News Wire | July 2022 Archive

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Biden and Xi Conduct Marathon Call During Time of Rising Tensions

By Peter Baker & Jane Perlez | The New York Times

President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China confronted each other over Taiwan during a marathon phone call Thursday, but neither side reported any concrete progress on that longstanding dispute or any of the other issues that have flared between the two powers in recent months.

More from WPR: Biden’s Taiwan ‘Gaffe’ Just Said the Quiet Part Out Loud

U.S., Japan Set to Agree on Joint Research for Semiconductors

By The Editors | Reuters

Japan and the United States are expected to agree on joint research for next-generation semiconductors to establish a secure source of the vital components during economic talks between the allies, Japanese media said Friday.

Russian Arms Dealer in Proposed Swap for Brittney Griner Has Notorious History

By Valerie Hopkins & Alan Yuhas | The New York Times

Viktor Bout has been accused of supplying arms to Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and rebels in Rwanda. His exploits helped inspire a 2005 film, “Lord of War,” that starred Nicolas Cage.

How to Survive the Next Taiwan Strait Crisis

By David Sacks | Foreign Affairs

Washington must be ready for a showdown with or without a Pelosi trip.

India Blocks Krafton’s Game on Concerns Over Data Sharing in China

By Aditya Kalra, Munsif Vengattil & Joyce Lee | Reuters

India’s government blocked a popular battle-royale format game from Krafton Inc., a South Korean company backed by China’s Tencent, as it was concerned about its data sharing and mining in China, an Indian government source said.

Myanmar Executions Expose Regime’s Desperation

By Nicholas Coppel | The Strategist (free)

The killings represent a new low point in Myanmar’s human rights record and raise the question, why now?

More from WPR: Myanmar’s Resistance Fights On—With or Without International Support

India Says It Will Protect Its Interests as Chinese Boat Heads to Sri Lanka

By Krishna N. Das & Waruna Cudah Nimal Karunatilake | Reuters

India, which is trying to expand its influence in crisis-hit Sri Lanka after China made deep inroads there, said Thursday it was aware of reports about the planned visit of a Chinese vessel to a Sri Lankan port built with money from Beijing.

More from WPR: Two Years After Border Clashes, India Still Lacks a Coherent China Policy

Japan Discusses Regional Defense in Rare Visit to Taiwan

By Huizhong Wu | Associated Press (free)

A group of Japanese lawmakers including two former defense ministers met with Taiwan’s president Thursday in a rare high-level visit to discuss regional security.

Iran Ramps Up Drone Exports, Signaling Global Ambitions

By Euan Ward & Farnaz Fassihi | The New York Times

Iran has made steady advances in the design and production of military drones in recent years, and has stepped up their transfer to militant groups across the Middle East as it seeks to shift the dynamics of battlefields from Yemen to Gaza.

Seeking New Funds, Hamas Raises Taxes in Impoverished Gaza

By Fares Akram | Associated Press (free)

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have imposed a slew of new taxes on imported clothes and office supplies just ahead of the new school year, sparking limited but rare protests in the impoverished coastal strip.

Syrian Ship Carrying ‘Stolen Ukrainian Barley, Flour’ Docks in Lebanon, Ukrainian Embassy Says

By Maya Gebeily & Laila Bassam | Reuters

A Syrian ship under U.S. sanctions has docked in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli carrying barley and wheat that the Ukrainian embassy in Beirut told Reuters on Thursday had been plundered by Russia from Ukrainian stores.

More from WPR: The Global Food System Was Already Unsustainable Before the War in Ukraine

Congo Basin Peatland Rainforest Oil Leases Up for Auction

By Wanjohi Kabukuru | Associated Press (free)

Sections of a renowned peatland tropical forest in the Congo Basin that plays a crucial role in Africa’s climate system go up for oil and gas auction in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Thursday.

Senegal Legislative Poll Set to Test Ruling Party Ahead of Presidential Vote

By Ngouda Dione | Reuters

A U.S. warship sailed through the strait separating Taiwan and China on Tuesday, the navy said, the first such passage since leaders from the two rival superpowers held a video summit.

Militants Kill 15 Soldiers, Three Civilians in Two Mali Attacks

By The Editors | Reuters

Islamist militants killed 15 soldiers and three civilians during two separate attacks in southwest Mali on Wednesday, the army said in a statement.

Protests Against Military Administration Paralyze Guinea Capital

By The Editors | AFP & Al Jazeera (free)

Protests against Guinea’s military government and its handling of plans to return to democracy have brought the capital to a standstill, with organizers saying one person was killed.

