Early Edition: October 8, 2021 | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


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A curated weekday guide to major national security news and developments over the past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news.

CHINA AND TAIWAN

The U.S. secretly maintained about two dozen special-operations soldiers and an unknown number of marines in Taiwan to train Taiwanese forces for at least the last year, U.S. officials have said. U.S. troops have not been permanently based in Taiwan since 1979 when the U.S. established diplomatic relations with China. The trainers in Taiwan rotate in and out so there is not a permanent troop presence on the island and the troops are part of U.S. efforts to shore up Taiwan’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression towards the island mounts. Gordon Lubold reports for the Wall Street Journal.

China has reiterated calls for the U.S. to cut off ties with Taiwan, in a cautious response to reports that U.S. marines and special-operation soldiers have been stationed on Taiwan for more than a year. “Asked about the reports, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian avoided attacks on Washington and instead repeated standard Beijing talking points, saying that the United States should recognize the ‘high sensitivity’ of the issue and halt military contact with Taiwan,” Christian Shepherd and Michael E. Miller report for the Washington Post.

CIA Director William Burns is establishing a major organization within the CIA focused on China. The China Mission Center is part of agency wide pivot towards China, with Burns citing an “increasingly adversarial Chinese government” in his announcement. The China Mission Center will bring together case officers who recruit spies, intelligence analysts, technology experts and other specialists in a single unit. The spy agency will also recruit and train more Mandarin speakers and deploy China specialists around the world, reflecting the global nature of U.S.-China competition, a senior Central Intelligence Agency official said,” Warren P. Strobel reports for the Wall Street Journal.

Two lawmakers have called for an end to the U.S.’s “strategic ambiguity” towards Taiwan in conversations with POLITICO. “I think that removing the ambiguity would be good,” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the ranking member of its personnel subcommittee, said. Likewise, Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the chair of its Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia and Nonproliferation, agreed that he backs a “move away from strategic ambiguity.” Quint Forgey and Alexander Ward report for POLITICO.

Taiwan does not seek military confrontation but will do whatever it takes to defend its freedom, President Tsai Ing-wen said today. Taiwan “hopes for a peaceful, stable, predictable and mutually beneficial coexistence with its neighbors. But Taiwan will also do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life,” Tsai told a security forum in Taipei. Reuters reports.

Just weeks before a critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow attention is focused on China and whether it will do more to cut emissions. China’s leader Xi Jinping has promised that China will start reducing carbon dioxide and other gases generated by burning coal, gas and oil by 2030 and then stop adding them to the atmosphere altogether by 2060. But climate scientists warn that nations must make a sharp turn away from fossil fuels now. “We want to see ambition from China,” said Alok Sharma, a member of the U.K. Parliament who is overseeing the international climate negotiations. “China is responsible for almost a quarter of all global emissions right now. And they are going to be a critical part of making sure that we get success.” Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping told Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, in a call today that the two nations should handle sensitive issues such as Taiwan “appropriately.” The Communist Party’s official People’s Daily reported the call between the two leaders, quoting Xi as saying to Kashida that “at present, China-Japan relations have both opportunities and challenges.” Xi also told Kishida that China and Japan should actively strengthen their dialogue and economic policy coordination and promote regional cooperation, the People’s Daily reported. Reuters reports.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has raised fears Beijing “could lash out disastrously very soon,” during a keynote address to a regional forum in Taipei today. Abbott referred to growing tensions over the future of Taiwan and called on Beijing to “scale back the aggression,” arguing that the U.S. and Australia could not stand idly by. Daniel Hurst reports for the Guardian.

U.S. RELATIONS

Iranian state TV has reported that speedboats belonging to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard intercepted U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf. Footage was aired by the Iranian report showing at least one vessel with the U.S. flag and several personnel on board as at least two speedboats appear to be chasing it. A U.S. Navy spokesperson said he was not aware of any such encounter at sea over the past days. Associated Press reporting.

