Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Katherine Pompilio, Claudia Swain
Thursday, February 24, 2022, 5:39 PM

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In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, Russian troops entered Ukraine and engaged in battles resulting in dozens of deaths, reports the New York Times. Reportedly, the Russian military has captured the Chernobyl power plant; destroyed "more than 70 military targets, including 11 airfields, a helicopter and four drones." By the end of the day, both Russian ground and air forces were approaching the capital Kyiv.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent markets into turmoil, reports the New York Times. Oil prices, European natural gas futures and global stock market prices have all been unstable on the first day of the invasion.

President Biden ordered additional U.S. troops to Europe, reports NPR. Biden stated that, while these troops formed "part of NATO's response," they "are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia and Ukraine."

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Biden has also ordered new sanctions against Russia, reports NPR. The sanctions will limit certain exports to Russia, including semiconductors, sanction some of the largest state-owned companies in Russia and add additional high-level Russians to the long list of individuals under U.S. sanctions.

Canadian authorities have ended the border blockades caused by the "Trucker Convoy.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also revoked emergency powers, writes NPR. The protest occupied a small number of Canada-U.S. border posts and shut down sections of the capital, Ottawa, for a few weeks. 

Nearly one year after they began, negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal are coming to a close, according to the Washington Post. The U.S. delegation awaits the return of Iran’s chief negotiator, who is scheduled to return to Vienna and continue the talks as early as Friday. A representative for the European Union reported that the negotiators are “nearing the end” and the head of the Russian delegation said that they were “about to cross the finish line.” U.S. officials report that “there has been significant progress” but warned that no agreement has been finalized yet. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data that shows coronavirus vaccines are less effective against newer surges of the virus, reports The Washington Post. The CDC said that the vaccine has reduced effectiveness over time and is not as effective against the  contagiousness of delta and omicron. The vaccine is still the best measure to take to reduce the chance of infection.

Avian flu is rampant in parts of the eastern United States, reports the New York Times. The flu outbreak started in early January and is a form of that virus which devastated the poultry industry seven years ago. Scientists say that the risk of the virus infecting humans is low.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes, Scott R. Anderson and Alexander Vindman discussed Putin’s decision to move troops into eastern Europe. 

Sarah Harrison analyzed why the U.S. government is slow to call a coup a coup. 

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast in which Baker, Michael Ellis and Nick Weaver discussed topics ranging from the Ukraine crisis to the Justice Department’s fight with cryptocurrency criminals.

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security in which Anderson, Alan Rozenshtein and Quinta Jurecic discussed the “partial invasion” of Ukraine and the Remington Arms settlement agreement for families of Sandy Hook shooting victims. 

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of the National Security Law Podcast in which they discussed Russia’s latest incursion into Ukraine and an important district court ruling in the civil suit against former President Trump.

Ben Waldman and Michel Paradis discussed how the Defense Department can incorporate certain checks and balances into the targeting process to deter circumvention.

Katherine Pompilio posted the FBI statement on its investigation into bomb threats at historically Black colleges and universities and other predominantly Black instutions.  

Darrell West shared an episode of TechTank in which he interviewed Laura Coates on her views of the criminal justice system, racial and gender inequities, and ways digital technologies are complicating the work of prosecutors, defenders, and suspects.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which he and Casey Handmer discussed the U.S. space ecosystem in both the private and public sector. 

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