Fdd's overnight brief

November 8, 2022

In The News


Iran summoned Norway’s ambassador on Monday to protest against what it called “interventionist comments” by Norway’s parliament speaker in support of anti-government demonstrations, state media reported. – Reuters

Iran’s official news agency said Monday that the gunman who killed 13 people at a major Shiite shrine last month was a citizen of Tajikistan. The militant Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Oct. 26 attack on Shah Cheragh in the city of Shiraz, one of Iran’s top five Shiite shrines. But the government has tried to blame the attack on the largely peaceful anti-government protests, without offering evidence. – Associated Press

At least 17 people have been killed in Iran since Friday as security forces cracked down on weekend protests in border provinces home to some of the country’s largest ethnic minorities, rights groups said. – Bloomberg

Iran’s courts will deal firmly with anyone who causes disruptions or commits crimes during the ongoing wave of anti-government protests, the judiciary said on Tuesday. – Reuters

It is up to the European Union to decide whether to classify Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, a spokesperson for the German government said on Monday, but declined to go into details on what talks are ongoing. – Reuters

An Iranian hit squad operating in London has been deployed to murder two British journalists working for a Farsi-language television station based in the UK. – Telegraph 

Walter Russell Mead writes: There are risks to supporting the Iranian people, but America’s current Iran policy offers only the certainty of failure. The mullahs have offered President Biden an unprecedented opportunity; let us hope he seizes it with both hands. – Wall Street Journal

Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, Kathryn Tyson, Johanna Moore, Dana Alexandar Gray, Amin Soltani, and Frederick W. Kagan write: Some elements of the Iranian regime have suggested political reform to assuage protesters’ frustrations, although such reform is highly unlikely. Hassan Khomeini—the reformist grandson of Ruhollah Khomeini—called for a “majority-based democracy” in Iran on November 7. – Institute for the Study of War

Anchal Vohra writes: There are indications on social media that the intensity and length of the current protests has persuaded a significant number of pious Iranian women who were previously supporters of mandatory hijab to shift their position. It’s less likely, however, that the same can be said, at least on the same scale, of the Sisters’ Basij. – Foreign Policy

Russia & Ukraine

Russia stepped up the evacuation of civilian institutions from the occupied Ukrainian city of Kherson, where looting has become widespread and squatters have taken over the abandoned government headquarters, as Ukraine received sophisticated Western air-defense systems that could help it protect its cities. – Wall Street Journal

Steep Russian casualties in key battles in eastern Ukraine have prompted an unusual public outcry — and sharp criticism of military commanders — by surviving soldiers, and family members of recently conscripted fighters, who say their units were led to slaughter in poorly planned operations. – Washington Post

World leaders and top officials in Egypt for COP27, the annual U.N. climate conference, made the shadow cast by the war in Ukraine on the world’s energy systems — underscoring the crisis wrought by dependence on fossil fuels — a theme in their remarks. – Washington Post

The Russian flag has been taken down from administrative buildings. Russian checkpoints have been abandoned. The Kremlin-appointed occupation government has fled and civilians say that essential services have stopped working. – New York Times

Ukraine accused Russia of looting empty homes in the southern city of Kherson and occupying them with troops in civilian clothes to prepare for street fighting in what both sides predict will be one of the war’s most important battles. – Reuters

Russia and the United States are discussing holding talks on strategic nuclear weapons for the first time since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine, Russian newspaper Kommersant said on Tuesday, citing four sources familiar with the discussions. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday framed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as motivation for accelerating global action against climate change. – The Hill

A senior adviser to Ukraine’s president said on Monday that Kyiv had never refused to negotiate with Moscow and that it was ready for talks with Russia’s future leader, but not with Vladimir Putin. The comments on Twitter by Mykhailo Podolyak followed a Washington Post report on Saturday saying the Biden administration was privately encouraging Ukraine’s leaders to signal an openness to negotiate with Moscow. – Reuters

