Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Gordon Ahl
Monday, October 7, 2019, 2:21 PM

The White House announced on Sunday that President Trump has backed a Turkish plan that would clear away U.S.-backed Kurdish forces near the Turkish border in Syria and result in the United States not participating in military activity in the area, reports the New York Times. Turkey views the Kurdish forces, who are part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, as a terrorist insurgency and has long lobbied the United States to cut support for the group. The Washington Post reports that the United States has already begun withdrawing U.S. troops near the border as of Monday morning.

An attorney representing the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint gave rise to the Ukraine scandal confirmed via Twitter that his team now “represent[s] multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General.” The Washington Post reports that another attorney signaled that a second individual has “first hand knowledge that supported the first whistleblower.”

House committees subpoenaed the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget for documents related to the Trump administration’s involvement with Ukraine, reports the Wall Street Journal.

A judge dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit in federal district court which sought to move a case involving his tax returns from state to federal court, reports the New York Times. The decision allows the Manhattan district attorney’s office to move forward with a subpoena seeking eight years of Trump’s tax returns, but the ruling does not entail the immediate turnover of documents.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement suggesting that American attitudes toward the country would need to change by the end of the year if the U.S. wants nuclear talks to continue, according to the Post. The announcement came a day after both sides met in Stockholm to restart talks following an eight-month hiatus. The Trump administration characterized the talks as “good discussions” while North Korea described them as “sickening.”

Iraqi authorities confirmed that at least seven more protestors were killed on Sunday in clashes with police. According to NPR, the death toll from nearly a week of anti-government rallies in Iraq has exceeded 100 with thousands more injured.

Tense protests continued in Hong Kong this weekend. Conflicts included a stand-off between demonstrators and a People’s Liberation Army garrison, reports Reuters. Police also made their first arrests under the new rule banning face masks in the territory.

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

Avinash Paliwal discussed the shifts in Indian policy on Afghanistan and the Taliban from 2015 to the present.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Jack Goldsmith to discuss his new book, “In Hoffa’s Shadow.”

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