Fdd's overnight brief

April 20, 2022

In The News


Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations on Tuesday dismissed a proposal from U.N. Secretary General António Guterres for a cease-fire over the Orthodox Easter holidays, saying he doubted that Ukrainian forces would respect any such agreement. – Washington Post  

Russia declared the start of an intensified campaign for eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, focusing heavy firepower on areas key to cementing control of the country’s industrial heartland. – Washington Post  

Russia rejected calls for a cease-fire to allow for civilian evacuations in Ukraine on Tuesday, saying that requests to pause the fighting were not sincere and would only provide time to arm Ukrainian fighters. – New York Times  

Russia hurled its military might against Ukrainian cities and towns and poured more troops into the war, seeking to slice the country in two in a potentially pivotal battle for control of the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories. – Associated Press  

Russia gave Ukrainian fighters holding out in Mariupol a new ultimatum to surrender on Wednesday as it pushed for a decisive victory in its offensive in the east, while Western governments promised to give Ukraine more military help. – Reuters 

Western nations are preparing to stage coordinated walk-outs and other diplomatic snubs to protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at Wednesday’s meeting of G20 finance ministers in Washington, their officials said. – Reuters 

Russia’s military presence on Ukraine’s eastern border continues to build, a British military update said on Wednesday, adding that fighting in the Donbas region is intensifying as Russian forces seek to break through Ukrainian defences. – Reuters 

Western leaders agreed on the need to put more pressure on Russia and to increase Moscow’s international isolation following its invasion of Ukraine, an Italian government statement said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

New Zealand unveiled new sanctions on Tuesday targeting Russia’s largest banks and financial institutions, in its response to the invasion of Ukraine. – Reuters 

Russia said Tuesday it was expelling 31 diplomats from three European countries in a tit-for-tat move sparked by its military operation in Ukraine. – Agence France-Presse  

Almost eight weeks after Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, with military losses mounting and Russia facing unprecedented international isolation, a small but growing number of senior Kremlin insiders are quietly questioning his decision to go to war. – Bloomberg 

A Ukrainian millionaire asked the military to bomb his own mansion upon discovering Russian troops had invaded and used the area to house rockets and missiles. – Washington Examiner 

Moscow has said it would oppose an independent investigation into an alleged massacre at Bucha at the center of claims Russian troops committed atrocities, which might form an International Criminal Court (ICC) case against Vladimir Putin. – Newsweek  

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to use Moscow’s new offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region to seize land as a bargaining tool for future negotiations, a European official said, according to multiple media outlets. – Business Insider 

US President Joe Biden will convene a meeting of allies to discuss the Ukraine conflict Tuesday, the White House said, after Kyiv announced Russia had launched a major new offensive in the east of the country. – Agence France-Presse  

Editorial: The stakes in the food crisis could scarcely be higher: this is a matter of life and death that extends far beyond the daily victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But this is also about the reputation of liberal democratic values around the world. Rich countries were seen to let down the poor during the pandemic over vaccine supply. They must not fail on the food crisis. – Financial Times  

Robert Spalding writes: We’ve arrived at the day when we must mobilize to protect our commercial, political and digital sovereignty from Russia, China and other bad actors. Without action, these new Cold War 2.0 dangers will threaten the global supply chain and access to energy resources, curtail access to critical technology and poison the content data streams that we rely on for everything from finance and education to e-commerce and entertainment. – Fox News 


Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is calling on the State Department not to rush into giving Iran sanctions relief as the Biden administration looks to enter into a new nuclear deal with the Islamic nation. – Fox News 

Russia’s war on Ukraine, however, has exposed just how much Tehran has tilted toward Moscow in recent years as the collapse of its nuclear deal with world powers stoked decades-old, hard-line anger at America. Members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard train on Russian surface-to-air missile systems and aircraft. – Associated Press 

At this point in nuclear negotiations with Iran, it is unclear whether both sides will be able to get across the finish line, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday. – Jerusalem Post  

The United States has repeatedly staved off a deadline for striking a nuclear deal and its verdict on blacklisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is still shrouded in mystery. – Haaretz  