Ukraine has received its first delivery of NASAMS air defence systems which will “significantly strengthen” its armed forces, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Monday. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said last month the United States was accelerating the shipment of the sophisticated NASAMS systems to Ukraine after a devastating missile barrage from Russia. – Reuters

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, two missiles struck the house in the tiny village of Moschun on the outskirts of the capital, ripping off the roof and nearly killing four family members. The town was recaptured from Russian forces in April, but Zherdetsky’s house, like many others in the Kyiv region, remains in ruins. – Associated Press

In the Ukraine war, Russia has been losing aircraft faster than it can replace them due to poor training of air forces, the U.K. Defense Ministry has said. – Newsweek

A high-ranking unit in the Russian navy is reportedly reeling after experiencing significant losses in a recent offensive. – Newsweek

While Russian President Vladimir Putin’s army reportedly continues to suffer setbacks in Ukraine, new maps from a U.S. think tank show where Russian forces may be making small advances despite their woes. – Newsweek

Ivan Krastev writes: Diverging narratives and visions about the desired end of the war are so emotionally and morally charged that any agreement will be painfully complex. But some common framework for a resolution to the war is urgently needed. Without it, Ukrainians’ fear that they will be betrayed by the West and Mr. Putin’s fear that Russia will be militarily humiliated fuels escalation to extremes. – New York Times

Andrei Kolesnikov writes: Nonetheless, there is a crucial lesson here for Putin: hatred for and fear of Stalin during his last years were so strong that, when he suffered his final stroke, in the hours when he possibly could still be saved, his closest associates did not come to his aid: and in his agony, he died practically alone. Putin looks stronger than ever today. But at the same time, it is unclear who might save him if ever he lost that strength. Like Stalin in his later years. – Foreign Affairs

Dan Reiter writes: The United States should not let exaggerated fears of desperate action dissuade it from advancing national interests. The West’s enemies sometimes wish to feign desperation or madness to frighten it into inaction. Let us not accommodate them. – Foreign Affairs

Melinda Haring and Jacob Heilbrunn write: For Washington and its allies, however, failure in Ukraine would simply mean confronting him again on another European battlefield. The faster the West aids Ukraine, the more quickly it can stymie Putin’s ambitions. – Foreign Affairs

Karolina Hird, Kateryna Stepanenko, Grace Mappes, Riley Bailey, Madison Williams, and Mason Clark write: The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) issued a rare statement on November 7 in response to extensive Russian milblogger outcry about reported extensive losses and poor command within the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade of the Pacific Fleet. – Institute for the Study of War


A far-rightist lined up for a senior post in the next Israeli government sought on Monday to reassure the country’s minorities that he would safeguard them, but he made no mention of Palestinians who feel especially threatened by his rise. – Reuters

A Palestinian human rights group told a U.N. panel on Monday it had been subject to threats and “mafia methods” during a campaign of harassment organised by Israel to silence groups documenting alleged Israeli rights violations. – Reuters

 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is welcoming the return of Benjamin Netanyahu to power after elections in Israel, saying he hopes the two countries can deepen their ties over what he characterized as common security concerns – Newsweek

Defeating Israel is part of a process to defeating the United States of America, the European Union and Canada, the leader of a Palestinian protest in Brussels declared in new footage released on Thursday by the NGO Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. – Jerusalem Post

Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was convinced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was conspiring against him at the behest of Israel and the US, according to classified documents leaked to Palestinian media outlets over the past few days. – Jerusalem Post

A 55-year-old Israeli man died Tuesday, two weeks after he was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in a northeastern West Bank Palestinian village, local officials said. – Times of Israel

Yigal Amir, the Jewish extremist who assassinated former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, told interrogators that the Shin Bet security service “didn’t know anything” about his plans ahead of the murder, contradicting claims by Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich, who sparked outrage on Sunday by blaming the Shin Bet for the killing. – Times of Israel

The White House on Monday issued a statement summarizing President Joe Biden’s phone call with Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu. – Arutz Sheva 

