A federal judge in Washington has upheld an obstruction conviction against a Virginia man who stood trial with members of the Oath Keepers extremist group in one of the most serious cases brought in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack. The judge Tuesday rejected a defense effort to toss the jury’s guilty verdict against Thomas Caldwell, who was convicted last November alongside Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes. The judge says there was sufficient evidence to find the retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer guilty of obstructing an official proceeding and tampering with documents or proceedings. A defense attorney says Caldwell is disappointed but respects the court’s decision. Caldwell’s sentencing is Nov. 16.
Officials say that a military helicopter crash in Kenya has killed at least eight people. It wasn't immediately clear what caused the crash in the county of Lamu, in coastal Kenya near Somalia. Kenyan defense forces operate in the area to help deter al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremists based across the border in Somalia. The Department of Defense says the Air Force helicopter crashed while on night patrol. Defense and police officials say all military personnel and crew on board the helicopter died. The al-Shabab militants have increased attacks in Kenya in recent months while under pressure from a Somali military offensive.
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is claiming the country’s former powerful military and spy chiefs orchestrated his ouster in 2017, when he was forced to step down after being convicted of corruption. Sharif spoke on Monday to leaders of his Pakistan Muslim League party via a video link from London, where he has been living in self-imposed exile since 2019. At the time, he was allowed to leave Pakistan for medical treatment abroad. Sharif’s party said on Tuesday he will return home next month ahead of parliamentary elections. Sharif has always denied the corruption charges that prompted the Supreme Court to remove him from power.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has begun its first joint naval exercise at a time when several member countries are responding more strongly to increasing Chinese assertiveness in the area. The non-combat exercise includes joint maritime patrol operations, search and rescue drills, and humanitarian and disaster relief. ASEAN nations have taken part in naval exercises before with other countries — including both the United States and China — but this week’s drills are the first involving just the bloc and are being read by many as a signal to China. China’s “nine-dash line,” which it uses to demarcate its claim to most of the South China Sea, has brought it into tense standoffs with four ASEAN nations.
Six Ukrainian deputy defense ministers have been fired following the dismissal two weeks ago of the defense minister in a corruption scandal, as heavy fighting against Russian forces continues in the east. A government official provided no explanation of the firings. The new defense minister, Rustem Umerov, did not immediately issue a statement. The reshuffling of the department comes a day after Ukraine’s military said it captured the village of Klishchiivka from Russian troops after months of fierce battles. Fighting continued Monday as troops tried to hold the village south of the Russian-held city of Bakhmut. Retaking the village is considered tactically important, allowing Ukrainian forces to further extend their gains around Bakhmut.
An 18-story building in the center of Sudan’s capital is engulfed in flames as fighting between the miliary and a rival paramilitary force enters its sixth month. According to Sudanese media, the tower caught fire early Sunday during clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces. It's unclear how the fire started or if anyone was killed. Video footage of the blaze showed clouds of dark smoke rising from the burnt-out glass-paneled tower, one of the tallest buildings in the Sudanese capital. Sudan has been rocked by violence since mid-April, when tensions between the country’s military and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces burst into open fighting.
South Korea’s president says the international community “will unite more tightly” to cope with deepening military cooperation between Russia and North Korea, as he plans to raise the issue with world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly this week. President Yoon Suk Yeol made the comments in written responses to questions from The Associated Press ahead of his departure to New York. Worries about Russian-North Korean ties have flared since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un traveled to Russia last week for a summit with President Vladimir Putin and to tour a slew of high-profile military and technology sites.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has inspected Russia’s nuclear-capable bombers, hypersonic missiles and an advanced warship on a trip to Russia’s Far East that has sparked concerns about an arms alliance that could fuel President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine. After arriving in the city of Artyom by train, Kim traveled to an airport just outside Vladivostok where Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other senior military officials gave him an up-close look at Russia’s strategic bombers and other warplanes. Later in Vladivostok, Kim was shown a missile frigate of the Russian Pacific fleet. Kim’s visits to military and technology sites possibly hint at what he wants from Russia, perhaps in exchange for supplying munitions to refill Putin’s declining reserves.
The United States is at risk of another damaging government shutdown, potentially as soon as the end of September. So what's happening on Capitol Hill? On the Senate side, top Democrats and Republicans have steered funding legislation clear of partisan fights, creating a path for appropriations bills to pass with bipartisan momentum. In the House, things couldn’t be more different. House Republicans are trying to win support from the far-right wing of the party. They've loaded funding packages with cuts and conservative policy wins, drawing strong Democratic objections. The contrary approaches aren't unusual for such fights. But the differences are especially stark this time and the gulf between the chambers could prove difficult to bridge.
In the months since a single senator froze military promotions over the Pentagon’s abortion policy, the uniformed officers affected have been largely silent, wary of stepping into a political fray. But as the ramifications of Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s freeze have grown, more of them are speaking out. This week, some of the military's most senior leaders took the issue head on and voiced their concerns. They say the damage the holds will do to the military will be felt for years, as young talented officers decide they’ve had enough and choose to get out.
The Pentagon’s Central Command has ordered interviews of roughly two dozen more service members who were at the Kabul airport when suicide bombers attacked during U.S. forces’ chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal, as criticism persists that the deadly assault could have been stopped. The interviews, were triggered in part by assertions by at least one service member injured in the blast who said he was never interviewed about it and that he might have been able to stop the attackers. The additional interviews will likely be seized on by congressional critics, mostly Republican, as proof that the administration bungled the probe into the attack, in addition to mishandling the withdrawal.
The Pentagon says it has not restarted counterterrorism operations in Niger, a day after the head of U.S. airpower for Europe and Africa said those flights had resumed. Responding to a question from The Associated Press at a security conference on Wednesday, Gen. James Hecker said the U.S. military has been able to resume some manned aircraft and drone counterterrorism operations in Niger. But the Pentagon issued a statement Thursday saying those missions are only for protecting forces and not the more sensitive, and broader, counterterrorism operations U.S. forces have successfully run with the Nigerien military in the past.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has quietly taken steps toward cementing Israel's control of the occupied West Bank with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich leading the way. Smotrich is a staunch supporter of Jewish settlements and has been granted new powers over settlement policy as part of his coalition agreement with Netanyahu. He has used this authority and moved swiftly to approve thousands of new settlement homes, legalize previously unauthorized wildcat outposts and make it more difficult for Palestinians to build homes and move about. Experts and officials say Smotrich’s policies have compounded Palestinian misery and emboldened violent settlers. Recent settlement expansion has also strained the Netanyahu government’s ties with the White House.
The Australian government is proposing tougher restrictions on former defense military personnel who want to train foreign militaries as the nation prepares to share nuclear secrets with the United States and Britain. Defense Minister Richard Marles introduced legislation into the Parliament on Thursday aimed at safeguarding military secrets. Last year, he ordered the Defense Department to review standards after reports that China had approached former Australian military personnel to become trainers. Australia is deepening technology-sharing with the United States and Britain under the so-called AUKUS agreement, an acronym for Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Under the agreement, Australia will gain a fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.