Trump Goes After Turkey, Announces Doubling of Tariffs: Our Relations ‘Are Not Good!’

Early in his administration, President Donald Trump was criticized for placing a congratulatory call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — an authoritarian leader. But now, the relationship appears to have gone sideways. Amid a steep drop in Turkey’s currency, the Lira, the president announced on Twitter Friday that he has given the greenlight to sharply increased tariffs. “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump wrote. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Netizen Report: The Rising Cost of Cameroon’s Internet Shutdowns

The Advox Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world. Two digital rights NGOs are suing the Cameroonian government for imposing an internet shutdown on the country’s two Anglophone regions for more than three months in 2017, just before both regions planned to make a symbolic declaration of independence. Besides imposing the long-term internet shutdown (along with several shorter shutdowns of platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp), the government deployed security forces who clashed violently with Anglophone activists. The two NGOs leading the lawsuit, Internet Sans Frontières and Access Now, aim to not only seek reparations for the shutdown, but also help counter the growing trend of using internet shutdowns for political gain. Peter Micek, General Counsel of Access Now, said of the suit, “Cameroon’s courts have the opportunity to set a global precedent in favor of human rights
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CPJ Presents the Press Oppressors Awards

A version of this post originally appeared on CPJ’s website. Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump’s announcement via Twitter about his planned “fake news” awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.

Most Thin-skinned

Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
Turkish authorities have repeatedly charged journalists, news outlets, and social media users for insulting Erdoğan, insulting other Turkish leaders, and insulting “Turkishness” in general. Over the course of 2016, the Turkish judicial system handled 46,193 cases of “insulting the president” or “insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic
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In Turkey, use of Facebook and Twitter for news is falling, and WhatsApp is rising

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released a Turkey-specific supplement to its annual Digital News Report. The supplement, by Servet Yanatma, offers a look at what it’s like to be a media consumer in a highly polarized environment, where roughly the same percentage of people trust the news overall (40 percent) and distrust it overall (38 percent). In the U.S., meanwhile, Reuters found that 38 percent of people trust the news overall — but Turkey’s national situation is currently quite different, as outlined in the report:
Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup in July 2016, in which 248 people were killed and hundreds injured, and the political turmoil has had a significant effect on the freedom and independence of the Turkish media. Turkish authorities have shut down over 160 media outlets, including 56 newspapers, 5 news agencies, 27 TV channels,
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Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any nuttier. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged proposal involving ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn forcibly removing a muslim cleric from the United States and returning the cleric to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars.
Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
Per the WSJ, the FBI has spoken to a number of individuals about a New York City meeting in December 2016 where Flynn and his representatives met with Turkish officials to discuss the removal of Continue reading "Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million"

Netizen Report: Authorities in China and Indonesia Threaten Whatsapp, Telegram Over Political Content

Global Voices Advocacy’s Netizen Report offers an international snapshot of challenges, victories, and emerging trends in Internet rights around the world.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology threatened to ban the secure messaging app Telegram on July 15, reasoning that it is being used to “recruit Indonesians into militant groups and to spread hate and methods for carrying out attacks…” As a partial measure, the government has already blocked access to 11 URLs offering the web version of Telegram. In response, Telegram has vowed to double its efforts to remove “terrorist” content from the platform by forming a team of moderators tasked with monitoring networks in Indonesia and removing such content as swiftly as possible.

Flock of birds. Photo by Christoffer A Rasmussen, via Wikimedia. Licensed to public domain.

Although Telegram may prefer this solution to being banned altogether, it may also increase the likelihood of overcompliance by the company, which
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