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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news.
The government in Congo denies the “fake news” of an attempted coup, the Information Minister Thierry Moungalla said in a post on X yesterday. The post comes after unconfirmed social media reports that the military was trying to oust President Denis Nguesso while he attends the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Basillioh Rukanga, Wycliffe Muia, and Gloria Aradi report for BBC News.
The military juntas of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso signed a security pact over the weekend, vowing to aid each other in case of any internal rebellion or external attack. Reuters reports.
The Russian government is moving to take direct control of the over 1,000 paramilitary organization Wagner group troops in the Central African Republic, officials there said. The Russian fighters will remain in the country to provide security assistance under an agreement with Moscow, President Faustin-Archange Touadéra confirmed. “It has always been the Russian government with which we contracted,” he added. Rachel Chason and Barbara Debout report for the Washington Post.
A letter sent to the Vatican during World War Two suggests Pope Pius XII had detailed information about Nazi atrocities committed against Jews. Vatican archives have revealed a letter sent by a German Jesuit that up to 6,000 Jews and Poles were being murdered daily in German-occupied Poland. Critics of Pope Pius XII say he remained silent as the Holocaust raged. Nicole Winfield reports for the AP News.
Ukrainian infantry have made incursions into Russia’s defensive structures along the southern front as they fight to sever Russia’s supply lines that connect the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to Crimea. No Ukrainian armored columns have breached Russia’s defenses. Russia is relocating reinforcements in a bid to reverse Ukraine’s gains. Frank Gardner reports for BBC News.
Ukrainian forces retook Klishchiivka, a village south of the eastern city of Bakhmut, over the weekend. Ukrainian gains may now allow Ukrainian troops to attempt to seize control of Bakhmut itself. Siobhán O’Grady, Kostiantyn Khudov, Jennifer Hassan, Bryan Pietsch and Ben Brasch reports for the Washington Post.
Wang Yi, head of China’s foreign ministry, began a four-day trip to Russia today as preparations are made for President Vladimir Putin’s expected trip to Beijing in October. A “wide range of issues,” including “contacts at higher and the highest levels,” will be discussed during Wang Yi’s visit, as both nations are expected to pledge deeper mutual political trust. Reuters reports.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected nuclear-capable strategic bombers in Russia over the weekend as the countries’ ties deepen. The expected exchange of military equipment and technology could present the United States with two problems. North Korean munitions could enable Russia to prosecute its war in Ukraine for longer. Russian technology could expand North Korea’s threat to the United States and its regional allies. Choe Sang-Hun reports for the New York Times.
South Korea’s arms industry has become the world’s fastest-growing arms exporter, with sales more than doubling in 2022. While South Korea does not send weapons to active war zones, it has been replenishing the supplies of the United States and its allies faster and cheaper than many Western competitors. Dasl Yoon reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Two cargo ships have, for the first time since the Black Sea grain deal collapsed, reached a Ukrainian port after taking a new route, Ukrainian port authorities said. The ships are due to load 20,000 tonnes of wheat bound for global markets. Kathryn Armstrong reports for BBC News.
Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have imposed bans on Ukrainian grain and other products in defiance of the E.U.’s ending of a temporary ban. The E.U. lifted a ban that allowed some grain to transit through those countries but prohibited domestic sales. The move to impose their own bans has raised fears of faltering E.U.-wide support for Ukraine. Mike Ives and Gaya Gupta reports for the New York Times.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan secretly met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta over the weekend as “part of ongoing efforts to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly managing the relationship.” The secret talks could lead to the much-anticipated meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the coming months. Carol E. Lee reports for NBC News.
The U.S.-China spy game is more expansive than that between the United States and U.S.S.R., said F.B.I. Director Christopher A. Wray. China’s intelligence activities are more extensive than those of the United States. Julian E. Barnes and Edward Wong report for the New York Times.
President Biden will hold his first face-to-face meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week, a first since the Israeli leader returned to office. Since returning to office, Netanyahu has not been invited to the White House, which many believe is evidence of President Biden’s disapproval of Israel’s judicial overhaul. Donald Judd reports for CNN.
Mexico has extradited Sinaloa Cartel leader Ovidio Guzmán, son of imprisoned “El Chapo” Guzmán, to the United States, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The Justice Department will “continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. José de Córdoba reports for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Former President Trump has said it was his decision to try to overturn the 2020 election results and push the false narrative that he won the presidency. Kate Sullivan reports for CNN.
Special Counsel Jack Smith has asked District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan, overseeing the federal election interference case, to place former President Trump under a gag order, limiting how he can publicly comment on the case, filings revealed on Friday show. If approved, the order would ban Trump from making statements “regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses” and “statements about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating.” Trump responded online by accusing Smith’s team of misconduct, posting, “They won’t allow me to SPEAK?” Max Matza and Emma Owen report for BBC News.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – LAW ENFORCEMENT
There have been 500 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
In an unusual move for U.S. law enforcement, New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams is using counterterrorism tactics to tackle a surge in violence. A task force has been deployed to use machine learning to autogenerate subpoenas for social media companies, analyze the data obtained, and create detailed timelines to help prosecute crimes. Kate O’Keeffe and Cameron McWhirter report for the Wall Street Journal.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – MILITARY
Representative Mike Garcia (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA), among other Republican military veterans, have criticized the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, withholding its votes for legislation to fund the Pentagon. “If you oppose the passage of this bill, you are enabling the failed defense policies of this administration and accelerating the downward trajectory of our nation’s security,” Garcia warned. Connor O’Brien reports for POLITICO.
The U.S. military has ordered additional interviews be conducted regarding the bombing in Kabul, which killed 13 U.S. service members during the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The interviews do not constitute a formal reopening of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attack. “The purpose of these interviews is to ensure we do our due diligence with the new information that has come to light, that the relevant voices are fully heard and that we take those accounts and examine them seriously and thoroughly so the facts are laid to bare,” U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
Responders are struggling to locate a Marine Corps F-35 jet, known for its stealth after it went down somewhere near Joint Base Charleston yesterday. The pilot ejected safely and is in stable condition. Bryan Pietsch and Kyle Rempfer report for the Washington Post.