Eugene Kontorovich writes: Other countries that recently elected right-wing governments, such as Italy or Sweden, haven’t seen their leaders get the silent treatment from Washington. The alarm over Israel’s new government amounts to saying that Israel will be in America’s good graces only when it elects left-leaning governments. That is a challenge to democratic values. – Wall Street Journal

Victoria Coates writes: There is much to celebrate about the return of this unapologetically conservative prime minister, who may ultimately be remembered for ushering in a new phase in the critical strategic relationship between the United States and Israel. – Heritage Foundation


Turkey isn’t ensuring an adequate water flow downstream into the Euphrates River in Syria, worsening a water crisis believed to have increased the spread of cholera in the war-torn country, a prominent rights group said Monday. – Associated Press

Sweden’s new leader is making progress toward convincing Turkey he’s serious about meeting Ankara’s demands in exchange for being let into NATO, according to two Turkish officials familiar with the matter. – Bloomberg

Murat Kubilay writes: Turkey’s financial stability and industrial production will probably be maintained until the beginning of 2023, at which point generous economic policies will start pushing both production and demand. For this strategy to be successful until the June elections, more FX resources will be necessary. The amount and timing of these resources will be key to evaluating the outlook for the Turkish economy in 2023 and forecasting the election results in June. – Middle East Institute 


Alaa Abd el-Fattah, an Egyptian-British software developer and blogger from an activist family who rose to prominence in the Arab Spring uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak is now a symbol of suffering during the repression that followed. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he hoped to meet Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, later on Monday to raise the case of the Egyptian-British hunger striker, Alaa Abd el-Fattah. – Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni discussed energy, the climate crisis and immigration in talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a visit to Sharm El-Sheikh for the COP 27 summit, Meloni’s office said on Monday. – Reuters

Gulf States

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is planning to visit Saudi Arabia before the end of the year, according to people familiar with preparations for the trip, as Beijing and Riyadh seek to deepen ties and advance a vision of a multipolar world where the U.S. no longer dominates the global order. – Wall Street Journal

Qatar’s foreign minister has accused Germany of “double standards” over its criticism of the World Cup host’s human rights record and has defended its summoning of the German ambassador, in a newspaper interview published on Monday. – Reuters

Kuwait is committed to becoming carbon neutral in the oil and gas sector by 2050 and in the whole country a decade after that, Foreign Minister Salem al-Sabah told state news agency KUNA on Monday on the sidelines of COP27 climate summit in Egypt. – Reuters

Middle East & North Africa

An American aid worker was shot dead on Monday while driving a car in Baghdad, Iraqi officials said, in a rare attack on a foreigner in the Iraqi capital. – New York Times

Four Hezbollah operatives were killed in a bomb explosion near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. – Jerusalem Post

President Isaac Herzog met with key regional allies on the sidelines of the COP27 UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday, among them the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. – Times of Israel

Arab users of Twitter were outraged on Monday, after a video posted to Twitter showed President Isaac Herzog talking with the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Najla Bouden, at the COP27 climate conference being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. – Arutz Sheva 

Aziz Alghashian writes: As such, the new position of MbS as prime minister should not be thought of as a prelude of Saudi circumnavigation of the Palestinian issue. Instead, this new role can be understood as an opportunity to re-frame and explicitly flesh out the API with more incentivized language that can then nudge Israelis, Palestinians, and other Arab states towards a settlement. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

North Korea denied providing Russia with artillery shells, days after the Biden administration alleged Pyongyang sought covert ways to supply weapons for Moscow’s war with Ukraine. – Wall Street Journal

North Korea’s military said Monday its recent barrage of missile tests were practices to “mercilessly” strike key South Korean and U.S. targets such as air bases and operation command systems with a variety of missiles that likely included nuclear-capable weapons. – Associated Press

Pyongyang has long condemned joint military exercises by Seoul and Washington, calling them rehearsals for an invasion — but it has appeared especially sensitive to air force drills. That is because North Korea’s air force is the weakest link in its military, experts say. – Agence France-Presse

