Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Anushka Limaye
Wednesday, November 21, 2018, 2:08 PM

Interpol elected Kim Jong Yang, a South Korean law enforcement veteran who has served as interim chief of the international police agency since his predecessor, Meng Hongwei, was detained on corruption allegations in China, reports the New York Times. Kim edged out senior Russian law enforcement official Alexsandr Prokopchuk, a Kremlin-backed candidate who Western countries opposed over concerns that he would allow Russia to exploit Interpol’s international arrest warrants for political purposes.

In a statement on Tuesday, President Trump signalled his intention for the U.S. to remain an ally of Saudi Arabia, citing Iranian influence as the cause of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen civil war and accepting Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s denial that he was involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reports the Times. On Friday, several news outlets reported that the CIA had assessed that the crown prince directed the assassination.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker received more than $1.2 million for about four years of work from a conservative nonprofit with undisclosed funders, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, before joining the Justice Department in September 2017, finds the Post.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office released a 50-page report on Chinese trade practices, stating that Beijing continues to use unfair trade practices such as espionage, government pressure, and cybertheft to illegally obtain U.S. technology, says the Wall Street Journal. The report comes two weeks before President Trump is set to meet Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires.

The U.S. is considering adding Venezuela to the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism , a sharp escalation against the country’s government, reports the Post. Proponents cite the government’s alleged links to Hezbollah and the FARC, while critics worry that the designation would limit Washington' ability to provide humanitarian and health aid to the failing state.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Daniel Byman analyzed the unique nature of the Syrian civil war in fostering the growth of the Islamic State and how to prevent the next such movement.

J. Dana Stuster posted this week’s Middle East Ticker, discussing potential peace talks in Yemen, the CIA’s assessment that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu’s attempts to stave off early elections in the wake of an intelligence mission gone awry.

Nathan Swire posted this month’s edition of Water Wars, focusing on the U.S.-China clash at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on Nov. 18 in Papua New Guinea.

Quinta Jurecic shared Lawfare’s new resource page collating significant litigation documents in the Mueller investigation.

Jen Patja Howell posted the latest episode of the Lawfare Podcast on the politics behind the recent Iraqi elections, what to expect from the new governing coalition, and how Baghdad might navigate growing tensions between Washington and Tehran.

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