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President Trump tweeted Thursday from Air Force One that he decided to cancel his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend as a result of Russia's aggression in Ukraine.

"Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!"

The backdrop: Trump's decision comes just hours after his former attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017 about the length and scope of his work on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Before taking off for Argentina, Trump told reporters he would be receiving a "full briefing" on Russia's latest act of aggression off of Crimea.

  • A Russian Coast Guard vessel Sunday slammed into a Ukrainian navy tugboat escorting two small warships through the Kerch Strait, which separates occupied Crimea from Russia. Russia then seized the three Ukrainian vessels and took 24 sailors prisoner.
  • That opened a new front in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has been raging for four years. "In the light of day, Moscow demonstrated that it will attack Ukraine with its conventional forces," says John Herbst, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine now at the Atlantic Council.
  • Ukraine has declared martial law for 30 days in areas under threat from Russia, and President Petro Poroshenko has been calling for a show of strength and solidarity from NATO, the U.S. and European allies like Germany. In response to Trump's announcement, Poroshenko tweeted "this is how great leaders act!"

Go deeper: Russia gives up on Trump

Go deeper

Air quality alerts issued as California fires threaten more sequoias

The Windy Fire blazes through the Long Meadow Grove of giant sequoia trees near the Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest, near California Hot Springs, on Tuesday. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Two wildfires were threatening California's sequoia trees over overnight — hours after authorities issued fresh evacuation orders and warnings, along with air quality alerts.

The big picture: Air quality alerts were issued Wednesday for the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley as smoke from the Windy and KNP Complex fires resulted in hazy, "ash-filled" skies from Fresno to Tulare, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during a September news conference in Viera, Fla. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Wednesday an emergency order allowing parents to decide whether their children should quarantine or stay in school if they're exposed to COVID-19, provided they're asymptomatic.

Why it matters: People infected with COVID-19 can spread the coronavirus starting from two days before they display symptoms, according to the CDC. Quarantine helps prevent the virus' spread.

Federal judge: Florida ban on sanctuary cities racially motivated

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down parts of a Florida law aimed at banning local governments from establishing sanctuary city policies, arguing in part that the law is racially motivated and that it has the support of hate groups.

Why it matters: In a 110-page ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom said the law — signed and championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) — violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because it was adopted with discriminatory motives.