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A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING
A 21-year-old man has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in relation to the Highland Park shooting. The suspect, Robert E. Crimo III, who police say fired more than 70 rounds from a rooftop into a crowd gathered for a Fourth of July parade, allegedly planned the attack for weeks and dressed as a woman to hide his identity. Eric Rinehart, state’s attorney for Lake County, IL. said he would also seek dozens of other charges against Crimo for each of the victims of the shooting, including the more than three dozen people who were injured. Dougal Belkin and Joe Barrett report for the Wall Street Journal.
The man charged in relation to the Highland Park shooting legally bought five weapons, including the high-powered rifle used in the shooting, despite authorities being called to his home in 2019 for threats of violence. The assault happened less than three years after police went to the suspect’s home following a call from a family member who said he was threatening “to kill everyone” there. Task force spokesperson Christopher Covelli said police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword, but said there was no sign he had any guns at the time. The revelation about his gun purchases is just the latest example of young men who were able to obtain guns and carry out massacres in recent months despite glaring warning signs about their mental health and inclination to violence. Michael Tarm, Kathleen Foody and Stephen Groves report for AP.
JAN. 6 ATTACK
The committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack plans to hold a hearing next Tuesday to reveal its findings about the connections between former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and domestic extremist groups. The panel announced that the session would take place on July 12 at 10 a.m. It is expected to be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) who plan to chart the rise of the right-wing domestic violent extremist groups that attacked the Capitol and how Trump amassed and inspired them. The panel also plans to detail known links and conversations between political actors close to Trump and extremists. Luke Broadwater reports for the New York Times.
Sarah Matthews, who served as deputy press secretary in the Trump White House until resigning shortly after Jan. 6, will testify at an upcoming committee hearing, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. Matthews has been subpoenaed to testify at a public hearing as early as next week, the sources have said. Katelyn Polantz and Ryan Nobles report for CNN.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
The Justice Department (DOJ) sued Arizona yesterday over a new state law requiring proof of citizenship to vote in a presidential election. According to the DOJ, the Republican-imposed restrictions are a “textbook violation” of federal law. It is the third time the department under Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has challenged a state’s voting law and comes as Democratic leaders and voting rights groups have pressed Garland to act more decisively against measures that limit access to the ballot. Nick Corasaniti and Glenn Thrush report for the New York Times.
Seven advisers and allies of former President Trump were subpoenaed yesterday in the ongoing criminal investigation in Georgia of election interference by Trump and his associates. Amongst those subpoenaed were Rudolph Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham. The move was the latest sign that the inquiry has entangled a number of prominent members of Trump’s order, and underscores the breadth of the investigation by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County. She is weighing a range of charges, according to legal filings, including racketeering and conspiracy, and her inquiry has encompassed witnesses from beyond the state. Danny Hakim reports for the New York Times.
GROUP OF 20 MEETING
Foreign ministers from the Group of 20 (G-20) nations are set to address Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on global energy and food security when they meet in Indonesia this week. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are set to attend the Group of 20 meeting in the Indonesian resort of Bali, which will set the stage for a summit of G-20 leaders at the same venue in November. Matthew Lee reports for AP.
Blinken will meet with Wang this week on the sidelines of the G- 20 meeting in Bali. Blinken’s meeting with Wang, their first face-to-face since last October, comes as the Biden administration seeks to dissuade Beijing from deepening its ties to Moscow and U.S. officials weigh lifting tariffs on China to ease inflation. U.S. officials said they hoped the meeting could bring added stability to the U.S.-China relationship as tensions over the fate of Taiwan raise concerns about an unintentional military escalation between the two powers. John Hudson and Missy Ryan report for the Washington Post.
OTHER U.S. RELATIONS
The Biden administration is applying lessons learned from controls on Russia during the Ukraine war to try to limit China’s military and technological advances. The administration aims to expand restrictions on exports to China and other countries in cases where companies or groups might threaten U.S. national or violate human rights, current and former American officials say. The effort involves broadening the circumstances under which so-called export controls would be imposed and getting partner nations on board. It also aims to redefine what technologies are considered sensitive or critical and of potential use to militaries and security agencies — to encompass things like artificial intelligence, for example. Edward Wong and Ana Swanson report for the New York Times.
U.S. fighter jets arrived in South Korea yesterday to conduct flight operations alongside their South Korean counterparts amid tensions with North Korea. The aircraft are expected to fly over South Korea and surrounding waters as part of a 10-day training mission, U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement. South Korean aircraft are expected to fly with the American aircraft. “The familiarization and routine training flights will enhance the interoperability of the two Air Forces to perform and operate on and around the Korean Peninsula,” the statement said. Jordan Williams reports for The Hill.
RUSSIA, UKRAINE – FIGHTING
Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, urged residents — numbering more than 350,000 – to flee. Fierce shelling continues in the region, with military analysts warning of a focused Russian effort there. “The destiny of the whole country will be decided by the Donetsk region,” Kyrylenko told the Associated Press. He described shelling as “very chaotic” and lacking a “specific target.” Francesca Ebel reports for AP.
Russia fired missiles at a market and residential area in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk, damaging several houses and destroying one. At least two people were killed and seven injured, officials said. Two people were taken to the hospital as firefighters rushed to put out the flames. Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, called the strikes an act of “sheer terrorism,” and accused the Russians of “deliberately targeting places where civilians congregate.” Karina Tsui reports for the Washington Post.
