Fdd's overnight brief

September 20, 2022

In The News


Protests spread across Iran on Monday over the death of a young woman in police custody who allegedly violated the country’s strict Islamic dress code, with women removing their state-mandated headscarves in the streets and police responding with force. – Wall Street Journal

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said his country wants “justice” for the United States’s killing of Quds Force leader Gen. Qasem Soleimani, though he denied that this “would include the assassination of U.S. officials,” a questionable comment considering an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member has already been accused of such plans. – Washington Examiner

France’s foreign minister on Monday urged Iran to take the last offer on the table to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, saying the window of opportunity “is about to close.” A high-ranking European Union official said he didn’t expect any progress on the issue this week at the annual gathering of world leaders. – Associated Press 

Iran told the United Nations’ highest court on Monday that Washington’s confiscation of some $2 billion in assets from Iranian state bank accounts to compensate bombing victims was an attempt to destabilize the Iranian government and a violation of international law. – Associated Press 

Iran’s president headed on Monday to New York, where he will be speaking to the U.N. General Assembly later this week, saying that he has no plans to meet with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the U.N. event. – Associated Press 

The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday said it will add three Iranian cargo planes serving Russia to a list of aircraft believed to violate U.S. export controls under the Biden administration’s sanctions. – Reuters

Iran is ready to cut prices of its sanctioned crude stored on ships anchored in international waters just off Singapore, in a bid to defend its market share in China, industry sources tell The Straits Times. – The Strait Times

Eli Lake writes: Over the weekend protests throughout the country broke out after a Kurdish woman arrested by the regime’s morality police for not properly wearing her Hijab, Mahsa Amini, died while in custody. On the internet, many women have made YouTube videos showing them taking off their Hijabs in defiance of the morality police. As Mr. Biden watches the health of his Iranian adversary, he would do well to also keep an eye on the unrest in the streets. Whoever emerges from a likely power struggle after the ayatollah dies will still be despised by millions of Iranians, America’s real allies. – New York Sun

Russia & Ukraine

Ukraine has shot down 55 Russian planes during the nearly seven-month conflict, precluding Moscow from achieving air superiority, the top U.S. Air Force commander for Europe said Monday. – Wall Street Journal

Pro-Russian officials in the two self-declared separatist “republics” in eastern Ukraine pleaded Monday for urgent votes calling on Moscow to immediately annex the territories, a sign of apparent panic that the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine is failing. – Washington Post 

After its recent success in reclaiming territory in its northeast with a lightning offensive, Ukraine on Sunday tried to build support for holding Russia accountable for alleged war crimes. – New York times 

A powerful Russian missile exploded less than 900 feet from the reactors of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant early Monday, according to Ukrainian officials, a reminder that, despite battlefield setbacks, Russia can still threaten disaster at any of Ukraine’s four active nuclear plants. – New York Times 

Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday that it was ready for talks on a prisoner exchange to free U.S. citizens jailed in Russia, but that the American embassy in Moscow was “not fulfilling its official duties” to maintain dialogue. – Reuters

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged western nations to supply more weapons so his government can press ahead with its counteroffensive against Russian forces. – Bloomberg

Russia hit back at the US Monday over stalled negotiations on a prisoner swap involving WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, blaming it for the deadlock. – Bloomberg

The Kremlin on Monday denied its forces were responsible for large-scale killings in east Ukraine and accused Kyiv of fabricating its discoveries of mass graves in recaptured territory. – Agence France-Presse

Ukraine’s troops retook almost all of the Kharkiv region in their lightning counter-offensive, but in the city of Kupiansk — split in two by the Oskil River — Russian forces are fighting to hold on. – Agence France-Presse

Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine sentenced two employees of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to 13 years in jail on treason charges, Russian news agencies reported Monday. – Agence France-Presse

