Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Vishnu Kannan
Wednesday, July 31, 2019, 4:28 PM

On Wednesday, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles, the second such test in less than one week, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, Yonhap News Agency reports.

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, will soon resume negotiations with the Taliban, Reuters writes. “I’m off to Doha... if the Taliban do their part, we will do ours, and conclude the agreement we have been working on,” he said on Twitter.

Forty-four protesters in Hong Kong have been charged with rioting, signaling a crackdown by Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed authorities on the increasingly violent protests, the Washington Post reports. All have been released on bail and will appear in court in September.

The Chinese government will stop issuing tourist permits to individuals for travel from the mainland to Taiwan ahead of the Taiwanese presidential election, a move that will likely increase tensions with Taipei, the Financial Times writes.

One hundred thirty detainees in an Egyptian prison have been on hunger strike for more than six weeks to protest “cruel and inhumane detention conditions,” according to Amnesty International, the Associated Press reports. The prison, known as the Scorpion, is where many political prisoners have been jailed as part of a crackdown on dissent in the country. The Egyptian Interior Ministry did not comment on the story.

After controversies over misinformation during the Australian elections in May, Facebook’s vice president Simon Milner declared that it is not the company’s “role to remove content that one side of a political debate considers to be false,” the Guardian says. The firm concluded that misinformation regarding the Australian Labor party's intention to introduce a “death tax” did not violate community standards.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

David Priess illustrated the trouble with nominating a Director of National Intelligence from Trump’s central casting.

Maggie Tennis and Strobe Talbott argued that jettisoning arms control endangers the U.S.’ edge in great power competition.

Arshan Barzani reviewed William A. Schabas, “The Trial of the Kaiser” (Oxford UP, 2018).

Vishnu Kannan shared the House Oversight Committee’s report on the Trump administration’s deal to transfer U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Kannan also shared the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington in the Capital One hacking case.

Quinta Jurecic shared a judge’s dismissal of the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Wikileaks, the Russian Government and others.

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent episode of the Lawfare Podcast, featuring a conversation between Scott Anderson and Amb. Doug Silliman about the state of the U.S.-Iraq relationship and the strains placed on it by the Trump administration’s campaign of maximum pressure against Iran.