Chuck Wald and John Bird write: This last issue also is a microcosm of the growing daylight between the United States and its main regional allies over the new nuclear deal and the Iran threat more generally. […]For all these compelling reasons, the United States should pursue hard-headed diplomacy, backed up by credible redlines against Iranian escalation, that would genuinely and verifiably end the threat posed by Tehran’s nuclear weapons program and roll back its regional aggression. We, therefore, urge President Biden and Congress to reject this dangerous nuclear deal. – The Hill 

Omri Nahmias writes: Implying that the international community is not prepared for such a scenario, Israel Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog made the point in his interview with The Washington Post last week that lifting sanctions from the Islamic Republic would provide Tehran with the funds for more destabilizing regional activities. – Jerusalem Post  


A deadly bombing hit a high school in Kabul Tuesday, an attack that analysts said was likely carried out by Islamic State, showing the militant group’s continued threat despite months of operations against it by the Taliban authorities. – Wall Street Journal 

The World Bank has resumed work on three projects in Afghanistan focused on health, agriculture and livelihoods, but will maintain a hold on some $150 million for education projects, two sources familiar with the decision said Tuesday. – Reuters 

The State Department on Tuesday condemned the deadly explosions that targeted educational facilities in Kabul earlier that day, labeling the offensive as “heinous attacks.” – The Hill 

Dana Perino and Jen Wilson write: We made a promise to our Afghan allies — notably to the teachers and the interpreters — that if they stood by us, we’d stand by them. The day the Taliban took over, each and every one of our Afghan friends had a target placed on their back. They were vulnerable and we knew it. We had a duty and an obligation to get them out. Someway, somehow. When it didn’t look like our government could lead the evacuation effort on their own, Jen stepped up and #ProjectDynamo was born. – Fox News 


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he told his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog that he was “very upset” by Palestinians injured or killed in the West Bank and Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. – Reuters 

Turkish authorities jailed a journalist on Tuesday pending trial after he announced hackers had stolen personal information from government websites and shared some of it with him, including President Tayyip Erdogan’s ID card, as proof, his lawyer said. – Reuters 

Turkey’s third-largest political party, the pro-Kurdish HDP, said on Tuesday the court case targeting it is the culmination of a political effort to break it up. – Reuters 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: The statements in Turkish media and by its ruling party show that although there was talk of reconciliation last month, Ankara does nothing to calm tensions in Jerusalem. Ankara prefers to stoke the tensions and print misleading articles than to push for some kind of peace in Jerusalem. In this, Ankara continues to show its Janus-face: it shows one face in Washington, where it tries to pretend that Ankara and Jerusalem share interests, and shows another face to Hamas, Iran and extremists in the region. – Jerusalem Post 


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders to discuss recent violence in Israel and the West Bank that has escalated tensions in the region, officials said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Emirati airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has canceled its participation in Israel’s Independence Day flyover this year, amid Arab condemnation of Temple Mount and Old City violence, according to the Israel Pilot’s Association. – Jerusalem Post  

The Israeli Air Force struck targets in the Gaza Strip overnight on Tuesday in response to earlier rocket fire launched toward southern Israel. – Jerusalem Post  

Several Palestinians barricaded themselves in a mosque on the Temple Mount on Tuesday morning, sounding the rocket alert siren on the minaret loudspeakers, according to Army Radio. – Jerusalem Post  

Israeli officials braced for potential violence on Wednesday as right-wing Israelis planned a march in Jerusalem against police orders, thousands were set to pray at the Western Wall and Gaza terror groups said they were readying for an escalation. – Times of Israel  

Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday that steps Israel has taken to boost its economy are being threatened by terror groups ramping up incitement and launching rockets attacks. – Times of Israel  

Israel’s counter-terror bureau may warn Israelis against traveling to Qatar for the World Cup in November, according to Hebrew language media reports Tuesday. – Times of Israel  

A top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the transfer of church property in Jerusalem’s Old City to Moscow’s hands is at the top of the Israeli-Russian diplomatic agenda.- Times of Israel  

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Tuesday that Israel will not accept statements encouraging the uptick in violence in Jerusalem in recent days, calling instead for international support to return calm to the city. – Algemeiner  

The UN’s Mideast envoy avoided casting blame on either side for the recent violence at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount during an update to Security Council members at an emergency meeting convened on Tuesday, two diplomats familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel. – Times of Israel  

