Fdd's overnight brief

November 29, 2018

In The News


U.S. officials said they would sanction two Iranians and seek the prosecution of two others for the “SamSam” cyberattacks that allegedly hacked into servers at hospitals, schools, ports and other institutions, then demanded bitcoin as ransom and laundered the money through online exchanges. – Wall Street Journal

Iran should increase its military capability and readiness to ward off enemies, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday in a meeting with Iranian navy commanders, according to Khamenei’s official website. – Reuters

France and Germany are to take joint responsibility for an EU-Iran trade mechanism to minimize the risk of U.S. punishment but few now believe it will cover oil sales, heightening fears for the fate of the landmark international nuclear deal with Iran. – Reuters

Intelligence sources in the West have identified improvements and technological progress in Iran’s array of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Kan 11 News reported on Wednesday. – Arutz Sheva

Canada on Wednesday joined in on the condemnations of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who referred to Israel as a “cancerous tumor” last week. – Arutz Sheva

Editorial: The Europeans are falling over themselves to keep the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. That will be difficult with the reimposition of sanctions that took effect November 5—a number of major firms have pulled out of Iran—but they’re trying anyway. – Weekly Standard

Alex Vatanka writes: For the average Iranian, the hope is not about overturning decades of hostility toward the United States overnight. Rather, the hope is that some much-delayed policy introspection can start sooner rather than later, especially if the country grapples with some historical realities about why this state of affairs between Iran and the United States exists in the first place. – Foreign Policy


The Russian Defense Ministry says militants are preparing a chemical attack on the U.S.-backed fighters in eastern Syria. – Associated Press

Syria’s U.N. ambassador says that if Western countries are serious about helping in the return of millions of Syrian refugees to their homeland, they should begin by lifting economic sanctions against the war-torn country. – Associated Press

Russia has said it was prepared to resume its bombing campaign against an enclave held by an Islamist-led insurgency in Syria as militant groups have not yet withdrawn. – Newsweek

Russia, Turkey and Iran are holding new talks on Syria in Kazakhstan capital. Delegations of the Syrian government and the opposition are expected to attend. The United Nations and Jordan have been invited as observers. – Al Jazeera

The Islamic State group has fiercely defended its last holdout in eastern Syria against a more than two-month military offensive by a Kurdish-Arab alliance backed by a US-led coalition. – Agence France-Presse


The U.S. ambassador to Israel called on Palestinians on Wednesday to free an American-Palestinian who, the envoy said, was detained for “selling land to a Jew”, apparently violating a long-standing Palestinian ban on selling land to Israelis. – Reuters

CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill, in a Wednesday speech to the United Nations, called for violent resistance against Israel and advocated expanding Palestine “from the river to the sea,” a phrase used by those who believe that Israel should be eliminated. – Washington Examiner

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations has urged European Union countries to get behind a US-sponsored resolution at the UN General Assembly that condemns Hamas for its missile attacks against the Jewish state. – Algemeiner

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh wrote a letter to the United Nations General Assembly president, Maria Fernanda Spinosa, on Wednesday condemning recent proposals in the UN against Hamas by the United States and Israel, and appealing for assistance to counter “the American efforts to condemn the resistance.” – Jerusalem Post

Airbnb is facing at least three legal cases in the United States over its decision earlier this month to drop settlement listings in the West Bank. On Monday, an Israeli company Bibliotechnical Blue & White Ltd. located in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank filed a complaint against Airbnb for discrimination with the American Arbitration Association in New York. – Jerusalem Post

Since his election, however, those concerns were largely put to rest, as Trump took a number of steps that have been extremely good for Israel. […]Jerusalem wants the US to remain in the region, but it wants the US to do so because this is good for the US – even if it no longer is dependent on Mideast oil – not only because it is also good for Israel. – Jerusalem Post

The Irish senate on Wednesday night advanced a bill to criminalize business transactions with Israeli entities and citizens in east Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank. – Jerusalem Post

The top leader of the Hamas terror group said Wednesday he has received an invitation to make an official visit to Moscow, as Russia steps up its efforts to become involved in mediating the Israel-Palestinian conflict. – Associated Press

