Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:35 AM

A lawyer for Julian Assange said yesterday that Trump ally Dana Rohrebacher made an offer on behalf of Trump to pardon the WikiLeaks founder in exchange for Assange’s saying that Russia was not involved in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee, reports the Washington Post. The emails resulting from the hack were uploaded to Assange’s WikiLeaks.

President Trump yesterday named Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany with little intelligence experience, to be acting director of national intelligence, writes the New York Times.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry claims two Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike in Syria’s Idlib province. The fighting came amid faltering talks between Turkish and Russian officials aimed at restoring calm to northwestern Syria, according to the Washington Post.

A judge in Arizona ruled yesterday in favor of migrants who have complained about inhumane and unsanitary conditions in some Border Patrol facilities. The judge’s order makes permanent a preliminary injunction issued in 2016 that requires Tucson facilities to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants held for longer than 12 hours, reports the Associated Press.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reached an agreement to end a five-month trade dispute, according to Reuters.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared a bonus episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with Jessica Stern on her new book about Radovan Karadzic, the architect of the Srebenica massacre.

Patja Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security discussing Bill Bar, Huawei and the Munich Security Conference.

Quinta Jurecic and Andrew Kent noted that 2020 Democratic candidates for president, in contrast to those running for office in the first post-Watergate presidential election, have spent little time discussing Justice Department independence and reforms.

Stewart Baker considered what should be done about Section 230.

Ryan Scoville analyzed unreported data about 61 secret international agreements.

Andrew Keane Woods argued that we are biased against robots, and that the bias is doing us more harm than good.

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