Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines & Commentary

By Hadley Baker
Friday, May 31, 2019, 2:31 PM

President Trump announced that the United States will impose a 5 percent tariff on goods from Mexico to pressure the government to limit the flow of illegal migrants crossing the border, reports CNN. The tax rate would gradually increase to 25 percent by Oct. 1.

Russia and Japan accused one another of military buildup as their foreign and defense ministers met in Tokyo, according to the Washington Post. The Russian foreign minister said that Russia is concerned about Japan’s plan to build missile-defense systems that may pose a threat to Russia, while the Japanese foreign minister accused Russia of a buildup on Russian controlled lands claimed by both countries. At their nearest point, Russia and Japan are separated by fewer than 30 miles of ocean.

A South Korean newspaper reported on Friday that North Korea executed its special envoy to the U.S., Kim Hyok Chol, in March on spying charges as well as four other officials of the North Korean Foreign Ministry, reports the New York Times. South Korean officials could not confirm the report and North Korea has not reported the execution of any top officials during the relevant period.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for oil tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf earlier this month, saying it was an effort to raise global crude oil prices, notes Reuters.

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians on Friday, one near the West Bank separation barrier and one suspected of stabbing two Israelis near the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, reports the Post.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Sharon Bradford Franklin and Andi Wilson Thompson shared their open coalition letter to the U.K.’s signals intelligence agency, GCHQ, highlighting concerns that the agency’s encryption “ghost” proposal poses threats to cybersecurity and human rights.

Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck shared the latest episode of the National Security Law Podcast, in which they discussed Julian Assange, border wall funding and the cross-border shooting case.

Ashley Deeks examined the recent practice of tech companies invoking international law to limit the availability of their products in states they believe may use them illegally.

David Priess explored how Robert Mueller’s sense of duty and approach to the special counsel investigation might explain his statement on Wednesday.

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