Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Thursday, June 30, 2022, 5:24 PM

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Ukrainian forces successfully forced Russian troops to withdraw from Snake Island, reports the New York Times. The island’s position in the Black Sea made it an important target for Russia, which was able to cut off shipping from Ukrainian ports. Despite the retreat, Russian forces continue to  command a significant maritime presence in the Black Sea; the Crimean branch of Radio Free Europe reports that Russia launched five out of its seven submarines in the Black Sea from a port in Sevastopol.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered Russia to stop the execution of two British citizens who had been captured while fighting alongside Ukrainian forces, according to Reuters. The two men were accused of being mercenaries by a court in a Russia-occupied region of Ukraine earlier this month. A Kremlin spokesperson said the order does not hold sway over Russia, whose parliament voted this month to remove the country from the jurisdiction of the ECHR.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong for the territory’s 25th handover anniversary from British to Chinese rule, writes the Washington Post. The visit marks the first time Xi has left mainland China since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Xi’s visit comes after protests against Beijing rule rocked the territory in 2019 and 2020, though these efforts were squashed by a new national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020.

Indirect talks to reinstate the U.S. and Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal ended without progress and with no date for a future meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal. EU officials, who have been mediating between the two countries, said they will continue pushing for an agreement. Western diplomats said little progress was made during the negotiations, while Iranian officials said they would contact the EU about next steps for future talks.

Israel’s parliament voted to dissolve, elevating centrist Yair Lapid to interim Prime Minister as he prepares to face off against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the country’s fifth election in three years, writes AP News. The current government coalition, constructed in opposition to Netanyahu, fell apart slightly over a year after forming due to infighting. Current Prime Minister Naftali Bennet will step down and will not run in the upcoming elections.

Rappler, a news site in the Philippines, is at risk of closure after the country’s financial regulator upheld a decision ordering that the website be shut down, reports the Wall Street Journal. The media organization, led by Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa, has been critical of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who stepped down today.  The move follows a decline in press protections since Duterte entered office in 2016 and is the latest blow to press freedoms in the country, according to media-rights advocates.

The only surviving member of the extremist group that carried out the 2015 Paris attacks that killed 130 people was sentenced to life in prison, writes the BBC. Nineteen other men connected to the attack were also convicted, although six of them are believed to be dead. The convictions were followed a day later by news that a Belgian court found 10 people guilty for their roles in assisting the massacre.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Natalie Orpett, Roger Parloff, David Priess, and Alan Rozenshtein to discuss day six of the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

Howell also shared an episode of Rational Security in which Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, and Rozenshtein, sat down with Katie Benner to discuss the Jan. 6 committee hearings, NYSRPA v. Bruen, and the tech privacy implications of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Michael P. Fischerkeller argued that norms that center cyber persistence will be most responsive to ongoing threats in cyberspace. 

Gabe Rottman analyzed ICE’s new policy protecting media from legal demands like subpoenas, court orders, and search warrants.

Benjamin Pollard shared the 2021 Wiretap Report, released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared an episode of the National Security Law Podcast in which they discuss recent national security law news and debates.

Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Evelyn Douek and Jurecic sat down with Kate Starbird to discuss misinformation and Jan. 6.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.