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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.
China would be willing to contribute to a mechanism for compensating poorer countries for losses and damage caused by climate change, China’s climate envoy Xie Zhenhua has said. Speaking at the COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Xie added that China had no obligation to participate, but stressed his solidarity with those calling for more action from wealthy nations on the issue. However, from the full quote, it is not clear whether China’s contribution will be a monetary one. Reuters and the Guardian report.
Xie also accused the U.S. of disrupting climate negotiations between the two countries. Xie said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had “invaded China’s sovereignty and hurt Chinese people’s feelings.” “That’s why China decided to suspend the formal climate talks with U.S.,” he said. “The responsibility lies totally with the U.S. side,” he added. Xie also urged the U.S. to “clear the barriers” to holding formal talks again. AP reports.
President Biden will raise human rights issues in a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on Friday. Biden will meet with El-Sisi on the sidelines of the COP27 summit, where the host country has attracted criticism for detaining political opponents. Zack Colman reports for POLITICO.
Just Security has published a piece by Mark Nevitt titled “The Egypt Climate Summit: Four Key Questions to Help Frame COP27.”
The U.N. General Assembly has scheduled a vote for next Monday on a resolution that would call for Russia to pay reparations to Ukraine. The draft resolution would recognize the need to establish “an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury’” arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” against Ukraine. The proposed resolution is co-sponsored by Canada, Guatemala, Netherlands and Ukraine. Edith M. Lederer reports for AP.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that world leaders should “force Russia into genuine peace negotiations.” Zelenskyy also accused Russia of obstructing peace efforts and criticized it for objecting to Ukraine’s “completely understandable” demands, including the restoration of territory and security guarantees. Andrew Jeong, Ellen Francis, Robyn Dixon, Adam Taylor, and Ben Brasch report for the Washington Post.
Russian forces hit the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro with self-detonating drone attacks. The attacks seriously wounded four and caused a large fire to break out, according to a spokesperson for the Odesa regional administration. Josh Pennington reports for CNN.
Ukraine has received its first shipment of the National Advance Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials. The NASAMS, which is jointly produced by the U.S. and Norway, can defend against “basically any type of advanced aerial threat that Russia may try to employ against Ukraine targets or civilians,” Pentagon spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder told reporters yesterday. John Ismay reports for the New York Times.
Uzbekistan is lobbying the E.U. to lift sanctions on Uzbek-Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and his sister. The bloc imposed sanctions on Usmanov in the days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, claiming he was one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “favorite oligarchs.” The Uzbek government has argued that the sanctions against him, which include an asset freeze and travel ban, have restricted his ability to invest in the country. Henry Foy and Max Seddon report for the Financial Times.
Russia and the U.S. are expected to meet in the coming weeks to talk about resuming inspections of atomic weapons sites under the New START treaty. Talks on controlling nuclear weapons in the two countries had been suspended after the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Bloomberg News reports.
U.S. women’s basketball star Brittney Griner is in the process of being moved to a Russian penal colony, where she will serve the remainder of a nine-year drug smuggling sentence. “We do not have any information on her exact current location or her final destination,” her attorneys said in a statement. “In accordance with the standard Russian procedure, the attorneys, as well as the U.S. Embassy, should be notified upon her arrival at her destination. Notification is given via official mail and normally takes up to two weeks to be received.” Abby Philip and Rhea Mogul report for CNN.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile toward waters off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The South Korean military has strengthened its surveillance and is closely cooperating with the U.S., the JCS added. Jessie Yeung and Yoonjung Seo report for CNN.
Pakistani police yesterday opened a criminal investigation into the attempted assassination of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The police also named the suspect as Mohammad Naveed, a man in his 30s. A copy of the police report said that the suspected shooter was arrested after Khan supporter Ibtesan Hasan overpowered him. Reuters reports.
Southeast Asian leaders will convene in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh on Thursday. The escalating violence in Myanmar is expected to be high on the agenda, along with ongoing disputes in the South China Sea, pandemic recovery issues, regional trade, and climate change. The summit will also be attended by President Biden. AP reports.
Australia will review its rules aimed at deterring former military personnel from aiding foreign adversaries, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said yesterday. Marles said that an investigation into whether former Australian personnel had provided training to China had raised concerns that justified a more in-depth examination of existing regulations. The announcement comes amid growing concerns among U.S. allies that China has recruited Western pilots and benefited from their technical expertise. Mike Cherney reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Sweden’s new Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has pledged to work toward countering “terrorism” threats to Turkey, as his government seeks Turkey’s approval for his country’s bid for NATO membership. “I want to reassure all Turks: Sweden will live up to all the obligations made to Turkey in countering the terrorist threat before becoming a member of NATO and as a future ally,” he said during a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president welcomed the Swedish government’s commitment to meeting obligations that were agreed between Turkey, Sweden, and Finland ahead of a NATO summit in June but said his country wanted to see “concrete steps.” Suzan Fraser reports for AP.
French President Emmanuel Macron is set to announce the end of France’s eight-year anti-jihadist operation in the Sahel. Operation Barkhane has been inoperative since February when France announced its military withdrawal from Mali. In a speech in Toulon, Macron is expected to say that France is not abandoning the fight against Islamist militants in the region, and spell out new priorities that from now on will govern military interventions in Africa. Hugh Schofield reports for BBC News.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from Alexander Vindman, a key witness in former President Trump’s first impeachment proceeding. Vindman had accused Donald Trump Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and Trump White House staffers of smearing him so that he lost his federal job. However, Judge James Boasberg held that Vindman wasn’t able to show the group worked together with the “specific goal of intimidating Vindman from testifying or performing his job” or injure him by taking unlawful action. Katelyn Polantz reports for CNN.
Two election workers, a woman and her son, were removed from their posts at a polling station in Georgia after officials discovered that the woman had links to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. A social media post from the woman shows what appears to be photos of her at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. “I stood up for what’s right today in Washington, D.C.,” the post states. “This election was a sham. Mike Pence is a traitor. I was tear gassed FOUR times. I have pepper spray in my throat. I stormed the Capitol Building. And my children have had the best learning experience of their lives.” Richard Fausset reports for the New York Times.
An FBI informant is likely to testify as a defense witness at the seditious conspiracy trial of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. The informant, Greg McWhirter, who served as the Oath Keepers’ vice president, secretly reported the group’s activities in the weeks and months leading up to the Capitol attack. McWhirter was due to appear at the trial yesterday but suffered a heart attack on his way to Washington. It is unclear when he might be able to testify. Alan Feuer and Adam Goldman report for the New York Times.
COVID-19 has infected over 97.799 million people and has now killed over 1.07 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 633.506 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 6.60 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.
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.