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Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET

Senior U.S. diplomats debated the propriety of a White House strategy aimed at pressuring Ukraine for political investigations in exchange for assistance and engagement with President Trump, new documents show.

The Democratic chairmen of three House committees investigating President Trump released dozens of text messages late Thursday from top State Department officials handling European and Ukrainian affairs.

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It was sometime in July when House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith says he started hearing rumblings from some defense contractors. They were wondering whatever happened to the orders they'd expected after the Pentagon announced in mid-June plans to provide Ukraine with $250 million worth of weaponry.

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Four Paris police employees were killed when a man armed with a knife went on a stabbing rampage Thursday at police headquarters, across from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Authorities said at a news conference that three men who were police officers and a woman who was an administrative worker died in the attack around noon local time. The assailant was shot and killed. It was not clear how many people might have been wounded.

Stieg Larsson is most widely known in the U.S. as the author of the Millennium series. But long before writing his thrillers, including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which were published posthumously, Larsson was a journalist, an independent researcher and an activist seeking to expose the danger of white-nationalist, right-wing extremist, and neo-Nazi groups in Sweden.

Turkish novelist Ahmet Altan is one of many writers thrown in prison by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's oppressive regime.

When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas on Sept. 1, local disaster response agencies quickly realized they needed help. But not the kind of help you might expect: They needed mappers.

With thousands of people missing and homes and roads underwater, responders needed to know where to look. They also needed to quickly assess the damage across multiple islands and determine the best places to set up distribution points for food, water and other basic needs. But they couldn't, because maps of the Abaco Islands, where Dorian made landfall, were incomplete.

Hong Kong's government is expected to take the rare step of invoking emergency powers on Friday so that it can enact a ban on face masks like the ones pro-democracy protesters have worn during months of demonstrations.

Media reports of the possible action emerged days after police shot a pro-democracy protester in the chest during an altercation, signaling a new escalation by authorities and bringing protesters' rage to new heights.

Salt is rarely considered a matter of national puffery. But in Pakistan, Himalayan pink salt has been the subject of parliamentary debates, editorials and trending hashtags. And Pakistanis want you to know one thing: Upmarket salt is Pakistani.

A London court has finally put to rest one of the many disputes between nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan.

It goes back 71 years, to just after the partition of British colonial India into two independent states, India and Pakistan. At the time, the region was dotted with princely fiefdoms ruled by Hindu maharajahs and Muslim nizam — autonomous royals who lived in ornate palaces and amassed huge fortunes in cash and jewels.

On paper, Kurt Volker's job in the Trump administration was to support Ukraine and help end a war started by Russia in the east of the former Soviet Republic. Volker is now caught up in a political battle at home over President Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Volker will be deposed Thursday behind closed doors as part of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

House Democrats are set to launch a new phase of their impeachment inquiry on Thursday when former Ambassador Kurt Volker, until recently a top State Department representative to Ukraine, is scheduled to meet with investigators.

Then, on Friday, the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, is due on the Hill.

More witnesses are expected next week, all for depositions behind closed doors with members of Congress and their staff.

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Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

In Singapore, a law intended to crack down on "fake news" went into effect Wednesday, much to the dismay of free speech advocates and journalists.

Three weeks after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed a year ago at Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, an international investment conference got underway in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Future Investment Initiative — dubbed "Davos in the Desert" — was set up to showcase business opportunities in the kingdom. A year earlier, it had been a glittering event and brought in some of the biggest names in international banking and investment. But not last year.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

President Trump held a press conference Wednesday with visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, as the impeachment probe into Trump's conduct intensifies.

Trump faced questions about the House inquiry that was sparked by a whistleblower complaint that accuses Trump of pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Well, that didn't last long.

About 24 hours after opposition lawmakers elevated Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Aráoz to the country's highest office — a move targeted squarely at the president with whom they are feuding — Aráoz has decided to bow out. On Tuesday night, the would-be interim president shuffled off the title, saying in a statement posted to Twitter that she was declining the job because "the constitutional order in Peru has broken down."

Aaron David Miller (@aarondmiller2) is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former State Department Middle East analyst, adviser and negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations. He is the author most recently of the End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President.

Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has publicly acknowledged that he was listening to the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that has sparked an impeachment inquiry.

"I was on the phone call," Pompeo said Wednesday in Rome.

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House Democrats have been suggesting that their impeachment investigation could take just a matter of weeks, not months. But the White House is drawing battle lines as tensions between the executive and legislative branches are really increasing.

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday — possibly from a submarine — just days ahead of the expected resumption of nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea after a seven-month hiatus.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff says the missile was fired from waters off the peninsula's east coast, near the port city of Wonsan, and traveled about 280 miles to the east before landing in the Sea of Japan.

South Korea's National Security Council standing committee held a meeting after the test and voiced its "strong concern."

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