NATO representatives held an emergency meeting in Brussels today after two people were killed in a missile strike in Poland near the border with Ukraine Tuesday. Earlier today, Polish President Andrzej Duda said the weapon was likely fired by Ukrainians as part of its air defense — not by the Russians. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had initially blamed Russia for the missile strike. This is Polish President Duda.
President Andrzej Duda: “Nothing, absolutely nothing, indicates that this was an intentional attack on Poland. So, what happened is a rocket hit our territory. It was not intentional. It was not a missile targeted at Poland. The fact is this was not an attack on Poland.”
On Tuesday, Russian forces pounded Ukrainian cities and energy facilities, causing widespread blackouts in what Kyiv reported was the largest missile attack since the start of the nine-month-old invasion. Earlier in the day, President Volodymyr Zelensky asked G20 members to support his peace plan to bring the war to an end.
The White House said CIA Director William Burns met with the Russian head of foreign intelligence earlier this week and warned against using nuclear weapons, in the highest-level in-person meetings yet between the U.S. and Russia. Burns then traveled to Kyiv to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine. Meanwhile, Biden asked Congress on Tuesday to approve an additional $37.7 billion for Ukraine, including for the purchase of weapons.
A Georgia judge overturned the state’s six-week abortion ban Tuesday in a major victory for reproductive justice. The law had previously been blocked in 2019 but went into effect in July after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney found the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent when it was originally enacted in 2019.
Donald Trump announced he will run for president in 2024. He spoke from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Donald Trump: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”
The announcement followed a lackluster performance by Republicans in the midterms, including by many high-profile candidates Trump endorsed. It also comes as the former president is embroiled in multiple investigations. The House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is considering issuing a contempt of Congress referral after Trump skipped his deposition Monday.
Meanwhile, in New York City, former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg testified Tuesday against his former boss. Weisselberg said he didn’t pay taxes on $1.76 million of personal expenses and received many perks, including access to a luxury apartment. Trump’s businesses are accused of over a dozen counts of fraud and tax evasion by the Manhattan DA’s Office.
In Washington, D.C., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy won the Republican nomination for speaker with 188 votes. He’ll need to secure a majority — at least 218 votes — in January to become speaker. Republicans lack just one seat to take control of the House, with GOP candidates leading in four of the nine races yet to be called. In other midterm news, Senator Raphael Warnock has sued his home state of Georgia for forbidding early voting on Saturdays before his December 6 runoff with Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
In immigration news, a federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from continuing to enforce the Trump-era Title 42 policy to expel migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border without due process. Over 2 million migrants have been expelled to Mexico since Title 42 was first enacted in March 2020. Biden officials repeatedly extended the policy even as migrants and advocates denounced deadly conditions and human rights violations in Mexico. Tuesday’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.
In more immigration news, immigrant rights activists in Philadelphia are prepared to welcome a group of asylum seekers arriving today on the latest bus sent by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott to sanctuary cities. Texas has spent some $20 million to bus over 13,200 asylum seekers to Democratic-led cities like Chicago and New York, with Abbott raising $400,000 in private donations to pay for his anti-immigrant effort.
A new classified report by U.S. intelligence officials finds the United Arab Emirates sought to influence U.S. foreign policy through a variety of legal and illegal means. The revelations, detailed in The Washington Post, are unusual since investigations of this kind don’t typically focus on allied nations. According to the report, the UAE spent more than $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, as well as hundreds of millions on donations to U.S. universities and think tanks that produce policy papers favorable to the UAE. In one of the more damning exposés, the UAE hired three former U.S. intelligence and military officials to spy on political dissidents, journalists and companies, and hack into computers.
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva addressed COP27 today, declaring, “Brazil is back on the world stage.” Lula called for the next COP to be held in the Amazon, which under the rule of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro suffered major deforestation and deregulation of extractive industries as Indigenous and environmental leaders were systematically killed and attacked.
As high-level climate talks continue at COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, young activists are demanding decisive action from governments. Eleven-year-old Indian climate activist Licypriya Kangujam has been demanding the U.S. and other wealthy nations compensate poorer countries that bear the brunt of the climate crisis. On Monday, Kangujam confronted British environment minister Zac Goldsmith over the U.K. government arresting climate activists from Just Stop Oil and other groups as they carry out daily acts of civil disobedience. Listen carefully.
Licypriya Kangujam: “When are you going to release the climate activists? The government is, like, putting them into jail for, like, protesting against oil and, like, nuclear. When are you going to release them?”
“When are you going to release the climate activists?” 11-year-old climate activist Licypriya Kangujam asks the U.K. environment minister, who then walks away to evade her questions. Kangujam later explained why she confronted Goldsmith.
Licypriya Kangujam: “Climate activists should not be, like, arrested, should not get arrested for peaceful protest. And also, he can’t do anything. But I want to ask him that: Why is he a minister if he can’t do anything, why he is in COP27?”
In Los Angeles, Jennifer Siebel Newsom took the stand Monday and Tuesday in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial. Siebel Newson, who is a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom, says Weinstein raped her in a hotel room in 2005 where he had lured her under the guise of a business meeting. Siebel Newsom is the fourth survivor to testify at Weinstein’s Los Angeles trial. He was already convicted of rape and criminal sexual assault in New York in 2020, though he is appealing that case.
Construction workers at a Tesla auto “gigafactory” in Austin, Texas, filed a complaint with the Department of Labor Tuesday over unsafe working conditions and wage theft. One whistleblower said their employer provided fake credentials in lieu of giving workers essential training about the job. Others say they were not compensated at all or did not receive earned overtime. A worker simply identified as “Victor” told The Guardian he and his colleagues were ordered to keep working in a flooded area that was covered in live wiring, prompting Victor to tell his wife, “I’m going to die in this factory.” Other locations of Elon Musk’s Tesla factories have been repeatedly cited for worker rights violations and hazardous conditions.
The Labor Department has accused a major cleaning company of using child labor on graveyard shifts at slaughterhouses. The federal agency says Packers Sanitation Services, Inc. employed at least 31 children — the youngest just 13 years old — at three JBS meat plants in Nebraska and Minnesota and that the company likely employs far more children across its 400 other locations.
Walmart has agreed to a $3.1 billion settlement with state and local governments nationwide over its role in the devastating opioid epidemic. The deal will need to be approved by 43 states before it can be finalized. As part of the agreement, Walmart will have to submit to oversight measures, work to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious ones. Earlier this month, CVS and Walgreens proposed similar settlements for roughly $5 billion each. Over 500,000 deaths in the U.S. over the past two decades have been linked to opioids, both prescription and illicit.