A pair of dogs gifted by North Korea are the center of a political dispute in South Korea after the country’s former President said he was giving them up over an apparent lack of legal and financial support from his successor to care for the animals. The two white Pungsan hunting dogs, Gomi and Songgang, were presented to then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at peace talks in 2018. – CNN

Missile tests conducted last week by North Korea have drawn attention worldwide, believed by some officials and weapons experts to be a step toward potential nuclear exercises. – Newsweek

Victor Cha writes: Finally, the Yoon government should consider arming Ukraine in earnest. Russia has already sanctioned South Korea for joining multilateral sanctions against it, and now, it is already accusing Seoul of doing so. Thus, the Yoon government should go ahead and provide such support to the besieged country as requested by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in his speech to the South Korean National Assembly in April 2022. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


China’s exports to the rest of the world shrank unexpectedly in October, a sign that global trade is in sharp retreat as consumers and businesses cut back spending in response to central banks’ aggressive moves to tame inflation. – Wall Street Journal

Chinese leaders are considering steps toward reopening after nearly three years of tough pandemic restrictions but are proceeding slowly and have set no timeline, according to people familiar with the discussions. – Wall Street Journal

China is playing “aggressive games” with democracies and Canadian institutions, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned on Monday following a report of foreign interference in its elections. – Agence France-Presse

Police in northeastern China said that seven people have been arrested following a clash between residents and authorities enforcing COVID-19 quarantine restrictions […] Anti-pandemic measures have prompted backlashes across the country, forming a rarely seen challenge to Communist Party authority. It wasn’t immediately clear who was arrested after the clash. News of the arrests appeared on social media Tuesday morning, but were erased by the country’s censors before noon. – Associated Press

Members of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom are criticizing the Vatican’s decision to renew its secretive deal with the Chinese government amid Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms. – Washington Examiner

An award-winning Hong Kong journalist lost her appeal Monday against her conviction over making false statements in obtaining information for her investigation of a violent attack during widespread pro-democracy protests in 2019. – Associated Press

As the Chinese Communist Party’s top boss in Shanghai, Li Qiang helped smooth Elon Musk’s path to opening Tesla Inc.’s first overseas factory. He’s been an outspoken advocate for privately owned businesses, too. But he was also the driving force behind the Covid-related lockdown that earlier this year put the brakes on economic activity in mainland China’s biggest financial hub. – Bloomberg

Chinese authorities behind a major trade expo in Shanghai pulled an opening ceremony address by the European Council president that was set to criticise Russia’s “illegal war” in Ukraine and call for reduced trade dependency on China, diplomats said. – Reuters

In the eight months since Russia invaded Ukraine, China has engaged in a diplomatic balancing act of neither condemning the former nor supporting the latter. But Kyiv has been walking a tightrope of its own, tiptoeing around Beijing’s red lines while courting China skeptics in the West. – Newsweek

On November 1, 2022, the China Military outlet, which is backed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, published an article titled “U.S.’ New National Defense Strategy Report Sends Multiple Messages”, written by Zhang Jiadong, a professor at Fudan University’s Center for American Studies. The article is about the United States’ 2022 National Defense Strategy, which was published on October 27, 2022, along with the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review and the 2022 Missile Defense Review. – Middle East Media Research Institute

Editorial: The US, too, will need to be able to back up its “Made in America” bravado. It may have already spent billions of dollars in setting up domestic chip fabrication plants but analysts estimate it will require as much as $1.2tn in upfront costs, then another $125bn a year, to create fully localised supply chains at 2019 levels of production, all during a cost of living crisis. The bill for decoupling China and America’s economies will carry a heavy cost. – Financial Times

Shuli Ren writes: Gestures matter. This week’s World Internet Conference is a golden opportunity to bring Ma, who embodies China’s entrepreneurial spirit, back into the fold. It’s time Xi shows the world what common prosperity is not. – Bloomberg