The U.S. and Mexico are developing a new security framework for the two countries that is more “holistic” in addressing crime and will tackle a broader range of issues than the previous initiative. Cabinet secretaries from both countries are scheduled to meet in Mexico City today to advance what is being called the U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities, which would bring an end to the Merida Initiative, which governed much of the U.S.-Mexico security relationship during the past 13 years. Christopher Sherman reports for AP.

U.S. and Pakistani officials are meeting today amid a worsening relationship between the two countries over the way forward on engaging with Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is meeting with Pakistan’s powerful army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, considered the leading architect of Pakistan’s Afghan strategy, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quresh. Katy Gannon reports for AP.

Turkey has asked to buy 40 Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighter jets and nearly 80 modernization kits for its existing warplanes from the U.S., sources have said. “The potential deal, worth billions of dollars, is still working its way through the Foreign Military Sales process, which is subject to approval by the U.S. State Department, as well as the U.S. Congress, which can block any such deal,” Humeyra Pamuk and Mike Stone report for Reuters.

The U.S. wants nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna to restart “soon,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said yesterday. “We hope their definition of soon matches our definition of soon,” Price said in a press briefing. “We would like negotiations to resume in Vienna as soon as possible,” he added. Lexi Lonas reports for The Hill.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told the BBC that the U.S. is “deeply concerned” about actions that undermine peace in the Taiwan Strait. In his remarks, Sullivan also warned the British government that suspending the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Brexit deal would be a “serious risk to stability,” and he warned Russia against exploiting the growing energy crisis in Europe, BBC News reports.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his new Japanese counterpart, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, “shared their concerns” about North Korea in a call on Wednesday. A statement from State Department spokesperson Ned Price added that, during the call, Blinken and Motegi maintained that the U.S.-Japan alliance is “the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.” Jordan Williams reports for The Hill.

Officials have pledged U.S. assistance for Haiti on migration and stability, as the number of U.S.-bound Haitian migrants temporarily stuck in northern Colombia rises to about 20,000. “It’s forming a human bottleneck,” a senior U.S. official told reporters. “As the U.S. continues to expel Haitian migrants, the senior official said the U.S. government would like regional conversations with countries affected by the ongoing migration in hopes of creating a collaborative approach,” DÁnica Coto reports for AP.

Just Security has recently published a piece by Camilo Pérez-Bustillo on how “US Brutality Against Haitian Migrants Highlights US-Mexico Collusion and Repositioning In Latin America.”

JAN. 6 ATTACK

An attorney for former President Trump has asked former aides not to comply with congressional subpoenas issued by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks. The letter asked that the witnesses do not provide testimony or documents related to their “official” duties and to invoke any immunities they have “to the fullest extent permitted by law.” The witnesses—former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, former adviser Stephen Bannon, and former Pentagon chief of staff Kash Patel—had until midnight yesterday to produce documents in response to their subpoenas. The subpoenas also called on Patel and Bannon to testify on Oct. 14, and Meadows and Scavino to testify on Oct. 15. Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman report for the New York Times

The letter from Trump tells his former aides that the Jan. 6 committee is seeking materials covered by executive privilege, as well as other privileges. “President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court,” the letters, first reported on by POLITICO, said, directing the recipient to “hold back any documents about his White House work and to refuse to testify about his official duties,” Betsy Woodruff Swan reports for POLITICO.

Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the Chair of the Jan. 6 select committee, said that the committee may issue criminal referrals for witnesses who do not comply with subpoenas and subpoena deadlines. Fights to enforce subpoenas will likely spark litigation. Luke Broadwater and Maggie Haberman report for the New York Times

Analysis of what may happen if subpoenas from the Jan. 6 select committee are ignored, and what it means for the committee, is provided by Paul LeBlanc reporting for CNN.

