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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Legal measures arbitrarily targeting "fake news" are picking up global steam.

Driving the news: The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Puerto Rican journalists who fear that two recent "fake news" laws will be used to punish them for their reporting on the coronavirus crisis.

  • The Puerto Rico laws make it a crime for journalists to report information about emergencies that the government considers “fake news."
  • They technically only apply to “false information,” but ACLU argues that the broad-based definition will inevitably be used to suppress true information.

The big picture: The tactic of targeting the press under the guise of stopping "fake news" is increasingly becoming more normalized.

  • Hungary's government passed a law in March that gives the government power to punish those who spread "false information" about the pandemic with up to five years in prison.
  • The Philippines passed a law in March that says journalists may face jail sentences of up to two months for "spreading false information" about the virus and a fine of up to $20,000, per CNN.
  • Singapore last year passed a law last year which allows the government to force online platforms to remove or correct information that it believes is false.

The bottom line: These examples and several others show ways the press is being shut out by the governments globally under the guise of stopping pandemic misinformation.

Go deeper

McSally: GOP would "never get the Senate back" if D.C. and Puerto Rico were states

Sen. Martha McSally on May 6 in Washington, DC. Photo: Shawn Thew via Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz) told NBC News that if Democrats take the Senate and grant statehood to Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, Republicans would "never get the Senate back again."

Why it matters: McSally is facing a challenge from astronaut Mark Kelly in a competitive race that many believe could determine the balance of the Senate. "This is just the implications of this seat, the implications of this vote," McSally said after claiming that Democrats would get four new senators with D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood.

Dead malls get new life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Malls are becoming ghosts of retail past. But the left-behind real estate is being reimagined for a post-pandemic world.

Why it matters: As many as 17% of malls in the U.S. "may no longer be viable as shopping centers and need to be redeveloped into other uses," per Barclays.

White House now says Biden will move to increase refugee cap by May 15

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House on Friday afternoon said President Biden plans to lift the Trump-era refugee cap by May 15.

Driving the news: The announcement follows stinging criticism from several Democrats and rights groups, who said Biden was walking back on his pledge to raise the limit. Earlier Friday, Biden signed a directive to speed up the processing of refugees, but kept the Trump administration's historically low cap of 15,000 refugees for this year.