Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Tia Sewell
Tuesday, July 14, 2020, 5:24 PM

At least eight people lost vision in one eye after being struck by projectiles fired by police at protests on May 30, according to a new video investigation by the Post. In three instances reconstructed with video footage, the Post found that the official accounts of what happened were undermined by visual evidence. May 30, the Saturday after the killing of George Floyd, marked the beginning of demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice that have continued throughout the United States for months.

The Justice Department executed Daniel Lewis Lee today in the first federal execution in over 17 years, writes the Times. Lee was pronounced dead at 8:07 a.m., just hours after the Supreme Court rejected a legal challenge to his execution in a 5-4 vote. Lee, a former white supremacist, received the death penalty for his role in the 1996 murder of a family of three. He is the first of three federal death row inmates set to be killed by lethal injection this week.

In a major reversal, Britain announced today that it will ban Huawei equipment from its 5G network, reports the Times. In January, Britain said that gear from the Chinese tech giant could be used on a limited basis, but has since faced growing backlash from the United States. This move comes as the U.S. and Europe have grown increasingly willing to confront China.

China’s provocations in the South China Sea have pushed Japan to expand its security policies and increase its military investment, writes the Journal. Japan, which largely embraced pacifism following World War II, now has one of the best-equipped and trained militaries in the world. Yesterday, the U.S. offered support to its allies, including Japan, in the Asia-Pacific region by rejecting a swath of Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China’s commerce ministry criticized the U.S. today for destabilizing the global supply chain, according to Reuters. Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to Walmart, Apple and Amazon informing the companies that there were risks involved in maintaining supply chains associated with what the State Department described as human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China.

Coronavirus case numbers are surging throughout most of the U.S., reports the Times. To date, there have been over 3,379,900 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with the death toll surpassing 135,000. Today, four former directors for the Center for Disease Control condemned the Trump administration for politicizing the pandemic and “undermining public health.”

Yesterday, a New York Supreme Court judge lifted the restraining order on Mary Trump, according to Politico. The president’s niece is now free to release and discuss her upcoming book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How my Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.”

The pandemic, civil unrest and national discussion on defunding the police have resulted in record numbers of gun sales in the U.S., writes the Journal. Background checks for firearms went up 136% from the previous year in June, with dealers estimating that about 40% of sales are going to first-time gun owners.

Supporters of QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory movement about a secret “deep state,” have recently begun vying for political office, according to the Times.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Eric Halliday discussed the federal government’s aggressive attempts to prosecute protestors amid the civil unrest that has erupted in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.

Emma Broches and Julia Solomon-Strauss analyzed the federal and state prosecutions of white supremacists and far-right individuals or groups over the past six months.

Jacob Schulz posted the transcript of the House Judiciary Committee’s July 9 interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of the National Security Law Podcast discussing the Supreme Court’s rulings on two cases involving Trump’s financial records, the McGirt decision on the Muskogee nation’s control of territory in eastern Oklahoma and recent developments in the Michael Flynn case.

Lester Munson shared an episode of Fault Lines featuring an interview with U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who previously served in the Air Force, on how Congress should respond to the Russia bounty scandal and the big national security threats facing the country right now.

Elliot Setzer posted a livestream of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations oversight hearing on ICE detention facilities amid the pandemic.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast featuring an interview with Mona Yacoubian, Nilanthi Samaranayake and Judd Devermont on COVID-19 and its national security implications in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

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