Lily McElwee writes: The real work on China for Scholz will begin as he gets home, returning to a task some would have preferred he conclude before his visit: finalizing a national China strategy that unifies his coalition and facilitates greater coordination with European and transatlantic partners. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

Amanda Florian writes: Her friends in China, however, aren’t taking everything officials have said at face value. “I do have Chinese friends in groups I’m in, and they’re not taking this silly advice that they should stay away from foreigners,” she said. “They know better. They’re not ignorant.” – Foreign Policy

South Asia

There is no ban on Hindu worship in Pakistan, but Hindus say openly practicing the faith is not a matter of routine. Decades of political hostility between majority-Hindu India and predominantly Muslim Pakistan present a challenge for the minority community, as many in Pakistan equate Hindus with India. The reverse exists in India where Muslims complain of discrimination. – Associated Press

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday that a protest march toward the capital, which was suspended after he was wounded by a gunshot in an apparent attempt on his life, will resume Tuesday […] Khan repeated his demand for an investigation into the shooting and the resignation of three powerful personalities in the government and the military whom he alleges were involved in staging the attack on him. – Associated Press

Prospective energy projects on the Arctic Shelf and the Russian far east will be among the main topics of discussion between the foreign ministers of Russia and India, the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday. – Reuters

Charlie Campbell writes: Not that Pakistan’s problems would be over should Khan return to power. His first term was blighted by entrenched polarization and economic mismanagement compounded by global headwinds like the pandemic and soaring oil prices. And Khan’s injury also raises the stakes for his opponents since he would have no shortage of axes to grind were he back in office. – TIME


China’s air force stepped up its incursions into sensitive areas near Taiwan to the highest level since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit three months ago amid a flurry of activity it sees as undermining its sovereignty. – Bloomberg

Indonesian authorities said on Monday it could take up to a month to free a crude oil tanker stuck in its waters, while the United States slapped sanctions on the vessel for alleged links to Hezbollah and a branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. – Reuters

After two decades as opposition leader, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim was poised to finally become prime minister in 2020. But his alliance collapsed from infighting, leaving him as far away as ever from the top job. Now, Anwar, 75, is hitting the national campaign trail again, trying to convince Malaysians to vote for him in the Nov. 19 election as he looks to finally fulfil his long-held dream of becoming prime minister. – Reuters

The Philippines wants to accelerate a defense pact with US for troops and bases that was earlier stalled, as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bolsters security ties with a treaty ally amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington. – Bloomberg

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government plans to expand high-tech economic cooperation with Taiwan, continuing a trend of Western coordination with Taipei in defiance of Chinese Communist Party objections. – Washington Examiner

Sri Lanka’s navy said Monday that about 300 suspected migrants have been rescued by Singapore authorities after their boat started sinking. Navy spokesperson Indika de Silva said a Sri Lankan citizen on the boat contacted the navy Monday and said they were in distress, and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Colombo sought help from Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. – Associated Press

The Philippines lifted a ban on the deployment of workers, including maids and construction workers, to Saudi Arabia on Monday after steps were taken to reduce frequent abuses, officials said. – Associated Press

Indonesia’s president has said he has a “strong impression” that Vladimir Putin will not attend next week’s summit of G20 leaders in Bali, the first meeting of the world’s largest economies since the Russian president launched his full-scale war against Ukraine. – Financial Times

Seth J. Frantzman writes: But Iran must tread carefully in dealing with Baku and Yerevan; and Russia isn’t there to keep the peace. Moscow can’t keep the peace because it is at war in Ukraine and the war is not going well. As such, countries that rely on Russia now know that it isn’t as powerful as it was a few years ago. Despite the work that Iran, Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan may be doing via Central Asia conferences, such as CICA and SCO, the overall perception is that Russia is declining in its abilities to keep countries from fighting – and this could lead to more tensions. – Jerusalem Post

