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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.
Russian ships able to perform underwater operations were present near where explosions later took place on the Nord Stream pipelines, according to a documentary series Putin’s Shadow War made by Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish broadcasters. Formal investigations remain ongoing in countries close to the blast site. Gordon Corera reports for BBC News.
A second train was derailed by an explosion yesterday in the Russian region of Bryansk, on the border with Ukraine, according to regional governor Aleksandr Bogomaz. The governor did not cast specific blame for the two train derailments. Nor did Ukraine claim the blasts. Neil MacFarquhar reports for the New York Times.
A fuel depot was on fire early today near a crucial bridge linking Russia’s mainland with Crimea, governor of the Krasnodar region Veniamin Kondratyev said. The fire erupted days after Moscow blamed Ukraine for an attack that set fire to an oil depot in Sevastopol. Reuters reports.
Several Russian cities have announced they will scale back this year’s Victory Day celebrations, citing security reasons and attacks from pro-Ukrainian forces for the changes. These changes could also indicate the Kremlin’s nervousness about celebrations turning into shows of dissent against its invasion of Ukraine. Laura Gozzi reports for BBC News.
Germany’s expulsion of Russian diplomats, exposed by Russia late last month, is a rare sign of a subdued but growing counterintelligence effort that Berlin is now belatedly undertaking, security analysts say. Russian intelligence operations on German soil have become increasingly bold over the years. Germany’s slow response contrasts with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts, who has long made Germany a top target for espionage. Erika Solomon reports for the New York Times.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he learned about the Pentagon leak through news coverage and claimed he “did not receive information from the White House or the Pentagon beforehand.” Isabelle Khurshudyan reports for the Washington Post.
Jared Wise, a former FBI supervisory special agent, was arrested this week in Oregon, on charges related to the Jan. 6 attack, according to court records. In an interaction with Capitol police captured on body-worn cameras, Wise accused the officers of being Nazis. Prosecutors say that Wise also encouraged other rioters who were attacking police in front of him by repeatedly shouting, “Kill ’em!” Holmes Lybrand and Hannah Rabinowitz report for CNN.
Tucker Carlson’s revealed text message on how “how white men fight” alarmed Fox News and may have led to his dismissal. In the text message, Carlson described himself watching a video of former President Trump supporters beating up someone he called “an Antifa kid.” Carlson, who found himself “rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him,” said, “Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.” Jeremy W. Peters, Michael S. Schmidt, and Jim Rutenberg report for the New York Times.
Francisco Oropesa, 38, a man suspected of killing five of his neighbors in a shooting near Houston on Friday, was arrested in the town of Cut and Shoot, Texas. Oropesa was found in a home hiding “underneath some laundry,” Sheriff Greg Capers said after a member of the public contacted the FBI tip line. Bernd Debusmann Jr and Max Matza report for BBC News.
Jackie Rahm Little, a Minnesota man, was arrested and charged with arson after fires at two Minneapolis mosques last week, federal prosecutors announced on Sunday. Little, 36, was also accused of a series of acts of vandalism in January, including to a police vehicle assigned to a Somali officer, a shopping center known as the “Somali Mall,” and the Minneapolis district office of a congressional representative believed to be Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Amanda Holpuch reports for the New York Times.
Jessica Leeds, a retired stock broker, accused former President Trump of sexually assaulting her decades ago while testifying yesterday in a lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll. Carroll’s attorneys called Leeds to the stand to bolster their case against Trump, which includes accusations of battery and defamation, by suggesting a pattern of wrongdoing. Carroll has accused Trump of raping her in the mid-1990s. Shayna Jacobs, Kim Bellware, and Mark Berman report for the Washington Post.
300 people were arrested in connection with the online trade of fentanyl and other dangerous opioids in an operation that lasted more than 18 months and spanned three continents, U.S. officials said yesterday. Law-enforcement agencies also seized over $53 million in cash and virtual currencies, guns, and nearly 2,000 pounds of drugs. Despite these seizures and arrests, Attorney General Merrick Garland described a “whack-a-mole problem,” referring to the ease with which other criminals can supply drugs. Sadie Gurman and Dustin Volz report for the Wall Street Journal.
Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfather of AI,” quit Google and joined a growing chorus of experts warning that the rush to deploy artificial intelligence could be harmful. Advances in artificial intelligence could exacerbate cyber attacks, online scams, and the spread of disinformation. Ryan Heath reports for Axios.
The Biden administration is sending 1,500 troops to bolster resources at its southern border ahead of an expected surge of migrants, the Department of Defense said. The troops will join the 2,500 National Guard members already in place to support the work of border agents. Holly Honderich reports for BBC News.
Taiwan is seeking United States cooperation to make the island’s next domestically developed fighter jet, the head of Taiwanese defense contractor Aerospace Industrial Development Corp said today. Taiwan, in 2017, announced the next generation fighter program to include stealth capabilities but has given few details since. Reuters reports.
A delegation of United States defense contractors pledged the beginning of deeper cooperation with Taiwan today. Retired Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, who spoke at today’s public forum, assured Taipei, “We want to be part of the self-defense capabilities of Taiwan.” Huizhong Wu and Johnson Lai report for AP News.
Sudan’s warring military factions agreed to a new, longer seven-day ceasefire from tomorrow, yet air strikes and shooting in the Khartoum capital region undercut the latest supposed truce. South Sudan’s foreign ministry said yesterday that mediation championed by its president, Salva Kiir, had led both sides to agree to a weeklong truce from tomorrow and to name envoys for peace talks. Mohamed Noureldin reports for Reuters.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza reportedly agreed to a ceasefire after a Palestinian hunger striker, Khader Adnan, died in an Israeli jail yesterday, leading to a flare-up in violence. More than 100 Palestinian rockets and mortars were fired into Israel, while Israeli warplanes struck sites said to be linked to Hamas, which governs Gaza. Khader Adnan was a senior figure in Islamic Jihad. Israeli authorities said he had refused medical care during his 87-day hunger strike, which he began after being detained in the occupied West Bank on terrorism charges. David Gritten reports for BBC News
NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Japan, its first in Asia, to facilitate regional consultations. The office will allow NATO to conduct periodic consultations with Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand as China emerges as a growing challenge. Ken Moriyasu, Rieko Miki, and Takashi Tsuji report for Nikkei Asia.
China’s government has revised its conscription laws to allow retired service people to re-enlist and to increase recruitment focused on expertise in space and cyberwarfare. The amended regulations, approved by the state council and the central military commission that came into force on Monday, aim to provide “institutional guarantees for consolidating national defense and building strong armed forces,” state media reported. Helen Davidson reports for the Guardian.
At least eight students and a security guard are dead after a shooting at a school in Serbia’s capital Belgrade. Another six pupils and a teacher were injured in the attack and have been taken to hospital, the interior ministry said in a statement. Police arrested a 14-year-old student suspected of using his father’s gun to carry out the attack. An investigation into the motives behind the incident is underway. James Gregory reports for BBC News.
Press freedom advocates yesterday highlighted a growing number of risks that journalists face during a U.N. event ahead of its 30th World Press Freedom Day. As of December, 363 journalists were imprisoned in more than 30 countries, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Caitlin Ostroff reports for the Wall Street Journal.