Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 2:45 PM

The House of Representatives will vote on a short-term lift of the debt limit on Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The $480 billion increase of the debt ceiling cleared the Senate last week, and the House is expected to enact the bill into law.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is meeting Thursday and Friday to discuss booster shots of the Moderna and John & Johnson coronavirus vaccines, says NPR. Moderna cited the increase in delta variant cases as justification for a booster dose, which would be made available to individuals at increased risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, such as the elderly and immunocompromised. The upcoming advisory meetings come a month after the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday showed off his country’s growing arsenal of weapons, vowing to build an “invincible” military, reports NBC News. During the Defense Development Exhibition, Kim stated he did not believe the United States government’s assertions that it has no hostile intent against his country, and that the “U.S. is continuing to create tensions in the region.” Kim also accused South Korea of hypocrisy for its criticism of North Korea’s weapons development but asserted his military is not targeting its southern neighbor.

The trial of 14 people accused of killing Burkina Faso’s former president Thomas Sankara started Monday, says Reuters. The charismatic Marxist revolutionary leader was killed in 1987 during a coup. After the military court opened the proceedings, the tribunal postponed the case until Oct. 25.

A comprehensive new report from the First Street Foundation found that around a quarter of all critical infrastructure in the United States is at risk of becoming inoperable due to flooding, says Axios. The communities most at risk for flooding are located in Louisiana, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia. Matthew Eby, founder and executive director of the First Street Foundation, said, “[o]ur nation's infrastructure is not built to a standard that protects against the level of flood risk we face today, let alone how those risks will grow over the next 30 years as the climate changes."

Kristalina Georgieva will stay as the International Monetary Fund’s managing director despite a weeks-long investigation into her role in a data manipulation scandal at the World Bank, according to the Wall Street Journal. The probe centered on allegations that Georgieva tampered with data during her time as chief executive of the World Bank to boost China’s standing in a high-profile report, which ranks countries on the ease of their business regulatory environment.

Alexei Navalny said on Monday that a prison commission has designated him an “extremist” and “terrorist,” but no longer regarded him an “escape risk,” reports Politico. The jailed Russian opposition leader is currently serving two years and eight months for alleged parole violations, and currently faces another criminal case that could result in his sentence being extended 10 more years.


ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jacob Shulz, Benjamin Wittes and Adam Klein discuss the latest report on the FBI's mishandling of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications.

Brandon L. Van Grack and James Brower explain how the intervention by CFIUS in the Magnachip acquisition demonstrates the committee’s evolving view of its jurisdiction. 

Rohini Kurup shared the criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges against Jonathan Toebbe and Diana Toebbe under the Atomic Energy Act.

Carissa Byrne Hessick explored the range of plea bargains offered to the Jan. 6 defendants, and whether they were too lenient.

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