Evelyn Gordon writes: The International Criminal Court’s blatant anti-Israel bias is no secret. Just two months ago, I wrote about its decision to launch an unprecedented fishing expedition against Israel. Nevertheless, its latest decision raises bias to an art form—the art in question being farce. It also completely destroys any pretensions the court has left of serving its original purpose: Ensuring that the world’s worst crimes don’t go unpunished. – Commentary Magazine

Saudi Arabia

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Wednesday the United States has “no smoking gun” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month. – Reuters

Saudi Arabia will buy Lockheed Martin’s (LMT.N) $15 billion missile defense system, a U.S. Department of State spokesman said on Wednesday, after aggressive lobbying by the administration to close the deal that included a personal call between President Donald Trump and Saudi King Salman. – Reuters

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he would start voting against priority items for completing the Senate’s work if he is not properly briefed by the CIA about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The South Carolina Republican said the list could include nominations and the end-of-year spending package. – Roll Call

Ishaan Tharoor writes: As 2018 draws to an end, Mohammed is a figure stained with blood. His alleged role in the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has made him into the bete noire of this year’s Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires[…]. But Trump and his allies show no sign of heeding the warning. So, for the time being, they will have to endure the lectures of foreign governments like that of Turkey, one with a dubious record on human rights and press freedom – Washington Post

Zev Chafets writes: Israel does not regard Saudi Arabia as an essential partner in its national security. The kingdom has no significant role to play in Israel’s confrontation with its most immediate threats: Hamas in Gaza, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And Israeli military planning doesn’t envisage, much less require, Saudi assistance in the event of a flare-up with Iran. – Bloomberg

Middle East & North Africa

The Republican-led Senate dealt a rebuke Wednesday to the White House, voting to advance a measure to withdraw U.S. support for Saudi-led forces in Yemen and defying top administration officials who just hours earlier had urged the lawmakers to do the opposite. – Wall Street Journal

Lebanon’s General Security director praised terrorism during a conference that was supposed to discuss the defeat of terrorism in the Middle East and Africa. Speaking to representatives from a dozen African countries Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim reportedly praised Hezbollah’s “resistance” and distinguished its terrorism from other forms of terror. – Jerusalem Post

Ali Fadli writes: Qatar’s influence is not new, but now is an important time to analyze how the United States can stand to benefit from this soft power. Specifically, Qatar has proven in the past to be an effective mediator between the United States and groups that Washington is unwilling to meet with directly. […]Given recent shifts in power within the region, now is the ideal time for the U.S. administration to clarify its position and take advantage of what Doha has to offer. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s appalling human rights record has become the latest barrier to a rapprochement between Pyongyang and Washington. The North Korean government accused the United States this week of “stoking confrontation” by calling a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss human rights in the country, according to the Associated Press. – Washington Post

South Korea’s supreme court ordered Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on Thursday to compensate 10 South Koreans for forced labor during Japan’s colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula. – Washington Post

Kim Jong Un is an approachable young peacemaker who loves basketball and computers—at least according to one of the most talked-about children’s gifts this holiday season in South Korea. A 3-D puzzle set depicting a cheery, waving cartoon Mr. Kim was this week yanked from sale after an outcry from South Korean conservatives, who consider him a brutal dictator and human-rights criminal. – Wall Street Journal

Uri Friedman writes: In a sense, Donald Trump’s campaign to denuclearize North Korea is bearing fruit: The Korean War is beginning to end—not with the U.S. president achieving a dramatic breakthrough in nuclear negotiations, but with a series of incremental measures barely noticed outside the Korean peninsula. – The Atlantic

Theodore R. Bromund writes: [Kim Jong Yang of South Korea]’s victory only restores the status quo, and the status quo is not good enough. If Interpol is to be fixed — and by fixed I mean that Interpol should operate according to its own rules — we have to know the difference between the truth about how Interpol actually works, and the myths about it that are widely believed. – Heritage Foundation


