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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.


The paramilitary organization Wagner group chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin rejected an offer to his fighters to serve in Russia’s army, President Vladimir Putin said. The talks were held days after Wagner’s aborted armed action on Jun. 23-24. Under the deal, the mercenaries could join the regular Russian army or head to Belarus. Jaroslav Lukiv reports for BBC News

Paramilitary organization Wagner group fighters have now arrived in Belarus, Ukraine’s border guard service has confirmed. One unconfirmed report said 60 Wagner vehicles entered Belarus on Saturday. On Friday, Belarus’ defense ministry said Wagner troops were now acting as military instructors for the country’s territorial defense forces. Jaroslav Lukiv reports for BBC News


President Vladimir Putin said Russia had a “sufficient stockpile” of cluster bombs and reserved the right to use them if Ukraine deployed such munitions against Russian forces. Putin claimed he regarded the use of cluster munitions as a crime and that Russia had so far not needed to use them, despite having suffered ammunition shortages. Human Rights Watch says both Moscow and Kyiv have used cluster munitions. Reuters reports. 

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan yesterday defended the Biden administration’s decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine. “Our moral authority has not derived from being a signatory to the Convention Against Cluster Munitions,” Sullivan said, referring to the international ban signed by most NATO members. Summer Concepcion reports for NBC News


The Ukrainian counter-offensive has slowed and even stalled in places as the Ukrainian military changed tactics to preserve hardware and troop numbers. In the first two weeks of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, about 20 percent of its deployed hardware was destroyed or damaged. That figure has dropped to about 10 percent. Russia had many months to prepare for the counter-offensive, placing mines and fortifying positions. Lara Jakes, Andrew E. Kramer, and Eric Schmitt report for the New York Times

South Korea will provide more demining equipment to Ukraine, a South Korean official said yesterday. The announcement comes after President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to Kyiv over the weekend, where he pledged more military and humanitarian aid in the fight against Russia. Reuters reports.


Two people have died after an “attack” this morning on the bridge linking the occupied Crimean peninsula to Russia. Russia’s transport ministry said the bridge’s supports were not damaged. The head of Crimea’s parliament blamed Ukraine for the incident. Kyiv has not commented officially. Antoinette Radford and Christy Cooney report for BBC News

South Africa, which is set to host the leaders of the B.R.I.C.S. (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) next month, would prefer if Russian President Vladimir Putin would not attend in person due to an international arrest warrant. “Of course, we cannot arrest [Putin]. It’s almost like you invite your friend to your house, and then arrest them. That’s why for us, his not coming is the best solution,” the deputy president, Paul Mashatile, said. South Africa, a member of the International Criminal Court, is obligated to arrest Putin if he arrives in the country because he stands accused of war crimes over his role in the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children. Lynsey Chutel reports for the New York Times

Atesh, an indigenous Crimean Tatar-led guerrilla group, is active behind Russian lines. Hundreds of young Tatar men are ready to take up arms to liberate the occupied Crimean peninsula, Mustafa Dzemilev, widely seen as the godfather of the Crimean Tatar rights movement, said. Atesh was created in September last year to carry out acts of sabotage from within the ranks of the Russian army. Atesh claims more than 4,000 Russian soldiers have enrolled in an online course on “surviving the war” by wrecking their own equipment. Julian Borger reports for the Guardian.

The U.N. yesterday awaited a response from Russia on renewing the Black Sea Grain Deal, which is set to expire today. The deal allows Ukraine to export its grain amid a wartime blockade, a necessity in helping to keep global food prices stable. Russia has demanded steps to facilitate its own exports of grain and fertilizers. Matthew Mpoke Bigg, Anatoly Kurmanaev, and Vivek Shankar report for the New York Times


At least 180 senior fighter pilots, elite commandos, and cyber-intelligence specialists in the Israeli military reserve have informed their leaders that they will stop reporting for duty if the government proceeds with its controversial judicial overhaul. While a dozen reservists have already resigned, hundreds more have discussed the possibility. Military leaders fear that this would significantly impact the capacity of the Israeli armed forces. Ronen Bergman and Patrick Kingsley report for the New York Times