Energy on the Table, Macron Hosts Saudi Prince for Dinner

By Thomas Adamson & Aya Batrawy | Associated Press (free)

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to his presidential palace Thursday for controversial dinner that marks another step in the Saudi leader’s diplomatic rehabilitation—a move that has drawn harsh criticism in France after the gruesome Saudi killing of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Russia Attacks Kyiv Area for the First Time in Weeks

By Susie Blann | Associated Press (free)

Russian forces launched a missile attack on the Kyiv area for the first time in weeks Thursday and pounded the northern Chernihiv region as well, in what Ukraine said was revenge for standing up to the Kremlin.

More from WPR: Condemning Russian War Crimes in Real Time Can Save Lives

Austrian, Hungarian Leaders Discuss Migration, Ukraine War

By The Editors | Associated Press (free)

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer welcomed Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna on Thursday for bilateral talks that focused on migration as well as on the war in Ukraine and its consequences.

Destroying the Environment Is a War Crime, Too

By Eugene Z. Stakhiv | Foreign Policy

Beneath the human catastrophe Russia has inflicted on Ukraine is an array of environmental disasters that will impact generations to come.

Venezuela and Colombia Agree to Reestablish Diplomatic Ties

By The Editors | Al Jazeera (free)

Colombia and Venezuela will appoint new ambassadors in their respective capitals when Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro takes office next month, authorities said, in an effort to rebuild diplomatic relations after years of tension.

More from WPR: After Petro’s Win, Colombia Teeters Between Hope and Fear

Argentina’s Lower House Leader Massa Named Economy ‘Superminister’

By Nicolás Misculin | Reuters

Argentina’s lower house congressional leader Sergio Massa will take charge of a new economy “superministry,” the government said Thursday, the latest twist in President Alberto Fernandez’s struggle to contain a worsening economic crisis.

Nicaragua Withdraws Approval of U.S. Ambassador Nominee

By The Editors | Reuters

The Nicaraguan government has withdrawn its approval of the U.S. nominee for ambassador to Nicaragua, Hugo Rodriguez, following his criticism of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s regime, the Central American country said in a statement Thursday.

More from WPR: Ortega’s Sham Trials Mark Another Step Toward Dictatorship

Panama’s Ex-President Martinelli Says Will Run Again in 2024

By Elida Moreno | Reuters

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who faces open corruption investigations, declared Thursday his intention to run as an independent in the country’s 2024 elections.

Russian-Occupied Kherson Cut Off as Ukraine Counter-Attacks - Britain


A Ukrainian counter-offensive has virtually cut off the Russian-occupied southern city of Kherson and left thousands of Russian troops stationed near the Dnipro River "highly vulnerable", British defense and intelligence officials said on Thursday.

Ukraine's Grain is Ready to Go, But Ships Aren't. Why?

By Aya Batrawy | Associated Press (free)

Shipping companies are not rushing to export millions of tons of grain trapped in Ukraine, despite a breakthrough deal to provide safe corridors through the Black Sea. That is because explosive mines are drifting in the waters, ship owners are assessing the risks and many still have questions over how the deal will unfold.

Kim Threatens to Use Nukes Amid Tensions With U.S., South Korea

By Hyung-Jin Kim | Associated Press (free)

“Our armed forces are completely prepared to respond to any crisis, and our country’s nuclear war deterrent is also ready to mobilize its absolute power dutifully, exactly and swiftly in accordance with its mission,” Kim said in Wednesday’s speech, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

More from WPR: The Challenge of a Nuclear North Korea

Biden and China’s Xi to Speak During Tense Taiwan Standoff

By Christian Shepherd | The Washington Post

President Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to speak on Thursday, Eastern time, amid angry warnings from Beijing that the bilateral relationship cannot make progress unless the White House stops House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from visiting Taiwan.

U.S. Carrier Strike Group Returns to South China Sea Amid Taiwan Tensions

By Greg Torode | Reuters

Officials with the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet confirmed the deployment of the USS Ronald Reagan to the vital trade route but did not comment on questions about tensions over the trip by Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Followers of Cleric Enter Iraqi Parliament in Show of Force

By Ali Abdul-Hassan & Samya Kullab | Associated Press (free)

Hundreds of Iraqi protesters breached Baghdad’s parliament Wednesday chanting anti-Iran curses in a demonstration against a nominee for prime minister by Iran-backed parties.

More from WPR: A New Pick for Iraqi Prime Minister Could Spark Conflict

Viktor Orban Faces Outrage After Saying Europeans Shouldn't Become 'Mixed Race'

By Rick Noack | The Washington Post

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is facing backlash after a speech arguing that Europeans should not “become peoples of mixed race,” although the far-right leader is still slated to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas next week.

