Freedom of the press

Expert Voices

Philippine midterm elections could further consolidate Duterte's power

Rodrigo Duterte speaking at a lectern
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images

Despite provoking international condemnation for his disdain for laws and institutions, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte seems likely to gain stronger domestic support in the May 13 midterms, when voters will elect the lower house of Congress and part of the Senate.

Why it matters: Long one of the most democratic states in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has seen under Duterte an illiberal crackdown on the press, judiciary and political opposition and an anti-drug campaign that reportedly has led to the deaths of over 12,000 people, often through extrajudicial killings.

What they're saying: Lawmakers, press activists react to Assange arrest

In this image, Julian Assange looks out a vehicle window.
Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11 in London. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday with "a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" related to Chelsea Manning's 2010 leak of State Department cables.

What they're saying: Although the DOJ's charges are more about Assange the hacker than Assange the journalist, some legal and media personnel are still concerned about the implications his arrest could have for press freedom. That concern is not shared among lawmakers on the Hill.