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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 – CANADA-INDIA RELATIONS
India has suspended visa applications by Canadian nationals as the diplomatic conflict following the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh community leader, intensifies. The “temporary” inability to process visas was due to safety threats, Arindam Bagchi, the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson, said. Suhasini Raj and Yan Zhuang report for the New York Times.
Canada’s allegation that the Indian government was involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Sikh community leader, is based on surveillance of Indian diplomats in Canada, including intelligence provided by a major ally, a Canadian official said yesterday. While it is not clear precisely who exactly provided the intelligence, it was provided by a member of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance, including the United States, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Rob Gillies reports for AP News.
President Biden, among other leaders, expressed concern to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Group of 20 summit this month about Canadian claims that the Indian government was involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar. The United States is giving India no “special exemption” in the matter, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said. Reuters reports.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – NAGORNO-KARABAKH
Armenia is prepared to host tens of thousands of displaced people from the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh after its surrender to Azerbaijan. Despite preparations, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan reassured Armenians that he saw “no direct threat” to Karabakh’s ethnic Armenians. Michael Ertl reports for BBC News.
Azerbaijan said it intends to offer amnesty to Karabakh Armenian fighters who give up their arms, in a sign Azerbaijan is seeking a peaceful reintegration of the region. Some Karabakh military units have said they will continue resisting, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to Azerbaijan’s president, said. “We also see that some minor [fighting] groups are going to the forest,” he said. “But we do not see that to be the biggest challenge, and big security challenge. Of course, this will cause certain challenges and difficulties, but not on a such a big scale.” Reuters reports.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS – CHINA
China’s Defence Minister Li Shangfu, who has disappeared from public view after being investigated for corruption, is only the latest senior official who appears to have been removed as part of President Xi Jinping’s continuing purge. Rumors are circulating that officials in the Chinese Communist Party’s central military commission that controls the armed forces are also being investigated. Tessa Wong reports for BBC News.
China’s large number of military assets around Taiwan this month have not been accompanied by the usual propaganda, suggesting China is practicing rather than attempting to intimidate. Joyu Wang reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Western intelligence agencies are concerned that China is using Fire-Eye, a sophisticated portable lab system that has been shared globally, to harvest precious human DNA data worldwide. Fire-Eye was marketed as a COVID-19 detection tool. However, it is capable of deciphering genetic instructions contained within the cells of humans. U.S. intelligence officials mostly view these efforts as economic, not military. Joby Warrick and Cate Brown report for the Washington Post.
OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS
Some African countries are considering banning the social media app TikTok as concerns grow over controversial content. Senegal banned the app last month, Somalia has called for a ban, and Kenya is considering it. The concern over controversial, often sexually explicit, content differs from the U.S. and European focus, who fear China could use the app as a spying tool. Alexandra Wexler and Stu Woo report for the Wall Street Journal.
Bulgarian police yesterday clashed with protestors who called for the pro-Western government to resign and for the closure of NATO military bases. The protestors are supporters of the ultra-nationalist Vazrazhdane (Revival) party. Stoyan Nenov reports for Reuters.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – WESTERN RESPONSE
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Canada for the first time since the full-scale invasion. Zelenskyy made the journey as international support for Ukraine appears to wane following rising tensions with Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. Antoinette Radford reports for BBC News.
The Biden administration yesterday announced another military aid package for Ukraine worth $325 million. Andrew deGrandpre reports for the Washington Post.
The first U.S. Abrams tanks will arrive in Ukraine next week, President Biden confirmed during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Brett Samuels reports for The Hill.
The potential government shutdown will not disrupt critical training and other activities in support of Ukraine, Chris Sherwood, a Defense Department spokesperson, said yesterday. “Operation Atlantic Resolve [which responds to the Russian invasion] is an excepted activity under a government lapse in appropriations,” Sherwood said. Lara Seligman reports for POLITICO.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Ukrainian forces sent their first armored vehicles through Russia’s main defensive line in the southeast of the country, marking significant progress as they overcame antitank obstacles. Ukraine seeks to establish a firm foothold, to bring more armored vehicles through the breach and access less heavily fortified areas. James Marson reports for the Wall Street Journal.
As winter sets in, Ukraine expects Russia to target critical power stations and other infrastructure used to provide heat and water to homes across the country. Matthew Luxmoore and Thomas Grove report for the Wall Street Journal.
U.S. RELATIONS – MIGRATION
U.S. border authorities encountered over 142,000 migrants at the Mexico border in the first half of September, with numbers expected to reach record highs. Daina Beth Solomon and Ted Hesson report for Reuters.
Eight hundred new active-duty military personnel will join the 2,500 National Guard members already at the border as the number of migrants crossing increases, the Department of Homeland Security announced.
OTHER U.S. RELATIONS
Two prototype U.S. Navy drone vessels arrived in Japan for their first deployment, testing surveillance and attack capabilities in the western Pacific. Drone vessels could substitute larger ships, such as destroyers, Navy Commander Jeremiah Daley said. “For example, one destroyer and two [drones] could replace three destroyers. It’s a force multiplier,” he added. Alastair Gale reports for the Wall Street Journal.
The United States, Russia, and China built new nuclear facilities and expanded their nuclear test sites in recent years, satellite images show. No evidence indicates any of these countries are preparing for immediate nuclear tests. Yet, the developments illustrate that tensions between the three major nuclear powers have risen to their highest in decades. Eric Cheung, Brad Lendon, and Ivan Watson report for CNN.
Col. Matthew N. McCall, the military judge overseeing a Sep. 11 death penalty trial, disqualified Ramzi bin al-Shibh from the case yesterday. Bin al-Shibh, whom the C.I.A. tortured, was disqualified because he was too psychologically damaged to help defend himself. Pre-trial proceedings will continue today for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, accused of masterminding the plot, and the other three defendants. Carol Rosenberg reports for the New York Times.
Abraham Teklu Lemma, a federal contractor from Maryland who worked for State and Justice departments, was charged with sending classified information to Ethiopia, according to newly unsealed court documents.
A government shutdown appears more likely as lawmakers leave for the weekend after being unable to agree with far-right Republicans on spending cuts. The White House is set to instruct federal agencies to prepare for a shutdown, according to an official with the Office of Management and Budget. Lisa Mascaro and Stephen Groves report for AP News.