Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Benjamin Pollard
Friday, July 8, 2022, 6:22 PM

Lawfare’s daily roundup of national security news and opinion.

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Japan’s former prime minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated while giving a speech at a campaign event in Nara, Japan. Japanese authorities have a 41-year-old suspect in custody who admitted to shooting Abe with a homemade gun. Police also found other handmade weapons and explosives during a search of the suspected shooter’s home. The alleged gunman reportedly told authorities that he had a grudge against a “specific organization” that he believed Abe was involved with.

A Moscow court sentenced a Russian politician to seven years in prison for making statements against Russia’s war in Ukraine. Aleksei Gorinov’s prison sentence is the first in the country connected to speech opposing the war. Anti-war speech in Russia was previously criminalized by laws limiting free speech passed shortly after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The court ruled that Gorinov, a municipal lawmaker, was guilty of “knowingly distributing false information” about the Russian military.

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have continued to provide aid to approximately four million people in northern Syria. Experts fear that without the aid, Syria could face a humanitarian crisis. If the resolution were passed, the program would have sent medicine, water, and food to Syria for an additional year.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told reporters that cases of domestic terrororism are increasingly influenced by international factors, with potential attackers “egging each other on” across the globe. “Travel and technology,” Wray said, “have really blurred the lines between foreign and domestic threats,” writes the Washington Post.

Sri Lankan police instituted a curfew in the nation’s capital amid protests calling for the resignation of the country’s president and prime minister. Police reportedly fired tear gas and water cannons at protesting students. Anti-government demonstrations blame the government for the current economic crisis, which is the country’s worst since it gained independence in 1948.

The Brazilian Space Agency said that deforestation of the Amazon reached a six-year high in the first half of 2022. The total area of cleared rainforest was approximately more than five times the size of New York City. Scientists estimate that deforestation of the Amazon could lead to a reduction of  20-to-25 percent of the forest within a decade, potentially resulting in irreversible change to the ecosystem and accelerating climate change, reports the Washington Post.

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Peter Margulies explained the Supreme Court’s decision in Biden v. Texas and why termination of the “Remain in Mexico” program is not a foregone conclusion.

Minna Ålander argued that Finland’s bid to join NATO is the most recent step in the country’s longtime efforts to build a comprehensive security strategy that can defend against potential threats from Russia.

Roger Parloff discussed what Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony revealed about the prevalence of guns brought by rioters to former President Trump’s Jan. 6 speech at the Ellipse.

David Priess shared an episode of Chatter in which he sat down with Brad Thor to discuss Thor's writing career, the work of Secret Service agents, rebuilding trust in American institutions, and more.

Katherine Pompilio shared an episode of #LivefromUkraine in which Benjamin Wittes sat down with Rob Lee to discuss the performance of the Russian military in the war against Ukraine.

Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic shared an episode of the Lawfare Podcast in which they sat down with Jonathan Stray to discuss algorithms, what they are, the role social media algorithms do and don’t play in stoking political polarization, and how they might be designed to decrease polarization.

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Benjamin Pollard is a student at Brown University studying history and political science. He is a former intern at Lawfare.

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