Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Katherine Pompilio
Monday, March 14, 2022, 2:47 PM

Russian forces bombed a Ukrainain military training base near the Polish border, reports the Wall Street Journal. The airstrike occurred in Yavoriv—a city approximately 10 miles from the Polish border—and resulted in 35 casualties. Russian attacks so close to Poland are raising concerns about the conflict inching onto NATO territory, which would be considered an attack on the alliance. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reported that if Russia or any other country were to attack Poland, it would bring “the full force of the NATO alliance to bear in responding to it.”

Ukrainian officials announced that Ukraine would try to evacuate citizens from besieged cities via 10 humanitarian corridors, writes the Washington Post. The corridors are intended to evacuate Ukrainians from eight cities around Kyiv and from three cities in the Luhansk region to the region of Donetsk. Previous attempts to evacuate Ukrainians through these corridors largely failed due to the refusal of Russian forces to recognize a cease-fire agreement around the area that was meant to safely transport civilians. 

U.S. officials allege that Russia asked China for military equipment and support to help with its invasion of Ukraine, according to the New York Times. Information on the type of military equipment and aid sought out by Moscow remains classified. Intelligence officials, however, did say that Russia also turned to China for economic assistance amid a broad onslaught of sanctions negatively affecting the Russian economy. A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry denied the allegations and claimed that the U.S. has “been disinformation targeting China on the Ukraine issue, with malicious intentions,” reports BBC News. 

More than a dozen missiles fired from Iran hit close to an under-construction U.S. consulate compound just outside the city of Erbil in the Kurdish region of Iraq, writes the New York Times. In a statement posted on Iranian state media, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps claimed responsibility for the attack and reported that it attempted to strike what it called the “strategic center of the Zionist conspiracies in Erbil.” The attack was carried out a few days after Iran vowed to seek revenge against Israel for an airstrike that resulted in four casualties—at least two of which were members of the Revolutionary Guards.  

In its largest mass execution on record, Saudi Arabia put 81 people to death on Saturday, according to the Associated Press. Those executed were convicted of crimes such as murder and association with militant groups including al-Qaeda. In a statement on the mass executions, the Saudi Press Agency said, “The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world.”

The Biden administration announced it would abolish the Title 42 border policy, reports the Hill. Title 42 is a coronavirus-era policy that allows for the U.S. to turn away unaccompanied migrant children at the border and prohibits them from being able to seek asylum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on the termination of the policy that, “in the current termination, CDC … has determined, after considering current public health conditions and recent developments, that expulsion of unaccompanied noncitizen children is not warranted to protect the public health.”

Lawyers from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia claim they violated the rights of Jan. 6 Capitol attack defendant Lucas Denny under the Speedy Trial Act and that they “lost track of him” which led to Denny spending weeks in a Virginia jail awaiting his first court appearance, writes Politico. The prosecutors said that their indictment against Denny should be dismissed under the circumstances, but they encouraged a judge to refile the charges because of the seriousness of his alleged attack on Capitol Police. 

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas admitted that she attended the Jan. 6, 2021 “Stop-the-Steal” rally that took place moments before the start of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to the Washington Post. In an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, Ginni Thomas confirmed her presence at the rally and said she attended to support former President Donald Trump. In the interview, Thomas said she was “disappointed and frustrated that there was violence that happened following a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters on the Ellipse on Jan. 6.” Thomas claims she was at the rally for a short period of time and left before Trump appeared on stage because she was cold. 

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare

Scott Shapiro and Oona Hathaway argued that supplying arms to Ukraine is not an act of war.

Orin Kerr analyzed an Eastern District of Virginia judge’s ruling in U.S. v. Chatrie on how the Fourth Amendment applies to geofencing warrants.

Michael Wyss discussed whether Europe is ready for a proxy war with Russia. 

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