China and the U.S. are on the brink of a new Cold War, with tensions over trade at the top of the agenda. […]That the two countries arrived at this point, despite years of tension, wasn’t inevitable. Rather, it played out this year in the corridors of power in Washington and Beijing, with both maneuvering—and often miscalculating. – Wall Street Journal

An influential group of China experts called for Americans to acknowledge what it described as a growing threat of Beijing-sponsored influence operations in the U.S. The cohort also proposed restricting visas for Chinese media and scholars unless their American counterparts are allowed to operate more freely in China. – Wall Street Journal

Three days before a U.S.-China summit, the top U.S. trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing “egregious” taxes on American-made cars. – Associated Press

China is hoping for “positive results” in resolving a trade dispute with the United States at a G20 summit in Argentina, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, ahead of a closely watched meeting between the Chinese and U.S. leaders. – Reuters

An Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and a Henry Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler sailed through the Taiwan Strait Wednesday, in what the Navy called a routine transit. – USNI News

A new study highlights China’s growing air power, and warns that China is looking to build out its Air Force to the point that the U.S. would not be willing to take it on in direct conflict. The Project Air Force team at Rand Corp. describes an emerging Chinese air force that aims to rival the United States’ own, both technologically and strategically, often by mirroring U.S. military capabilities and doctrine. – Air Force Times

Editorial: China takes advantage of the open society in the United States but, at the same time, slams shut the doors inside China, making it almost impossible for scholars and journalists to carry out the same kind of activities in the police state that is the People’s Republic. To remedy this imbalance, they wisely suggest that the United States needs to expose Chinese influence campaigns, as well as enhance defenses against abuses. – Washington Post

Robert J. Samuelson writes: As for the Chinese, they may think they can satisfy Trump by promising to buy more American exports. But U.S. grievances with China go much deeper. Foreign firms — including American — find it hard to compete in China and say they’re targets of discriminatory rules and investment practices. […]If so, the trade war may become a permanent fixture of the global economy. – Washington Post

James Leibold writes: It is the regime’s fundamental insecurity — the fear of rebellion and eventually China’s dismemberment — that drives it deeper and deeper into the private lives of its citizens, only alienating them. The repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang is just the extreme manifestation of the C.C.P.’s virulent — and unsustainable — pursuit of total control. – New York Times

Derek Scissors writes: The president may have won the 2016 election by pointing out problems in our relationship with China that his predecessors allowed to fester. A very strange thing about his time in office is talk of a great relationship with his “friend” Xi Jinping. It may have led to the reversal of American sanctions on ZTE, demonstrating that President Trump can make sharp course changes. But China is not changing course, and he should treat this meeting accordingly. – American Enterprise Institute

Michael Schuman writes: The values that underpinned U.S. global leadership for decades aren’t out of date. There’s no cause for a strong and prosperous America to see China as a mortal threat — and every reason to avoid making it one. The meeting in Buenos Aires is a chance to mend this world-shaping relationship. Both leaders ought to seize it. – Bloomberg

Arthur Herman writes: A Huawei-dominated 5G future has the potential to hand over everyone’s networks to China’s ultimate control. That’s one reason China is willing to win those 5G bids by any means necessary: it understands the global stakes involved. […]Unless the U.S. takes some serious action soon to halt China’s bid for global supremacy in telecommunications, America and its allies will be looking at a dismal future for their freedom and security. – Hudson Institute


A suicide truck bomb exploded Wednesday night outside a British security compound on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, sparking a gun battle that continued for several hours, police said. The attack, which was quickly claimed by the Taliban, left at least 10 people dead and 19 injured and forced the closure of the nearby international airport. – Washington Post

The Pentagon identified on Wednesday three U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan a day earlier as two Special Forces soldiers and a special tactics airman who was assigned to work alongside the Army. – Washington Post

An operation by Afghan and American forces in the southern Afghan province of Helmand has left at least a dozen civilians dead, officials and residents said on Wednesday, illustrating the plight of noncombatants caught in the middle of the 17-year conflict. – New York Times

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has formed a 12-strong team to negotiate peace with the Taliban, but he warned on Wednesday that implementation of any deal will take at least five years. – Reuters

