THE NEW YORK TIMES
Erdogan and Putin Meet as Syria Cease-Fire Nears an End
SOCHI, Russia — The leaders of Turkey and Russia were meeting at this Black Sea resort city on Tuesday, an opportunity for both of them to consolidate their gains in Syria in the wake of President Trump’s sudden withdrawal of American troops.
The meeting began hours before the end of an American-brokered truce between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey says his troops have seized more than 900 square miles of territory since invading on Oct. 6.
The negotiations highlight the loss of American influence in the days since Mr. Trump ordered troops to withdraw from northeast Syria, a region controlled by a Kurdish-led militia allied with the United States. The presence of American soldiers there had ensured that other nations did not challenge Kurdish control.
Hungary’s Orban Gave Trump Harsh Analysis of Ukraine Before Key Meeting
WASHINGTON — Just 10 days before a key meeting on Ukraine, President Trump met, over the objections of his national security adviser, with one of the former Soviet republic’s most virulent critics, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, and heard a sharp assessment that bolstered his hostility toward the country, according to several people informed about the situation.
Mr. Trump’s conversation with Mr. Orban on May 13 exposed him to a harsh indictment of Ukraine at a time when his personal lawyer was pressing the new government in Kiev to provide damaging information about Democrats. Mr. Trump’s suspicious view of Ukraine set the stage for events that led to the impeachment inquiry against him.
The visit by Mr. Orban, who is seen as an autocrat who has rolled back democracy, provoked a sharp dispute within the White House. John R. Bolton, then the president’s national security adviser, and Fiona Hill, then the National Security Council’s senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, opposed a White House invitation for the Hungarian leader, according to the people briefed on the matter. But they were outmaneuvered by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, who supported such a meeting.
China Sharpens Hacking to Hound Its Minorities, Far and Wide
SAN FRANCISCO — China’s state-sponsored hackers have drastically changed how they operate over the last three years, substituting selectivity for what had been a scattershot approach to their targets and showing a new determination by Beijing to push its surveillance state beyond its borders.
The government has poured considerable resources into the change, which is part of a reorganization of the national People’s Liberation Army that President Xi Jinping initiated in 2016, security researchers and intelligence officials said.
The primary targets for these more sophisticated attacks: China’s ethnic minorities and their diaspora in other countries, the researchers said. In several instances, hackers targeted the cellphones of a minority known as Uighurs, whose home region, Xinjiang, has been the site of a vast build-out of surveillance tech in recent years.
Chile on edge as worst unrest in three decades claims 11 lives
Latin America’s most prosperous country is braced for fresh upheaval after Chile’s president expanded a state of emergency beyond the capital and the death toll from three days of violence rose to 11.
Official statistics hinted at the scale of the turmoil unleashed by clashes and riots over the weekend: 1,554 arrests, more than 10,000 troops sent on to the streets and reports of at least 40 outbreaks of looting.
‘It is inhumane’: Santiago’s protesters point finger at Piñera
There were widespread allegations of brutality against the military, following the declaration by Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, on Sunday night that his country was “at war”.
Throughout Monday, protesters defied the emergency decree and confronted police in Chile’s capital, continuing the violent clashes, arson and looting that have left at least 12 dead, according to a government count.
China overtakes US in rankings of world's richest people
The report says the “rapid transformation of China from an emerging nation in transition to a fully fledged market economy” helped create a record number of rich people.
Facebook discloses operations by Russia and Iran to meddle in 2020 election
Facebook on Monday disclosed it had taken down four new foreign interference operations originating from Iran and Russia, including one targeting the US 2020 presidential elections that appears to be linked to the Russian troll agency, the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
The campaign used 50 Instagram accounts and one Facebook account with about 246,000 followers to publish nearly 75,000 posts, according to Graphika, a social network analysis company that reviewed the campaign for Facebook.
The accounts adopted various political identities, such as pro-Donald Trump, anti-police violence, pro-Bernie Sanders, LGBTQ, feminist, pro-police and pro-Confederate, according to Graphika’s analysis. Most posts were not explicitly related to electoral politics, Graphika said, but were focused on general political commentary for “persona development and branding”.
Erdoğan threatens to ramp up assault on Kurds in Syria 'safe zone'
Up to 1,300 fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are yet to vacate Ankara’s proposed border “safe zone”, as per the terms of a ceasefire announced by the US vice-president, Mike Pence, in Ankara last week, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters before flying to Russia.
Erdoğan is meeting Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Tuesday for talks expected to focus on the size and scope of the planned buffer zone before the pause in fighting ends at 10pm local time (1900 GMT).
Campaign urges int'l community to stop developing "killer robots"
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Mary Wareham, global coordinator of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, on Monday urged the international community to stop developing lethal autonomous weapons systems, or killer robots. "Killer robots or lethal autonomous weapon systems are crossing a moral and ethical Rubicon and should not be allowed to exist and be used in combat or any other way," said Jody Williams, the founding coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from early 1992 until February 1998.
Brazil to send 5,000 more troops to NE coast for oil spill clean-up
RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao announced on Monday that 5,000 more troops will be dispatched to the nation's northeastern shore to help clean up oil pollution. Mourao said about 600 tons of crude had been removed from the beaches since early September, and 1,500 troops had already been deployed in various oil spill locations.
The origin of the leak remained unknown, the vice president added. The crude has washed up on at least 200 beaches in nine Brazilian states, according to recent report of local media. Environmental groups said that contamination has spread over 1,300 miles (2092 km) of coastline.
Mexico to comply with arrest, extradition of Ovidio Guzman: president
MEXICO CITY, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Mexico aims to comply with a warrant for the arrest and extradition of Ovidio Guzman Lopez, a son of convicted drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday.
Asked whether Mexican authorities are still determined to capture the younger Guzman, a member of the world's largest drug-trafficking organization Sinaloa Cartel, after failing to detain him last week, Lopez Obrador said: "of course ... as long as the population is not put in danger." In Thursday's failed attempt, Mexico's military was forced to release the younger Guzman after capturing him in the northwestern city of Culiacan because cartel members responded by rampaging through the streets, firing military-grade weapons.