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Ethiopian refugees who have fled the Tigray conflict, fill bottles and containers with water after arriving to Hamdayit. Photo: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images

Ethiopia’s military took “full control” of the capital of the Tigray region on Saturday, the army announced — a major development following more than three weeks of unrest in the area, AP reports.

Driving the news: Ethiopia's military launched an assault in the Tigray region earlier on Saturday following a collapse of diplomatic negotiations and in an effort to arrest the region's rebelling leaders, according to local media and regional government officials.

  • The offensive in Mekele, a city with a population of about 500,000, came after a 72-hour ultimatum issued by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for rebel leaders to surrender expired.

The big picture: Abiy announced a military offensive in response to a Tigray People’s Liberation Front attack on a military base on Nov. 4.

  • The TPLF calls that attack a pre-emptive strike.
  • Thousands of people are believed to have died and more than 40,000 refugees fled to Sudan, AP reported.

What they're saying: “God bless Ethiopia and its people!” Abiy said in a statement Saturday.

  • "We have entered Mekele without innocent civilians being targets," he added.
  • He later tweeted, "Our focus now will be on rebuilding the region and providing humanitarian assistance while Federal Police apprehend the TPLF clique."

Of note via the Washington Post: "Claims from both sides have been impossible to verify during the conflict because communications have been down and access to Mekele remains strictly controlled."

Go deeper: Ethiopia clashes raise risk of civil war

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.