Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Clark
Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 2:42 PM

Two American citizens were transferred from Syria to the United States to face trial in U.S. federal courts, according to the Washington Post. Ibraheem Izzy Musaibli is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State. He will be tried in Detroit. Samantha Elhassani is charged with making false statements to the FBI and faces trial in the Northern District of Indiana. Both Musaibli and Elhassani were previously in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Wednesday afternoon to provide “An Update on American Diplomacy to Advance our National Security Strategy,” according to the Hill. Lawmakers are likely to question Pompeo about President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and the status of diplomatic negotiations with North Korea. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. Watch the livestream here.

Violent attacks swept across Pakistan as the nation headed to the polls for a contentious general election, reports BBC. At least 31 people were killed in a suicide bombing outside of a polling station in the city of Quetta, and two others were killed and several injured in minor blasts around the country. Ex-cricket star Imran Khan’s party faces off against the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Khan has vowed to tackle corruption but faces accusations that the military is meddling in the elections on his behalf. Sharif was jailed earlier this month on corruption charges related to the Panama Papers.

The Trump administration will provide $12 billion in aid to U.S. farmers who have suffered as a result of Trump’s trade disputes, reports the Wall Street Journal. The White House has ordered billions of dollars in tariffs over the last few months on a range of goods, causing countries such as China, Canada, and Mexico to respond in kind. The agriculture secretary called the decision a “short-term solution” to support farmers while the administration finalizes more “long-term trade deals.”

A group of developing countries in the United Nations asked Palestine to serve as the group’s next leader, says the New York Times. The bloc is known as the Group of 77, a reference to its 77 original member countries, although it now boasts a membership of more than 135 nations. Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. said the decision will turn the group into a “platform for spreading lies and incitement.”

Three U.S. airlines capitulated to China’s demand that they remove any reference to Taiwan as a non-Chinese territory on their websites by July 25, says Reuters. China considers Taiwan to be part of the People’s Republic and subject to Beijing’s rule, but Taiwan views itself as an independent nation. The websites of American, Delta, and United Airlines now include the Taipei airport code and the city name, but they do not reference the name Taiwan. A spokesperson for American Airlines explained that the company removed the name because “Air travel is a global business, and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Robert Williams worried about future distinctions between national security and economic interests.

William Carter and Jennifer Daskal announced the launch event for their new CSIS report titled “Low-Hanging Fruit: Evidence-Based Solutions to the Digital Evidence Challenge.”

Sarah Grant summarized the July 24 hearing at the military commissions.

J. Dana Stuster provided an update on Trump’s comments on Iran, Israel’s rejection of Russia’s offer for a Syrian buffer zone, and Erdogan’s decision to end the state of emergency in Turkey.

Bob Bauer outlined the norms and unwritten rules that special counsel Robert Mueller must negotiate.

Molly E. Reynolds explained the efforts in the House of Representatives to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Paul Rosenzweig shared a brief update on President Trump’s ability to revoke the security clearances of former intelligence officials.

Nathan Swire updated us on China’s recent actions in the South China Sea on this month’s Water Wars.

Stewart Baker posted the Cyberlaw Podcast in which Baker interviewed Robert Chesney about his recent paper with Danielle Citron on “Deep Fakes.”

Jen Patja Howell posted the Lawfare Podcast in which Scott Anderson, Jen Mascott, Steve Vladeck, and Bob Loeb discussed the future of national security issues before the Supreme Court.

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