Ben Rhodes writes: The last question I asked President Tsai was whether she had ever wished to govern a normal country with normal problems. She appeared to consider the notion, but allowed herself to betray no emotion. “We may be unfortunate to have a big neighbor next door,” she said. “But that makes us stronger.” – The Atlantic


Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Monday that Greece would ban the sale of spyware, after his government was accused in a news report of targeting dozens of prominent politicians, journalists and businessmen for surveillance, and the judicial authorities began an investigation. – New York Times

The German government will likely block the Chinese takeover of Elmos’ (ELGG.DE) chip factory, the Dortmund-based company said on Monday. The economics ministry had been examining the sale to competitor Silex, a Swedish company that is a subsidiary of Chinese group Sai Microelectronics (300456.SZ). – Reuters

Taiwan, the world’s biggest supplier of semiconductors, will invest more than 10 million euros ($9.98 million) towards chip production in Lithuania, the head of the Taiwanese representative office in Vilnius said on Monday. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed optimism on Monday about working with France to tackle illegal migration and his spokesman said the two nations were close to a new deal to curb the number of migrants crossing the English Channel. – Reuters

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is poised to announce a major natural gas deal with the United States after the COP27 climate change summit, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday. Britain hopes the United States will promise about 10 billion cubic metres of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the coming year, the report said, adding that discussions about the deal are in their final stages and an announcement could come in a week or two. – Reuters

Britain’s Conservative government on Monday scrapped a 250 million-pound ($288 million) plan to build a national flagship that was supposed to tour the world as a “floating embassy” amid a public spending squeeze and to prioritize funding for boosting U.K. defenses against Russia. – Associated Press

Hungary won’t back European Union efforts to aid Ukraine with jointly raised funds, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said, a stance that comes as Budapest fights with the bloc to access recovery funds held up by a rule-of-law dispute. – Bloomberg

Bills will be high, but Europe will survive the winter: It’s bought enough oil and gas to get through the heating seasons. Much deeper costs will be borne by the world’s poorest countries, which have been shut out of the natural gas market by Europe’s suddenly ravenous demand. – Bloomberg

A group of PwC partners has launched a breakaway firm in Cyprus to take on work from Russia-linked clients whom the Big Four accountants will no longer touch. PwC has operated a “sanctioned anywhere, sanctioned everywhere” policy globally since shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, going beyond what is legally required. – Financial Times

Anti-Russia activists and former Russian lawmakers opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin have been gathering in Poland in recent days to discuss what removing Putin from power would look like nearly nine months into his war in Ukraine. – The Daily Beast

Editorial: Not too much to ask would have been for Mr. Scholz to at least pause engagement with Beijing until after he and his coalition partners, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party, have completed a policy review they promised by 2023. Even after its calamitous miscalculation with Russia, it appears, Germany’s old habits die hard. – Washington Post

Bill Echikson writes: Instead of just complaining, the US must offer constructive alternatives.  Washington must offer its own vision for regulating AI and other cutting-edge technologies. “We have the European model and the China model,” says Bajrkatari. The US should come up with its own model. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Marta Vrbetic writes: However, looking towards the future, much will depend on the speedy formation of government at all levels, and the commitment to implement reforms and meet the requirements of the EU integration process. Hopefully, BiH leaders will step up to this challenge and agree to a more functional and representative framework than the current one. Should they not rise to the occasion, the future of BiH is a bleak one. – The National Interest


The Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces have established a telephone hotline to help maintain a ceasefire struck last week, and both sides met in Kenya on Monday for a new round of talks on implementing the truce. – Reuters

A Libyan military commander who once lived in Virginia sat for a deposition Sunday in a U.S. lawsuit in which he is accused of orchestrating indiscriminate attacks on civilians and torturing and killing political opponents, according to an advocacy group that supports the lawsuit. – Associated Press

More than 3,000 new military recruits began training Monday as the Congolese army steps up its fight against the M23 rebels that it alleges are backed by neighboring Rwanda. – Associated Press

