Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Thursday, June 16, 2022, 1:57 PM

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The select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold the third of its series of hearings on June 16 at 1 p.m. ET, writes CNN. The hearing is expected to focus on former President Trump’s attempts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. While Pence will not be a witness in the hearing, his former counsel Greg Jacob and former federal judge Michael Luttig—who offered legal guidance to the former vice president regarding the 2020 election—will testify. Committee Counsel John Wood will take part in the questioning of witnesses, according to committee aides.

President Joe Biden said that the U.S. will send $1 billion in additional military assistance to Ukraine, reports AP News. The announcement comes as Ukrainian forces struggle to effectively fight the Russian military, which is larger and better armed. The U.S. is providing Ukraine with howitzers, added rounds for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, and anti-ship missile launchers. The U.S. will also send $225 million more humanitarian aid to Ukraine for food, medical supplies, and safe drinking water. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said, “I certainly understand where the Ukrainians are coming from, and we’re gonna fight hard to give them everything they need” at a press conference in Brussels.

Leaders from France, Germany, Italy, and Romania visited Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s path to EU membership and show support for the country as it battles Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine, according to AP News. The EU leaders had been criticized by Kyiv for not effectively distancing themselves from Russia, and for not providing Ukraine with more military assistance. French President Emmanuel Macron said France will send Ukraine six additional truck-mounted artillery guns at the meeting.

Two U.S. citizens who went to Ukraine to volunteer as fighters against the Russian invasion have been missing for a week, writes Reuters. While reports that they were taken as prisoners of war by Russia are unconfirmed, their families fear that the men were captured while on a mission around the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine. If the two Americans were captured, they would be the first confirmed prisoners of war who are U.S. citizens since the conflict started.

Protests against a new military recruitment system in India intensified, turning violent in recent days, reports Reuters. Mobile internet has been shut off in one district in northern India, where police fired shots into the air to control crowds throwing stones. In the eastern state of Bihar, protestors set an office belonging to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political party on fire and attacked railways. The new recruitment system, focused on applicants between the ages of 17-and-a-half and 21, would have recruits enter the armed forces for four years, writes the BBC. After this period, only 25 percent of military members in this group would stay as members of the armed services. The plan is intended to limit the army’s growing pension payments, but potential recruits say the system leaves recruits without significant job opportunities.

According to Brazilian authorities, a man has confessed to killing Dom Phillips, a freelance reporter for The Guardian, and Bruno Pereira, a Brazilian idigenous expert in the Amazon, writes the New York Times. He showed federal police where he hid their bodies, concluding the 10-day search for the men. The authorities are working to identify the human remains, which were buried approximately two miles into the rainforest.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of The Lawfare Podcast in which Bryce Klehm sat down with Shala Gafary, Col. Steven Miska, and Matt Zeller to discuss past failures that led to the situation where tens of thousands of the U.S.’s allies were left behind in Afghanistan.

Robert Gorwa argued that an EU draft child sexual abuse material regulation will lead to a showdown between governments, industry, and the public that will determine the future availability of encrypted communications and devices.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of The Cyberlaw Podcast in which he sat down with Bobby Chesney, Michael Ellis, and David Kris to discuss comments made by U.S. officials at the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman conference in San Francisco, private sector incident reporting, and more.

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security in which Alan Rozenshtein, Quinta Jurecic, and Scott R. Anderson sat down with Natalie Orpett to discuss the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings, brewing conflict in the Taiwan Strait, and debates in Congress over increased security measures for the Supreme Court.

Benjamin Wittes, Matt Gluck, and Tia Sewell discussed the evidence presented by the Jan. 6 committee.

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