yearlong warNovember 26, 2021 GMT
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Ethiopia’s government has issued a new order aiming to restrict media reporting of the country’s yearlong war, prohibiting the sharing of non-official information on “military-related movements, battlefront results and situations.”
Pakistan woman journalist targeted in eastern city of LahoreNovember 25, 2021 GMT
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — An assailant targeted a female Pakistani journalist in the eastern city of Lahore while she was driving with her daughter and sister late at night, the police said Thursday.
Human rights group questions fair elections in LibyaNovember 11, 2021 GMT
CAIRO (AP) — A leading rights group questioned Thursday whether Libyan authorities can hold free and fair elections as long as the rule of law, justice and respect of human rights remain absent.
Human Rights Watch's statement came on the eve of an international conference on Libya in Paris where world leaders and Libya's neighbors are pushing for elections to be held as scheduled Dec.
Missouri Supreme Court weighs publicly funded advocacy banNovember 2, 2021 GMT
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges on Tuesday heard arguments over whether a ban on publicly funded advocacy is constitutional.
Missouri law prohibits any public funds from being spent to advocate for or against ballot measures, such as spending such money to print flyers in favor of a bonding proposal.
Missouri high court weigh part of rape victims’ rights lawNovember 2, 2021 GMT
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges on Tuesday heard arguments over whether parts of a sexual assault victims rights law are unconstitutional.
The Legislature in 2020 passed the law, also known as the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights.
Fire investigator sues Maine after promotion denialOctober 18, 2021 GMT
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine fire investigator is suing the state and his boss, alleging he was passed over for promotion because he publicly pushed for using half of a $2 million budget surplus to allow investigators to retire sooner.
Court rejects fired physicist’s intellectual freedom claimOctober 13, 2021 GMT
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's highest court Wednesday dismissed an intellectual freedom claim by a university physicist who was fired in part over his public statements that scientists exaggerated damage to the Great Barrier Reef caused by climate change.
Man arrested for filming police station sues officersAugust 24, 2021 GMT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two Waterbury police sergeants were sued Tuesday by a man who says he was illegally arrested and detained for filming the exterior of the city's police station.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut filed the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Wallingford resident Keith Massimino.
Daughter: German-Iranian woman sentenced to 10 years in IranAugust 4, 2021 GMT
BERLIN (AP) — The daughter of a German-Iranian rights activist said Wednesday that her mother has been given a prison sentence of 10 years and eight months in Iran.
Mariam Claren wrote on Twitter that her mother, Nahid Taghavi, “did not commit any crime.
Designer who won’t make same-sex wedding websites loses caseJuly 28, 2021 GMT
DENVER (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a web designer who didn’t want to create wedding websites for same-sex couples and sued to challenge Colorado’s anti-discrimination law, another twist in a series of court rulings nationwide about whether businesses denying services to LGBTQ people amounts to bias or freedom of speech.
Mexico fines candidate’s party for role of influencer wifeJuly 23, 2021 GMT
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s electoral agency fined the party of a state gubernatorial candidate $2.75 million Thursday, ruling that he got prohibited support from his influencer wife’s social media posts.
Pro-democracy, women’s rights activists to get Liberty MedalJuly 20, 2021 GMT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and a Saudi women's rights activist will be presented the Liberty Medal later this year.
The National Constitution Center announced Tuesday that the annual award will be presented Sept.
Hong Kong bans handover protest as official defends lawJuly 1, 2021 GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — Marking the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese control, a top city official defended the national security law imposed by Beijing to crush pro-democracy rallies and said Thursday it would be used further in the coming year to ensure stability.
Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy paper sells out final editionJune 24, 2021 GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — The final edition of Hong Kong's last remaining pro-democracy paper sold out in hours Thursday, as readers scooped up all 1 million copies of the Apple Daily, whose closure was yet another sign of China's tightening grip on the semi-autonomous city.
Atheists, humanists sue over Mississippi’s license platesJune 23, 2021 GMT
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Four words on Mississippi's license plates have sparked a federal lawsuit.
American Atheists, the Mississippi Humanist Association and three nonreligious state residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the state over its “In God We Trust” license plate.
Justices rule for student in ‘cursing cheerleader’ caseJune 23, 2021 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the case of the cursing cheerleader, the Supreme Court notched a victory for the free speech rights of students Wednesday, siding with a high school student whose vulgar social media post got her kicked off the junior varsity squad.
Banned Pakistani TV host apologizes over speech against armyJune 9, 2021 GMT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A prominent Pakistani journalist who was banned and taken off air by his TV station after he criticized the country’s military last month at a protest against growing attacks on journalists has offered an apology, saying he had no intention to defame the army.
Pakistani TV bans host of talk show after he criticized armyMay 31, 2021 GMT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani television station Monday took a prominent journalist off air, removing him as host of a popular talk show after he criticized the country’s powerful military, the journalist and rights groups said.
White Bear woman accused of stalking, harassing neighborsMay 29, 2021 GMT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A White Bear Lake woman has been charged with two counts of stalking after she allegedly harassed real estate agents and prospective buyers who came to look at a property next door that recently was put up for sale.