The Jan. 6 select committee has issued subpoenas to the architect of the “Stop the Steal” rally Ali Alexander; the corporation behind the rally, Stop the Steal LLC; and Nathan Martin, who was connected to permit applications for the rally. Alexander said in a since-deleted video that he worked with Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to interfere with the certification. Hugo Lowell reports for the Guardian

An individual accused in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has told the FBI that Joseph Biggs, a leader of the far-right group Proud Boys, directed him to challenge the police at a key moment in the Jan. 6 attack. Ryan Samsel was captured on video briefly speaking outside the building with Biggs, minutes before Samsel walked to the front of the crowd and started to shove aggressively at a barricade – a pivotal moment as others joined Samsel knocking down the barricade and a police officer. Samsel told investigators that Biggs encouraged him to push at the barricades and that when he hesitated, the Proud Boys leader flashed a gun, questioned his manhood and repeated his demand to move upfront and challenge the police. Biggs’ lawyer has denied the allegation. “Samsel’s version of events was provided to the government in late January, when he was interviewed by the F.B.I., without a lawyer present, shortly after his arrest in Pennsylvania, according to the people familiar with the matter. He has since been charged with several crimes, including assaulting an officer and obstructing Congress’s efforts to certify the election results,” Alan Feuer reports for the New York Times.

SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE REPORT – TRUMP

In a meeting on Jan. 3, former President Trump considered firing then Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and replacing him with Jeffrey Clark because Rosen refused to “do anything to overturn the election,” according to a new report by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clark drafted a letter urging Georgia officials to convene a special legislative session. Several officials told Trump that they would resign if he put Clark in charge of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and that they would not sign onto Clark’s letter. David Smith reports for the Guardian.

The report reveals that Trump asked the DOJ nine times to undermine the 2020 election results and that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pressured DOJ lawyers to investigate claims of election fraud. Donoghue and Rosen reported that Trump referenced rumors on the internet as a basis for the investigation. Zachary Cohen reports for CNN.

Rosen told congressional investigators that he believed Trump’s unwillingness to accept the results of the 2020 election was misguided and that Rosen would have “strongly preferred if he had chosen a different focus in the last month of his presidency,” according to his testimony made public in the Senate report. The documents released by the Senate also shed new light on how “Clark sought to use the agency’s power to help the president, including by offering to write letters to some state legislatures telling them the Justice Department was probing voting irregularities and urging them to consider appointing new slates of electors,” Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha report for the Wall Street Journal.

The Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, BJay Pak, resigned abruptly on Jan. 4 after Trump told the DOJ to fire him for failing to find election fraud in Atlanta. Trump complained that Pak was a “never-Trumper” and decided to bypass the normal chain of command to replace Pak with Savannah U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine, according to the Senate report

The report also revealed a delay in transitioning electronic records from the Trump White House to the National Archives may lead to delays for the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The Judiciary committee reported delays of several months, which could hamper the Jan. 6 select committee’s ability to get records in the event that some witnesses refuse to comply with subpoenas. Zachary Cohen reports for CNN.

U.S. MILITARY

A nuclear powered U.S. navy attack submarine has struck an object while submerged in international waters in the South China Sea, officials have said. The incident happened on Oct. 2. In a brief statement, U.S. Pacific Fleet said the USS Connecticut remained in a “safe and stable condition,” that there were no life-threatening injuries and the sub was still fully operational. Eleven sailors were hurt by the incident and all were treated on the submarine. The submarine’s nuclear propulsion plant was not affected, the statement said, adding that “the extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,” and that the incident will be investigated. Guardian staff and agencies report.

Pandemic burnout and intensive troop commitments played a central role in the drowning of nine U.S. service members last July during a pre-deployment training session, according to an investigation by the U.S. Marine Corps. A previous investigation found that the deaths were “preventable” and due to poor vehicle maintenance and human error. Several senior officers described conditions at that time as “second only to their experience in combat.” Maya Yang reports for the Guardian.

