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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in three separate incidents across the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip this week. Yolande Knell and Lucy Williamson report for BBC News.
Fears of military escalation in Gaza mount after a summer of relative calm. Israeli border agents reportedly found a cache of explosive materials earlier this month. Hamas, the Islamist militant group that governs the territory, recently put its forces on high alert. This year has been one of the deadliest in the nearby West Bank. Steve Hendrix and Hazem Balousha reports for the Washington Post.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has directed nuclear and security specialists to work with the United States as they try to normalize Saudi relations with Israel by possibly allowing Saudi Arabia to enrich uranium. If agreed, Saudi Arabia would become the second country in the Middle East, after Iran, with an enrichment program. Dion Nissenbaum and Dov Lieber report for the Wall Street Journal.
Syrian President Bashar Assad began his visit to China today as he tries to reestablish international credibility. China supports Assad in the Syrian conflict. Last year, Assad joined the Chinese infrastructure program, the Belt and Road Initiative. AP News reports.
Thousands of protesters gathered in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, yesterday, demanding the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over his perceived failure to support Armenian separatists in Karabakh after they surrendered to Azerbaijan. Felix Light reports for Reuters.
India yesterday urged its citizens in Canada to exercise “utmost caution” as ties continue to deteriorate following the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh community leader. “In view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there, and those contemplating travel, are urged to exercise utmost caution,” India’s foreign ministry said. The foreign ministry presented no evidence of any such incidents in support of this statement. YP Rajesh and Rupam Jain report for Reuters.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – EUROPEAN SUPPORT FROM UKRAINE
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieck said Poland will stop supplying weapons to Ukraine as a diplomatic dispute over grain escalates. Until now, Poland had been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters, having already sent 320 Soviet-era tanks and 14 MiG-29 fighter jets. Morawieck said Poland will now focus on defending itself with more modern weapons. Antoinette Radford and Adam Easton report for BBC News.
Robert Fico, the frontrunner in Slovakia’s Sep. 30 election, has said, “We are a peaceful country. We will not send a single round to Ukraine.” “Russia will never leave Crimea, never leave the territories that it controls,” he added. Slovakia has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine since the full-scale invasion began. Jan Lopatka and Radovan Stoklasa report for Reuters.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Russia and Iran “are aiming at an entire range of planned activities, despite opposition from the United States and its Western allies,” as their relations reach a new level, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said while in Tehran yesterday. Reuters reports.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the U.N. Security Council yesterday that “Ukrainian soldiers are doing with their blood what [it] should do by its voting” but that the “veto power in the hands of the aggressor is what has pushed the U.N. into deadlock.” Zelenskyy has pushed to change U.N. rules to allow the General Assembly to override a Security Council veto by a two-thirds vote. However, such a change would itself be vetoed. Richard Pérez-Peña, Farnaz Fassihi, and Michael Crowley report for the New York Times.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to visit the Pentagon today, his first since the full-scale invasion. He will meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chair General Mark Milley, as well as other senior military leaders. Lara Seligman reports for POLITICO.
At least seven people were wounded after Russia launched airstrikes on cities across Ukraine today, including Kyiv. Fires broke, and some energy infrastructure was damaged in the missile strike. Victoria Kim and Matthew Mpoke Bigg report for the New York Times.
U.S. RELATIONS – MIGRATION
The Biden administration is looking to reduce the number of border crossings from Mexico with its processing centers far away in Colombia, Costa Rica, and others planned in Guatemala. However, demand so far outstrips supply, causing shutdowns of the online portal. Some host countries are limiting applications as they fear the centers will cause migrants to overwhelm their borders. Genevieve Glatsky and Zolan Kanno-Youngs report for the New York Times.
The Biden administration yesterday said it will offer temporary legal status to more than 470,000 Venezuelan migrants in the United States. The move will expedite the receipt of work permits, which officials in New York, Chicago, and other cities have sought so arrivals can better support themselves. Republicans critical of the move say it incentivizes illegal crossings. Nick Miroff and Arelis R. Hernández report for the Washington Post.
Local governments in California, Arizona, and particularly Texas are struggling to deal with migrants crossing from Mexico in numbers not seen in months. The mayor of Eagle Pass, Rolando Salinas Jr., declared a state of emergency after 2,500 migrants arrived in the Texas town of 28,000 yesterday. J. David Goodman, Edgar Sandoval, Miriam Jordan, and Eileen Sullivan report for the New York Times.
Ferromex, a Mexican railway company, suspended 60 routes following “half a dozen cases of injuries or death in recent days” after an “unprecedented” number of migrants hitched rides on freight trains. Vanessa Buschschlüter reports for BBC News.
OTHER U.S. RELATIONS
South Korean police are investigating 17 U.S. soldiers and five others who allegedly smuggled or used synthetic marijuana after the police raided at least two U.S. army bases in May. Raids uncovered 2.7oz of synthetic cannabis, over 8 lbs of vaping liquids, and $12,850 in cash. Seven people, including five soldiers, are believed to be involved in selling the drugs, and 12 are users. Kelly Ng reports for BBC News.
President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met face-to-face yesterday for the first time since Netanyahu returned to office. The meeting suggests Biden is willing to overlook his frustrations over the judicial overhaul in Israel to work with Netanyahu on international issues, such as containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and normalizing Israeli relations with Saudi Arabia. Patrick Kingsley and Michael D. Shear reports for the New York Times.
The Senate yesterday overcame Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) blockade on military promotions, confirming General Charles “CQ” Brown to serve as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Senate Democrats previously declined to undertake individual votes over fears that it would create a bad precedent. However, the role of chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which was going to be vacant following General Mark Milley’s departure on Oct. 1, was a priority for many lawmakers. Al Weaver reports for The Hill.
The Biden administration yesterday said it would award $238 million via the Defense Department to promote innovation in the semiconductor industry around the United States. The move aims to overcome U.S. supply vulnerabilities. Manufacturing of the semiconductors is outsourced to countries like Taiwan, which could lead to chip shortages if China took action against the island nations. Ana Swanson reports for the New York Times.
The Pentagon has launched an outreach campaign to help LGBTQ+ service members who feel they “suffered an error or injustice” because “for decades, our LGBTQ+ service members were forced to hide or were prevented from serving altogether,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
Republicans questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Justice Department’s perceived bias in handling the Hunter Biden case during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Garland repeatedly defended his action and said he left the Biden case in the hands of David Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware. Devlin Barrett, Perry Stein, and Jacqueline Alemany report for the Washington Post.