Monday Briefing | March 25

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Image: Associated Press

Stories to Follow

Robert Mueller Submits His Report on Russian Interference in the 2016 Election: The Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, appointed to conduct the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has concluded his investigation, submitting a report to the attorney general, William Bar. The investigation was finished without further indictments.House legislatorsare urging the release of the report to the public. Given the sensitivity of counterintelligence investigations, the public release of the report may risk exposure of sources and methods. Ken Starr, the independent counsel during the Clinton administration, argues that if there is no indictment, then leave the report classified.

Trump Pushes for U.S. to Recognize Golan Heights as Israeli Territory:President Trump called for the U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, overturning decades of U.S. policy. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel seized the territory from Syria. Since it’s seizure, Israel has maintained the occupancy, as it is of enormous strategic value. This announcement comes within three weeks before the Israeli national election. This move comes as a continuation of unprecedented Middle East policy decisions by President Trump, such as the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. As a larger geopolitical consequence, Russia has already begun pushing moral relevanceregarding the annexation of Crimea.

Last ISIS Held Territory in Syria Defeated:After a four year military campaign to rid Iraq and Syria of ISIS, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces finished the last standing strongholdin Baghuz, Syria. While ISIS is not completely finished andremains a global threat, ISIS as a standing army is defeated. “Lone Wolf” attacks or domestic radicalization continues to be a serious threat; however, the liberation of a territory once the size of Britain is victorious.

Thailand Elections: Over the weekend, Thailand hosted its first national election since the 2014 military coup d’etat amid reports of the junta’s efforts to quash democracy movements and anti-junta parties through proxy political parties, imprisoning political leaders, abductions, murder, and intimidation. The new constitution implemented in 2016 (under junta rule) allows the junta to appoint all members of the upper-parliament, who have weight in the selection of a prime minister. 

Happening This Week

This is the last week for the Nina Katchadourian exhibit at the Fridman Gallery.

Maggie Rogers and Earl Sweatshirtare playing this week.

BAM Theatre is putting on its “On Resentment”film series this week.

This week’s Monday Briefing was brought to you by Anthony Branch.

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