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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) apologized for blocking the Twitter account of a former Brooklyn assemblyman as she agreed to settle a First Amendment lawsuit, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Per the New York Daily News, Ocasio-Cortez was scheduled to testify in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday in the case, brought by Dov Hikind in July — days after a federal appeals court made a landmark ruling that President Trump violated the Constitution in blocking critics on Twitter.

  • The ruling set a precedent that any elected official — from a local mayor to the president — who blocks a constituent on Twitter could be found guilty of violating that constituent's First Amendment rights, Axios' Sara Fischer notes.
"I have reconsidered my decision to block Dov Hikind from my Twitter account. Mr. Hikind has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them. In retrospect, it was wrong and improper and does not reflect the values I cherish. I sincerely apologize for blocking Mr. Hikind."
— Ocasio-Cortez statement to news outlets

What he's saying: Hikind said on Twitter the outcome was a "great victory not only for me, but for citizens and free speech everywhere!"

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in August that she had blocked fewer than 20 Twitter accounts "for ongoing harassment."

  • YouTuber and NY-11 Republican Congressional candidate Joey Saladino tweeted in July that he had also filed a suit against the freshman lawmaker after she blocked him.
  • He tweeted on Monday, "Hopefully this means she must unblock me as well. Unfortunately for me, I had several lawyers who had to drop out of my lawsuit due to the extreme controversial nature."

Go deeper: Trump's unexpected 1st Amendment legacy

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. on Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest hours later, per AP.