Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Mikhaila Fogel
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 1:28 PM

Tensions are high at the NATO summit in Brussels as President Trump harshly criticizes U.S. allies, says NPR. On Wednesday, the president asserted that other NATO countries were “delinquent” on payments to NATO due to their failure to meet the two percent of GDP contribution to the organization. In a confrontational meeting Wednesday morning with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the president expressed anger at Germany for a recent energy pipeline deal with Russia, stating that, while the U.S. was “supposed to protect [NATO allies] against Russia,” Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia. All this comes as President Trump prepares for a summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin early next week. Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday voiced its strong support for NATO, passing a resolution 97-2 urging negotiators to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the organization.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration published a list of an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products on which it plans to levy 10 percent tariffs, reports Politico Many are concerned that this latest measure will escalate the growing trade war with China. While China’s Commerce Ministry stated Wednesday that China would act with necessary countermeasures, no specific retaliatory measures have been announced.

Amid growing frustration from President Trump, U.S. plans to undertake a review of its Afghanistan strategy, according to Reuters.  Since the administration released its strategy last August, the security in Afghanistan for civilians has deteriorated. The reporting comes after a surprise visit to Afghanistan this week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who expressed support for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s attempts to negotiate peace with the Taliban.

The federal government missed its court-mandated deadline to reunite the 102 migrant children younger than 5 years old with their parents, says CBS. The children had been separated from their families under the Trump administration’s policy of prosecuting all migrants who enter the country illegally. Criminal prosecution of an adult typically requires that any children be separated from their parents. Additionally, the federal government has given no clear indication that it will meet the court-imposed July 26 deadline to reunite all separated migrant children with their families, the reports the New York Times.

The British Information Commissioner’s Office will levy its maximum possible fine (£500,000 or roughly $660,000) against Facebook as punishment for allowing Cambridge Analytica to mine the data of millions of people without their consent, says the Times. This financial penalty is reportedly the first the company has faced for its role in Cambridge Analytica’s activities.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes gave his read on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s positions on executive power and how Kavanaugh might rule on cases involving the Mueller investigation.

Stewart Baker posted this week’s edition of the Cyberlaw Podcast, in which Baker talks to Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of NSA and CIA, about new book, “The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies.”

Greg Nojeim outlines 11 key questions for the Justice Department as it seeks to implement the recently enacted Cloud Act.

Jacob Hofstetter analyzes what he sees as the flaw in the Trump administration’s approach to Central American foreign assistance.

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