Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Gallegos
Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 3:08 PM

Vanita Gupta, the Biden administration’s pick to be associate attorney general, and Lisa Monaco, the pick for deputy attorney general, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in their confirmation hearing today, according to the Hill. Republican lawmakers challenged Gupta on her positions on police reform and criticism of GOP leaders. Gupta expressed regret for some of her rhetoric used during the Trump era, and pushed back on Senate Republicans’ claims that she advocated for defunding the police. Monaco drew less scrutiny from Republican senators.

The Biden administration declared 320,000 Venezuelan migrants in the U.S. eligible for a temporary protected status (TPS), which opens a path to U.S. citizenship under the immigration bill President Biden sent to Congress last week, reports the Washington Post. Eligibility for TPS extends to Venezuelans living in the U.S. before March 8 who apply within the next 180 days and meet the vetting process. Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security, announced the official designation, saying the “living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens.” 

A group of 70 Democrats and 70 Republicans signed a letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging the Biden administration to take a “comprehensive approach” to Iran, writes the Hill.  “As Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum, we are united in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior,” they said in the letter, adding,“[t]hree core tenets - their nuclear program, their ballistic missile program, and their funding of terrorism - must be addressed from the outset.” 

Twitter filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in an effort to stop the state’s investigation into the company’s content moderation policies, writes Politico. Twitter called Paxton’s investigation an abuse of authority and retaliation for Twitter’s decision to ban former President Trump’s account.  

A new European Union report revealed Germany is the main EU member state targeted by Russian disinformation, reports Deutsche Welle. The EU report accused the Kremlin of “creating an image of a Germany, where a few sane voices are heard among a chorus of irrational ‘Russophobia.’” 

Russian officials are suing Twitter, Google, Facebook, Tiktok and Telegram for allegedly not deleting content which urged children to participate in illegal protests, reports Reuters. The cases were opened after widespread protests over the arrest of Russian opposition-leader Alexei Navalny.   

In Myanmar, nearly a thousand anti-coup demonstrators took to the streets in Mandalay after a second member of the ousted civilian political party was killed, writes the Associated Press. The recent deaths of Zaw Myat Lin and Khin Maung Latt, two members of the National League for Democracy party, has raised questions about possible government torture and killing of detainees. On Tuesday, police in Myanmar raided another media office and detained its co-founder, following an announcement on Monday about the military junta’s decision to cancel the licenses of five local media outlets. 

At least 39 migrants died after two boats, headed for the Italian island of Lampedusa, sank off the Tunisian coast, reports Reuters. The Tunisian coastguard rescued 165 others and is searching for more survivors. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Rohini Kurup shared a nonpartisan report on security at the Capitol, commissioned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack. 

Bryce Klehm announced an episode of Lawfare Live on Friday, March 12 at 12 p.m., during which John Bellinger, a Lawfare contributing editor and former legal adviser at the Department of State, will join Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes and Scott Anderson to discuss war powers in the Biden administration. 

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast, in which Lawfare founder Bobby Chesney and Lawfare contributing editor Steve Vladeck, co-hosts of the weekly National Security Law Podcast, discuss war powers, Islamic State detainees and other national security law developments. 

Vicki Jackson and Martha Minow argued that the Facebook Oversight Board should not reverse Facebook’s suspension of Donald Trump. 

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk, featuring a conversation with Shen Lu, a reporter at Protocol, about the Clubhouse app and feminist movement in China. 

Alan Rozenshtein announced a call for papers for the first annual Cybersecurity Law and Policy Scholars Conference at the University of Minnesota Law School. 

Darrell West shared an episode of TechTank, titled “How Companies Surveil Workers and Ways Employees Can Protect Themselves.” 

Theodore Christakis and Kenneth Propp examined how Europe’s intelligence services aim to avoid the European Union’s highest court, and what it means for the U.S. 

Tia Sewell shared a Justice Department press statement on a nineteen-year-old who plead guilty to conspiring with a neo-Nazi group to vandalize synagogues in 2019. 

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