The Pentagon has released a strategy setting out its biggest effort yet to prepare the military for the effects of climate change. The Pentagon’s strategy, known as the Climate Adaptation Plan, aims to transition the military into an agency that can handle and operate within ever increasing hurricanes, wildfires, heat, drought and floods “that can trigger crises and instability around the world,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “Climate change is an existential threat to our nation’s security, and the Department of Defense must act swiftly and boldly to take on this challenge and prepare for damage that cannot be avoided,” Austin said. Ellen Mitchell reports for The Hill.

OTHER DOMESTIC DEVELOPMENTS

An investigation by the New York Times has revealed that conservative lawyer Michael Farris played a leading role in drafting the lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 election filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Praxton in Dec. 2020. Farris is the chief executive of Alliance Defending Freedom, which actively opposes abortion and gay rights. Eric Lipton and Mark Walker report for the New York Times.

Two lawyers are expected to plead guilty on Oct. 20 to federal charges involving throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty New York City police car last year during the racial justice protests. Deanna Paul reports for the Wall Street Journal.

AFGHANISTAN

A former Taliban commander Haji Najibullah has been indicted in connection to a 2008 attack that downed a helicopter and killed three U.S. soldiers and one Afghan interpreter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has announced. “Najibullah, 45, has been charged with 13 crimes including murder, kidnapping, destroying a U.S. military aircraft, hostage-taking and multiple terrorism-related offenses. Six of the crimes he was indicted for carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was already in the U.S. for a previous indictment in connection to a kidnapping,” Joseph Choi reports for The Hill.

The U.N. Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution to install a special rapporteur and a team of experts to monitor human rights under the Taliban in Afghanistan. The special rapporteur and team of technical experts will be installed by March of next year. The resolution was endorsed by 50 mainly European and Latin American countries, while “China condemned the initiative for overlooking the abuses by American forces and their allies over the past 20 years. Russia, challenging the ‘biased, imbalanced and destructive’ resolution, also took aim at America’s ‘hasty and irresponsible withdrawal’ without ensuring a smooth transition of power. But the 47-member council, after discarding a series of hostile amendments proposed by China, voted 28 to 5 in favor of the resolution, with 14 members abstaining,” Nick Cumming-Bruce reports for the New York Times.

Nearly 800 people who had been stranded in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, have safely arrived in Qatar, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CN) announced yesterday. Blumenthal said “that two planes, which were chartered by the international development organization Sayara International, had arrived with ‘hundreds of brave, resilient Americans & Afghan allies onboard,’” Caroline Vakil reports for The Hill.

Harsh public justice has returned to the Taliban ruled city of Herat in Afghanistan. On Tuesday the corpses of three alleged robbers were hung high from towering excavation shovels in the Obe district of Herat province, the second gruesome display intended to deter crime, since the bodies of four accused kidnappers were hung from construction cranes at the end of last month. “The revival of such grisly public deterrents, which the previous Taliban regime used to quash street crime and warlord brigandry in the late 1990s, has elicited both praise and foreboding among the inhabitants [of the city],” Pamela Constable reports for the Washington Post.

E.U. countries have made no new pledges to take in Afghan refugees almost two months after Kabul fell to the Taliban, despite calls from the U.N. for further commitments from E.U. member states and promises from the countries to provide a way for at-risk groups to leave Afghanistan. “At a resettlement forum in Brussels on Thursday, the United Nations called on E.U. member states to resettle 42,500 Afghans over the next five years, a figure that E.U. officials called doable but wouldn’t commit to. E.U. officials said the resettlement plans are still a work in progress, with some governments saying they will make pledges to take in a certain number of Afghan lawyers, judges, journalists and other at-risk groups. But the officials provided no detail.” Laurence Norman reports for the Wall Street Journal.