James Brooke writes: With their backs to the river and winter coming, Russians fear that Mr. Putin will take a page from Stalin’s strategy to liberate Stalingrad. There, ‘barrier units’ fired on soldiers attempting to flee across the Volga. On Monday, a Ukraine Armed Forces spokeswoman, Natalia Humeniuk, said Russian units Kherson “are trying to negotiate with the Ukrainians on surrender. The toll-free number is taking calls. Russian-speaking operators are standing by. – New York Sun

Mark Toth and Jonathan Sweet write: The gig is up. No amount of Olga Skabeyeva, known as Putin’s state TV “iron doll” — offering up nuclear weapons as teddy bears on Russia-1 will stop Russians from waking up to the realization that Putin and Russia are losing, and as the brave municipal deputies in St. Petersburg stated, he must go. – The Hill

Harlan Ullman writes: What is needed then is a strategy. As noted, it is unclear what the White House’s strategy is beyond the three no’s. If successful, the war could be ended sooner rather than later. If diplomacy fails, Ukraine has the means to keep Russia at bay. – The Hill

Wesley Culp writes: While they have historically enjoyed the support of a president who is a former intelligence man himself, the breakdown of Russian intelligence agencies’ ability to be the eyes and ears of Moscow’s invasion force could attract blame from those inside and outside the Kremlin. – The Hill

Clara Ferreira Marques writes: But for now the Kremlin is betting on the next best thing — encouraging regions and mercenaries to mobilize on the state’s behalf, ignoring already deep coordination problems between fighting units. – Bloomberg

Karolina Hird, Katherine Lawlor, Mason Clark, and Frederick W. Kagan write: Partial annexation at this stage would also place the Kremlin in the strange position of demanding that Ukrainian forces unoccupy “Russian” territory, and the humiliating position of being unable to enforce that demand. It remains very unclear that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be willing to place himself in such a bind for the dubious benefit of making it easier to threaten NATO or Ukraine with escalation he remains highly unlikely to conduct at this stage. – Institute for the Study of War

Ben Dubow writes: While the increased willingness of Russia’s former subjects to assert their independence should be applauded, the unintended consequences of increased disorder should not be underestimated. As Nagorno-Karabakh shows, the ripple effects of Russia’s inadvertent revelation of its own weakness is just beginning. – Center for European Policy Analysis

Tatiana Stanovaya writes: Ukraine’s successful counterattack means that for the first time ever in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 22 years in power, he has to deal with elites who disagree with him—on strategic decisions over Russia’s war in Ukraine and how the war may end. Having launched the war not just without any internal discussions, but without even informing key players, Putin has taken huge risks politically. If the war were going well, that gamble would have paid off, but today, as Ukraine is counterattacking and Russia is retreating, questions about Putin’s decisions are mounting. – Foreign Policy


Israel on Monday announced the appointment of a new ambassador to Turkey — the latest sign of warming relations between the two countries following more than a decade-long rift. – Associated Press 

Israel and Cyprus said Monday that they have made “significant” headway in resolving a long-running dispute over an offshore natural gas deposit and say they are committed to quickly reaching a deal as Europe looks for new energy sources. – Associated Press 

Prime Minister Yair Lapid took off for New York City shortly after midnight Tuesday morning, headed for the United Nations General Assembly. – Times of Israel 

A senior official from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, is currently on a secret visit to Israel, a source revealed to i24NEWS on Monday. – Arutz Sheva 

IDF soldiers on Sunday afternoon arrested three armed Palestinian Arab suspects as they tried to cross the seam area near the Baqa crossing in northern Samaria. – Arutz Sheva


Israel’s prime minister on Monday vowed to begin production at a contested Mediterranean natural gas field “as soon as it is possible,” threatening to raise tensions with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group. – Associated Press 

A journalist working for a pro-Hezbollah TV channel in Lebanon broadcast from the Israel-Lebanon border in recent days, just meters from IDF soldiers, taunting them and calling them impotent. – Times of Israel 

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that he believes a maritime deal with Lebanon over their sea border is possible, emphasizing in the same breath that Israel would begin drilling at the disputed Karish gas field as soon as possible, regardless of the deal — in direct opposition to Hezbollah threats. – Haaretz