President Donald Trump defended the continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan as critical to national security in a Washington Post interview on Tuesday and promised to visit America troops stationed there “at the right time.” – Military Times

South Asia

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump, the leaders of the world’s largest democracies, share certain traits as politicians. Both are ardent nationalists. Both know how to command a stage and captivate their supporters. But where the American president never passes up an opportunity to comment on a controversy, India’s leader prefers a different strategy: silence. – Washington Post

Indian security forces on Wednesday killed one of the most wanted Kashmiri militants, a young fighter who had escaped from police custody earlier this year and was accused of later assassinating a prominent newspaper editor. – New York Times

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday his government and the military want to mend ties with arch-foe India, in the latest bid to improve relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours. – Reuters

Since the country declared independence in 1947, Pakistan has come into conflict with its neighbor India on a number of occasions. The nation has one of the strongest military forces in the world and plays a key role in South Asian affairs. So how strong is Pakistan’s military? – Newsweek


Cambodian and foreign investigating judges issued conflicting rulings on Wednesday on whether a United Nations-backed tribunal, which this month convicted two senior leaders of genocide, should move forward with prosecution of the next potential defendant. – New York Times

Chinese loans are helping to pave paradise, stacking high-rises on artificial islands reclaimed from the ocean and tarring roads and a landmark bridge to connect the archipelago. For the country’s almost two-week-old government , the infrastructure-building spree presents a problem. […]The Maldives’ difficulties trace a now-familiar pattern among a number of nations that signed up to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure program. – Wall Street Journal

Japan has graduated its first locally trained class of five F-35 pilots and is on track to make its first unit operational, according to a senior official with Japan’s F-35 program. – Defense News

Matthew P. Goodman, Ann Listerud, and Daniel Remler write: Both Washington and Tokyo seek to ensure regional security and stability, expand trade and other economic opportunities, and support universal democratic norms. By working together to advance their preferred rules and norms, Washington and Tokyo can ensure better economic outcomes for themselves and others. […]Washington and Tokyo should, therefore, work to better coordinate their economic engagement in the region. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


Russia’s armed seizure of three Ukrainian ships in the days before the two leaders are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires has threatened to upend Mr. Trump’s plans to forge a fruitful relationship with Mr. Putin and may deepen the renewed tension between the former Cold War rivals. – New York Times

Ukraine’s president signed off Wednesday on orders for limited martial law amid a showdown with Moscow over the seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels and crew, but the next moves by Kiev appeared caught up in internal political wrangling. – Washington Post

President Vladimir V. Putin on Wednesday dismissed the maritime clash between Russia and Ukraine as a criminal incident rather than the opening of a new front in the long-running conflict between the two countries, while a Russian court on the disputed Crimean peninsula sent a second group of captured Ukrainian sailors to jail. – New York Times

Beset by Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin is turning the national economy inward, enlisting local tycoons for the biggest infrastructure-investment program since Soviet times. – Wall Street Journal

US President Donald Trump will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 in Argentina on Saturday, despite threatening to cancel the meeting over the recent takeover of three Ukrainian vessels by Russia near the Crimean Peninsula. – Agence France-Presse

Ukraine’s president donned combat fatigues to implement martial law in much of the country on Wednesday, a move Russia denounced as a cynical political trick as both sides ratcheted up tensions after a weekend standoff in the Black Sea. – Associated Press

Russia’s brazen seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships on Sunday set off a firestorm of finger-pointing and appeals to international law on both sides. But the clash over the Kerch Strait and access to the Sea of Azov isn’t likely to become a long-running international spectacle like the ongoing maritime feud between the U.S. and China over China’s claims in the South China Sea. – Defense News

In the wake of the Kerch Straits crises, where Russia detained three Ukrainian navy boats after claiming they entered Russian territorial waters, Moscow now may deploy the S-400 air defense system to Crimea. The S-400 could be operational in the tense area by the end of the year. The deployment is part of a larger Moscow strategy that sees the S-400, and its less advanced cousin the S-300, as a form of military-diplomacy to carve out a sphere of influence from Damascus to the Don. – Jerusalem Post