AUKUS DEAL

A group of former U.S. officials and experts have written to President Biden that the use of highly enriched uranium in submarines as part of the Aukus deal with the U.K. and Australia will encourage hostile nations to obtain highly enriched uranium too. Iranian officials have already suggested to the U.N. that they may want highly enriched uranium for naval purposes like Australia. The former NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller called on Australia to make a new deal to buy non-weapons grade uranium from France, which would ease diplomatic tensions between France and the Aukus nations and sooth fears about nuclear proliferation. Tory Shepherd reports for the Guardian.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has said that if Australia buys the submarine reactors from the U.S. without a domestic nuclear industry, it will be “more plug and pray” than “plug and play,” the Guardian reports.

France’s ambassador to Australia, Jean-Pierre Thebault, has called the Australian government “childish” and says he is not sure whether the two countries can repair their relationship after Australia dumped a $90 billion submarine contract with France. While the U.S. conceded that France should have been informed sooner of the Aukus agreement, the Australian government has refused to say it mishandled the announcement and has not apologized to the French. Anthony Galloway reports for the Sydney Morning Herald.

CYBERSECURITY

A report from Microsoft has found that cyberattacks originating in Russia accounted for more than half of intrusions tracked by the company since mid-2020. “The findings were detailed in Microsoft’s annual Digital Defense Report. The company said it tracked threat activity from a number of countries, but found that 58% of attacks reported by customers originated in Russia, followed by North Korea at 23%,” Maggie Miller reports for The Hill.

A Russian-speaking cybercriminal group is disproportionately using ransomware attacks to target hospitals and health care groups across North America, according to new research from Cybersecurity organization Mandiant. According to Mandiant, one in five of the group’s victims were health care groups, many of which operate hospitals, while other victims have included groups in business services, education, finance, government, manufacturing, retail, and technology. The group has been in existence since at least 2018, but is increasingly hitting organizations in North America with annual revenues of more than $300 million with ransomware attacks. Maggie Miller reports for The Hill.

YEMEN

Bahrain, Russia, and other members of the U.N. Human Rights Council successfully pushed through a vote to shut down the Council’s war crimes investigations in Yemen. Members rejected a resolution led by the Netherlands to give the independent investigators another two years to monitor the conflict in Yemen. The resolution is the first to fail in the Council’s fifteen year history, Reuters reports. 

At least 10,000 people have been displaced over the past month as a result of fighting over the key Yemini city of Marib, the U.N. migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, has said. The clashes have escalated as Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels intensified their push to take the provincial capital from government forces. “The International Organization for Migration said the newly displaced — the highest monthly tally recorded so far this year — bring to around 170,000 the number of people who have fled fighting in and around the city of Marib and the surrounding province, also called Marib, as well as two nearby provinces, since the beginning of 2020,” Samy Magdy reports for AP.

IRAQ

Iraq is voting in its parliamentary elections on Sunday, however guns and money are still dominating the politics, with most parties appealing to voters on the basis of religious, ethnic or tribal loyalty. “The contest is likely to return the same main players to power, including a movement loyal to the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a coalition connected to militias backed by Iran, and the dominant Kurdish party in the semi autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Other leading figures include a Sunni businessman under U.S. sanctions for corruption,” Jane Arraf reports for the New York Times.

Iraqi security personnel across the country cast their ballots today in the parliamentary election, two days before the rest of the nation votes. Today’s “so-called ‘special voting’ two days ahead of the election is meant to free police and soldiers so they can provide security on Election Day,” Associated Press reports.

OTHER GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

Journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov have won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for their fights to defend freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia respectively. The Nobel committee called the pair “representatives of all journalists who stand up for this ideal.” Ressa, who co-founded the news site Rappler, was commended for using freedom of expression to “expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines.” Muratov, the co-founder and editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions, the Nobel committee said. BBC News reports.

