Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Sarah Tate Chambers
Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 1:44 PM

A former CIA officer’s espionage trial begins today, according to the Washington Post. Mallory is accused of meeting with a Chinese spy and exchanged U.S. intelligence for money. While Mallory admitted to the activity, he argued that his intention was to out the Chinese spies to U.S. authorities. The trial is one of two prosecutions against Chinese intelligence.

U.S. officials entered North Korea to prepare for the proposed summit, the Post reports. Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, met with Choe Son Hui, the North Korean vice foreign minister. Both officials previously assisted in the negotiation of the 2005 denuclearization agreement. Trump tweeted about the meeting: “Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself. I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day. Kim Jong Un agrees with me on this. It will happen!”

Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before the North Korea summit, the Post says. The two leaders spoke on the phone yesterday. There has been no announcement of the time and location of the meeting: it could occur during the Group of 7 economic summit on June 8 and 9 in Quebec or, as suggested by a Japanese official, Abe could stop by Washington before the economic summit in Quebec.

Syria is now the president of the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament, according to the New York Times. The presidency is filled in four-week, rotating increments in order to keep one power from dominating the sole permanent multilateral body for negotiating arms control treaties. The conference negotiated the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, the document that bans the production, stockpiling, or use of chemical weapons. While Syria’s presidency harms the conference’s public image, it is unlikely to cause any substantial harmful effect as the conference has been unable to come to an agreement on a program of work in a decade.

Former Pakistani Supreme Court Chief Justice Nasir al-Mulk as chosen as the country’s caretaker prime minister until elections in late July, the Times reports. Al-Mulk will oversee the country’s election process. He is seen as a neutral and fair party who will help make the elections free, fair, and credible. In recent years, Pakistan has seen heightened tension between leading politicians.

China confronted two American ships on the South China Sea, the Times says. Two Chinese warships met the Higgins and the Antietam after the U.S. ships came within twelve miles of Paracel Islands. The United States claimed that the U.S. ships were carrying out “freedom of navigation operations,” in which the United States exercises its rights under international law. Chinese officials stated that the United States “gravely violated Chinese sovereignty.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell posted the most recent episode of the Lawfare Podcast: “Vladimir Milov on Russia Beyond the Headlines.”

Elena Chachko and Yuval Shany discussed the Supreme Court of Israel’s dismissal of petition against the Gaza rules of engagement.

Richard English examined Northern Ireland’s Good Friday agreement and the lessons it provides about the effect of peace processes on conflict.

Jeffrey Smith drew on the sacrifices underpinning the celebration of Memorial Day to call both for a protection of the rule of law during a democratic crisis and for adopting reforms after the crisis is over.

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