The U.N. has described the two conditions set by Syria for allowing aid to keep reaching rebel-held territory as “unacceptable.” Firstly, the Syrian government had “stressed that the U.N. should not communicate with entities designated as ‘terrorist’.” Secondly, the Syrian government wanted the distribution of all aid in northwest Syria to be supervised and facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (I.C.R.C.) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (S.A.R.C.). U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the condition was “neither consistent with the independence of the United Nations nor practical, as the ICRC and SARC are not present” in the area. Raffi Berg and Christy Cooney report for BBC News

Between 691 million and 783 million people faced hunger last year, about 122 million more than in 2019, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimated. 

A “strategic partnership” deal to combat human traffickers and tighten borders was signed between Tunisia and the E.U. yesterday amid a sharp increase in boats leaving North Africa for Europe. As part of the deal, the E.U. pledged $1.12 billion in aid to Tunisia to help its economy, rescue state finances, and deal with a migration crisis. Tarek Amara reports for Reuters

A record 16 Chinese warships were spotted in waters around Taiwan in 24 hours late last week, the island’s Defense Ministry reported. Brad Lendon reports for CNN


Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen yesterday called on international creditors to speed up their efforts to provide debt relief to developing countries facing default. Yellen argued that shoring up their deteriorating finances would benefit the global economy. Speaking ahead of the Group of 20 summit of finance ministers, Yellen said that more than half of low-income countries are in or near debt distress. Alan Rappeport reports for the New York Times

President Biden’s special envoy for climate change, John Kerry, arrived in Beijing over the weekend to restart climate negotiations with the Chinese government. The talks had been suspended for nearly a year, along with all high-level diplomacy, after then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan. The United States and China are the biggest polluters, pouring about 40 percent of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Lisa Friedman reports for the New York Times


A growing number of Jan. 6 attackers have gone back on their guilty pleas and apologies. Over 1,000 people have been charged for participating in the attack, and almost half have pleaded guilty. However, a growing number have started to have a change of heart. Emboldened by shifting views of the attack, some have sought to recast their actions and benefit from their notoriety. Some are reframing themselves as “political prisoners.” The term is increasingly being used across a broad section of the right and far-right of U.S. politics to cast attackers as heroic and patriotic. Mike Wendling reports for BBC News


The Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday paused the preliminary injunction limiting Biden Administration officials’ communications with social media companies about controversial online posts. Kevin McGill reports for AP News

Alabama lawmakers have until Friday to come up with a voting map that no longer illegally weakens the power of Black voters following a Supreme Court ruling last month. Other states in the South are confronting similar voting rights challenges as Republicans look to hold onto a slim majority in the House of Representatives next year. Emily Cochrane and Michael Wines report for the New York Times

The amended National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House last week is “never” getting to President Biden’s desk, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said. On Friday, the House voted 219-210 to include measures to block Pentagon policies that reimburse travel costs for troops seeking abortions, to end coverage of transition surgeries and hormone treatments for transgender troops, to gut diversity and inclusion programs, and to limit the specific flags that can be flown at military facilities. This current version of the bill is not expected to make it through the Democratic-led Senate intact. David Cohen reports for POLITICO

District Court Judge Karin Immergut ruled that the Oregon Ballot Measure 114’s restrictions on large-capacity ammunition magazines are constitutional because these magazines are “not commonly used for self-defense, and are therefore not protected by the Second Amendment.” The measure bolsters background checks and forbids selling and transferring magazines holding more than ten rounds. It also closes the loophole, which allows gun purchases to proceed by default after three days, even if a background check has not been completed. Michelle Watson reports for CNN

The centrist No Labels group has published a statement of principles indicating a possible third-party presidential bid next year. No Labels’ potential presidential run is sparking widespread concern from Democrats and anti-Trump conservatives that the effort could facilitate the election of former President Trump. Michael Scherer reports for the Washington Post