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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – CHINA
China’s foreign ministry today repeated its call for the Philippines to remove a rusted World War II ship used as a base on the disputed Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. Jonathan Malaya, assistant director general of the Philippines’ National Security Council, said, “The Philippines will never abandon our post in Ayungin Shoal.” Reuters reports.
Chinese military hackers had deep and persistent access to Japan’s Defense Ministry computer networks, the U.S. National Security Agency discovered in 2020. The hackers had access to plans, capabilities, and assessments of military shortcomings. While Japan has bolstered its security, it is not deemed secure enough by U.S. standards, jeopardizing greater intelligence-sharing between the Pentagon and Japan’s Defense Ministry. Ellen Nakashima reports for the Washington Post.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – NORTH KOREA
North Korean hackers secretly accessed computer networks at NPO Mashinostroyeniya, a Russian missile developer, for at least five months last year, according to security researchers at Sentinel Labs. After the hack, North Korea announced several advancements in its ballistic missile program, though it is uncertain whether this was related to the breach. James Pearson and Christopher Bing report for Reuters.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected weapons factories for three days over the weekend. Kim’s visits to weapons factories are rarely publicized. The weekend’s display may indicate Pyongyang’s attempt to expand its illegal weapons trade. Dasl Yoon report for the Wall Street Journal.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
At least 82 people are missing, and ten have died after three migrant boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend. The rising number of disasters comes as E.U. officials are working to designate Tunisia as a “safe third country” that can receive the E.U.’s rejected asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch has criticized partnerships such as this because of the abuse that migrants face. Sarah Dadouch reports for the Washington Post.
Mali’s military and its foreign security partners, “presumed to be” the paramilitary organization Wagner group, are using “systemic” sexual violence against women and other “grave human rights abuses” to spread terror, U.N. sanctions monitors reported. Michelle Nichols reports for Reuters.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
The Jeddah peace talks over the weekend dealt a “huge blow” to Russia, a senior Ukrainian official said yesterday. Over 40 nations, including China, India, the United States, and European countries, participated. Russia did not. The participants agreed to hold another meeting of political advisers within six weeks. Reuters reports.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, in a call yesterday, told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that China and Russia are “trustworthy and reliable good friends and partners.” The call comes a day after a Chinese delegation participated in Jeddah peace talks that included Ukraine but not Russia. Wang said that Beijing remains “impartial” on the war in Ukraine. Simone McCarthy reports for CNN.
The Biden administration is expected to announce $200 million of new weapons aid for Ukraine. The funds are part of the $6.2 billion discovered after a Pentagon accounting error. Mike Stone reports for Reuters.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – BELARUS
Belarus has begun military exercises near its border with Poland and Lithuania. The move will raise tensions further after the two NATO members moved troops to secure their borders following the paramilitary organization Wagner group’s relocation to Belarus last month. The Guardian reports.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
A woman has been arrested over a Russian plot to kill President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s security service said. The security service said she tried to determine Zelenskyy’s itinerary before his visit to flood-hit Mykolaiv in June. Ece Goksedef reports for BBC News.
At least five people have been killed, and 31 others injured in Russian strikes on Pokrovsk, Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs said. Anushka Patil reports for the New York Times.
Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland held in-person talks with Niger’s military leaders following last month’s coup. Nuland said the conversations had been “extremely frank and at times quite difficult.” Nuland said that the United States offered to help “if there is a desire on the part of the people who are responsible for this to return to the constitutional order,” but that this offer was not taken up. Kathryn Armstrong and Nduka Orjinmo report for BBC News.
Over 3,000 U.S. sailors and Marines arrived in the Red Sea over the weekend. Their deployment is in response to Iran’s “harassment and seizures of merchant vessels,” according to the U.S. Naval Central Forces Central Command. Miranda Nazzaro reports for The Hill.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Former President Trump’s legal team yesterday told Judge Tanya Chutkan, overseeing the election fraud case, that prosecutors’ proposed protective order to prevent the public disclosure of evidence is too broad and would restrict his First Amendment rights. The lawyers argued that Chutkan should impose a more limited order for materials deemed “sensitive.” Prosecutors accused Trump of objecting to their proposal because he wants to use the government’s evidence to “try the case in the media rather than in the courtroom.” Alanna Durkin Richer reports for AP News.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis may be preparing to charge former President Trump with racketeering, lawyers who have followed the investigation have said. Willis may invoke Georgia’s RICO Act, modeled after the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970. A grand jury is expected to consider whether criminal charges are appropriate for Trump and his Republican allies within the next two weeks. Jan Wolfe and Cameron McWhirter report for the Wall Street Journal.
Bernie Kerik, the former N.Y.C. police commissioner who coordinated with Rudy Giuliani during the contentious post-election period, met with investigators yesterday. The meeting mainly focused on what Giuliani did to prove that former President Trump won the election. Giuliani is a “co-conspirator” in the indictment against Trump, but he has not been charged with any crimes. Abby Baggini, Paula Reid, and Marshall Cohen report for CNN.
Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon, overseeing former President Trump’s classified documents case, rebuked federal prosecutors and struck two of their filings. Cannon also demanded an explanation of “the legal propriety of using an out-of-district grand jury proceeding to continue to investigate and/or to seek post-indictment hearings on matters pertinent to the instant indicted matter in this district.” Ivana Saric reports for Axios.
District Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed former President Trump’s countersuit against E. Jean Carroll, alleging she defamed him by publicly saying he had raped her even after a jury found him not liable. Kaplan found that Carroll’s claim that Trump raped her is “substantially true.” Adam Reiss and Dareh Gregorian report for NBC News.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Tou Thao, who was found guilty of aiding and abetting the second-degree manslaughter of George Floyd, was sentenced to four years and nine months in state prison. Anna Betts reports for the New York Times.