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A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the weekend. Here’s today’s news.
Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians left Nagorno-Karabakh, the World Health Organisation said yesterday. A U.N. mission arrived in the region as the mass exodus to Armenia began to slow down. Azerbaijan invited the mission, which will focus on humanitarian issues. Reuters reports.
Turkish airstrikes targeted the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party in northern Iraq, the Ministry of Defense said. The strikes came hours after the rebel organization claimed a suicide bombing that targeted the national police headquarters and wounded two police officers in the Turkish capital. The ministry said, “20 targets, consisting of caves, bunkers, shelters, and warehouses” used by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party were hit, adding, “many terrorists were neutralized.” Ben Hubbard and Safak Timur report for the New York Times.
A coalition of Tuareg rebels in northern Mali, known as Coordination of Azawad Movements, seized its fourth military base from the Malian army, the group said yesterday. The Malian army has also come under attacks from groups linked to al Qaeda and the self-styled Islamic State militant group. The escalation coincides with the withdrawal of U.N. peacekeepers. Reuters reports.
BAE Systems, the U.K.’s largest defense firm, has won a $4.82bn contract to build a new generation of submarines as the AUKUS security pact between the United States, U.K., and Australia progresses. Manufacturing will begin by the end of this decade, with deliveries expected in the late 2030s. Peter Hoskins reports for BBC News.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – U.S. RESPONSE
President Biden yesterday pressed Republicans in Congress to provide more aid to Ukraine after the funding bill that averted a U.S. government shutdown did not include more assistance for Ukraine. “We cannot under any circumstances allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted. I fully expect the speaker to keep his commitment to secure the passage and support needed to help Ukraine as they defend themselves against aggression and brutality,” Biden said. Jeff Mason reports for Reuters.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to fight Russia “for as long as it takes,” as U.S. commitment appears to waver after the funding bill that averted a U.S. government shutdown did not include more aid for Ukraine. However, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC) signaled more support was forthcoming yesterday. Rachel Pannett reports for the Washington Post.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – OTHER GLOBAL RESPONSES
The populist pro-Russia party of former Prime Minister Robert Fico has won Slovakia’s parliamentary elections. The Smer-SSD party pledged to end military support for Ukraine immediately. Fico will be expected to start coalition talks on forming the next government. Rob Cameron and Ece Goksedef report for BBC News.
The growing use of cheap consumer drones in the war in Ukraine has meant military supply lines increasingly rely on manufacturers in China, the world’s most significant maker of such drones. Ukraine loses an estimated 10,000 drones a month. The Ukrainian military has found it more challenging to secure drones after Chinese suppliers reduced their sales, following Chinese rules to restrict drone exports that took effect on Sept. 1. Chinese drone deliveries to Russia dwarf Chinese companies’ shipments to Ukraine. Paul Mozur and Valerie Hopkins report for the New York Times.
Josep Borrell, the E.U.’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the E.U. is preparing “long-term security commitments for Ukraine” covering “artillery & ammunition, air defense, EW (electronic warfare) & long-term assistance programs, trainings, and defense industry localization.” Borrell said he hoped member states would decide to increase aid “before the end of the year.” Yurii Khomenko reports for Reuters.
The U.K. is considering moving its training and production activities into Ukraine, U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said. His comments come as BAE Systems, the U.K.’s largest defense firm, announced it would be manufacturing in Ukraine. Dmitry Medvedev, chair of Russia’s security council, said British soldiers in Ukraine would be legitimate targets. Prime Minister Rish Sunak quickly clarified that “there are no British soldiers that will be sent to fight in the current conflict.” Annabelle Dickson reports for POLITICO.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
The Russian Kursk region came under Ukrainian drone strikes, briefly leaving 5,000 people without electricity last week. Russia has reported an increase in attempted drone attacks by Ukraine. About a third of Russian military factories are in western Russia, which is increasingly accessible to Ukrainian drones. Mary Ilyushina and David L. Stern report for the Washington Post.
One person was killed and six injured, including two children, following Russian shelling of Ukraine’s Kherson region last night. Reuters reports.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the new Foreign Relations Committee chair, will block $235 million in military aid for Egypt. “Congress has been clear, through the law, that the government of Egypt’s record on a range of critical human rights issues, good governance, and the rule of law must improve if our bilateral relationship is to be sustained,” Cardin said. Alex Marquardt reports for CNN.
The United States has called for calm between Serbia and Kosovo as a battle erupted between Kosovo police and Serbian gunmen last weekend. The escalating violence has caused NATO to increase its presence in the region. According to declassified U.S. intelligence, Serbia has moved infantry units to the border. Serbia denies these deployments. Some Western officials are reluctant to pressure Serbia because it has supplied crucial ammunition to Ukraine. Bojan Pancevski and Gordon Lubold reports for the Wall Street Journal.
The Chinese foreign ministry accused the United States of being the actual “empire of lies” after the State Department reported that China is spending billions of dollars on disinformation campaigns. Reuters reports.
The United States captured Mamduh Ibrahim al-haji Shaykh, a facilitator for the self-styled Islamic State militant group, during a helicopter raid in northern Syria last week. No civilians were injured or killed during this operation. U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS – TRUMP LEGAL MATTERS
Former President Trump said he would attend court in New York for his civil fraud trial today. Last week, it was ruled that Trump is liable for fraud and that he overvalued his properties. Alayna Treene and Kristen Holmes report for CNN.
Scott Hall, a bail bondsman and defendant in the Georgia election interference case, struck a plea deal that requires him to testify against his co-defendants. Hall will receive five years’ probation and a $5,000 fine. He will also testify against other defendants, complete 200 hours of community service, and apologize to Georgia voters. All other defendants, including former President Trump, have pleaded not guilty. Madeline Halpert reports for BBC News.
OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) yesterday threatened to use a motion to vacate to strip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) of his speakership as soon as this week, a punishment for working with Democrats to secure the necessary votes to fund the government. It is uncertain whether Gaetz and his allies would have sufficient votes for the motion to pass. Farnoush Amiri reports for AP News.
A deputy police chief and three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, have been charged with attempting to cover up the use of stun guns during a strip search, the police chief said on Friday. The announcement comes after the police department was hit by at least three federal lawsuits and an F.B.I. civil rights investigation following accusations of abuse and humiliation by police. Amanda Holpuch reports for the New York Times.
The Supreme Court returns to the bench for a new term today, in which it will consider curbs to federal agencies’ power, as well as gun rights and congressional districts. As the term begins, a survey suggests that while 56 percent of Republicans approve of the court, only 23 percent of Democrats do. Jess Bravin reports for the Wall Street Journal.
California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has selected Laphonza Butler, president of EMILY’s List, to replace the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. A veteran organizer, Butler has led campaigns to help elect Democratic women. Butler is expected to be sworn into the Senate on Wednesday. Newsom has not put limitations or preconditions on Butler running for the seat in 2024 in what is likely to be a crowded field. Christopher Cadelago reports for POLITICO.
Charles Edward Littlejohn, a consultant for the Internal Revenue Service, has been charged with the unauthorized disclosure of tax information. Littlejohn is accused of stealing tax returns from about 2018 to 2020 and then leaking the information to the media. The timeline coincides with the publication of former President Trump’s tax records, as well as those of celebrities. Devlin Barrett and Spencer S. Hsu report for the Washington Post.