Nicholas Saidel writes: To restore full deterrence, Israel will almost certainly respond to any aggressive behavior by attacking Hezbollah’s base in southern Lebanon and widening the war to attack Hezbollah in Syria. As former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said: “The guerilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.” For an asymmetrical war such as one between the IDF and Hezbollah, a win for the IDF must be decisive, a lesson learned after the Pyrrhic victory of 2006. Anything less will be a boon to Hezbollah’s stature. – Newsweek


Mark Frerichs, a civil engineer and U.S. Navy veteran who was kidnapped in Kabul more than two years ago, was freed Monday in a prisoner exchange between the U.S. government and the Taliban, according to the White House. – Wall Street Journal

Since the departure of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, chaos, fear and rampant violence has ruled the country, said Roberts, the director of “Escape From Kabul,” a new documentary chronicling the harrowing exodus premiering Wednesday on HBO Max. – New York Post

The U.S. is negotiating with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to trade nearly 50 military aircraft flown across the border as the Afghan government collapsed last summer for help hunting terrorists in Afghanistan, according to two people with knowledge of the talks. – Politico


A plane carrying medical supplies to deal with the spread of a deadly cholera outbreak in war-torn Syria landed in the capital of Damascus on Monday, the World Health Organization said, and another one will follow. – Associated Press

The IDF said Monday evening that a Syrian national who was shot by Israeli troops at the Syrian border threw land mines along with three other suspects. – Ynet

Russian military leaders have responded to losses in Ukraine by escalating the air campaign over Syria, the U.S. air commander for the Middle East operations warned Monday. – Defense One


Turkish lenders Isbank and Denizbank have suspended use of Russian payment system Mir, the banks said on Monday, following a U.S. crackdown on those accused of helping Moscow skirt sanctions over the war in Ukraine. – Reuters

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Monday that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “biased” statements regarding the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan “sabotage diplomacy efforts” and were unacceptable. – Reuters


Protesters scuffled with Lebanese security forces Monday outside the Justice Ministry in Beirut, demanding the release of two people arrested last week during a bank heist. – Associated Press 

Iran is ready to send ships loaded with fuel to Lebanon within one or two weeks to help run the country’s power plants, the Iranian embassy in Beirut told Al-Manar TV as a Lebanese delegation was in Tehran to discuss energy cooperation. – Reuters

Lebanese security forces arrested an American Jew in Beirut last week after it was discovered he was in Israel days before traveling to Lebanon, KAN News reported. – Jerusalem Post


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Yemeni Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi on Monday in New Yorkand discussed the need to extend a U.N.-mediated truce by Oct. 2, the State Department said. – Reuters

The United Nations said Monday it has finally reached a pledging goal to raise money to remove 1 million barrels of oil from a long-stranded and rusting oil supertanker off Yemen, moving closer toward averting an explosion or leak that could wreak environmental and economic disaster. – Associated Press 

Gereld Feierstein and Fatima Abo Alasrar write: After eight years of stalemate, efforts to push Yemen toward a political settlement have been reenergized—aided by strong leadership from U.S. President Joe Biden, who prioritized ending Yemen’s conflict at the beginning of his term. The United Nations-brokered truce between the warring parties—the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led military coalition fighting to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government—that was agreed upon at the beginning of Ramadan in early April has been renewed for a third two-month period, albeit only after Omani negotiators exerted tremendous pressure on the Houthis to accept the extension. – Foreign Policy

Gulf States

The jury selection for a trial of an ally of former President Donald Trump to determine whether the ally acted as a foreign agent when working with the United Arab Emirates from 2016-2018 began Monday. – Washington Examiner

Germany may secure supplies of liquefied natural gas from the United Arab Emirates in the coming days as part of the country’s push to offset Russia’s moves to slash supplies. – Bloomberg

German utilities RWE (RWEG.DE) and Uniper (UN01.DE) are close to striking long-term deals to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar’s North Field Expansion project to help replace Russian gas, three sources familiar with the matter said. – Reuters

Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Hend Al-Muftah has lost her bid to become chair of a UN human rights forum, after revelations that she had previously made a series of antisemitic and homophobic comments. – Times of Israel

Middle East & North Africa

Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police detained for one day Ali Laarayedh, a former prime minister and senior official in the Islamist opposition Ennahda party, after an investigation into suspicions of sending jihadists to Syria, lawyers said on Tuesday. – Reuters

Mohammed Soliman writes: A cyber and technology agenda informed by the recognition that advanced technology and cyberspace are among the most consequential domains in an era of tech decoupling yet formulated in a way that is not antagonistic toward other states will thus be crucial at this stage. And at the same time, a robust I2U2 tech agenda could offer another strategic incentive for other countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to join the format in the coming years. – Middle East Institute

Simon Speakman Cordall writes: Power balances in North Africa are shifting. The latest indication that Algeria’s star is rising—along with European demand for its natural gas—as Moroccan influence wanes was all but confirmed by Tunisia’s decision to include the leader of the Western Sahara independence movement the Polisario Front in an investment conference, a move seemingly designed to ruffle feathers in Morocco. – Foreign Policy

Korean Peninsula

South Korean prosecutors have asked Interpol to issue a fugitive alert for the founder of Terraform Labs as they investigate a $40 billion crash of the firm’s cryptocurrency that devastated retail investors around the world. – Associated Press

A U.S. aircraft carrier is to visit South Korea this week for its first joint training with South Korean warships in five years, officials said Monday, in an apparent show of force against increasing North Korean nuclear threats. – Associated Press 

Top diplomats from Japan and South Korea agreed in New York to continue to seek a resolution on the issue of Korean labor conscripted to work in Japanese factories and mines during World War II. – Bloomberg

South Korea’s opposition to new rules governing U.S. subsidies for electric vehicles are set to overshadow President Yoon Suk-yeol’s first official trip to the United States, disrupting a recent display of alliance strength with Washington. – Reuters


The United Nations will be judged by how it addresses China’s persecution of ethnic minorities, diplomats and human rights advocates charged Monday on the sidelines of the body’s General Assembly, calling for forceful action after a report raised the specter of “crimes against humanity.” – Associated Press

The Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that China has lodged “stern representations” with the United States, after U.S. President Joe Biden said U.S. forces would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. – Reuters

A top Russian security official declared Monday on a visit to China that the Kremlin considers beefing up ties with Beijing as a top policy goal. – Associated Press 

China’s Dongfeng series of ballistic missiles is among the most high-tech in the world and compare well to U.S. missiles. – Newsweek 

Walter Russell Mead writes: China’s saber-rattling over Taiwan has galvanized a stronger alliance against it. Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the two countries who tied their futures most closely to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, have fallen into deep crisis. If SCO nations seriously want a new international system, they will have to do much better than this. – Wall Street Journal

Gideon Rachman writes: The Russian-Chinese axis presented on February 4 was also, to a significant extent, a personal deal between two strongman leaders. Putin and Xi clearly liked each other’s style and saw themselves as the embodiments of their respective nations. They were, in the words of Alexander Gabuev of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, “the tsar and the emperor”. But with Putin now looking more like Nicholas II than Peter the Great, Xi must regret embracing his Russian counterpart so wholeheartedly. – Financial Times 

William Reinsch writes: While I suspect the trade initiatives, such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, may turn out to be less than predicted, the salient security question is whether the administration’s success in organizing a common approach on Russia will be a one-off event or the beginning of a trend that will apply to China as well. The Russia controls and sanctions respond to a crisis. Dealing with China requires a longer, more carefully constructed strategy, and it is not clear that our allies will buy into it. The administration is right to pursue it, but whether that cat is dead or alive when it emerges from the bag remains to be seen. – Center for Strategic and International Studies

South Asia

But most Indians, particularly young people, felt little nostalgia. The queen’s death has sparked a complicated conversation here over colonial legacy, and so even as world leaders and heads of state gathered in London for the service, there was no profuse expression of sorrow in the country that once was a crucial corner of the British realm. Unlike many of his counterparts, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stayed home. – Washington Post

