Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Monday, July 29, 2019, 2:35 PM

Dan Coates will step down as director of national intelligence (DNI) on August 15, President Trump announced in a tweet, CNN reports.Coates’ resignation letter is available here. Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated to be the next DNI.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps released a recording of communications between an IRGC vessel and the British-flagged Stena Impero, a merchant vessel which the IRGC seized on July 19, the Guardian reports. The recording shows an Iranian officer instructing a British Navy vessel to refrain from interfering as the IRGC seized the merchant ship. On Monday, the U.K. foreign secretary said, “if Iranians wants to be accepted as a responsible member of the intentional community they need to adhere to rules-based system of the international community,” Reuters writes. The interaction occurred two weeks after British forces seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar—the tanker was accused of violating sanctions against Syria.

On Monday, a Chinese court sentenced veteran human rights activist Huang Qi to 12 years imprisonment, Reuters reports. He was found guilty of “deliberately leaking state secrets” and “of illegally providing the secrets outside of China,” the Intermediate People's Court of Mianyang Municipality said in a statement. Huang, who has been detained since 2016, ran a website tracking human rights abuse accusations and helping victims of a 2008 earthquake in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was discharged from hospital and returned to prison having been treated for what his supporters suspect was a chemical poisoning, per the Wall Street Journal. Navalny was released even though “the results of his analyzes were still not ready,” according to his spokeswoman.

U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel held a meeting of senior security officials from the Five-Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance to discuss cybersecurity, encryption and other emerging threats, according to Reuters.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Eugenia Lostri and Margaret Taylor analyzed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s recent report on election security in the context of the legislative gridlock over election security.

Daniel Markey identified three blunders in President Trump’s comments to the press ahead of a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent episode of the Lawfare Podcast, a conversation between David Priess and Jonna Mendez about the latter’s new book, “"The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics that Helped America Win the Cold War.”

Renee Anderson reviewed Mary Shelley's book, “Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds,’' ed. David H. Guston, Ed Finn, and Jason Scott Robert.” (MIT Press, 2018)

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