Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Friday, July 29, 2022, 4:25 PM

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The Justice Department charged a Russian national, Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, with leading an attempt to interfere in the outcome of U.S. elections. Ionov is accused of having financially supported political organizations in California, Florida, and Georgia, recruiting Americans to operate as agents of the Russian government.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said Russia would be willing to discuss a prisoner swap for the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. The White House has proposed exchanging arms dealer Viktor Bout for the two detained Americans.

The United States and Indonesia plan to conduct joint military exercises in the Indo-Pacific next week, according to U.S. Major General Stephen G. Smith. “This exercise is not a threat or should not be viewed as a threat to anybody, anywhere. This is a purely military-to-military exercise,” he said. The announcement follows increasing uncertainty in the region connected to deepening tensions between the United States and China over Taiwan.

Discussions between Sri Lanka and the International Monetary Fund have restarted after the World Bank’s Thursday announcement that it would not provide funding to the country unless “deep structural” changes are made. Sri Lanka’s economy is currently in turmoil with year-on-year inflation reaching 60.8% in July. Talks resumed as China announced that it is sending a military ship to the island nation, drawing the concern of India. 

French President Emmanuel Macron met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Élysée Palace. The controversial dinner between the two leaders was criticized by Jamal Khashoggi widow and human rights groups. Before the meeting, France’s prime minister said Macron planned to discuss energy and human rights with Bin Salman.

Record flooding has killed at least 16 people in Kentucky. According to Kentucky’s governor, search teams are looking for survivors and the number dead will likely double. Bridges, power lines, and homes have been damaged in the floods. On Thursday, response teams saved hundreds through water rescues and approximately 50 through air rescues. A minimum of 33,000 Kentuckians lost power from the floods.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which evelyn douek sat down with Adriana Robertson to discuss the legal issues behind the soured deal between Elon Musk and Twitter.

Matt Perault detailed the shifting partisan fault lines in speech policy after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter in which he spoke with Cindy Otis about writing fake news and other national security issues for a young adult audience, the history of fake news, and more.

Edward Parker and Michael Vermeer urged the U.S. government to consider the cybersecurity benefits of offering public cash bounties to individuals who can crack new encryption used to defend quantum computers.

Katherine Pompilio shared an episode of #LiveFromUkraine in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Terrell Jermaine Starr to discuss the war and the parallels between the African American experience and the Ukrainian national experience.

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