Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 3:06 PM

Islamic State (ISIS-K) militants stormed the Mohammad Daud Khan military hospital in Kabul on Tuesday, killing at least 25 people and wounding more than a dozen, reports the New York Times. A Taliban’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed that the ISIS-K militants who carried out the attack were killed or wounded in the ensuing gun battle. Since the collapse of Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government in August and the Taliban takeover, there has been a rise in ISIS-K attacks across the country. 

Ethiopia’s Attorney General Gedio Tomothewos declared a national state of emergency Tuesday as rival forces from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) claimed to have taken two key cities near a main route to the capital, according to CNN. The announcement came two days after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged citizens to defend themselves from TPLF forces.  The United States Embassy in Addis Ababa advised U.S. citizens to leave the country immediately and has restricted travel for all personnel from leaving the capital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday formally recommended Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines for children ages five to eleven, says the New York Times. The announcement by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky came after a panel of scientific advisors unanimously decided Pfizer’s shots should be given to the 29 million children within this age group. The endorsement arrives just before the holiday season, which some experts fear will lead to an uptick in coronavirus cases. Immunizing these children is expected to prevent approximately 600,000 new coronavirus cases from November 2021 to March 2022. 

A new Department of Defense report released Wednesday found that China has accelerated its production of nuclear warheads, and could develop over 1,000 warheads by 2030, according to CBS News. This significantly exceeds the pace and size the Pentagon projected in 2020, which estimated China would only have over 400 warheads by 2030. Additionally, the report said that China would increase its annual military budget by 6.8 percent. China is currently the world’s second-largest military spender, after the United States. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called China a “pacing” challenge and recommended that the United States build up its own defensive capabilities to match China’s.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday criticized Chinese and Russian leaders for not participating in the ongoing COP26 UN climate summit, saying that they “walked away,” reports the BBC. While neither Chinese leader Xi Jinping nor Russian President Vladamir Putin were present at the Glasgow summit, both countries sent delegations to represent them. 


ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Shane Harris to talk about the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s recently issued declassified assessment on the origins of the coronavirus.

John Bellinger and Kenneth Propp gave a belated farewell to observe the retirement of Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator from 2007 to 2021.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring: Dave Aitel to discuss the House intelligence committee’s proposal for workers at intelligence agencies and Maury Shenk to examine the Federal Communications Commission's decision to kick China Telecom off the U.S. telecommunications network, along with a series of shorter updates.

Bryce Klehm announced this week’s Lawfare Live, in which Scott R. Anderson will sit down with former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Douglas A. Silliman to discuss the status of the U.S.-Iraq relationship.

Jonathan Shaub analyzed how the Jan. 6 committee should go about prosecuting Mark Meadows.

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