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California open government roundup: Panel calls for greater transparency from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

A civilian oversight commission is asking the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to reform its transparency practices to allow the public more information about its use of force, discipline of officers, and handling of complaints. The commission wants the department to post data including videos of incidents on its website. (Los Angeles Times, May 25, 2017, […]

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First Amendment in the schools: Federal judge prevents expulsion over ‘liking’ of racism on Instagram

A federal judge cited the First Amendment in ruling that the Albany school district in California could not expel Kevin Chen for “liking” racist images on Instagram. (The New Yorker, May 39, 2017, by Nahema Marchal) Chen did not post the image but he and three others admitted to “liking” them. The four students  claimed […]

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Anti-abortion foes defy federal court order in releasing banned videos

A district federal judge ordered the employees of the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for their violation of his order not to publish videos shot illegally at the National Abortion Federation’s annual meetings. The federation is concerned for the safety of its members that […]

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Nations differ in tolerance for publishing of government secrets

The New York Times was widely criticized for publishing leaked information and photos about the suicide bombing attack in Manchester. The British said the publication hurt the investigation and showed no respect for the families of the victims. The Times issued a statement saying their reporting was consistent with how they and other news outlets […]

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Troubling assault on free press continues with gun shot attack on Lexington newspaper

Lexington police believe that windows shattered at the office of the Lexington Herald-Leader resulted from small-caliber gunfire. Publisher Rufus Friday said it was “concerning,” given the animosity expressed toward journalists in the U.S. and Lexington recently.  (Lexington Herald-Leader, May 29, 2017, by Herald-Leader Staff) The attack follows the publication of a story about the Kentucky […]

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Fallout mounts from Montana U.S. House candidate’s assault on reporter

A reporter for The Guardian claimed that U.S. House of Representatives candidate Greg Gianforte “body slammed” him and broke his glasses as he was attempting to ask questions. After interviewing several witnesses the county sheriff cited Gianforte for misdemeanor assault saying that Gianforte’s act did not constitute a felony. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, May 24, 2017, […]

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Trump tries to dodge transparency on waivers for former lobbyists

The Trump administration drew a sharp rebuke from the head of the Office of Government Ethics for asking him to withdraw a request for copies of waivers for former lobbyists hired to work for the administration or a federal agency. Ethics chief Walter Shaub said he expects federal agencies to release copies of waivers, writing, […]

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Transparency for prescription drug prices gains steam

U.S. Senator John McCain and two democratic colleagues introduced a drug pricing bill that fights escalating prescription drug prices by bringing transparency to plans by companies to increase prices. The law would require companies to produce a transparency and justification report 30 days before increasing the price of certain drugs. The report would require details […]

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Trump administration withdraws data from public

To shield companies and employers from public criticism, the Trump administration is failing to publish government data relating to such issues as workplace violations, energy efficiency and animal welfare abuses. In addition, it no longer publishes data concerning climate change or the ethics waivers for appointees who would otherwise be prevented from taking government jobs […]

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Meeting with Comey: Press reports alleged Trump threat to reporters

It’s alleged that Trump said in his meeting with then FBI director James Comey not only that Comey not investigate former national security adviser Michael Flynn, but also that something be done about the “pesky press,”  specifically putting reporters in jail for publishing classified information. (techdirt, May 18, 2017 by Tim Cushing) Given the Trump […]

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