Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 1:37 PM

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The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will hold the fifth of its series of hearings on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET, reports the New York Times. The committee says it will reveal new evidence detailing former President Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The committee will hear testimony from three Justice Department officials: former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, and former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel.

All members of the House Jan. 6 committee are likely to receive security detail, in light of a recent increase in the number of violent threats, according to the Washington Post. The announcement follows reports that Rep. Adam Kinzinger recently received a letter addressed to his wife threatening to kill his family. 

European Union leaders are expected to formally accept Ukraine as a candidate to join the bloc at a two-day European Council summit in Brussels, reports the Washington Post. Moldova is also expected to receive candidate status at the meeting. The Council will ask both countries to meet specific requirements before they advance further toward membership, a process which will likely take decades.

Two North American-owned grain terminals were attacked by Russian forces in Ukraine, further incapacitating Ukraine’s food-export capabilities, writes the Wall Street Journal. The terminals—located in the port of Mykolaiv—belong to a U.S. agribusiness known as Bunge Ltd. and Canadian grain trading company Viterra. There were no casualties in the Russian attacks, although one employee at the Viterra terminal is being treated for burns.

Extreme weather conditions have hit China, reports the New York Times. Persistent flooding has upset the lives of half a million people in the country’s south while people in northern regions struggle with record-high heat waves. Authorities in the southern province of Guangdong say that the rainfall has destroyed crop yields, more than 1,700 houses, and will cost the region $261 million. Temperatures in nine northern and central provinces have reached a high of 104 degrees Fahrenheit, causing large cracks in roads and driving demand for air conditioning.

Sri Lanka’s economy has collapsed according to the country’s prime minister, writes the Washington Post. The nation is also suffering from severe food and fuel shortages. The island country’s economic tailspin follows massive political unrest over corruption within the ruling Rajapaska family and economic precarity. Economic experts say the government’s mishandling of economic and monetary policy has led to Sri Lanka’s current crisis.

Canada’s defense minister announced that the country plans to direct more than $30 billion toward military spending in the Arctic over two decades, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move comes as Canadian officials warn of an escalating Russian threat in the Arctic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States had been pressuring its northern neighbor to increase spending in the Arctic in recent weeks and deliver on its s promise to improve its defense capabilities in the region.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Roger Parloff, Quinta Jurecic, and Molly Reynolds to discuss day four of the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security in which Alan Rozenshtein, Jurecic, and Scott R. Anderson sat down to discuss the extradition of Julian Assange, Chinese access to TikTok customer data, and Google’s potentially sentient LaMDA artificial intelligence program.

Anoush Baghdassarian analyzed recent cases from the International Court of Justice that Armenia and Azerbaijan brought against each other for alleged violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Elena Kagan shared an episode of Lawfare No Bull which features audio of the fourth public hearing held by the Jan. 6 select committee.

Stewart Baker shared an episode of the Cyberlaw Podcast in which he sat down with Matthew Heiman, Scott Shapiro, and Nick Weaver to discuss the bipartisan effort to transform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, cryptocurrency firms on the verge of collapse, TikTok, and more.

Max Johnston and Bryce Klehm shared the final episode of Allies, which discusses the uncertain long-term legal status of Mahnaz, a former member of the Afghan military’s Female Tactical Platoon, and other Afghans who are on parole after coming to the U.S. during the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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