Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Sarah Tate Chambers
Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 11:51 AM

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, are spending the morning in front of the Senate intelligence committee to testify on their companies’ response to election interference, reports the New York Times. This is the first time that either of the tech executives has testified before Congress. Dorsey will testify in a separate hearing this afternoon in front of the House Energy and Commerce committee regarding Twitter’s moderation of content. Watch the livestream of the Senate intelligence committee hearing here.

British prosecutors charged two Russian men, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with the attempted murder of a former Russian agent and his daughter, reports the Washington Post. Because the Russian constitution forbids extradition of its own nationals, the U.K. did not attempt to extradite but rather obtained a European arrest warrant for the two men.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh returns to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the second day of his confirmation hearings, reports the Times.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has signalled that he will accept written answers from President Trump related to whether his campaign coordinated with Russia in the 2016 elections, said the Post. The decision came in a letter, which also left open the possibility of later in-person interviews on election interference and saved the topic of obstruction for a later date.

Gen. (Ret.) David Petraeus and Kiran Sridhar believe the country needs a national cybersecurity agency, according to a piece they co-authored in Politico.

Southern Republican senators spoke out in support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Bob Woodward’s book quotes President Trump as calling Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb Southerner,” reports the Post. Trump denied making the statements.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo landed in Pakistan on Wednesday and hopes to “reset the [U.S.-Pakistan] relationship,” said the Post. Pompeo was accompanied by Zalmay Khalilzad, who Pompeo announced would serve as a special envoy for Afghanistan.

In preparation for the another summit, South Korean envoys delivered a letter from their president to Kim Jong Un, according to the Post.

In an in-depth article on Russia’s recruitment of informants inside its own borders, the New York Times explores a softer side of Russian pressure to police its own citizens and their foreign contacts.

In an
op-ed for the Post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote about how Facebook can be a tool to support democracy. Stating that Facebook blocks millions of fake accounts each day, Zuckerberg said that Facebook can “amplify the good and mitigate the bad.” As for the midterm elections, he detailed new technology and noted Facebook’s coordination with governments during other election but stopped short of declaring full confidence.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Kemal Kirisci discussed why Turkey needs the assistance of the United States and the EU.

J. Dana Stuster rounded up news from the Middle East, including Syria’s preparations for an offensive in the Idlib province.

Johan Sigholm described how he was trolled after authoring an op-ed on Russia’s attempts to influence elections.

Mikhaila Fogel distilled the debates over disclosure of Kavanaugh documents, which took up much of the first day of the Supreme Court nominee’s hearings.

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