Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Victoria Gallegos
Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 2:57 PM

Kim Potter, the police officer who fatally shot Daunte Wright, and Tim Gannon, police chief of Brooklyn Center, Minn. both resigned today, according to the New York Times. Potter was a police officer with the department for 26 years and was placed on administrative leave immediately after killing Wright. 

The lawyers for Derek Chauvin began calling witnesses to the stand today to build a case that George Floyd died from heart disease and drug use, reports the Times. Over the past two weeks of the murder trial, prosecutors argued that Chauvin killed Floyd by pinning him to the ground. The defense’s witnesses included a retired paramedic and a former Minneapolis police officer, both of whom were involved in a 2019 arrest involving Floyd.

President Biden will announce a complete withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 of this year, reports the Washington Post. U.S. forces were supposed to leave by the May 1 deadline, negotiated by the Trump administration and the Taliban last year. Officially, there are 2,500 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan although according to the Post there are currently around 1,000 additional U.S. troops in the country. There are also 7,000 foreign troops, many of them NATO troops, in Afghanistan. According to a person familiar with the decision, “[i]f we break the May 1st deadline negotiated by the previous administration with no clear plan to exit, we will be back at war with the Taliban, and that was not something President Biden believed was in the national interest.” 

The Pentagon will send 500 additional troops to Germany, reversing a Trump administration plan to significantly reduce the number of troops stationed there, writes the Hill. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the plan at a news conference in Berlin, and he said the troops will be stationed in the Wiesbaden area and may arrive by fall. “Let me assure you it’s a message to NATO, and that message is that we support NATO to the fullest extent, and most importantly we value the relationship with our partner here in Germany,” said Austin. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered Ukraine the full support of the United States as Russia builds up its troops along its border with Ukraine, reports Reuters. Blinken said “the U.S. stands firmly behind the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” and added that he would discuss the future possibility of Ukrainian membership in NATO. Today, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said “[t]he United States is our adversary and does everything it can to undermine Russia’s position on the world stage. … We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good.” 

An Iranian foreign ministry official said Iran will begin enriching uranium to 60 percent purity after an attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility over the weekend, writes the Wall Street Journal. Until today, Iran has enriched uranium up to 20 percent purity. The enhanced enrichment program will bring Iran closer to achieving weapons-grade levels. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared the first episode of a new Lawfare six-part limited series, titled “After Trump.” The series is based on Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith’s book “After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency” and is hosted by Virginia Heffernan. The first episode is called “Follow the Money.”

Jeremy Gordon and Coleman Saunders examined recent Supreme Court rulings on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. 

Abby Lemert and Klaudia Jaźwińska analyzed Justice Clarence Thomas’s thoughts on platform regulation. 

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