Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Anna Salvatore
Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 11:47 AM

The U.S. has recorded one million new cases of coronavirus for two consecutive weeks, writes the New York Times. If the current pattern continues, the number of cases reported in November would reach 4.5 million—a number twice as high as any other month. Experts at the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon predict that the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the next few weeks will exceed the peak number of deaths in the spring.

President Trump plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, reports Axios. For the past four years, Flynn has been embroiled in legal trouble after pleading guilty in Dec. 2017 to lying to FBI agents. He had told the Bureau that he did not speak with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the 2016 presidential transition, even though he had confessed to Kislyak over the phone that Trump would repeal Obama-era sanctions.

On the topic of transition periods, President-elect Biden’s transition is now in full swing, writes the Washington Post. Biden aides have held discussions with every federal agency, communicated with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci and begun undergoing background checks from the federal government. Biden himself will soon start receiving a compilation of top-secret national security information known as the President’s Daily Briefing.

According to the New York Times, casualties from cluster bombs almost doubled this year. Most of the 286 casualties are attributed to Russian-backed troops in Syria, though the internationally banned bombs may also have been used in Libya and the disputed Kashmir region abutting India. The Times notes that the U.S., China, Russia, Ukraine and Israel have not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which bans the use of cluster bombs.

The Global Terrorism Index reports that the number of terrorism-related deaths worldwide has fallen by 59 percent since 2014. The group writes that terrorism remains “a significant and serious threat,” adding that attacks from the far-right are often “carried out by unaffiliated individuals” who have been radicalized. Politico notes that 96 percent of terror-related deaths are in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Syria.

Parisian police violently dismantled a migrant camp last night, writes BBC News. After migrants and volunteers linked arms and chanted, “papers for all, accommodations for all,” officers sprayed tear gas and chased them through the streets with batons. The violence comes shortly before the French parliament will consider a controversial bill that would prevent citizens from posting negative images of police officers and soldiers on social media.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Marietje Schaake and Tyson Barker argued that the incoming Biden administration should develop strong ties with the European Union on issues of artificial intelligence and 5G networks.

Rachael Hanna and Natassia Velez wrote about a recent federal directive outlining the U.S.’s cybersecurity principles for “space systems.”

Stewart Baker shared an episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast called “The Privacy and Europocrisy Oversight Board.” Baker, David Kris, Megan Stifel and Nick Weaver discussed the latest news in big tech and surveillance.

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast titled “Biden’s Victory Around the World.” Jacob Schulz spoke with experts from Germany, Turkey, and several other countries about the consequences of President-elect Biden’s win.

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