At least 10 soldiers were killed when Somalia’s al Shabaab militants assaulted a military base in the central Galgaduud region on Monday, a military officer said, days after government forces said they had regained control of the area. – Reuters

Six U.N. peacekeepers were wounded in central Mali when two armored vehicles in a convoy were hit by separate improvised explosive devices, the United Nations said Monday. The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali reported that the incidents took place in the Douentza region, on Route Nationale 16 in the Dangol Boré commune, U.N. associate spokeswoman Stephanie Tremblay said. – Associated Press

Latin America

The United States has unsealed charges against a group of Haitian gang leaders, including three men involved in last year’s kidnapping of U.S. missionaries, the Department of Justice said on Monday. – Reuters

For two years, Venezuela’s socialist government has fought to extricate from the U.S. criminal justice system an insider businessman it claims was on an ultra-secret mission to ally Iran when he was arrested on a U.S. warrant during a routine fuel stop in Africa. But the campaign to win the release of Alex Saab Moran suffered a blow Monday when U.S. prosecutors introduced documents casting doubt on defense evidence underlying his claim of diplomatic immunity from prosecution. – Associated Press

Arturo Mcfields Yescas writes: Regardless of these sad and polemic statements, I want to believe that Lula has seen what a lack of democracy can cause in Latin America, especially in countries like Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua. I hope that at the end of this trilogy of mandates, Brazil and Latin America achieve more democracy, security, prosperity and unrestricted respect for human rights. Boa sorte, President Lula. – The Hill

Lawrence J. Haas writes: The longtime leftist firebrand is likely to contribute to efforts by mainstream leftist governments to work more closely with the autocrats in Havana, Managua, and Caracas. And, like them, he is likely to draw closer to U.S. adversaries Russia, China, and Iran. Washington, then, faces a new challenge in the Americas. It must find a way to continue promoting freedom and democracy without losing its influence. – American Foreign Policy Council

United States

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is planning to propose a new carbon-credit program that aims to ramp up funding from businesses and governments in wealthy economies to help developing countries cut back on fossil fuels. – Wall Street Journal

Kremlin-connected entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted Monday that he had interfered in U.S. elections and would continue to do so — confirming for the first time the accusations that he has rejected for years. – Associated Press

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and her Mexican counterpart spoke by phone about strengthening regional markets and promoting relocalization of U.S. companies to Mexico, Mexico’s economy ministry said in a tweet on Monday. – Reuters

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and the first lady will visit Israel, Greece and the United Arab Emirates for a trade mission, the Republican announced Monday. – Associated Press

A Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that he interfered in U.S. elections, despite past denials, and vowed to do so again. – The Hill

An economic bloc led by five emerging economies, including the United States’ top two rivals, appears set to expand as Washington struggles to promote its global agenda beyond traditional allies and partners around the world. The group, known by the acronym for its five core members, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS), consists of more than a quarter of the world’s GDP and about 40% of the global population. – Newsweek

Eli Lake writes: Truman did not stop Hoover. Neither did other presidents who came after him. It took Hoover’s death, Watergate, and the Church Committee to reform the FBI. Fifty years later, many of those reforms have themselves been defanged or twisted beyond recognition. New ones are needed. – Commentary

Samuel Buchan and Carla Sands write: All that stands in the way is an administration and a regulatory regime out of touch with market dynamics. It is time to finally learn the lessons of the past and position the United States as the world leader in energy. Anyone left doubting this should consider where Europe would be without fracked, American natural gas. – The National Interest


An extortionist has threatened to make Medibank customer data public within 24 hours after Australia’s largest health insurer refused to pay a ransom for the personal records of almost 10 million current and former customers. Medibank on Monday ruled out paying ransom for the stolen data. The theft was reported to police Oct. 19 when trade in the company’s shares was halted for a week. – Associated Press

Apple Inc. is warning customers they’ll have to wait longer to get its latest iPhone models after anti-virus restrictions were imposed on a contractor’s factory in central China. The company announcement Sunday gave no details but said the factory operated by Foxconn in the central city of Zhengzhou is “operating at significantly reduced capacity.” – Associated Press

