Richard Drew / AP

Nikki Haley strongly condemned Russian actions at an emergency U.N. meeting today about recent upticks in violence in the eastern Ukraine Donbass region between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian army.

The dire situation in Eastern Ukraine is one that requires clear and strong condemnation of Russian actions... This escalation of violence must stop.

She called on Russia and Ukraine to uphold the Minsk I and II agreements to restore the ceasefire and pull out heavy artillery from the disputed region, which has been in turmoil since 2014 when Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovytch was ousted and Russia annexed Crimea. Haley added that U.S. sanctions against Russia regarding its "occupation" of Crimea would remain in place until Russia returns control over the peninsula to Ukraine.

Why this matters: Haley used clear and strong language against Russia — much stronger than Trump used on the campaign trail, and much stronger than the U.S. State Department language released the day after fighting broke out this week. Remember, Trump previously said he might recognize the annexation, and experts have been saying the new clashes may have been a test from Russia to see whether Trump's team is willing to be friendlier to Russian interests.

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Amy Harder, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."