Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – NORTH KOREA
North Korea is preparing to test intercontinental ballistic missiles and to launch a spy satellite, the South Korean National Intelligence Service has said. These weapons tests are a response to today’s trilateral summit between the United States, South Korea, and Japan, as well as the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled to begin next week. Lauren Sforza reports for The Hill.
North Korea’s nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile that can penetrate U.S. missile defenses is probably the outcome of technical cooperation between the regime and Russia, according to a report by the think tank Beyond Parallel, published yesterday.
North Koreans suffer extreme hunger, forced labor, and medicine shortages, the U.N. Security Council heard yesterday. Yesterday’s session marks the first time the regime’s human rights record is discussed in six years. The discussion reflect the international political divides, as the Russian delegate denounced the meeting as “propaganda,” and China’s representative accused the council of overstepping its role. Amanda E. Newman reports for the New York Times.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – CHINA
Chinese and Russian navy ships are jointly patrolling the Pacific Ocean and undertaking exercises in the East China Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry said today. Reuters reports.
The Chinese military appears to be training for conflict in the Taiwan Strait, according to a video published yesterday by the Chinese Eastern Theatre Command, which is responsible for military operations in the Taiwan Strait. Amy Hawkins reports for the Guardian.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
Sweden raised its terrorist alert to the second highest level yesterday, following Quran burnings. Security services said they thwarted terrorist attacks since the burnings. “The decision to raise the level is not prompted by a single event but we know that Hezbollah, al Shabaab and al Qaeda have called on their supporters to carry out acts against Sweden,” Charlotte von Essen, head of Sweden’s SAPO security service said. Simon Johnson and Johan Ahlander report for Reuters.
West African military chiefs are ready to use force to restore democracy in Niger following last month’s coup. The Ecowas peace and security commissioner, Abdel-Fatau Musah, has stressed that the Niger junta leaders still have time to avoid conflict by engaging in diplomatic efforts. Threats to intervene raised fears of a broader conflict, as the Mali and Burkina Faso military governments said they would ally with the junta. Thomas Naadi reports for BBC News.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – WESTERN RESPONSE
NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that only Ukraine can determine the terms of peace negotiations with Russia. He clarified NATO’s position after his chief of staff, Stian Jenssen, suggested that Ukraine could gain NATO membership in exchange for ceding occupied territory to Russia. White House spokesperson John Kirby also dismissed the possibility of exchanging Ukrainian territory for NATO membership. Gaya Gupta reports for the New York Times.
The Biden administration has given its final approval to transfer F-16 training materials to Denmark, allowing Ukrainian pilots to begin training to use the fighter jets. The United States has also told Denmark and the Netherlands, who are leading the effort, it would expedite the transfer of all materials needed to ensure the jets are deployed as soon as the pilots are ready. However, Kyiv has said that they do not expect to be able to use the jets this year. Lara Seligman reports for POLITICO.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Ukraine’s counteroffensive will fail to reach the critical southeastern city of Melitopol, the U.S. intelligence community has predicted. If true, this would mean Kyiv will not fulfill its primary objective of severing Russia’s land bridge to Crimea this year. John Hudson and Alex Horton report for the Washington Post.
Moscow air defenses shot down a drone causing an explosion that damaged a building, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Russia has accused Ukraine of launching the attack. There are no reports of casualties. BBC News reports.
Belarus would use nuclear weapons in the face of foreign “aggression,” President Alexander Lukashenko said yesterday. Russia reportedly supplied Belarus with nuclear weapons earlier this year, though it is unclear how many. Lukashenko said that “nuclear weapons represent a strong deterring factor. But these are tactical nuclear weapons, not strategic ones. This is why we will use them immediately once aggression is launched against us.” Radina Gigova and Jessie Yeung report for CNN.
China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have been identified as key threats in the Defense Department review of the U.S. biodefense strategy. The U.S. military is at a “pivotal moment” in biodefense and must urgently address the potential of bioweapons and other catastrophic events, including pandemics. Among other concerns, the review questions whether China is complying with existing international rules on biowarfare and raises concerns over China’s plans to integrate civilian biological research programs into the military. Cate Cadell reports for the Washington Post.
Gene Spector, an already imprisoned Russia-born U.S. citizen, has been arrested by a Moscow court on spying charges. Spector is serving 3.5 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to bribing an assistant of ex-Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in 2022. White House spokesperson John Kirby said the administration is collecting information about the case. Reuters reports.
Four Russian operatives involved in the 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny have been sanctioned by the Biden administration and have had visa restrictions imposed on them yesterday. Jennifer Hansler reports for CNN.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
The names and addresses of members of the Georgia grand jury that indicted former President Trump and his allies on racketeering charges have been posted online by Trump supporters. The Fulton County sheriff’s office said yesterday that it is working with law enforcement partners to respond quickly to credible threats. Blayne Alexander and Ryan J. Reilly report for NBC News.
Former President Trump yesterday called off a press conference at which he intended to present a report that would lead to his “complete EXONERATION” in the Georgia election interference case. His lawyers will instead use the materials of the report in court filings, Trump said. On Monday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said, “For nearly three years now, anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law.” Rebecca Falconer reports for Axios.
Lawyers for former President Trump have asked District Judge Tanya Chutkan to hold his trial concerning his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election in April 2026. His lawyers argued yesterday that preparing a defense would take them years. Spencer S. Hsu reports for the Washington Post.
District Judge Aileen Cannon canceled a hearing planned for Aug. 25 on a protective order for classified evidence in the Mar-a-Lago documents case. The proceeding will take place under seal at a different time. Yet experts on the Classified Information Procedures Act have said that even though many steps laid out by the law usually happen secretly, some proceedings can take place at least partially in public view. In this case, the proceedings have so far been less accessible than the other cases against former President Trump. Tierney Sneed reports for CNN.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
The Justice Department has requested a prison sentence of 33 years for Enrique Tarrio, the former Proud Boys leader convicted of seditious conspiracy in relation to the Jan. 6 attack. If imposed, it would be the longest punishment connected to Jan. 6. Alanna Durkin Richer reports for AP News.
Congress must reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) if the United States is to avoid a self-inflicted national security calamity, a new report by an independent group of intelligence experts called the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board states. Under court supervision, Section 702 authorizes the intelligence community to target communications of non-Americans overseas. Controversy surrounds Section 702 because it can be used to target foreigners who communicate with Americans. Matthew Olsen and Joshua Geltzer report for The Hill.
Pascale Cecile Veronique Ferrier, a French Canadian woman, was sentenced yesterday to over 21 years in prison for sending letters containing the lethal substance ricin to former President Trump and eight Texas law enforcement officials in 2020. Jesus Jiménez reports for the New York Times.
New Jersey can use “public nuisance” laws to sue the gun industry, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday. Earlier this year, Judge Zahid N. Quraishi temporarily blocked the public nuisance law from taking effect as it seemed to engage the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, which protects the gun industry from lawsuits when criminals use their products. Dustin Racioppi reports for POLITICO.