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Transparency: Federal judge sets deadline for release of Clinton e-mail

A federal district judge ordered the State Department to release more of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mails by February 29. The judge agreed with Vice News reporter Jason Leopold that the release was urgent given the presidential primaries. The State Department missed the judge’s January deadline. (Politico, February 11, 2016, by Josh Gerstein) […]

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Twitter closes down terrorism accounts

Twitter said it closed down over 125,000 accounts tied to terrorism since mid-year 2015. It increased the number of employees scanning for terrorism and works with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies from time to time. Twitter wants to maintain an open platform while enforcing its own rules against violence. (betanews, February 6, 2016, […]

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Vietnamese American press: Libel suit ends with takeover

After winning a $4.5 million judgment in a defamation suit, the Nguoi Viet Daily News Inc. in Orange County, California is taking over The Little Saigon News Inc. The Little Saigon News published an article in 2012 that said that the Nguoi Viet CEO was a communist agent and running the company in  concert with […]

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German editor claims personal politics of WikiLeaks founder debase its mission

A German editor writes that says notwithstanding recent United Nations determination that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained in London, Assange’s personal politics has undermined WikiLeaks’ noble mission. He argues that in insisting that democracies should not have any secrets is an unreasonable and even dangerous notion and that Assange is not holding […]

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Trump antics pose threat to free press

“No leading presidential candidate — perhaps ever — has been as dismissive, belittling or as downright hostile to the people who follow him on the campaign trail as Trump [Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump].” writes Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, February 4, 2016. Trump’s hostility towards and bullying of journalists has encouraged his supporters […]

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Transparency: Big money finds ways to keep campaign donors secret

Conservatives have created a playbook for concealing the identity of wealthy donors in political campaigns. So reports Robert Faturechi in Pro Publica, February 4, 2016: “How do you stop states and cities from forcing more disclosure of so-called dark money in politics? Get the debate to focus on an ‘average Joe,’ not a wealthy person. […]

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Indictment of anti-abortion duo raises First Amendment issues

A Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood shifted its focus to two anti-abortion activists indicting them for tampering with a government record. The activists of the Center for Medical Progress posed as biotech representatives and presented fake California driver’s licenses to gain access to a April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston. One of the […]

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Texas decision opens path to display Bible verses on football banners

High school cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas prevailed in Texas Supreme Court in a quest to secure the right to paint Bible verses on run-through banners displayed a football games. The school district claimed the banners were government speech but lawyers for the cheerleaders said they were the cheerleaders’ private speech protected by Texas law. (Click […]

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California open government roundup: Assemblyman introduces bill to strengthen public records act

A California assemblyman has introduced a bill to require public agencies to require written responses when denying requests under the California Public Records Act. The response must include a the identification of each record withheld under an exemption and a specification of the exemption that applies. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 1, 2016, by Steven […]

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Virginia city’s sign ordinance found impermissible under First Amendment standards

After the Supreme Court’s ruling in an Arizona case last year, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision to overturn a Norfolk, Virginia ordinance restricting the size of signs. The sign in question protested the city’s move to seize property for expansion of the Old Dominion University. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, January […]

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