More from WPR: Like It or Not, Orban and the EU Are Stuck With Each Other

Morocco Builds 'Ecosystem of Repression' to Quash Dissent, Report Says

By Claire Parker | The Washington Post

A Human Rights Watch report  argues that in addition to the speech-related charges that the Moroccan government has long used to stifle critics, authorities increasingly accuse journalists and dissidents of more serious crimes, such as sexual assault, and sentence them to prison in unfair trials.

African Nations Talk Climate Change Ahead of Major UN Meeting

By Wanjohi Kabukuru | Associated Press (free)

frican nations opened climate talks in the Mozambican capital Maputo on Wednesday to identify their priorities and come up with a common position ahead of the United Nations climate summit in Egypt in November, known as COP27.

The Barbados Rebellion: An Island Nation's Fight for Climate Justice

By Yan Zhuang | ProPublica, The New York Times (free)

Across the Caribbean, soaring national debt is a hidden but decisive aspect of the climate crisis, hobbling countries’ ability to protect themselves from disaster. One island’s leader is fighting to find a way out.

Bangladesh Seeks I.M.F. Loan as Inflation Rocks South Asia

By Saif Hasnat & Emily Schmall | The New York Times

Just a week after introducing scheduled power outages in response to the soaring cost of fuel in Bangladesh, the government said it was seeking help from the International Monetary Fund, joining two other nations in South Asia to do so in recent months.

Nigerian Opposition Senators Urge Buhari's Impeachment Over Security Problems

By Camillus Eboh | Reuters

Nigerian opposition Senators pushed for President Muhammadu Buhari to face impeachment, 10-months before the end of his second term in office, over the country's spreading security problems, the Senate minority leader said on Wednesday.

More from WPR: Nigeria's Presidential Candidates Are a Blast From the Past

Trump Conduct, Conversations Part of Justice Dept. Investigation

Carol D. Leonnig, Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey & Spencer S. Hsu | The Washington Post

The Justice Department is investigating President Donald Trump’s actions as part of its criminal probe of efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Biden and Xi to Hold Call as Tensions Grow Over Pelosi Visit to Taiwan

Demetri Sevastopulo | Financial Times

Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will hold a telephone call Thursday, according to a US official, as tensions escalate over the planned visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Kraken, a U.S. Crypto Exchange, Is Suspected of Violating Sanctions

Ryan Mac & David Yaffe-Bellany | The New York Times

Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, is under federal investigation, suspected of violating U.S. sanctions by allowing users in Iran and elsewhere to buy and sell digital tokens, according to five people affiliated with the company or with knowledge of the inquiry.

What Does Nancy Pelosi Think She's Doing in Taiwan?

Mike Chinoy | Foreign Policy

A risky trip seems more about dramatic gestures than actual help.

Protesters Against Panama's Soaring Costs End Roadblocks


Protesters angry at the high cost of living in Panama ended their three-week blockade of major roads Tuesday, authorities said, as negotiations between the government and groups behind the demonstrations continued.

U.N.: Violence Rising in Rural Colombia Despite Peace Deal

Manuel Rueda | Associated Press

Violence is increasing in many rural areas of Colombia despite a 2016 peace deal between the government and the country’s largest guerrilla group, the United Nations Human Rights Office said in a report. It called on the government to boost rural development and take steps to encourage members of Colombia’s remaining illegal groups to demobilize.

El Salvador to Buy Back Some Debt in Surprise Move

Nelson Renteria | Reuters

El Salvador's president announced Tuesday a plan for a voluntary repurchase offer to holders of bonds maturing between 2023 and 2025.

The Barbados Rebellion: An Island Nation’s Fight for Climate Justice

Abrahm Lustgarten | The New York Times

Caribbean nations are trapped between the global financial system and a looming climate disaster. One country’s leaders have been fighting to find a way out.

Macron Wins French Lawmakers’ Backing for Budget to Nationalize EDF

Victor Mallet | Financial Times

President Emmanuel Macron’s government pushed a crucial draft budget law through the National Assembly in the early hours of Wednesday, but only after four days of heated debate that showed how difficult it will be to govern for the next five years without a parliamentary majority.

Ukraine Forces Strike Key Bridge in Russian-Occupied South

Susie Blann | Associated Press

The Ukrainian military used a U.S.-supplied precision rocket system to deliver a morale-lifting knockout punch Wednesday to a bridge Russia used to supply its forces in an occupied region of southern Ukraine.

Viktor Orban Adviser Resigns After Hungarian Premier’s ‘Mixed Race’ Speech

Valentina Pop | Financial Times

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is facing a growing international backlash over inflammatory comments about race that led to the resignation of one of his close aides.

