Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.
A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.
Pakistan yesterday ordered an estimated 1.7 million unauthorized Afghan asylum seekers to leave the country by November as it cracks down on “illegal” migrants. The announcement follows violent attacks Pakistan blames on Afghanistan-based operatives. About 1.3 million Afghans are recognized refugees, while another 880,000 have the legal right to remain. Yet, the roughly 1.7 million Afghans in the country “illegally” will have to leave voluntarily or be subject to forced deportations. Frances Mao reports for BBC News.
India has asked Canada to remove 40 diplomatic staff from India by Oct. 10, in an escalation of tensions. Those who remain in India beyond this date will lose their diplomatic immunity. India aims to reduce the number of Canadian diplomats in India to achieve “parity in rank and diplomatic strength” since India has fewer diplomats in Canada, a foreign ministry spokesperson said. “This is being sought because of Canadian diplomatic interference in our internal affairs,” the spokesperson added. Meryl Sebastian reports for BBC News.
China could interfere in Taiwan’s January elections in “very diverse” ways, including military pressure, disinformation, and opinion poll manipulation, Taiwan National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai Ming-yen said today. According to polls, Taiwan Vice President William Lai, who champions the island’s separate identity from China, is the frontrunner to be the next president. Reuters reports.
The U.S. and E.U. officials secretly met with Russian counterparts on Sep. 17 in Turkey to pressure Azerbaijan to end its blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh and allow aid convoys to enter from Armenia. While the effort ultimately failed, it shows a Western willingness to engage with Russia on issues where it is believed to hold sway. Gabriel Gavin, Nahal Toosi, and Eric Bazail-Eimil report for POLITICO.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS – INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
Western ammunition stocks are now at “the bottom of the barrel” following continued deliveries to Ukraine, according to Adm. Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, the chair of the NATO Military Committee. The announcement coincides with fresh uncertainty over Western military aid for Ukraine. However, the U.K. has stressed that the West must continue supporting Ukraine despite thinning stockpiles. For example, the low supply of 155mm artillery rounds caused the United States to supply Ukraine with controversial cluster munitions. Brad Lendon and Radina Gigova report for CNN.
President Biden warned that any “lapse in support will make [Russian President Vladimir] Putin believe he can wait us out” while speaking with allies yesterday. Biden’s warning comes just after the E.U. proposed an additional $5.2 billion in aid to Ukraine. Kelly Kasulis Cho, Adela Suliman, and Miriam Berger report for the Washington Post.
About two dozen Americans and dual U.S.-Russian citizens held in Russian jails and labor camps fear being left behind since the State Department does not consider them wrongfully detained. Without a wrongful detainment designation, they cannot unlock diplomatic and intelligence resources to secure release. Those who have unlocked these resources include Brittney Griner, a famous athlete, two people who served in the U.S. military, and Evan Gershkovich, a journalist for The Wall Street Journal. The family members of the others have said they fear being overlooked and left behind. Brett Forrest reports for the Wall Street Journal.
OTHER RUSSIA-UKRAINE DEVELOPMENTS
Russian forces are using an “elastic defense” strategy to hamper Ukraine’s counter-offensive. The tactic involves giving ground and then striking back. A crucial part of this tactic is the unsparing use of military reserves for counter-attacks. This tactic has helped slow Ukraine’s much-anticipated counter-offensive as winter sets in. Matthew Mpoke Bigg reports for the New York Times.
Russian air defenses down 31 Ukrainian drones over the Russian regions of Belgorod, Bryansk, and Kursk last night, the Russian defense ministry said. It is unclear if there were any casualties. Reuters reports.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to lead a bipartisan delegation of six senators on a trip to China next week. The visit would be the latest in a series of high-level diplomatic visits. While future cooperation will form part of the talks with China, the delegation is expected to raise human rights abuses, fentanyl production, and perceived unfair business and trade practices. Karoun Demirjian reports for the New York Times.
25 China-based firms and individuals allegedly involved in the production of chemicals used to make fentanyl have been sanctioned by the United States, the treasury department has announced. The sanctions will freeze their U.S.-based assets and forbid Americans from doing business with them. Fentanyl has exacerbated the ongoing drug crisis in the United States. Christy Cooney reports for BBC News.
Eight Chinese companies and 12 of their executives are facing criminal charges in the United States for supplying precursor chemicals for the illegal manufacture of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “We know that this global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China,” he added. Nick Miroff reports for the Washington Post.
North Korea today vowed “the most overwhelming and sustained response strategy” in response to the United States’ “persistent” threats assessment. The response comes after the United States released its “2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMD],” identifying China and Russia as “the principal WMD challenges,” while North Korea and Iran remain “persistent regional threats.” Hyung-jin Kim reports for AP News.
NATO is “actively addressing” issues after hackers claimed they stole numerous strategic planning and research documents. SiegedSec, a politically motivated hacking group, leaked information on hypersonic weapons, drone threats, and radioactive waste procedures on Telegram. The exact reasons for the attack are unknown. Sean Lyngaas reports for CNN.
Five people were injured, some critically, following a shooting at Morgan State University in Baltimore last night. A shelter-in-place order was issued for the campus. No suspect is yet in custody. Phil Helsel and Dennis Romero report for NBC News.
Judge Arthur Engoron, overseeing Former President Trump’s civil fraud case in New York, has imposed a gag order on Trump after he made “disparaging” remarks about a court clerk. The order is limited and restricted to public comments against court staff members. Engoron warned of severe sanctions if the order was disobeyed. Jacob Gershman reports for the Wall Street Journal.
Hunter Biden yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from his purchase of a handgun in 2018. Biden failed to declare his drug addiction when filling out a federal form when he purchased a gun. Biden could face 25 years imprisonment and $750,000 in fines. Glenn Thrush and Zach Montague report for the New York Times.
Nearly 5,000 people were detained last year as material witnesses in federal criminal proceedings, many of whom have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and are witnesses in prosecuting smugglers. Over the past ten years, nearly 850 people detained along the border were confined for 180 days or more. Because many of the defendants in the smuggling cases are U.S. citizens, they are often released pending trial, while witnesses who crossed the border remain in custody. Sarah Cutler, Steve Eder, and Robert Gebeloff report for the New York Times.