Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
CNN (Barbara Starr) reports on a new video showing what appears to be “the largest and most dangerous gathering of al-Qaeda members [in Yemen] in years.” The video features Nasir al-Wuhayshi—al-Qaeda’s No.2 globally and the head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula—addressing more than 100 fighters. House Intelligence Committee Chair Mike Rogers told CNN’s “The Situation Room” (Wolf Blitzer) that the video shows the organization is “more diverse and more aggressive” than pre-9/11.
Reuters (Gabriela Baczynska and Thomas Grove) reports that government forces in Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists “staged rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine [today] amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva.” The Washington Post (Anthony Faiola) reports that pro-Russian gunmen stormed the city hall in Donetsk, while “a cluster of Ukrainian troops meant to be restoring order in the region apparently defect[ed] to the side of separatists.” The New York Times (Andrew E. Kramer) also covers how the military operation in Slovyansk “suffered a setback” this morning, when pro-Russian militia commandeered six armed personnel carriers from the Ukrainian Army. The BBC has more information on the latest developments.
In a conversation with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the crisis in Ukraine “has grown significantly worse due to the use of force initiated by the Kiev authorities” and asked the UN and international community to “clearly condemn these anti-constitutional actions.” In a call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin noted that “the sharp escalation of the conflict essentially puts the nation on the brink of civil war.”
The Daily Beast (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin) reports that during his Kiev visit, CIA Director John Brennan met with the Ukrainian leaders “to discuss the formation of new, more secure channels for sharing U.S.… continue »