Anti-U.N. Protests in Congo Leave 15 Dead, Including Three Peacekeepers

Steve Wembi & Abdi Latif Dahir | The New York Times

At least 15 people, including three U.N. peacekeepers, have been killed and 60 others injured in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in an escalation of dayslong protests against the United Nations in a mineral-rich region that has been ravaged by incessant deadly violence.

Ethiopia Forces Kill 85 Al-Shabab Fighters Near Somalia, State TV and Commander Say


Regional forces in southeast Ethiopia killed 85 al-Shabab militiamen during border clashes Monday, the state broadcaster and a regional commander said, days after the insurgents staged rare raids in the area.

France to Help Benin and Gulf of Guinea States Battle Militants

The Editors | Reuters

France aims to "respond positively" to requests from Benin and other countries for air support and intelligence to combat Islamist militants, a French official said Wednesday, as President Emmanuel Macron arrived in the West African state.

Suicide Bombing in Somalia Kills 11 Including Local Official

Omar Faruk | Associated Press

Witnesses say at least 11 people are dead after a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a government building in southern Somalia.

Cameroon Becomes a Go-To Country for Foreign Fishing Vessels

Richa Syal & Grace Ekpu | Associated Press

Off the coast of West Africa, the Trondheim is a familiar sight: a soccer field-sized ship, plying the waters from Nigeria to Mauritania as it pulls in tons of mackerel and sardines — and flying the red, yellow and green flag of Cameroon.

Saudi Crown Prince Arrives on First EU Trip Since Jamal Khashoggi Murder

Eleni Varvitsioti & Andrew England | Financial Times

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks with Greek leaders Tuesday as the Saudi royal embarked on his first trip to EU states since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Israel’s Interim Leader Meets Jordan’s King in Amman

Associated Press

Israel’s caretaker prime minister and Jordan’s king met on Tuesday in the Jordanian capital Amman, both leaders’ offices said.

The New Old Middle Eastern Order

Marc Lynch | Foreign Affairs

Biden’s trip shows why Washington is still getting the region wrong.

At U.N., Iraq and Turkey Escalate Dispute Over Deadly Attack

Edith M. Lederer | Associated Press

A dispute between Iraq and Turkey over a recent deadly attack in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region escalated at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Pacific Defense Chiefs Meet Against Backdrop of Rising China

Lolita C. Baldor | Associated Press

Defense chiefs from across the Indo-Pacific gathered this week to bolster their connections against a backdrop of China’s ongoing campaign to expand its influence and military presence in the region.

Japan to Join 'Garuda Shield' Military Drills for First Time

Elaine Lies & Stanley Widianto | Reuters

Japanese defense forces will participate for the first time in military exercises in Indonesia next month alongside the United States and Australia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday after talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

For Hong Kong’s Beijing-Backed Officials, Xi’s All That - The New York Times

Austin Ramzy & Tiffany May | The New York Times

The city’s leaders are rushing to embrace Xi Jinping, China’s leader, a performance of devotion that is a jarring shift for Hong Kong’s once rambunctious political culture.

China's Pacific Push Is Backfiring

Derek Grossman | Foreign Policy

An aggressive diplomatic strategy hasn’t produced many results.

U.S. Officials Grow More Concerned About Potential Action by China on Taiwan

By Edward Wong, David E. Sanger & Amy Qin | The New York Times

The Biden administration has grown increasingly anxious this summer about China’s statements and actions regarding Taiwan, with some officials fearing that Chinese leaders might try to move against the self-governing island over the next year and a half—perhaps by trying to cut off access to all or part of the Taiwan Strait, through which U.S. naval ships regularly pass.

More from WPR: Biden’s Taiwan ‘Gaffe’ Just Said the Quiet Part Out Loud

U.S. Offers Help to Link Armenia, Azerbaijan

AFP (free)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday offered U.S. assistance in building ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan, encouraging a permanent settlement between the adversaries two years after a Russian-brokered truce.

U.S. Senator Favors Ending Aid to Rwanda Over Human Rights Abuses

Al Jazeera

The chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said he would place a hold on U.S. security assistance to Rwanda in Congress over concerns about the Rwandan government’s human rights record and role in the conflict in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Five Killed as Anti-U.N. Protesters Spread in East DR Congo

By Glody Murhabazi | AFP (free)

At least five people have been killed and dozens injured during anti-U.N. protests in eastern DR Congo, a government spokesman said Tuesday as the unrest spread.

France’s Macron in Cameroon at Start of Three-Nation Africa Tour

By Edwin Kindzeka Moki | Associated Press (free)

French President Emmanuel Macron, in Cameroon to start his 3-nation Africa tour, is expected to discuss the food crisis in Africa provoked by Russia’s war in Ukraine, the need for Cameroon to increase its agricultural production and the country’s upsurge in insecurity.

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