An attack Monday by unknown hackers idled the website of the Polish government office regulating public investment. The Public Procurement Office said the attack came from outside servers Monday morning and only idled the office’s e-Procurements platform. The platform was still inaccessible in the afternoon. It was not immediately clear if there were any leaks. – Associated Press

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, users irked by the platform’s new regime have vowed to move their online presence elsewhere, with German-owned Mastodon attracting the most attention. – Agence France-Presse

Hong Kong has kicked off a contest to become Asia’s crypto capital as investors and executives warn rival Singapore may be squandering its head start with its pivot to stricter regulation. – Financial Times

North Korea tried to hack into the systems of an Israeli company that deals in the field of cryptocurrency and siphon money that was to be used for the development of its nuclear program earlier this week, N12 reported on Monday. – Jerusalem Post

Disinformation continues spreading online ahead of Tuesday’s midterms — casting doubt on everything from the vote-counting process to the trustworthiness of ballot drop boxes — threatening to further destroy confidence in the democratic process.  – CyberScoop


The C-17 Globemaster is one of the workhorses of the U.S. Air Force’s mobility fleet, transporting everything from heavy weaponry, like tanks, to hundreds of passengers. But the Air Force has another mission in mind for the massive aircraft: carrying pallets of standoff cruise missiles. – Defense News

The Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer said he expects Congress to approve new authorities and spending to expand U.S. weapons production in a manner unseen since the Cold War. – Defense News

The U.S. Department of Defense expects to award early next month the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract, a multi-vendor, enterprise-wide platform for the acquisition of billions of dollars of commercial computing services, after a predecessor was canceled last year amid allegations of political interference. – Defense News

The Space Force is starting its first graduate school program and, unlike other service branches, it’s partnering with a private university rather than starting from scratch. – Military.com

Thomas Spoehr and Caitlyn Wetzel write: Future generations need an American populace that is healthy, active, and educated in stewarding their own persons. It is time for military leaders, politicians, educators, and parents alike to seriously examine the future of American children, the military, and the country at large and to change our current path for the better. – Washington Examiner

Sharon Burke and Andrea H. Cameron write: While wargaming or scenario exercises are not as common at the State Department or U.S. Agency for International Development, civilian agencies and civil society could also benefit from them. Any organization grappling with climate change decisions should consider using this analytical tool to inform its decision-making. – War on the Rocks

Long War

The man who slaughtered 51 Muslim worshippers during the deadliest mass-shooting in New Zealand’s history is appealing his conviction and sentence. New Zealand’s Court of Appeal confirmed Tuesday that gunman Brenton Tarrant had filed the appeal last week. The court said a hearing date has yet to be set. – Associated Press

The U.S. on Monday imposed its second round of sanctions in less than a week on people and firms in Africa who it says have provided financial or material support to the Islamic State group. – Associated Press

Repatriations of foreign woman and children affiliated to Islamic State from detention camps in northeast Syria hit a record high in 2022, Kurdish authorities said on Tuesday. Thousands of foreigners including women and children had gone to Syria to live in IS’s so-called “caliphate” until 2019, when U.S.-backed Kurdish forces snatched the last pocket of Syrian territory from the jihadists. – Reuters

A sprawling camp in northeastern Syria housing tens of thousands of women and children linked to the Islamic State group is witnessing pervasive violence, exploitation and lawlessness, an international aid group said Monday. – Associated Press

Emily Estelle and Liam Karr write: The Biden administration has an opportunity to reframe the counterterrorism mission from one of suppressing immediate threats to one of contesting the influence of the Salafi-jihadi movement, as one of many illiberal actors that threatens the security of the US and its allies. At minimum, the administration should prepare for worst-case scenarios as Salafi-jihadi groups—including ISWAP—mature into a new level of lethality and ambition. – American Enterprise Institute