Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Gallegos
Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 3:16 PM

The Senate convened to begin the second impeachment of Donald Trump, reports the New York Times. The former president was charged by the House of Representatives with “incitement of insurrection,” in response to the Jan. 6 riots. The proceedings have been postponed until Feb. 9 so that the Senate can confirm more of President Biden’s cabinet nominees.

The acting Capitol Police chief apologized to Congress for the security failures during the Jan. 6 riots, according to the New York Times. Yogananda D. Pittman, who was not the acting chief during the incident, briefed Congress with the most detailed account to date about police preparations and response. Pittman confirmed her department had prior knowledge of armed white supremacist and milita groups attending the D.C. protests but that the 1,200 capitol police who worked the event were “no match” for the insurrectionist. Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commander of the D.C. National Guard, also said in an interview that the Pentagon restricted his ability to respond quickly when the Capitol police requested assistance on Jan. 6, reports the Washington Post.

Antony Blinken was confirmed as secretary of state, winning bipartisan approval with a 78-22 vote, according to Politico. Janet Yellen was also confirmed Monday evening and was sworn in today as the first female treasury secretary.

President Biden reversed a Trump administration policy which barred transgender individuals from serving in the military, writes the Associated Press.

Biden also expected to issue executive actions limiting the use of private prisons and military equipment transfers to law enforcement, reports Reuters. These actions are part of a broader plan to advance equity and reform the criminal justice system.

Google accused North Korean hackers of targeting security researchers on social media platforms, pretending to be cybersecurity bloggers reports CNBC. The company’s Threat Analysis Group believes the campaign to be government-backed and noted the hackers have used Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, Discord, Keybase and email to communicate and engage with researchers.

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Moscow and the United States need to be expeditious in their efforts to extend the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) before it expires on Feb. 5, according to Reuters. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, stated that “vigorous efforts are required to secure an extension” and that the “extension is in the interest of both parties as well as the whole world.”

Protests in New Delhi against India’s new farming laws turned violent on Tuesday after protesters broke through police barricades and breached the city’s historic Red Fort, reports BBC. Protests have grown in size over the past months, and farmers announced plans to march to the Indian Parliament on Feb. 1, when the nation’s new budget is introduced.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday after losing his party’s majority in the Italian senate this month, leaving the country in political instability, writes the Wall Street Journal.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, which features important excerpts from the Senate confirmation hearings of Avril Haines, Alejandro Mayorkas, Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken, all core national security nominees.

Emma Svoboda compared the recent elections in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan held earlier this month.

Agneska Bloch and Israa Saber analyzed the impact of energy concerns, geopolitical tensions and Turkish domestic factors on Eastern Mediterranean conflict.

Bryce Klehm and Rohini Kurup shared Lawfare’s summer internship announcement.

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