Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today's Headlines and Commentary

By Hadley Baker, Katherine Pompilio
Monday, September 12, 2022, 4:04 PM

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Former President Donald Trump asked a federal judge to block the Justice Department’s motion to restart its use of materials seized during the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence last month for criminal investigative purposes. Trump’s lawyers argued that Cannon was correct to enjoin the government from using the materials until a special master’s review is complete, rejecting the suggestion by the Department of Justice that there were unauthorized disclosures of the “purported ‘classified records’” and claiming that the investigation is an effort to criminalize Trump for what is nothing more than a “document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control.”

In a span of a few days, Ukrainian troops have regained a significant amount of territory previously seized by Russian forces. Ukrainian forces have recaptured territory twice the size of greater London (more than 1,000 square miles) according to the British Defense Ministry, and in some areas have even “reached the state border with the Russian Federation” according to the governor of Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region. Ukrainian troops have also reportedly liberated more than 20 previously Russian-occupied Ukrainian towns in the last 24 hours. Reports of Ukrainian advances came amid an announcement from the Russian Defense Ministry that Russian forces would be pulled out of the Kharkiv region to “step up efforts in the Donetsk” region, reports the Hill.

Ukraine began shutting down the last functioning reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine on Sunday. The decision to shut down the plant came from Ukraine’s nuclear regulator, Energoatom, following recommendations from the International Atomic Energy Agency and United States. Ukrainian authorities had initially resisted the move in recent weeks due to a concern that Russia would attempt to connect the plant to its own grid once it was disconnected from Ukraine’s.

The Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the Capitol is reportedly planning to hold more televised hearings later this month. Following the eight hearings held in June and July of this year, this new round of hearings is likely to address the discussions, in the weeks following the attack, about using the 25th Amendment to remove former President Trump from power, reports the Wall Street Journal. The committee is also expected to release an interim report on their findings soon as well as their final report by the end of the year.

Authorities in Pakistan are trying to protect a power station that supplies electricity to millions of people in the face of more flooding expected later this month. The power station, located in the southern province of Sindh, provides electricity to six districts and is one of the most affected regions of the country. Additionally, a dust storm in a nearby town uprooted hundreds of tents set up by those made homeless by the recent floods.

A team from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (EPA OIG) was dispatched to Jackson, Mississippi to investigate the ongoing drinking water crisis in the city. The spokesperson for the EPA OIG states that the EPA inspector general’s office sent personnel to “collect data and conduct interviews.” The spokesperson also said that the EPA OIG will announce “work related to the city’s water system” in the next week. The city of Jackson has had a boil-water notice in effect since July 29. More than 150,000 of the city’s residents are currently without clean drinking water. 

A report issued by the U.N. International Labour Organization (ILO) found that the number of people living in modern slavery rose significantly to 50 million in 2021, with 28 million individuals forced to perform labor and 22 million in forced marriages. The ILO defines people in modern slavery as those who “cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion.” The report suggests that the recent surge in people living in modern slavery is likely due to circumstances brought on by crises such as the coronavirus pandemic, armed conflicts, and climate change.

ICYMI: This Weekend on Lawfare 

Jen Patja Howell shared the latest episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which Tia Sewell spoke with Todd Huntley and Marc Garlasco about the Department of Defense’s newly released Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan.

Jessica Bulman-Pozen and Miriam Seifter highlighted the important role that state constitutions can and should play in protecting free and fair elections and limiting voter suppression.

David Priess shared the latest edition of Chatter featuring a discussion with Kevin Bryant on his new book about spying tactics in the NFL.

Jordan Schneider shared an episode of ChinaTalk in which he spoke to Paul Kennedy about the late historian Jonathan Spence.

Brian Harding and Haroro Ingram argued that the recently elected President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the Philippines and the potential peace efforts in the Bangsamoro region provide an opportunity for the U.S. to secure an alliance with the Philippines.

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