Senior State Department officials will travel this week to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority in an effort to de-escalate the crisis in Jerusalem, three sources with direct knowledge told Barak Ravid of Axios on Tuesday. – Arutz Sheva  

Smadar Perry writes: Jordan’s leader knows the relations with Israel – on intelligence matters – are great, and the security cooperation between the two states remains stable. Jordan receives water from Israel, in a greater quantity than the peace deal dictates and Israel has made it clear that it would allow the free flow of goods from the kingdom into the Palestinian Authority. – Ynet   

David Hacham writes: Despite the above, it is possible to cautiously conclude that at the current time, there is no sign that the region is on the brink of a new intifada. […]Under these circumstances, the Israeli defense establishment will do well if it continues in its efforts to prevent collective punishment of Palestinians, thereby avoiding the risk of spreading the unrest and radicalizing Palestinian civilians. At the same time, the military must also work rapidly to block the gaps in the security fence, and keep Israel safe. – Algemeiner  

Omar Shaban writes: While the violence in Jerusalem, where events have been escalating since 2015, may not affect Gaza more broadly this time around, the situations in both Jerusalem and Gaza remain fragile and highly volatile and could blow up at any time. To prevent future outbreaks two things are urgently needed: ending the internal Palestinian division and imposing some constraints on Israeli actions, particularly the use of force, against Palestinians, their properties, and holy sites. Otherwise the cycle of violence will continue to play out over and over. – Middle East Institute 

Seth J. Frantzman writes: These twin issues – the drug trade that is becoming more organized on Jordan’s northern border and tensions in Jerusalem – represent concerns for the kingdom. From the standpoint of regional security, this is an issue that involves Iran because Tehran seeks to inflame tensions in Jerusalem by backing Hamas, and it appears it is seeking to move drugs from Syria to the Gulf to empower its militias. – Jerusalem Post 

Saudi Arabia

The relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia has hit its lowest point in decades, with Mr. Biden saying in 2019 that the kingdom should be treated like a pariah over human-rights issues such as Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. – Wall Street Journal 

The Saudi Cabinet approved an agreement signed with Egypt on investments by the kingdom’s Public Investments Fund in Egypt. – Reuters 

The Saudi cabinet reaffirmed the right of the kingdom and its neighbour Kuwait to exploit natural resources at a joint, energy-rich, offshore area, the state news agency reported on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Middle East & North Africa

Russia is trying to increase its influence in the Sahel region, trying to exploit the anti-France sentiment that is developing in the area. After consolidating its relations with the government in Mali, Russia is now wooing the new power in Burkina Faso. Following the recent coup that took place on January 24, 2022, several supporters of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, the country’s interim president, have already called for strengthening the cooperation with Russia and breaking the country’s partnership with France. – Middle East Media Research Institute 

Iraq is committed to the OPEC+ decision to raise crude output, the state news agency INA quoted an oil ministry statement as saying on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Rival Libyan officials wrapped up weeklong talks in the Egyptian capital without an agreement on constitutional arrangements for elections, the United Nations said Tuesday. – Associated Press 

Ramy Aziz writes: Inevitably, some bilateral disagreements will persist, but Egypt and Washington can still find ample common ground on supporting the intertwined goals of rebuilding Gaza and combating terrorism and insurgency in Sinai. If they combine their efforts to engage international and regional donors on providing the necessary reconstruction aid, they could significantly curtail Hamas’s influence, avoid a new round of confrontations, and encourage continued negotiations with Israel. – Washington Institute 

Elene Janadze writes: The war in Ukraine has direct implications for the Middle East, not least because of reports that the Russians may be recruiting Syrian volunteers to fight in Ukraine. […]The Russia-Ukraine war will significantly affect the countries of the region in their attempt to navigate between the interests of the U.S. and Russia. With these power dynamics in play, a lot will depend on the effectiveness of American and European efforts to help Ukraine confront Russia both on the ground and online. – Middle East Institute 


The Chinese government will increase its funding for technology innovation and to ensure the security and stability of its product supply chains, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese state TV reported on Tuesday. – Washington Examiner 

With its ground troops forced to pull back in Ukraine and regroup, and its Black Sea flagship sunk, Russia’s military failings are mounting. No country is paying closer attention than China to how a smaller and outgunned force has badly bloodied what was thought to be one of the world’s most powerful armies. – Associated Press  