A Pakistani judge Monday ordered police to drop terrorism charges against former prime minister Imran Khan for verbally threatening police officers and a female judge at a political rally last month. – Associated Press 

The Indian government said on Monday that it had discussed the feasibility of institutionalising rupee-riyal trade with its South Arabian counterpart. – Reuters

Indian people living near the country’s disputed Himalayan border with China have accused their government of giving away swathes of land after both sides agreed to withdraw troops from some contested areas and create buffer zones. – The Guardian


China’s armed forces are capable of blockading Taiwan, a senior U.S. Navy official said, pointing to the size of the country’s navy, which is the world’s largest and growing at a rapid pace. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) countries on Thursday with the aim of better coordinating assistance to the region in the face of competition from China, a White House official said. – Reuters

Southeast Asian nations must decide if they are going to push ahead with a so-far failed five-point peace plan for Myanmar or “decide what’s next” before their leaders meet in November, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Monday. – Reuters

At least six children were killed and 17 wounded when army helicopters shot at a school in Myanmar, media reports and residents said on Monday, as the military said it opened fire because rebels were using the building to attack its forces. – Reuters

Taiwan is “proud” of its efforts to help Ukraine in the country’s struggle to defend itself and those efforts must continue, President Tsai Ing-wen told a conference taking place in New York. – Reuters

Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov urged his country on Monday to have trust in its army and strategic partners, and said there was no need for volunteer forces at the border with Tajikistan after deadly clashes there last week. – Reuters

China sees the Pacific islands as an area of significant strategic interest and the United States should strengthen its commitment to north Pacific island states, now in talks to renew a defence compact, to maintain a vital military buffer, a report released Tuesday by a U.S. Congress-funded think tank said. – Reuters

The Kremlin on Monday that “loud announcements” from U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on the causes of the border conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia were unlikely to help stabilise the situation. – Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday in a bid to ease tensions and maintain a fragile ceasefire between the ex-Soviet countries and rivals following the largest outbreak of hostilities in more than two years. – Associated Press 

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he can’t envision his country not having the US as a partner, marking his strongest statements yet on the longstanding alliance undermined by his predecessor. – Bloomberg

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 18 during telephone conversations with presidents Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyzstan and Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan that he is ready to provide assistance to ensure stability at their border. – Newsweek 

Editorial: If we are going to back the sole Chinese democracy, the logic is to do it now, rather than wait. Military aid to Taiwan, paired with the threat of sanctions — a tool whose impact Beijing fears, press reports say, after Russia’s Ukraine invasion — would be a boost to morale at Taipei. It also sends to Asia a signal of our willingness to back those allies, who, after Mr. Biden’s surrender of Afghanistan and dalliance with Iran, might doubt America’s resolve. – New York Sun

Editorial: Call it disastrous déjà vu: President Biden again states unequivocally that the United States will fight to defend Taiwan if Beijing attacks — and again his staff walks it back. […]Biden needs to either shut up about this or (better) hire staff who won’t keep reversing the message he means to send. – New York Post

Henry Olsen writes: China clearly is building its capability to invade Taiwan sometime in the near future. That effort will succeed unless the United States stands firmly behind the island’s rulers. Biden is right to put us in that position, and he should act firmly now to end the uncertainty his aides are sowing. – Washington Post 

Benny Avni writes: Unlike Messrs. Raisi and Biden, President Xi of Communist China and Russia’s president won’t even show up at Turtle Bay this week. They instead met last week at the Shanghai Forum in Uzbekistan, where Beijing promised additional financing for Russia’s Ukraine war, while Tehran vowed to resupply the Kremlin with extra killer drones. The forum was established with the specific aim of replacing America as the guarantor of the world’s order. Its participants play hard ball while America mistakenly believes that ineffective debating societies, like Turtle Bay’s, can maintain world order. – New York Sun