Adrian Karatnycky writes: The Kremlin dared to act in such a brazen way because the West’s response to its campaign in Ukraine so far has been largely feckless. The U.S. and its European allies answered the annexation of Crimea and occupation of the Donbas region with halfhearted rhetoric and meager material aid to the Ukrainian resistance. The Russians this week had little reason to expect that their overt attack would prompt a reaction they couldn’t withstand. – Wall Street Journal

Luke Coffey and Alexis Mrachek write: On November 25, Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) border-patrol boats opened fire on three Ukrainian navy vessels near the Kerch Strait[…]. In order to help Ukraine improve its capabilities, the U.S. should gain a better understanding of the maritime situation in the region, increase the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) presence in the Black Sea, and equip Ukraine with much-needed maritime capability, such as radars, ships, and anti-ship missiles. – Heritage Foundation


Depending on whom you ask, Oriol Junqueras is either a rebel Catalan leader who sought Spain’s implosion or an elected politician who has unjustifiably spent the past year in prison, awaiting trial for organizing an independence referendum in defiance of the Spanish government and courts. – New York Times

The United States and United Kingdom have reached an agreement to maintain air service between the two countries after Brexit. – Associated Press

Editorial: This survey found that Jews now feel safer in countries of the former Soviet bloc than in Western Europe. One explanation may be immigration[…]. Radical Islamists are responsible for most recent high-profile attacks against Jews in Europe, and CNN found that 15% of Muslims in Europe had never heard of the Holocaust. – Wall Street Journal

Agnes C. Poirier writes: Their high-visibility yellow vests — which French drivers are legally required to keep in their vehicle to make sure they are seen on the side of the road if their car breaks down — identify them as car drivers rather than metro riders. But they also send a clear message: They want to be seen by their young president. – New York Times

Nikos Tsafos writes: Two broadly similar projects have triggered sharply different responses—no one is threatening sanctions over TurkStream, there are no grand legal or diplomatic chess moves to stop the project, and the op-eds and conferences denouncing the project are few and far between[…]. But it is also good news because TurkStream can enhance energy security; but only if Europe acts. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


A four-year field investigation by a Britain-based monitoring group has found that South Sudan’s neighbors, Uganda in particular, circumvented arms embargoes on the war-torn country, funneling European weaponry to armies on both sides of its civil war which has displaced millions and resulted in an estimated 383,000 deaths. – Washington Post

The U.S. military said on Wednesday it had killed three militants in an air strike targeting the al-Shabaab Islamist group in Somalia the previous day. – Reuters

A senior Israeli diplomat reportedly met with Sudanese officials in a secret meeting held in Istanbul as part of efforts to renew ties between the two countries and even establish full diplomatic relations. – Times of Israel

Salem Solomon writes: That year, my family and I were among the estimated 75,000 Eritreans who were deported from Ethiopia at the start of a two-year border war, followed by a protracted cold war that ended this year in a formal declaration of peace. Twenty years have passed since that conflict uprooted thousands of families like mine. But the costly antipathy between Eritrea and Ethiopia goes back much further. – New York Times

The Americas

Central American migrants have a right to request asylum in the United States and Mexico has repeatedly refused U.S. requests to force them to seek refuge there instead, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Wednesday. – Reuters

Canada says another one of its diplomat in Cuba has fallen ill from a mysterious health incident. That brings the total number of Canadian confirmed cases to 13. – Associated Press

Max Nathanson writes: Trump administration’s inflammatory rhetoric toward Latin America—it doesn’t appear that China’s presence in the region will decrease anytime soon. The reality is that there is still a lot of demand on the part of national governments for additional construction. […]Instead of admonishing China for its growing role in the region, the United States needs to see the opportunities present for strengthening the soft side of infrastructure development and realize that pursuing them could reap vast goodwill, solidarity, and cooperation. – Foreign Policy

