Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Emily Dai
Wednesday, November 24, 2021, 12:37 PM

Olaf Scholz, the center-left Social Democratic Party’s (SPD) candidate, will be Germany’s next chancellor and succeed Angela Merkel, according to the Wall Street Journal. The victors of the September election reached a policy agreement focused on revamping Germany’s economy, investing in infrastructure and combating climate change. The SPD, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democratic Party will serve as the country’s first three-party coalition government. Scholz currently serves as the finance minister and vice chancellor in Germany’s coalition.

Syria’s military said Wednesday that an Israeli air strike in Syria killed two people and wounded seven others including six soldiers, writes AP News. Israel has mounted hundreds of attacks against Iran-allied militias inside Syria, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Apple sued the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group for allegedly surveilling and targeting iPhone users, reports the New York Times. Apple also wants to prohibit NSO Group from using any of its software or devices permanently, which could make Pegasus spyware obsolete given that its main business is giving government clients full access to smartphones. The lawsuit alleges that NSO group created more than 100 fake Apple IDs to carry out its attacks. Heather Grenier, Apple’s senior director of commercial litigation, called the scheme a “[f]lagrant violation of our terms of service and our customers’ privacy.”

Rafael Grossi, the head of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, left Iran late Tuesday after failing to reach a deal to allow the agency’s inspectors to access a factory making equipment for Tehran’s nuclear program, says the Wall Street Journal. The agency sought to monitor the activities at a centrifuge parts production site in Karaj. Without access to the site, the agency will soon not be able to confirm material produced in Karaj or the capacity of Iran’s existing nuclear infrastructure.

A jury ruled Tuesday that the white nationalists who organized the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 were liable for more than $26 million in damages, reports the Washington Post. The jurors deadlocked on the two federal conspiracy claims, but held every defendant liable under Virginia law. Judge Norman Moon praised the attorneys and white supremacists for “a very civil proceeding,” despite the trial being marred with slurs and the defendants bullying witnesses. The rally began with white supremacists holding torches marching through the University of Virginia and led to the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, when she was struck by a car driven by neo-Nazi James Fields. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Jack Goldsmith sat down with Noah Feldman to discuss his new book, “The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Refounding of America,” and Lincoln’s constitutional thoughts on slavery and war.

James Shires and Max Smeets analyzed the U.K. government’s unique and useful rebranding as a “responsible democratic cyber power.”

Natalie K. Orpett invited current law students to submit articles and provide research support for Lawfare.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which he and Manoj Kewalramani discuss the 6th Plenum communique.

Alex Vivona and Sam Cohen wrote about Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, Japan’s unprecedented defense pledges, a U.S. submarine collision giving China an opportunity to push back on U.S. operations in the South China Sea and more in the latest issue of Water Wars.

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