Akhil Ramesh writes: The pillars will assist in promoting the China-plus-one strategy of diversifying supply chains out of China and onto friendlier shores in the Indo-Pacific region and reshoring some of them to revive manufacturing in America. With President Biden’s legislative victories coupled with the IPEF, we might be beginning to witness his “foreign policy for the middle class” in action. – The Hill

Tom Rogan writes: This is not to say that the U.S. should sit out a war for Taiwan’s freedom. U.S. interests likely demand the opposite choice. But unless and until Taiwan itself ramps up its readiness for war, it’s hard to see how the U.S. can ride to the rescue. – Washington Examiner


The European Union staked its claim to sweeping new powers to regulate industries during crises, presenting a controversial proposal that has already drawn opposition from business leaders but which EU officials say is vital to tackle disruptions such as those during the Covid-19 pandemic. – Wall Street Journal

When Europeans and Americans recoiled in horror this spring at evidence of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, Nebjosa Jovic, a university administrator in northern Kosovo, decided he had to act: He organized a street protest to cheer Russia on. – New York Times 

British Prime Minister Liz Truss will pledge at a UN summit to meet or exceed the 2.3 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of military aid spent on Ukraine in 2002 in the next year, doubling down on her support for Kyiv after Russia’s invasion. – Reuters

Prime Minister Liz Truss has kicked off her first visit to the United States as Britain’s leader with an admission that a U.K-U.S. free trade deal is not going to happen for years. – Associated Press 

There is no chance that Serbia will let Kosovo join the United Nations despite intense pressure from the US and European nations, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said. – Bloomberg

Hungary said it was prepared to abide by European Union requirements a day after the bloc threatened to freeze 7.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) earmarked for the country unless it takes steps to curb fraud and corruption. – Bloomberg

The German government has set aside billions of euros for natural gas purchases in an effort to stave off an energy crisis since Russia cut off its supplies. – Bloomberg

The European Commission is facing legal challenges from two environmental organisations over its labelling of gas and nuclear as “green” under a system designed to direct investment into climate-friendly projects. – Financial Times


Chad’s interim Foreign Affairs Minister Cherif Mahamat Zene said on Monday he was stepping down because of disagreements with senior politicians, as the government attempts to open dialogue with rebels and end military rule. – Reuters

Portugal could face supply problems this winter if Nigeria does not deliver all the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it is due to, the European Union country’s environment and energy minister said on Monday. – Reuters

A United Nations panel found that all sides in Ethiopia’s civil war have likely committed abuses such as extra-judicial killings and rape, and said a humanitarian crisis persists in the north of the country almost two years after the fighting erupted. – Bloomberg

Latin America

Ecuadorean President Guillermo Lasso said his country had reached a deal with China to restructure $4.4 billion of outstanding debt, saving the country $1 billion from 2022 to 2025. – Wall Street Journal

The Biden administration will expand U.S. flights to Havana, adding 13 weekly American Airlines (AAL.O) departures from Miami and a weekly JetBlue (JBLU.O) departure from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Transportation Department said on Monday. – Reuters

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level agreement on Argentina’s $44 billion extended fund facility arrangement,which should unlock nearly $4 billion in funds for the country, the lender said on Monday. – Reuters

As President Jair Bolsonaro lays the groundwork to contest a potential defeat in an October election, Brazil’s courts, congressional leadership, business groups and civil society are closing ranks to shore up trust in the integrity of the vote. – Reuters

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday she had an “excellent” meeting with Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez in New York. – Reuters

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is pulling further ahead of incumbent Jair Bolsonaro less than two weeks before Brazilians cast their vote in the presidential election, according to the latest poll. – Bloomberg

North America

U.S. refiners are expected to buy more Canadian oil after the Biden administration ends releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) this fall, traders said, adding this should boost the price of Canadian barrels at a time of tight global supply. – Reuters

Russia’s foreign ministry has summoned the Canadian ambassador and issued a protest over attacks on the Russian embassy in Ottawa, the ministry said on Monday. – Reuters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he doesn’t see Canada breaking ties with the British Crown anytime soon. The complexities of moving away from a constitutional monarchy are not what “Canadians are overly taken up with right now”, he told the BBC. – BBC

