Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Elliot Setzer
Monday, February 24, 2020, 11:48 AM

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who sentenced President Trump’s advisor Roger Stone to more than three years in prison on Friday, has rejected Stone’s request that she withdraw from the case before ruling on a pending new trial motion challenging the conduct of a juror at his trial, reports Politico.

A United Nations report says that more than 100,000 civilians in Afghanistan were killed or hurt in the last 10 years, writes the Washington Post. The United States plans to sign a peace deal with the Taliban on Feb. 29 provided that a week-long reduction in violence is maintained across the country, according to both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a Taliban statement. The violence reduction began early Saturday, according to the Washington Post.

Turkish President Erdogan will meet Russian, German and French counterparts on March 5 to discuss recent clashes in Syria’s Idlib province, which have displaced almost a million people, reports Reuters.

Iran saw the lowest turnout in a parliamentary election since the 1979 revolution, with only 42.6 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot after officials banned thousands of contenders, writes the BBC.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula confirmed the death of its leader Qassim al-Rimi weeks after the U.S. claimed to have killed him in Yemen, reports Al Jazeera.

Acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell fired deputy acting director Andrew Hallman, a longtime intelligence officer, on Friday. The ousting of Hallman has allowed Grenell to install his own leadership team, reports the New York Times.

Top White House officials are discussing an overhaul of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, spurred in part by President Trump’s concerns about an investigation into his 2016 campaign adviser Carter Page, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the first major outbreak of the virus outside Asia, Italy confirmed more than 150 cases of coronavirus on Sunday. This represented a significant spike, as there were fewer than five known cases in Italy before Thursday. If the virus spreads, it may test the European Union’s principle of open internal borders, reports the New York Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Joshua Rovner criticized President Trump’s choice of acting director of national intelligence and argued that it would further weaken coordination of the intelligence community.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring a discussion of coronavirus with Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism and Homeland Security advisor, and Sophia Yan, a Beijing-based correspondent for The Telegraph.

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