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Local residents examine an area destroyed in a night shelling attack in Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed to a "humanitarian ceasefire" in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh beginning on Monday, the U.S. State Department said in a joint statement with the two countries' foreign ministers on Sunday.

The big picture: Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating previous ceasefires — one announced on Oct. 10 and another on Oct. 17 — almost immediately after they took effect.

  • Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of civilians have been killed since the fighting began in late September.
  • The violence is the worst the region has seen in years, and began with coordinated air and missile attacks late last month from Azerbaijan, which claimed Armenian forces had been preparing an attack (Armenia denies that).

Details: Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to abide by the terms of a Russia-brokered Oct. 10 truce, beginning at 8am.local time (12am ET) on Monday, the U.S. State Department said.

  • The Oct. 10 ceasefire was intended to allow the two sides to exchange prisoners and recover bodies.
  • "The United States facilitated intensive negotiations among the Foreign Ministers and the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to move Armenia and Azerbaijan closer to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the State Department said on Sunday.
  • The OSCE Minsk Group, which is led by France, Russia and the U.S., said in a separate statement that it will meet again with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Oct. 29.

The backstory: Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous region of about 150,000 people that is populated mainly by ethnic Armenians but lies within the borders of Azerbaijan.

  • The countries have both claimed the territory since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fought a war over it from 1992 to 1994, and stood on the precipice of further conflict since.
  • Previous skirmishes, though numerous, have left the stalemate largely unaltered — as has a peace process overseen by the U.S., France and Russia.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 10, 2020 - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A waiter stands on an empty street in downtown Lisbon on Nov. 9, after Portugal introduced a night-time curfew for 70% of the population, including the capital and also the coastal city of Porto. It'll last for at least two weeks, per the BBC. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images

Portugal and Hungary have become the latest European countries to impose partial lockdowns, with curfews going into effect overnight. Governments across the continent are imposing more restrictions in attempts to curb COVID-19 spikes.

The big picture: Over 9.2 million cases have been reported to the European Centre for Disease Control. Per the ECDC, France has the most (almost 1.8 million) followed by Spain (over 1.3 million) and the United Kingdom (nearly 1.2 million). The COVID death rate per 100,000 of the population is highest in the Czech Republic (25), followed by Belgium (19) and Hungary (10.4).

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U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

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The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.