A Hong Kong opposition activist was jailed for 40 months on Wednesday after the city’s first sedition trial since its handover from British to Chinese rule nearly 25 years ago. – Reuters 

Hong Kong’s sole leadership candidate John Lee has picked nearly 150 heavyweights, including the city’s richest man Li Ka-shing and other powerful businessmen and politicians, to join his advisory teams to show broad support for his bid. – Reuters 

China told Russia it will continue to increase “strategic coordination” with it regardless of international volatility, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. – Reuters 

China is set to ratify two international treaties on forced labor amid criticism over its treatment of the Uyghur ethnic minority, which has hindered trade ties with the U.S. and Europe. – Bloomberg 

The words of Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s finance minister, are beginning to take on greater weight since he was tapped last week to be the city-state’s presumptive next prime minister, only its fourth since independence. On Monday, he warned in a speech about how the world is facing a sharper trade-off between economic growth and inflation, a painful test policymakers are grappling with globally. – Bloomberg 

China’s state-run news outlet, the Global Times, published an op-ed on Monday, accusing the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) of “cheering Ukraine up to fight a 10-year war.” – Newsweek  

South Asia

For hours on Saturday, revelers celebrating the Hindu god Hanuman had wound their way through the dense slums of Jahangirpuri in north Delhi without incident. But around sundown, the trouble began. – Washington Post 

New Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday appointed a multi-party coalition cabinet made up of what had previously been political rivals in opposition who united to oust Imran Khan. – Reuters 

Pakistan’s new prime minister has appointed 57-year-old economist and businessman Miftah Ismail as the finance minister who will be tasked with quickly arresting a downward economic spiral and getting IMF talks back on track. – Reuters 

Sri Lanka police shot dead a protester and wounded 24 others on Tuesday in the first fatal clash with residents demonstrating against the government over a crippling economic crisis. – Agence France-Presse  

The International Monetary Fund said discussions with Sri Lanka on a potential IMF loan program are at an early stage and any deal would require “adequate assurances” that the island country’s debts can be put on a sustainable path. – Reuters 

A Pakistani mob lynching of a Sri Lankan manager of a garment factory who was accused of blasphemy was an act against the Islamic religion, a court said in a detailed ruling on Tuesday. – Reuters 


China said Tuesday it has signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands, confirming an arrangement that in its draft form drew objections from the U.S. and Australia because it would allow Beijing to dock warships in the Pacific nation. – Wall Street Journal 

Japan formally revoked Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status Wednesday over its invasion of Ukraine, as Tokyo steps up sanctions amid revelations of the Russian military’s widespread atrocities against civilians. – Associated Press  

Six Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, including two children, have died after being hit by vehicles on a Malaysian highway as hundreds fled an immigration detention centre where a riot broke out early on Wednesday, officials said. – Reuters 

A Taiwan government-backed television station apologised and urged people not to panic on Wednesday after mistakenly reporting a Chinese attack in Taipei, amid rising military tensions with Beijing. – Reuters 

Ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to hear the first verdict in one of her corruption trials next week, a source close to the case told AFP Tuesday, where she faces a possible 15 years in jail. – Agence France-Presse  

Although the territorial dispute over the rocky chain stretches back more than a century, China has increased its presence around the islands, especially in recent decades. That’s prompted fears Beijing will exert its claims over the contested islands. – CNN  

Ruth Pollard writes: Canberra shouldn’t get mad, Channer says. It should get even, by convincing Pacific Island countries that what Australia and its allies have to offer — whether that’s defense cooperation, economic aid or critical infrastructure — is more compelling. But first, the allies have to get their act together. Otherwise, Chinese influence will just move from one island in the Pacific to another. – Bloomberg 


The duel between President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election this Sunday hinges on voters whose first choice to lead the nation was a far-left, pro-immigration anticapitalist. – Wall Street Journal 

Ukrainian authorities are scrambling to evacuate the remaining civilians from the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions as Russia begins its new military offensive here and pitched battles get closer to the area’s main population centers. – Wall Street Journal 

Kurdish Prime Minister Masrour Barzani spoke with British leader Boris Johnson about his desire to export energy to Europe and reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas. – Reuters 

