Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Hadley Baker, Vishnu Kannan
Thursday, July 25, 2019, 3:35 PM

On Thursday, North Korea tested two short-range missiles, which landed in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to the South Korean military, the New York Times says. The missiles were fired from mobile launch vehicles and it is reportedly unclear whether they were based on ballistic technology. Separately, analysts report an uptick in North Korea’s production of long-range missiles and fissile material, the Wall Street Journal reports. Satellite imagery shows significant activity in key North Korean weapons facilities.

President Trump vetoed three joint resolutions to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which he characterized as “ill conceived,” arguing that they failed to address the “root causes” of the conflict in Yemen, per CNN.

The Chinese government expressed “deep concerns” on Thursday over a U.S. Navy vessel transiting the Taiwan Strait, Reuters reports. A spokesman for the U.S. Navy said “The (ship’s) transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” and added that “the U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against Facebook on Wednesday, revealing that the company’s employees tried to warn it, as early as September 2015, of concerns about the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook quietly disclosed that it had agreed to a $100 million settlement with the SEC over the issue, according to Tech Crunch. Meanwhile, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, commissioner for the Federal Trade Commission, argued that the company’s $5 billion fine is not sufficient to ensure accountability going forward.

Facebook announced it had removed over 1,800 accounts and pages from Thailand, Russia, Ukraine and Honduras which it said promoted deceptive political propaganda and extremist content, writes Reuters.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Scott Anderson, Hadley Baker, Mikhaila Fogel, Susan Hennessey, Quinta Jurecic, Kannan, Eugenia Lostri, David Priess, Margaret Taylor and Benjamin Wittes analyzed Robert Mueller’s hearings before two House committees on Wednesday and what next steps by Congress might entail.

Fogel shared a special edition of the Lawfare Podcast in which contributors discussed Mueller’s testimony and his legacy, as well as what this might mean for Congress and the President.

Vishnu Kannan shared the livestreams of former special counsel Robert Mueller testifying before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday.

Bruce Riedel reviewed “The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House,” the most recent book from Nada Bakos.

Kannan also shared testimony from David Hale and Marik String, which they delivered before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a hearing entitled “Reviewing Authorities for the Use of Military Force.”

Kannan posted the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California’s order granting a preliminary injunction in East Bay Sanctuary et al. v. William Barr et al.

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