United States

Former President Trump’s legal team on Monday night resisted a request to elaborate on his claims around declassifying the documents recovered last month from his Mar-a-Lago home. – The Hill

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Monday blasted members of her own party for what she called treating former President Donald Trump “as though he were a king” despite his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and defending him in an investigation into sensitive documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate. – Washington Examiner

The appointment of Donald Trump’s pick for special master to review the documents taken from his Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI was good news for the former president as his legal team believes the nominee is a skeptic of the agency, according to reports. – Washington Examiner

Former President Donald Trump has lashed out against the FBI for its conduct while searching his Mar-a-Lago home, offering his latest criticisms of the agency after its raid last month. – Washington Examiner


The US government should force a separation between TikTok Inc. and its parent company over concerns about Chinese government access to US user data, a Republican senator told Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a letter following testimony from the company’s chief operating officer. – Bloomberg

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google has been asked by the Indian government and the central bank to introduce more stringent checks to help curb the use of illegal digital lending applications in India, according to sources. – Reuters

The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency experienced a significant drop in value after a historic update to its software that could change how it was regulated. – Washington Examiner

Parler says it will be a free speech hub in the midterm elections amid efforts by Big Tech companies to combat misinformation. – Washington Examiner

A big group of U.S. states, led by New York, argued to an appeals court Monday that it should reinstate an antitrust lawsuit against Meta’s (META.O) Facebook because of ongoing harm from the company’s actions and because the states had not waited too long to file their complaint. – Reuters

Indonesia’s parliament passed into law on Tuesday a personal data protection bill that includes corporate fines and up to six years imprisonment for those found to have mishandled data in the world’s fourth most populous country. – Reuters

A hacking group that has primarily focused on Central American targets released on Monday roughly 10 gigabytes of emails and other materials from military and police agencies in Chile, Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia and Peru. – CyberScoop


A group of House GOP lawmakers is pushing President Biden to address concerns that his student loan forgiveness plan could kneecap military recruiting by making the GI Bill seem less valuable. – The Hill

Mark T. Esper writes: With the threats from China and elsewhere growing, we cannot risk our future by ignoring these issues. Most solutions will take years to bear fruit, and a return to conscription is not the answer. But if we are to deter war, be victorious if it comes, and win the 21st century, we will need to maintain a sizable, high-quality force of volunteers. That means today’s leaders must act now to educate and inspire the next great American generation to serve. – Fox News

Nadia Schadlow writes: If we do not trust our uniformed leaders to do the right thing in battle, we should reform our institutions through the chain of command, not introduce committees of people with yet-to-be-defined qualifications and motivations in those institutions. And if the U.S. government does not trust our military commanders, why would the American people encourage their sons and daughters to serve and protect our nation? – National Review

Long War

Switzerland’s federal criminal court on Monday convicted a Swiss-Italian woman of attempted murder and ties to the banned radical group Islamic State over the stabbing of two women in a department store. – Associated Press

Six men with alleged links to a sympathizer of the Islamic State group who carried out a deadly shooting in Vienna in 2020 will go on trial next month, a court in the Austrian capital said Monday. – Associated Press

Yesterday, according to Yoav Limor of Israel Hayom, Israel began an operation to confiscate millions of shekels which are transferred from the Palestinian Authority to the private accounts of security prisoners who were involved in serious terrorist attacks. – Arutz Sheva

At least one man was killed overnight Monday in clashes between Palestinian security forces and gunmen in the West Bank after Palestinian Authority arrested a member of Hamas terror group in Nablus. – Ynet

Palestinian Authority’s security forces entered Nablus to arrest Hamas operative Musab Shtayyeh, but encountered resistance raids while there. – Jerusalem Post 

Israeli security forces broke up an alleged Hamas terrorist cell planning to carry out attacks in the West Bank, arresting seven of its members earlier this month, the Shin Bet security service revealed Monday. – Times of Israel