Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Ajay Sarma
Friday, July 2, 2021, 3:32 PM

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the membership of a House select committee that will investigate the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, reports NPR. Rep. Bennie Thompson will chair the committee that will also include Reps. Pete Aguilar, Liz Cheney, Zoe Lofgren, Elaine Luria, Stephanie Murphy, Jamie Raskin and Adam Schiff among its membership. Cheney is the sole Republican on the committee and one of two House Republicans that voted to establish the committee after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a bipartisan commission.

Defense officials announced that the U.S. military vacated the Bagram airfield in Afghanistan on Friday, according to the Washington Post. The base, which was central to U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan, is set to be transferred to Afghan forces. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley expressed to lawmakers last week that “it is not necessary for the United States to stay at Bagram for what we’re going to try to do here with Afghanistan.”

Pending a review of Trump administration capital punishment policies, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal executions, writes the Washington Post. The moratorium will not have any effect on state capital punishment procedures. The Justice Department’s review will focus on whether a drug approved for executions causes suffering. It will also examine decisions that were made during the Trump presidency to allow methods of execution other than lethal injection.

French authorities are investigating claims that multiple fashion brands are tied to forced labor in the Xinjiang province of China, according to the BBC. Uniqlo, Inditex and SMCP reject claims that they have profited from forced Uyghur labor, while Skechers has not commented on the allegations. Corporations may claim to have filtered forced labor out of their supply chains, but human rights observers claim that Chinese suppression tactics impede independent investigations into the extent of forced labor in the region.

Officials from 130 countries backed a U.S. plan for a global minimum tax rate on corporations to reduce tax avoidance on the part of multinational companies, reports the Wall Street Journal. Thursday’s agreement means the governments, including all of the Group of 20, will seek to implement corporate taxes of at least 15 percent.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast during which Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Facebook, about a report released by his team on influence operations and the meaning of the term “coordinated inauthentic operations.”

Rachel VanLandingham argued against calls to court-martial former military officials for political comments.

Rohini Kurup shared a report by the Government Accountability Office on the use of facial recognition technology by federal agencies and the potential privacy risks it poses.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which he discussed China and American policy toward China with Larry Summers, secretary of the Treasury under former President Bill Clinton.

Alvaro Marañon shared a cybersecurity advisory on tactics used by the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate in targeting hundreds of U.S. and foreign organizations, released by the National Security Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United Kingdom's National Cyber Security Centre.

Nathaniel Persily and Charles Stewart III released the Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project’s 2020 Research Compendium.

Christiana Wayne shared a New York grand jury’s indictment of the Trump Organization and its CFO, Allen Weisselberg.

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