Britain is looking at ways to supply anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, including mounting its ‘Brimstone’ missiles to vehicles, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Tuesday that his government would tender its resignation if Emmanuel Macron is re-elected president, in a bid to provide a “new impetus” for Macron’s centrist party ahead of parliamentary elections in June. – Agence France-Presse 

Italy will refuse to comply with new gas-payment terms demanded by Moscow if the European Union concludes that doing so would breach sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to people familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized to the House of Commons for breaking the U.K. lockdown rules that he devised, while insisting he didn’t think at the time that he had done anything wrong. – Bloomberg 

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has sought to soften a campaign pledge to ban women from wearing the Islamic headscarf in public ahead of a run-off round of voting against Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. – Financial Times  

Editorial: Some conservatives argue that Washington should focus on China and the Pacific rather than make new security commitments in Europe. We’re all for doing more to deter China. But the rulers in Beijing and Moscow are working together, and the U.S. will need allies in both theaters to deter them. Successful aggression by one revanchist state encourages the other to do the same. The U.S. will have to spend more on defense no matter what NATO does. Adding Sweden and Finland spreads the burden of deterring Russia and reduces the risks of war. – Wall Street Journal 

Robert C. O’Brien writes: The urgent priority is to communicate them to the Kremlin now. The same strong and well-messaged deterrence that kept the free world safe from nuclear attack during the long years of the Cold War must be restored to avert a nuclear tragedy in Ukraine. If it isn’t, the risk of Russian miscalculation will rise—as will the even greater risk of nuclear escalation beyond Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal 

Rim-Sarah Alouane writes: At a time when politicians and pundits are demanding Muslims “abide by republican values” if they want to be part of the country, it’s instructive that voters may elect a politician whose core ideology violates the values of liberty, equality and fraternity that France has long championed. In that irony lies the gap between what France could be and what it is. – New York Times  

Joseph Bosco writes: If Biden delays the U.S. decision until Putin attacks Finland and Sweden, he can then rely on NATO’s policy of offering countries an open door to apply but a closed door to admission. Once again, the overly cautious U.S. and NATO approach will invite, not deter, Russian aggression — as well as China’s on Taiwan. – The Hill 

Lionel Laurent writes: Nigel Farage, the original cheerleader of Brexit, thinks a Le Pen win would be Brussels’ “worst nightmare.” He’s not wrong. Unlike the U.K., whose drawn-out departure came with a cut-off date and an incentive for Europe to pull together, a “France First” fight inside the EU would be a slow-motion car crash. The spirit of Frexit is alive and well. Macron has little time left to counter it. – Bloomberg 

James Stavridis writes: The death of the Moskva is a vivid reminder of the need for capable anti-air weapons systems, well-honed damage control and tactical choices when operating near hostile coasts. Even as Russia seeks to learn the lessons of the sinking of its Black Sea flagship, the U.S. and its powerful allies need to as well. – Bloomberg 


The inaugural trial of a court established to prosecute war crimes in Central African Republic’s drawn-out conflict was postponed on its first day on Tuesday when lawyers for defendants boycotted proceedings. – Reuters 

British interior minister Priti Patel overruled reservations from officials about her plan to send thousands of asylum seekers to the East African country of Rwanda, documents published by the government on Tuesday showed. – Reuters 

Patrick Achi has been reappointed as prime minister of Ivory Coast after he resigned from the post last week, Senate President Jeannot Ahoussou-Kouadio told a joint session of parliament on Tuesday. – Reuters 

The Americas

The United States and Panama have signed an agreement detailing commitments to improve management of migration between the two countries and increase access to legal pathways to immigration, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. – Reuters 

Mexico has disbanded a select anti-narcotics unit that for a quarter of a century worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to tackle organized crime, two sources said, in a major blow to bilateral security cooperation. – Reuters 

Canada on Tuesday said it was imposing targeted sanctions on 14 individuals in the Russian regime, including on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters, according to a statement from the foreign ministry. – Reuters

United States

How to balance a pressure campaign against Russia with a push to address growing crises like food insecurity will be a central test for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other U.S. officials as they meet this week with their global counterparts. – Wall Street Journal 

As columns of Russian troops began pouring into Ukraine nearly two months ago, the United States and its allies started supplying Kyiv with weapons and equipment for what many expected to be a short war: sniper rifles, helmets, medical kits, encrypted communications, lots of bullets and the portable, shoulder-held Stinger and Javelin missiles that quickly became icons of the conflict. – New York Times  