A World Health Organization (WHO) report released today has said that the world is falling short on its mental health investment goals, calling the lack of progress a “worldwide failure.” The Mental Health Atlas concluded that while mental health has received more attention in the past few years, data from 171 countries show the quality of services has not kept up with growing needs. “We must heed and act on this wake-up call and dramatically accelerate the scale-up of investment in mental health, because there is no health without mental health,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement. Justine Coleman reports for The Hill.

An Argentinian court has dismissed a legal action against former Argentinian President Cristina Fernández, also the current vice president, which alleged that she sought to cover up the alleged involvement of Iranian operatives in a 1994 bombing that killed 85 people at a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. “The court said in an oral order that it concluded an agreement signed by Argentina and Iran in 2013 for conducting an investigation into the terrorist attack at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association ‘did not constitute a crime,’” Associated Press reports.

In a major step towards “legal Polexit,” Poland’s constitutional tribunal has ruled that some E.U. laws are in conflict with Poland’s constitution. The legitimacy of the constitutional tribunal has been called into question after Poland’s nationalist ruling party, the Law and Justice party, appointed several judges to the tribunal. In a letter reacting to the ruling, the European Commission reaffirmed that “E.U. law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions.” Jon Henley reports for the Guardian.

Two teachers have been killed in the latest series of attacks largely targeting Hindu and Sikh civilians in the Kashmir region in India. Tensions are high in the Muslim majority region in India after the Indian government revoked the region’s authority two years ago. “The masked militants barged into a school in Kashmir…demanding to know the religious identity of its teachers. Then they separated two non-Muslim teachers and shot them at close range, a police officer said. The killings on Thursday in the city of Srinagar were the latest in a series of attacks largely targeting Hindu and Sikh civilians in Kashmir, once again raising alarm about the rise of a militancy that drove out religious minority groups from the region nearly three decades ago,” Sameer Yasir reports for the New York Times.

Members of the E.U. Parliament voted on a non-binding resolution yesterday for stricter rules for the super-rich who move their wealth offshore. The move responded to widespread anger in response to revelations of offshore accounts and tax havens from the Pandora Papers. Under the resolution, jurisdictions with very low or zero tax rates would automatically be labeled as tax havens. Jennifer Rankin reports for the Guardian

The malaria vaccine announced by the WHO earlier this week has been welcomed by African parents, government officials, and health workers as a milestone in the fight against Malaria. However, the vaccine alone will not solve the malaria problem in the continent. “In clinical trials, the vaccine, made by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, was effective at reducing severe malaria by only 30% in the first year after it was administered, according to the WHO — though some experts put the figure at closer to 50%. To be effective, four doses of the vaccine must be administered starting at the age of 5 months — which could pose logistical problems since delivering vaccines on the continent is already a challenge,” Abdi Latif Dahir reports for the New York Times.

CORONAVIRUS

The coronavirus has infected over 44.16 million and has now killed over 710,100 people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been over 236.85 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 4.83 million deaths. Sergio Hernandez, Sean O’Key, Amanda Watts, Byron Manley, and Henrik Pettersson report for CNN.

From April 2020 through to June 2021 more than 140,000 children under the age of 18 lost a primary caregiver who provided their housing, basic needs, and daily care to coronavirus, according to a new Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led study. About 65% of children who lost a primary caregiver are Hispanic, Black, Asian, and American Indian/Alaskan Native and 35% of the children are white. Shirley L. Smith reports for the Guardian

Pfizer-BioNTech announced on Twitter that it has submitted an application for a Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Nearly 850,000 U.S. children contracted confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the last four weeks and more than 500 U.S. children have died from the virus. The FDA advisory committee in charge of reviewing the application will meet on Oct. 26. Melody Schreiber reports for the Guardian

A map and analysis of the vaccine roll out across the U.S. is available at the New York Times.

A map and analysis of all confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. is available at the New York Times.

U.S. and worldwide maps tracking the spread of the pandemic are available at the Washington Post.

A state-by-state guide to lockdown measures and reopenings is provided by the New York Times.

Latest updates on the pandemic at the Guardian.



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