Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Katherine Pompilio
Friday, May 20, 2022, 4:58 PM

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A court in Kyiv formally approved the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s request to arrest former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, reports the Washington Post. According to Ukrainian investigators, Yanukovych worked with government employees to smuggle at least 20 people across the border into Russia in three Russian military helicopters in 2014. Ukrainian officials ousted the former Ukrainian president in 2014 for “gross human rights violations and dereliction of duty.” After he was voted out of office, Yanukovych fled to Russia, where he is suspected to be living currently.  

The Taliban issued an order requiring all female television reporters to cover their faces while on the air, writes AP. The order from the Taliban’s Virtue and Vice Ministry and the Information and Culture Ministry was sent to multiple Afghan television and radio networks with the message that it was “final and non-negotiable.” 

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capital submitted an interview request to Rep. Barry Loudermilk, according to the New York Times. In a letter to Rep. Loudermilk, the committee leaders explain that they have obtained evidence that he led a tour of the Capitol complex on Jan. 5, 2021, despite tours being prohibited due to pandemic restriction. Investigators believe that Rep. Loudermilk may have given visitors the tour so that the individuals planning to attack the Capital could conduct surveys of the layout of the complex. In a statement responding to the letter, Rep. Loudermilk denied giving any “reconnaissance” tour, and has neither accepted nor rejected the committee’s request for questioning. 

Former Attorney General Bill Barr is in communication with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol to schedule a formal transcribed interview, reports Axios. According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, Barr has “tentatively agreed to give sworn testimony behind closed doors.” The former attorney general has reportedly already spoken informally with members of the committee about his correspondence with former President Trump before and after the 2020 presidential election. The committee has yet to make a final decision on whether to invite Barr to speak at its public hearings scheduled to begin in June.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has obtained official Trump White House photographs, writes Politico. The select committee received the images–including some taken on Jan. 6, 2021—from the National Archives and Records Administration. The images could potentially serve as visual evidence of what former President Trump was doing during the attack on the Capitol. 

Navy desertions have more than doubled from 2019 to 2021, according to NBC News. An analysis of federal statistics indicate a sharp increase in Navy desertions while desertions in other branches of the military have declined or remained the same. According to Navy data, in a fleet of more than 342,000 active Navy personnel, there were 157 deserters in 2021, compared to 98 in 2020 and 63 in 2019. Most deserters were 25-years-old or younger. Experts suspect that the rising number of deserters is indicative of a larger Navy-wide mental health crisis, including a series of recent suicides. 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in that featured a conversation between Evelyn Douek, Quinta Jurecic, Alex Abdo and Scott Wilkens about an aggressive new Texas law that seeks to restrict social media platforms from engaging in a great deal of the content moderation that they currently perform.

Raffaela Wakeman discussed commitments made by the United States in the recent Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.

Steve Floyd discussed initial power generation trials for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam despite continued objections from Sudan and Egypt.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter that featured a conversation between Shane Harris, Jenny Lumet and Alex Kurtzman about their new Showtime series “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

Amichai Cohen and Yuval Shany argued that Israeli Supreme Court justices issued a regressive judgment on West Bank deportation. 

Alvaro Marañon posted the Justice Department’s announcement of a revision to its policy for charging cases under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that “directs that good-faith security research should not be charged.”

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