Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Hannah Kris
Friday, January 31, 2020, 10:37 AM

The United Kingdom and Russia have reported their first cases of coronavirus, according to the Wall Street Journal. Coronavirus has killed 213 people so far and over 9500 people are infected.

The United Kingdom will formally leave the European Union at 11:00 p.m. Friday, more than three years after the initial Brexit referendum, reports the Journal. The U.K. will then enter an eleven month transition period during which negotiations will be finalized with the EU.

The U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) announced in its quarterly report that more than 8200 attacks have been launched against Afghan forces, American forces, and civilians by the Taliban and other insurgent groups, reports to the Washington Post. More attacks occurred during the last three months of 2019 than any fourth quarter since 2010.

On a visit to Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that United States support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists would “not waver,” according to the Post. During a press conference, Zelensky reiterated his interest in a White House meeting, saying “I would be ready to go tomorrow.”

President Donald Trump is expected to reveal an expansion of the travel ban on Friday, reports Politico. An early draft of the new changes placed immigration restrictions on six more countries—Belarus, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and Tanzania—but it is unclear exactly which countries will be included in the final changes.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Kathryn Dunn Tenpas analyzed turnover rates in the National Security Council during the Trump administration.

Margaret Taylor shared the eighth episode of The Report, which condenses the eighth day of the impeachment trial to one hour and 47 minutes.

Hannah Kris posted the livestream for the ninth day of the Senate impeachment trial.

Elliot Setzer shared a court filing in which the prosecutors in the trial of Michael Flynn recommended that Flynn be sentenced to probation.

Setzer also shared a U.S. Special Operations Command review, ordered by Congress after a series of scandals involving Special Operations troops, that ultimately found an overemphasis on combat.

Amanda Sloat considered the implications of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic, and Jacob Schulz examined a recent House Ethics Committee memorandum alerting members of the House that they may face sanctions if they share deepfakes on social media.

Jen Patja Howell shared the most recent episode of The Lawfare Podcast, in which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic speak with Elise Thomas about misinformation surrounding the Australian fires.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.