Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 3:17 PM

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Two top former aides to Mike Pence testified before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. Former Chief of Staff to the Vice President Mike Short and former legal counsel Greg Jacob are the most senior Trump administration officials who are known to have cooperated with Justice Department prosecutors to date. Both officials were previously interviewed by the House select committee, with Jacob appearing as a live witness in the panel’s third in its series of hearings.

European Union member countries agreed to cut back on natural gas use to diminish their reliance on Russian energy. Member states plan to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent, but the reduction may become mandatory if Russia cuts off supplies, according to a news release. The agreement came a day after Russian energy company Gazprom announced that it would scale down the Nord Stream gas pipeline’s capacity from 40 percent to 20 percent.

Ukrainian forces are planning to retake Kherson, the first city that fell to Russian forces at the start of the invasion. While Ukrainian officials have not announced a specific timeline for the counterattack, the country’s forces have begun to retake surrounding areas. So far, Ukraine has regained control of approximately 15 percent of the region, according to an officer.

The head of Russia’s space agency, Yuri Borisov, said that Russia will pull out of the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024. The ISS remains one of the few areas of partnership between the United States and Russia following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, according to France 24. Despite Borisov’s comment, officials at NASA have yet to receive official notice of the withdrawal.

At least 10 people were killed in anti-United Nations protests in the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Tuesday. According to the local police chief, seven civilians and three U.N. peacekeepers from India and Morocco died. The violence comes amid the second day of protests in the DRC, where locals have demanded the removal of U.N. peacekeepers whom they say have been unsuccessful over the past two decades at advancing stability in the country.

More than 3,400 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, making it the country with the largest outbreak globally. Biden administration health officials are considering whether they should declare the outbreak a public health emergency in light of the recent rise in cases, reports the Washington Post. Cases in the United States have been predominantly reported amongst members of the gay and bisexual community. However, officials believe the virus likely spread beyond this population. A Centers for Disease Control official said on Friday that there are two known cases of children with monkeypox in the United States.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Heather Adkins and Dmitri Alperovitch to discuss the Cyber Safety Review Board, the Log4j disaster, and the board’s first major report on Log4j.

Allistair Simmons and Justin Sherman discussed past Justice Department cases against data brokers for harmful activities and their implications for policymakers.

Chinmayi Sharma argued that current attempts to address security problems in open source are insufficient and that a comprehensive institutional structure needs to be built to solve the issue.

Nicol Turner Lee shared an episode of TechTank in which she sat down with co-host Darrell West and Carol Graham to discuss the role that technology has played in recent mass shootings.

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