Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Benjamin Pollard
Friday, August 19, 2022, 4:01 PM

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A Florida judge said that he would support unsealing parts of the affidavit that was used to support the search warrant executed by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago after redactions. The judge said that it is “very important” that people have access to as “much information” as possible regarding the search, according to the New York Times. It is unknown how much of the affidavit will be redacted and the judge gave the government until next Thursday to propose redactions.

Officials in Algeria said on Thursday that at least 37 people have been killed in wildfires that have spread in the country’s northeast. All together, there were 118 fires in the region, which began on Wednesday and were mostly controlled by the following day. The fires traveled over 6,400 acres, assisted by high temperatures and intense winds. The death toll is expected to rise in the following days.

Israeli soldiers shut down seven Palestinian human rights groups on Thursday that the Israeli government said had connections to terrorist networks. Israeli forces took documents and computers before welding the organizations’ doors shut. Six of the seven groups were designated as terrorist organizations by the government in October—a label that all the groups have objected to. The United Nations and human rights groups have accused Israel of attempting to silence those who oppose its presence in Gaza and the West Bank.

According to state media on Thursday, Russian citizens will be banned from traveling to Estonia for tourism, business, and other purposes as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Estonia is the first country in the European Union to prohibit tourist travel by Russian citizens since Russia launched its invasion. On the same day, Estonian government officials said they intend to take down Soviet monuments in the country. Officials also noted a wave of unsuccessful cyberattacks from Russian hackers, which they said started on Wednesday.

As concerns mount over the potential for a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, new footage was posted on social media of Russian vehicles inside the plant’s turbine hall, close to the reactor. CNN confirmed the video’s authenticity and location, but was not able to identify the date the video was recorded. Ukrainian officials said on Thursday that Russia was preparing to orchestrate a “terrorist attack” on the plant, which they expect the Russian government to blame on Ukrainians.

A government commission in Mexico called the 2014 disappearance of 43 students in the country a “crime of the state.” According to officials, individuals throughout the government were connected to the murders and, later, the cover-up scheme. Over 100,000 people have been reported as having disappeared in Mexico, which has a history of government corruption and influential and lethal organized crime. The commission investigating the students’ disappearance said, “At all times the federal, state, and municipal authorities had knowledge of the students’ movements.”

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Jen Patja Howell shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Tyler McBrien sat down with Daniel Bessner to discuss the debate between the restrainers and the liberal internationalists over the future of U.S. foreign policy.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter in which he sat down with Sarah Churchwell to discuss Gone with the Wind, how it reflects a mythologized version of the Old South, and its connection with today’s increasing political violence.

Heidi Kitrosser discussed the Espionage Act in light of the act’s mention in the search warrant the FBI executed at Mar-a-Lago.

Alex Wellerstein explored whether it is within the president’s authority to declassify nuclear secrets.

Katie Kedian described the importance of classification status for potential charges against Trump under 18 U.S.C. § 793 and discussed the potential limitations for a president’s declassification authorities.

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