Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Hayley Evans
Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 3:13 PM

President Trump has announced that the U.S. will exit the Iran nuclear agreement, the New York Times reports. The Trump administration will reimpose sanctions against Iran. The deal on the Iranian nuclear program was originally reached in 2015 between Iran, Germany, the EU, and the five permanent members of the Security Council—the U.S., U.K., France, China and Russia. French President Emmanuel Macron and German President Angela Merkel visited Washington in recent weeks to lobby Trump to remain in the arrangement.

Hezbollah and its political allies expanded their share of seats in Lebanon’s parliament, the Times reports. On Sunday, Lebanon held its first parliamentary elections in nine years. Although Hezbollah’s own number of seats remained largely unchanged, at 13, wins by its political allies increased the chances Hezbollah will play a key role in the coalition government. The shoring up of Hezbollah’s position, as well as the election’s huge blow to the movement by Lebanon’s most prominent Sunni Muslim politician and ally of the West, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, will likely alarm the United States, Israel, and Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia.

The Manhattan district attorney has launched an investigation into abuse allegations against former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, the Washington Post reports. On Monday, The New Yorker broke the news that four women had accused Schneiderman of physical abuse. Three hours after the publication of the story, Scheniderman resigned from his position. A spokesman for Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said that the office “has opened an investigation into the recently reported allegations concerning Mr. Schneiderman.”

The U.S. will reveal the winners of a drone program that has attracted top technology and aerospace companies on Wednesday, Reuters reports. President Trump launched a new drone initiative last year, which will allow a larger range of tests than federal aviation regulators generally permit, including flying drones at night, over people, and beyond an operator’s line of sight. At least 200 companies, including Amazon, Intel and Raytheon, applied as partners for the pilot program.

Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has been elected prime minister, Axios reports. This news comes a week after Armenia’s parliament rejected Pashinyan as its head, and a month after large-scale protests began—forcing out previous prime minister Serzh Sargsyan. Though a small elite has clung onto power for decades until now—with Sargsyan himself having run up against term limits after 10 years as president—Vladimir Putin has declined to intervene in the former Soviet state’s recent changes.  

Uber will provide data support for NASA’s urban air mobility program, Reuters reports. Today, Uber announced that it has signed an agreement with NASA to explore concepts and technologies needed for passenger and cargo air transportation within an urban area.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Pierre-Hugues Verdier and Paul Stephan outlined an FCPA-inspired approach to holding corporations liable for international human rights violations.

Shannon Togawa Mercer and Ashley Deeks examined the regulatory environment surrounding U.K. law enforcement’s use of facial recognition software.  

Elizabeth Goitein responded to Robert Chesney’s April 25 critique of an op-ed arguing that the Corker-Kaine AUMF could be used to attack a nation state, reasserting her belief that the bill could be misused to justify military strikes against Iran.

Benjamin Wittes announced that the FBI’s former general counsel, James Baker, was leaving the bureau and coming to Brookings and Lawfare.

Robert Chesney replied to Goitein’s post, reiterating three reasons why he believes the Corker-Kaine bill would not open the door to the U.S. claiming AUMF justification for an attack on Iran.

Bob Bauer explained how Rudy Giuliani’s revised explanations of the Stormy Daniels payment still raise more questions than they answer, and may point to other serious issues beyond campaign finance.

Matthew Kahn posted the D.C. Circuit Court’s judgment affirming Judge Tanya Chutkan’s April 19 transfer injunction in Doe v. Mattis.

Chesney shared his initial take on the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision affirming that the U.S. government cannot involuntarily transfer John Doe to Saudi custody.

Wittes filed a lawsuit against the State Department, alleging violation of the Freedom of Information Act for its failure to respond to Scott Anderson, Sabrina McCubbin, and Wittes’ earlier request for information on whether the Department was paying for or reimbursing foreign officials’ stays at the Trump Hotel.

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