The US said it would send more artillery to Ukraine to help it repel a renewed military offensive by Russia, which is pouring thousands of extra troops into the south and east of the country as it gears up for the next phase of the nearly eight-week-long invasion. – Financial Times  

A top Pentagon official has resigned, issuing a warning about the ongoing technological races between the United States and its adversaries. – Washington Examiner 

The Pentagon has seen “no indication” that Russia is considering using a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, according to a senior defense official. – Washington Examiner 

Editorial: In announcing that the United States would accept Ukrainian refugees, Mr. Biden correctly presented the decision as reflecting Washington’s commitment to leadership in concert with Western European countries that have borne the brunt of the refugee explosion. “This is not something that Poland or Romania or Germany should carry on their own,” he said. The president’s framing was correct, but the follow-through so far has been woefully lacking. – Washington Post  

Sebastian Mallaby writes: For most of the post-World War II era, the World Bank-IMF spring meetings were an opportunity for the United States to show global economic leadership. If the Biden administration is serious about geopolitics in the wake of Ukraine, it needs to persuade Congress to fund priorities from debt relief to special drawing rights. The long struggle of containment will require as broad a coalition as is possible. The West is not enough. – Washington Post  

Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr. writes: In this precarious new strategic environment, it will be crucial for the United States to anticipate new challenges and respond to them nimbly. This means proceeding with current plans to modernize the country’s aging nuclear deterrent. […]Above all, it requires rethinking deterrence strategies and addressing the challenges posed by Beijing’s weishe in ways that enhance, rather than compromise, the United States’ security and that of its allies. – Foreign Affairs 


The ministry has organized what it calls its Internet Army: a group of volunteers who are helping Ukraine fight the cyber and information war, including many social-media volunteers who post messages singling out Western companies doing business in Russia, said Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s minister of Digital Transformation. – Wall Street Journal 

Authorities in Puerto Rico said Tuesday that an electronic toll collection system was the target of a cyberattack over the weekend, the latest such incident in recent years. – Associated Press  

Catalonia’s regional leader will ask police to investigate alleged spying by the Spanish government, he said on Tuesday, after a rights group found that his phone and those of dozens more pro-independence leaders were infected with spy software. – Reuters 

After a year dominated by high-profile ransomware attacks and supply chain compromises, researchers from Alphabet Inc.’s Google have identified another ignominious cyber milepost for 2021: a record number of “zero-day” exploits. – Bloomberg 

North Korean state-backed hackers are phishing cryptocurrency company employees in order to gain access to systems that allow them to make fraudulent trades, according to an advisory Monday from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. – CyberScoop 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Treasury, and the FBI issued a joint advisory Monday evening describing a North Korean state-sponsored hacking campaign that has been associated with cryptocurrency heists since at least 2020. – The Record  


Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT said it is in talks with the Pentagon about increasing production of weapons destined for Ukraine, though the company has yet to boost output. – Wall Street Journal 

The Biden administration on Tuesday opened applications for a $6 billion program to help nuclear power plants struggling with rising costs as it seeks to stop the generators from shutting down under its goal of transitioning to clean energy. – Reuters 

The United States has announced a new ban on the use of direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing, Vice President Kamala Harris announced Monday. – Washington Examiner 

Against the backdrop of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, U.S. and European Union officials are preparing a new meeting later this month officials hope will tie the two global players closer together on defense. – Defense News  

The chief digital innovation officer for the U.S. Navy this week hailed 5G as a “great enabler” of future operations, as the service experiments with the technology and focuses on greater connectivity through Project Overmatch. – Defense News  

Long War

Forty-two people on the U.S. government’s terror watch list have been arrested attempting to enter the United States illegally since President Joe Biden took office, according to federal data obtained by the Washington Examiner. The 42 arrests happened across the country, not just on the southern border, and include people who tried to enter the U.S. by illegally crossing the border, as opposed to coming through a port of entry. – Washington Examiner 

In a “tunnel city” under the sandy soils of southern Gaza, Palestinian terrorists are preparing for the next conflict with Israel, as tensions in Jerusalem threaten to escalate. – Times of Israel