Russian-backed separatists have seized two foreign-flagged ships in the eastern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, saying they are now “state property.” The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, via its foreign ministry, informed two shipping companies that their vessels were the subject of “forcible appropriation of movable property with forced conversion into state property,” without any compensation to the owners, according to two separate letters. This is the first such move against commercial shipping. Jonathan Saul reports for Reuters.
RUSSIA, UKRAINE – GLOBAL RESPONSE
More than 40 countries and multilateral organizations yesterday pledged their technical, financial and political support for Ukraine’s postwar recovery. Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told signatories of the Lugano Declaration that the country could require $750 billion to fully recover. He said some of the funds could come from assets seized from Russian oligarchs. Signatories included the U.S., and U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, alongside traditionally neutral Switzerland and organizations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Andrew Jeong reports for the Washington Post.
Russia could impose a complete ban on cargo transit through the Baltic countries in retaliation for Lithuania’s recent round of restrictions linked to E.U. sanctions. “The last variant [of countermeasures] I voiced is a complete ban on imports and exports of any goods via the Baltics,” governor of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Anton Alikhanov said on Russia 24, a state-owned television network. “Thus, we prohibit the movement of goods toward the Baltics across Russia, with the exception of Kaliningrad.” Karina Tsui reports for the Washington Post.
Russia’s lower house of parliament yesterday approved legislation that would force businesses to produce whatever the government wants, at a price and time frame set by it. The legislation is expected to pass swiftly through both houses of Russia’s parliament before being signed into law by President Vladimir Putin. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said the legislation was necessary to “optimize” the work of the military-industrial complex and related enterprises. He said it would allow Russia to mobilize its economy to support what Moscow calls its “special military operation” against Ukraine. Karina Tsui and Robyn Dixon report for the Washington Post.
RUSSIA, UKRAINE – OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Russian hackers have reportedly carried out a “cyberattack” on Ukraine’s biggest private energy conglomerate in retaliation for its owner’s opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine. DTEK Group, which owns coal and thermal power plants in various parts of Ukraine, said the goal of the hack was to “destabilize the technological processes” of its distribution and generation firms, spread propaganda about the company’s operations, and “to leave Ukrainian consumers without electricity.””The cyberattacks didn’t have any negative effect on DTEK’s operations so far,” DTEK spokesperson Antonina Antosha told CNN. Sean Lyngaas reports for CNN.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
NATO member delegations gathered yesterday to sign “accession protocols” for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance. The protocols must next be ratified by the 30 member states in their national parliaments. “This is truly a historic moment for Finland, for Sweden, for NATO — and for our shared security,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, noting that NATO’s door “remains open” to other democracies. Adela Suliman, Karina Tsui and Robyn Dixon report for the Washington Post.
Canada became the first country to formally ratify Finland and Sweden’s accession to NATO yesterday. Members of Canada’s House of Commons had unanimously expressed their support for Finland and Sweden in a vote earlier in June before the chamber closed for a summer break. Before using an administrative process to ratify their membership yesterday, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly spoke to opposition lawmakers to make sure they were in agreement, the minister’s spokesman said. “We wanted to be the first country to ratify,” Joly’s spokesperson said. Reuters reports.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a blow yesterday as his treasury chief and health secretary resigned from his cabinet, saying they no longer had confidence in his leadership. The coordinated departures of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, two of Johnson’s most senior ministers, represent a severe challenge to his ability to hold on to power. Several other Conservative Party lawmakers made public statements yesterday evening, also demanding Johnson quit. An official close to Johnson said the prime minister wouldn’t quit. Max Colchester reports for the Wall Street Journal.
The head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Rafael Grossi, gave a sharp warning yesterday about growing nuclear risks. Iran’s activities risked a regional nuclear arms race and Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian nuclear sites threatened to imperil the agency’s ability to ensure nuclear material wasn’t being misused, Grossi said in a speech at the Australian National University in Canberra. “We are reaching a defining moment for global nuclear nonproliferation,” in which the risks of the spread of nuclear weapons “pose a problem for everyone,” he said. Laurence Norman reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Twitter has sued the Indian government to challenge some of the block orders on tweets and accounts. In its lawsuit, filed yesterday in the Karnataka High Court in Bengaluru, Twitter alleged that New Delhi had abused its power by ordering it to arbitrarily and disproportionately remove several tweets from its platform. Additionally, some block orders “pertain to political content that is posted by official handles of political parties,” Twitter said in the lawsuit. “Blocking of such information is a violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform,” it argued. Manish Singh reports for TechCrunch.
Police in Nicaragua have raided five town halls governed by the opposition Citizens for Freedom party in the latest crackdown on opponents of President Daniel Ortega. Citizens for Freedom was stripped of its legal status in the run-up to presidential elections last year but its mayors had continued to govern. The democratically elected mayors have now been replaced with allies of President Daniel Ortega’s party. Vanessa Buschschluter reports for BBC News.
18 people were killed and 243 wounded during unrest in Uzbekistan’s autonomous province of Karakalpakstan last week, Uzbek authorities have said. Security forces detained 516 people during the protests, which broke out over plans to curtail Karakalpakstan’s autonomy, but have now released many of them, the National Guard press office told a briefing. The unrest is the worst bout of violence in the Central Asian nation in 17 years. Reuters reports.
COVID-19 has infected over 88.01 million people and has now killed over 1.02 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 551.327 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 6.34 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.
A map and analysis of the vaccine rollout across the U.S. is available at the New York Times.
A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. is available at the New York Times.
U.S. and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post.
A state-by-state guide to lockdown measures and reopenings is provided by the New York Times.