Suit: Georgia election law threatens voting, speech rightsMay 17, 2021 GMT
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s sweeping new overhaul of election laws threatens the fundamental right to vote, freedom of speech and the separation of powers, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.
Florida House votes to crack down on violent protestsMarch 26, 2021 GMT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A so-called anti-riot bill passed by the Florida House on Friday would create increased penalties and new crimes for people who participate in violent protests, though opponents say it will have a chilling affect on the freedom of speech...
Maryland high court upholds Baltimore billboard taxMarch 21, 2021 GMT
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s highest court has upheld a tax imposed by the city of Baltimore on selling billboard advertising...
Stone tablet marking First Amendment freedoms finds new homeMarch 18, 2021 GMT
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A four-story, 50-ton marble tablet engraved with the text of the First Amendment, previously displayed on the facade of the now-shuttered Newseum in Washington, will find a new home in Philadelphia across from Independence Hall...
New protests in Spain over the jailing of rapper’s backersMarch 6, 2021 GMT
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Several hundred protesters marched Saturday in Spain's northeastern city of Barcelona against the authorities' crackdown following a violent outcry over the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél, an anti-establishment artist...
Pew survey shows hardening American attitudes toward ChinaMarch 5, 2021 GMT
BEIJING (AP) — New polling from the Pew Research Center shows strong negative attitudes among Americans toward China, with almost nine out of 10 adults seeing the country as hostile or a danger to U...
Amnesty International: Hackers attacking Vietnam dissidentsFebruary 24, 2021 GMT
BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International says it has found that a hacking group known as Ocean Lotus has been staging more spyware attacks on Vietnamese human rights activists in the latest blow to freedom of speech in the communist-ruled country...
EXPLAINER: Why Spaniards are rioting over rapper’s jailingFebruary 19, 2021 GMT
MADRID (AP) — Riots broke out in many Spanish cities this week during freedom of speech protests over the jailing of a little-known rapper for insulting the Spanish monarchy and praising terrorism...
The Constitution doesn’t have a problem with mask mandatesJanuary 23, 2021 GMT
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
John E. Finn, Wesleyan University
Officer suspended amid probe into Capitol riot involvementJanuary 12, 2021 GMT
MILLERSVILLE, Md. (AP) — A police officer in Maryland was suspended with pay while authorities investigate whether the officer was involved in the violent siege of the U...
Judge: California can’t ban offensive license platesNovember 25, 2020 GMT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California can't enforce a ban vanity license plates it considers “offensive to good taste and decency” because that violates freedom of speech, a federal judge ruled Tuesday...
French premier joins nationwide tributes to beheaded teacherOctober 18, 2020 GMT
PARIS (AP) — France's prime minister joined demonstrators on Sunday who rallied together across the country in tribute to a history teacher who was beheaded near Paris after discussing caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad with his class...
India’s top court lets off lawyer who criticized judiciaryAugust 31, 2020 GMT
NEW DELHI (AP) — In a surprise ruling Monday, India’s top court ordered a prominent lawyer only to pay a fine of 1 rupee (less than 2 cents) after his conviction in a highly watched criminal contempt case sparked a debate on freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy and the independence of its judiciary...
ACLU sues over federal action in Portland, Oregon, protestsAugust 26, 2020 GMT
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging agents sent by President Donald Trump to protect a federal courthouse targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters used excessive force and illegal detentions to rob protesters of their freedom of speech and assembly.
US WeChat users sue Trump over order banning messaging appAugust 22, 2020 GMT
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some U.S.-based users of WeChat are suing President Donald Trump in a bid to block an executive order that they say would effectively bar access in the U...
Deputy on leave after video shows him shoving Black manAugust 18, 2020 GMT
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A white Florida sheriff's deputy has been placed on administrative leave after he was caught on camera shoving a handcuffed 19-year-old Black man against a wall outside a fast food restaurant...
Thousands in Bulgaria’s streets demanding government resignJuly 29, 2020 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Tens of thousands of people took to the streets Wednesday in cities across Bulgaria for a third consecutive week to demand the resignation of the government and the chief prosecutor...
Man says threat to shoot police was actually satireJune 25, 2020 GMT
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man charged with threatening to shoot police on social media said Thursday that the posting was a satirical response to a video showing what he called police misconduct in Georgia.
Hong Kong’s last British leader: China’s agenda ‘Orwellian’June 5, 2020 GMT
BEIJING (AP) — The last British governor of Hong Kong criticized the Chinese government on Friday over proposed national security legislation, calling it part of an “Orwellian" drive to eliminate opposition in violation of the agreement on handing the territory over to Beijing...
Seoul vows to stop border protests after Pyongyang’s threatJune 4, 2020 GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Thursday it planned to push new laws to ban activists from flying anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the border after North Korea threatened to end an inter-Korean military agreement reached in 2018 to reduce tensions if Seoul fails to prevent the protests...
Hong Kong leader says security law not a threat to freedomsMay 26, 2020 GMT
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's leader said Tuesday that national security legislation proposed by China's legislature will not threaten the semi-autonomous territory's civil rights, despite widespread criticism of the move as an encroachment on freedom of speech and assembly...