Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Clark
Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 1:46 PM

President Trump and Kim Jong Un promised much in Singapore but provided few specifics, according to the New York Times. After a day of meetings, the two leaders signed a joint statement in which Kim reaffirmed his commitment to the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Similarly, Trump promised to suspend joint military exercises with South Korean forces, an announcement that came as a shock to Pentagon officials. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned a 2016 decision that granted asylum to victims of domestic abuse, reports BBC. In his 33-page decision, Sessions argued that domestic violence and gang violence do not qualify as persecution for the purposes of asylum candidacy. In Sessions’ words, “the asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune.”

A bipartisan group of senator’s agreed to an amendment that would undo President Trump’s deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Trump administration reached a deal with ZTE last week that allowed the company to once again buy from U.S suppliers in exchange for a $1 billion fine. The new amendment, if passed, would prohibit ZTE from buying American-made parts for its manufacturing processes. The amendment will be included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2019, which the Republican senate leadership set for a vote later this week.

Financial disclosure forms reveal Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made at least $82 million last year, reports the Washington Post. The couple divested a large portion of their assets before taking jobs in the White House, but the recent filings raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Neither Kushner nor Trump receives a salary for work as senior advisers to the president.

Norway will request 700 U.S. marines to station along its Russia border, according to Reuters. Norwegian officials said the invitation will allow NATO forces to train in winter conditions, however the invitation also underscores Oslo’s border-security concerns, security which have increased since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

China considers the United States’ new de facto embassy in Taiwan a “serious violation,” reports CNN. The U.S. government officially recognizes the “one China” policy, which maintains that Taiwan is a part of China and diplomatic communications must go through Beijing. However, the U.S. continues to sell weapons to Taiwan and remains one of the island’s closest allies. The new diplomatic outpost is formally referred to as the “American Institute of Taiwan” and cost $256 million to build.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Quinta Jurecic analyzed Trump’s authoritarian instincts in light of his recent pardons.

Cori Crider brought our attention to the U.K. government’s recent apology in a Libyan rendition case.

Mara Revkin cautioned against harsh punishment for Islamic State “collaborators.”

Jack Goldsmith shared the spring 2018 Issue of Harvard National Security Journal.

Stewart Baker posted the latest Cyberlaw Podcast.

George Conway refuted the constitutional arguments against the Mueller investigation.

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