Cyber Security

Most people ignore these entreaties, which are invariably scams. But one in five recipients actually talks to the fake tech-support centers, and 6 percent ultimately pay the operators to “fix” the nonexistent problem, according to recent consumer surveys by Microsoft. Law enforcement authorities, working with Microsoft, have now traced many of these boiler rooms to New Delhi, India’s capital and a hub of the global call-center industry. – New York Times

Digital giants led by Google, Facebook and Amazon have warned Australia against passing a “fundamentally flawed” law allowing security services to spy on encrypted communications among suspected criminals and terrorists. – Agence France-Presse

So goes the largely unstated race between the United States and China to partner with countries in South America, a region with burgeoning cybersecurity growth. It is a dynamic that Cyber Command and military officials from these nations will discuss in corner conversations and in whispers, but rarely acknowledge in public. – Fifth Domain

Editorial: Yet, even as the body count of this fanaticism grows, the nation still lacks a coherent strategy for countering the violent extremism made possible through the internet. Instead, the fundamental design of social media sometimes exacerbates the problem. – New York Times


Without predictable funding and realistic concepts of operations, the National Defense Strategy doesn’t meet the challenges of a rising China expanding in the Indo-Pacific and an aggressive Russia in Eastern Europe, the co-chairmen of the panel reviewing the document warned the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. – USNI News

The technology glitches plaguing the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, lead ship of the Navy’s next generation of flattops, are getting fixed, officials told lawmakers during a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill. – Navy Times

Collins Aerospace has developed a next-generation fast-jet combat fighter training visual system. Griffin-2 features a non-faceted, one-piece, completely smooth-surfaced visual dome. Collins Aerospace spokesman Robert Edilson said on 27 November that the dome surface is just under 2 m from the user, who sits in the middle. – IHS Jane’s

Long War

Italian anti-terrorism police on Wednesday arrested a Lebanese national of Palestinian descent on suspicion he was planning a poison attack in the Sardinian town of Macomer. – Reuters

A British court has rejected an extradition request from Turkey for exiled businessman Akin Ipek to face terrorism-funding, fraud and other charges, saying he faced a real risk of ill-treatment should he be returned. – Reuters

Aaron Y. Zelin writes: Over the past few years, the influx of Tunisian fighters to Iraq and Syria has rendered Tunisia practically synonymous with a phenomenon that is still not well understood. […]This study examines the motives driving Tunisia’s foreign fighters, the roles they have assumed with jihadi groups in Iraq and Syria, the reasons why many have returned to Tunisia from the battlefield, and the dilemma this poses to the Tunisian state in terms of security and human rights. – Washington Institute

Trump Administration

Those nocturnal chats and other contacts between the man who now occupies the Oval Office and an infamous political trickster have come under intensifying scrutiny as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation bores into whether Stone served as a bridge between Trump and WikiLeaks as the group was publishing hacked Democratic emails. – Washington Post

Escalating his attacks on the special counsel investigation, President Trump said on Wednesday that a presidential pardon for his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is “not off the table,” casting him and other subjects of the inquiry as victims of prosecutorial abuse. – New York Times

Editorial: The fact is the Russia investigation has already resulted in indictments of a range of Russian wrongdoers and exposed criminally sleazy behavior among members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign. […]Yet GOP senators on Wednesday once again blocked a bill that would offer a measure of protection to Mr. Mueller. At the least, passing the legislation would have sent a message to Mr. Trump and Mr. Whitaker that they should keep their hands off the Russia investigation. – Washington Post

Ken White writes: Two significant developments seem to have kicked Robert Mueller’s investigation into a new gear: First, prosecutors say, the former Trump campaign chairman and convicted felon Paul Manafort violated his cooperation agreement with them, and second, Mr. Manafort’s lawyers are said to have been leaking the details of that cooperation to President Trump’s legal team. – New York Times

Clay R. Fuller writes: To grow the US economy and defend American sovereignty from increasingly brazen authoritarians, terrorists, and criminals, Congress needs a fresh approach — one that reduces the entanglement of US foreign and domestic policy with authoritarian regimes, leverages the power of transparency, and respects the importance of individual privacy (as opposed to anonymity). – American Enterprise Institute