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Censorship

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The head of Kenya's electoral commission says vote-tallying in the country's close presidential election isn’t moving fast enough. Meanwhile, parallel counting by local media dramatically slowed amid public concerns about censorship or meddling. With no clear winner emerging and perhaps days more to wait, social media is busy with unverified claims by both candidates’ supporters. Human rights groups call that dangerous in a country with a history of political violence. Kenya could see a runoff presidential election for the first time. One electoral expert says there shouldn't be a problem finishing the count by the constitutional deadline of seven days after Tuesday’s vote.

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The government of the Solomon Islands is tightening its control over the nation’s state-owned broadcaster. Opponents say the move is squarely aimed at controlling and censoring the news. The government this week accused the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation of a “lack of ethics and professionalism." But in an interview with The Associated Press, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Johnson Honimae says he is proud of the broadcaster’s award-winning journalism. He says it is business as usual for the broadcaster and that there are no government censors vetting stories before they air. That's contrary to what was being reported by some news outlets.

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New York state prison authorities have lifted a ban on a book about the 1971 Attica uprising following a First Amendment lawsuit. Author Heather Ann Thompson, a historian and professor at the University of Michigan, sued the state’s prisons in March in Manhattan federal court over the censorship of her book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971.” Prison official said last week in a letter to a Manhattan federal judge that they would dismiss the ban, but will cut out a two-page map from all copies for security purposes.

Officials at Tulsa Public Schools say they've removed two sexually graphic books from school libraries following criticism from several elected leaders. The district released a statement Thursday saying they intend to more carefully review books in question. Secretary of Education Ryan Walters says when he posted images from the books “Gender Queer" and “Flamer" on his Facebook page, the social media company quickly censored his post. The images include depictions of gay sex and masturbation. Walters, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat were among those who criticized the district for making the books available to students.

Twitter is warning that governments around the globe are making more requests of the company to remove posts or snoop on accounts. The social media company revealed in a new report Thursday that local, state and national governments made a record number of legal demands for Twitter to take down content or reveal confidential information such as direct messages or user locations from accounts. The U.S. makes up the majority of demands for account information, accounting for 20 percent of the requests. Japan, meanwhile, leads in requests of Twitter to take down account content.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The June 24 Dobbs v. Jackson ruling is expected to lead to bans or deep restrictions in about half the states. In anticipation of the decision and since then, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access. The decision also sets up the potential for legal fights between the states over whether providers and those who help women obtain abortions can be sued or prosecuted.

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A judge in West Virginia’s capital has blocked enforcement of the state’s 150-year-old abortion ban, opening the door for abortions to resume in the state. Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango granted the Women’s Health Center of West Virginia a preliminary injunction against the 1800s-era ban. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says his office will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. The Women’s Health Center suspended abortion services on the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. The criminal abortion ban made performing or obtaining an abortion a felony punishable by up to a decade in prison. Clinic lawyers argued the law has been superseded by a slew of modern, conflicting laws.

There is a powerful photograph circulating online from the July 8 Ku Klux Klan rally of an African-American Charlottesville police officer stoically standing at a crowd-control barrier, with robed Klansmen milling behind him. That moment in time is the Constitution in action.

The thoughts and feelings behind efforts to remove the statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson are understandable. But removing them will not rewrite history, nor should we attempt it. Hiding these statues of Lee and Jackson will do nothing to help the United States grow up.

RICHMOND — A proposal requiring Virginia schools to notify parents annually of sexually explicit materials and allow students to receive alter…

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Think of a favorite novel or timeless classic. Now imagine it was banned because someone didn’t like what the author wrote. Throughout this month, the Augusta County Library in Fishersville features an art exhibit calling attention to the problems of banning books.

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I'm glad that Sen. John McCain spoke out vehemently against the censorship placed on members of Congress and on members of the television and print media on reporting, taking pictures of or interviewing any of the 50,00 illegal immigrants.

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