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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
Fifty-four civilians have reportedly been killed during clashes between a U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led militia and their former Arab tribal allies in Syria. The United States, which has hundreds of troops in Kurdish-controlled areas to counter the self-styled Islamic State militant group, has urged all sides to cease fighting immediately. David Gritten reports for BBC News.
The Eritrean military continues to perpetrate war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Tigray region despite a peace deal signed last November, Amnesty International has said.
The trial of two leaders of the so-called Freedom Convoy protests that ground Ottowa to a halt last year began yesterday. They face charges including mischief, obstructing police, intimidation, and counseling others to commit mischief. Prosecutors said the proceedings are not about the defendants’ political views but how they “crossed the line” and “committed multiple crimes.” Amanda Coletta reports for the Washington Post.
The far-right Alternative for Germany political party is polling in second place nationally, beating the governing center-left Social Democrats, despite becoming more radical over time. State security authorities have sounded the alarm because elements of the party appear hostile to Germany’s democratic order. The growing popularity of the Alternative for Germany suggests the country’s Nazi past is no longer deterring voters from embracing far-right populism. Elizabeth Findell reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Japan will increase its support and cooperation with Southeast Asian nations in maritime patrols and other areas, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today. “We will develop a wide range of cooperation initiatives in the political, security, economic, cultural and social areas,” Kishida announced. The announcement comes as China asserts itself in the region’s disputed waters. Reuters reports.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Ukraine may lose one of its staunchest supporters in the Sep. 30 elections in Slovakia, where the frontrunner has pledged to halt arms deliveries to Ukraine, denounced sanctions against Russia, and criticized NATO. Andrew Higgins reports for the New York Times.
The paramilitary organization Wagner group is set to be proscribed as a terrorist organization by the U.K. government. Once proscribed, being a member or supporting Wagner will be illegal. The move means that assets associated with Wagner are categorized as terrorist property and can be seized. BBC News reports.
The Kremlin would consider a return of U.S. nuclear weapons to the U.K. as an escalation and will respond with “countermeasures,” the Russian foreign ministry warned. The announcement responded to the 2024 U.S. Air Force budget, which included building a dormitory at a Royal Air Force base in Suffolk for nuclear safety and security personnel, hinting at a planned transfer of nuclear weapons. Julian Borger and Andrew Roth reports for the Guardian.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Russia “tactically” withdrew from the Ukrainian village of Robotyne after Ukrainian forces breached Russia’s first line of defenses, a Moscow-backed official said yesterday. Ukraine now seeks to widen the breach. Olga Voitovych, Vasco Cotovio, and Katharina Krebs report for CNN.
Ukraine has regained more territory on the eastern front and is advancing south in its counteroffensive against Russia, Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has visited the front line. Reuters reports.
Nearly 300 people were killed and 600 wounded by cluster munitions in Ukraine in 2022, the highest number of deaths associated with the controversial bombs anywhere in the world last year, according to a report by the Cluster Munition Coalition.
One person has been killed in the latest Russian drone strikes on Ukrainian port facilities on the River Danube, the local governor said. George Wright reports for BBC News.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has asked China not to play the “spoiler” role due to its issues with India and to adopt a “constructive role” in the upcoming Group of 20 summit. Sullivan’s statements came after China confirmed President Xi Jinping would not attend the meeting. India and China have a tense relationship that was exacerbated by a deadly border dispute that flared in 2020. BBC News reports.
North Korea will “pay a price” if it supplies Russia with arms, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned yesterday. North Korea has a strong production base for artillery shells, which would benefit Russia in its war on Ukraine. Brad Dress reports for The Hill.
The floating border barrier installed in the Rio Grande by Texas has not deterred migrants from crossing, as they simply go around the 1,000-foot obstacle. Santiago Pérez and Michelle Hackman report for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – 2020 ELECTION
Special counsel Jack Smith yesterday said former President Trump made “daily extrajudicial statements that threaten to prejudice the jury pool” in the case concerning efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Tierney Sneed reports for CNN.
Enrique Tarrio, the former leader of the far-right Proud Boys, convicted of seditious conspiracy, among other charges, has been sentenced to 22 years. This is the longest sentence handed down concerning the Jan. 6 attack. “I am extremely ashamed and disappointed that [police and residents of Washington DC] were caused grief and suffering,” Tarrio said. “I was my own worst enemy. My hubris convinced me that I was a victim and targeted unfairly,” he added. Mike Wendling reports for BBC News.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given her most precise articulation of the criminal case against the false electors in a 27-page brief rejecting an effort to transfer the criminal case to federal court. “Defendant’s argument is akin to claiming that a homemade badge could transform him into a genuine United States Marshal with all the powers afforded that position,” Willis argued. Kyle Cheney reports for POLITICO.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Georgia prosecutors charged 61 protestors with racketeering yesterday following their opposition to a planned public safety training center near Atlanta. Republican Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants were engaged in a criminal enterprise aimed at undermining the construction of the training center, often by violent means. Police reports over the past two years allege that protesters set fires, disabled or vandalized construction equipment, broke windows, and harassed workers and law enforcement. Mariah Timms reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Federal judges yesterday rejected Alabama’s latest congressional map because the Republican-controlled legislature did not create a second majority Black district or something “close to it.” A new map will now be drawn independently, taking the responsibility away from state officials who “ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy.” Emily Cochrane reports for the New York Times.
Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is “aiding and abetting communists” with his blockade on military appointments, the leaders of three branches of the U.S. military said. Tuberville’s eight-month blockade “is having a real negative impact and will continue to have a real negative impact on our combat readiness,” Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said. Kelly Garrity reports for POLITICO.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) yesterday subpoenaed DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, among others, as the committee investigates any Justice Department wrongdoing in relation to Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes. Emily Brooks and Rebecca Beitsch report for The Hill.
Schools in two Pennsylvania districts closed yesterday as troopers searched for Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer who escaped a prison near Philadelphia last week. Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder of his former girlfriend, whom he stabbed 38 times in front of her two children. Johnny Diaz reports for the New York Times.