Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Monday, October 18, 2021, 12:54 PM

Colin Powell, former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security adviser who paved the way for the Iraq War, died on Monday, says the New York Times. He was 84. Powell’s family said that he died of complications of the coronavirus.

Facebook is planning to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to develop a so-called “metaverse,” an online world where people can move and communicate with each other in a virtual environment, according to AP News. The venture raises concerns that Facebook and other large tech companies will end up monopolizing the metaverse and profit from user data. The company has already committed $50 million for developing products for the metaverse responsibly.

A U.S. Capitol Police officer was arrested Friday for allegedly obstructing a probe into the Jan. 6 riot by encouraging a participant to hide evidence of their involvement in the attack, reports NPR. According to the indictment, Michael Riley sent dozens of messages to one of his Facebook friends, advising them to take down selfie-style photos from inside the Capitol building. While there is no evidence connecting Riley to any extremist organizations, the indictment suggests that he had sympathy for an alleged participant in the Capitol riot.

Myanmar’s military junta will be excluded from the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to a statement from the current chair of ASEAN, Brunei, Myanmar has not sufficiently progressed on a plan that the junta agreed to in April designed to restore peace in the country after the military coup. The decision by ASEAN to exclude Myanmar’s junta marks a rare bold step away from the noninterference policy traditionally adopted by the bloc. The decision comes amid a broader conflict between Myanmar’s military and elected government over the rightful ruler of the country.

The Chinese military condemned the United States and Canada for sailing two warships through the Taiwan Strait, saying the move threatens “peace and stability” in the region, says the Hill. 

A member of the U.K. parliament, David Amess, was fatally stabbed in a suspected terrorist attack, prompting increased attention on the “Prevent” program, according to Bloomberg. The program is intended to prevent people from being radicalized. The suspect, Ali Harbi Ali, was referred to “Prevent,” but was never a formal subject of interest to MI5.

The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) accused the Ethiopian government of launching air strikes against the capital of the Tigray region on Monday, killing several citizens, says Reuters. The Ethiopian government dismissed the reports. The air strikes come a week after a new military offensive was initiated against the Tigray forces, but the government claimed the TPLF provoked the attack. 


ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Kiernan Christ discussed the appeal of the Unabomber’s anti-technology ideology to far-right groups.

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