Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ajay Sarma, Christiana Wayne
Monday, June 28, 2021, 3:04 PM

The Pentagon announced that U.S. airstrikes hit targets on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, according to the Washington Post. The attacks were in response to recent drone strikes on U.S. forces by Iran-backed militias. The targets were two militia locations in Syria and one in Iraq used by the Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada groups, both linked to Iran. Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada said four of its members were killed in the attacks. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the attacks were defensive in nature.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who killed George Floyd in May 2020, was sentenced by a Minnesota court to 22.5 years in prison, reports the New York Times. A jury convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April. As the former police officer had no criminal history, Minnesota sentencing guidelines prescribe 12.5 years, but the cruelty of the crime and the abuse of authority it represented served as aggravating factors.

Chinese police arrested a former senior editor of Apple Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper which has been the target of a crackdown on press freedom in the city through a controversial new national security law, according to the BBC. The journalist was trying to leave the city when police detained him at an airport. Apple Daily shut down last week after authorities arrested its senior leadership and froze its assets. News of the arrest came after pro-democracy publication Stand News announced it would stop publishing commentary pieces over fear of state retaliation.

21 men convicted of being members of al-Shabab were executed in Somalia on Sunday, reports the BBC. A military court in the city of Galkayo had convicted the men of participation in the Islamist group. While the executions were being carried out, al-Shabab militants stormed the town of Wisil and may have killed up to 20 soldiers.

A report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released on Monday called for states to address the issue of systemic racism faced by people of African descent, writes the Associated Press. The report issued by High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet was based on interviews and case studies from around the world and heavily features the lack of accountability of American law enforcement for the deaths of African Americans.. Among the recommendations made to handle the “untenable” situation of systemic racism are reparations, which “should not only be equated with financial compensation.”

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

David K. Bohl, Mathew J. Burrows, Austin S. Matthews, Collin Meisel and Jonathan D. Moyer discussed how the United States can compete with China for influence in southeast Asia.

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