News Wire | August 2022 Archive

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MONTHLY NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
Damage at Air Base in Crimea Worse Than Russia Claimed, Satellite Images Show

The New York Times

Russian authorities had previously portrayed the blast as minor, but the satellite images show three major craters and at least eight destroyed warplanes. Local officials listed dozens of damaged buildings and declared a state of emergency.

More from WPR: Only Ukraine Can Set the Terms to End the War With Russia

China Renews Taiwan Threats, Island Cites ‘Wishful Thinking’

Associated Press (free)

China on Thursday renewed its threat to attack Taiwan following almost a week of war games near the island. Taiwan has called Beijing’s claims to the self-governing democracy “wishful thinking” and launched its own military exercises.

More from WPR: China’s Response to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Is Rewriting the Playbook

Deadly Anti-Government Protests Erupt in Sierra Leone

By Clarence Roy-Macaulay | Associated Press (free)

Anti-government protesters in Sierra Leone clashed with police in the streets of the capital Wednesday, as tensions over the rising cost of living turned deadly in the West African nation.

Blinken Presses Congo Leaders to Slow Oil-and-Gas Push in Rainforests

By Edward Wong | The New York Times

Pushing for a reconsideration of plans by the Democratic Republic of Congo to auction parts of its vast rainforests and peatlands, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that American and Congolese officials would form a team to examine proposed oil-and-gas extraction in those areas.

U.S. Insists It Will Operate Around Taiwan, Despite China’s Pressure

By David E. Sanger, Eric Schmitt & Ben Dooley | The New York Times

The Biden administration is vowing to continue sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait and to conduct air operations in the region in response to Chinese military drills that U.S. officials say are evolving into a long-term strategy of heightened military pressure on the island.

More from WPR: China Is Keeping Its Options Open on Pressuring Taiwan

Arrests in Western Mexico Set Off Destruction in Two States

Associated Press (free)

Drug cartel gunmen burned over two dozen stores and blocked streets with blazing vehicles in western Mexico in a response to a series of arrests of drug cartel figures, authorities said Wednesday.

Paraguay: Former President Lugo in Induced Coma After Stroke

Associated Press (free)

Former Paraguayan president and current senator Fernando Lugo was in a medically induced coma Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Doctors said his condition was stable with no evidence of significant lesions though they warned it was too early to tell the extent of the damage given his previous health woes.

In the Amazon, a U.N. Agency Has a Green Mission, but Dirty Partners

By Sarah Hurtes & Julie Turkewitz | The New York Times

One of the world’s largest sustainable development agencies has worked with energy companies to quash opposition and keep oil flowing, even in sensitive areas.

Liz Truss Is Ready to Flex London’s Muscles Abroad

By Ben Judah | Foreign Policy

Britain’s likely next prime minister is a foreign-policy hard-liner.

London Children Offered Polio Vaccine Booster as Virus Found in Wastewater

By Rachel Pannett | The Washington Post

Britain will offer a polio booster vaccine dose to children ages 1 to 9 in London, after the poliovirus was detected in wastewater in parts of the city.

Africa CDC in ‘Advanced’ Talks to Obtain Monkeypox Vaccines

By Cara Anna | Associated Press (free)

Africa’s public health agency says the continent of 1.3 billion people still does not have a single dose of the monkeypox vaccine, but “very advanced discussions” are underway with at least two partners.

More from WPR: Monkeypox Proves We Haven’t Learned the Lessons of COVID-19

Kenyans on Tenterhooks as Votes Are Counted in Presidential Race

By Declan Walsh & Abdi Latif Dahir | The New York Times

Kenyans waited anxiously Wednesday for the results of their presidential election, the most closely fought in years, amid conflicting estimates of which candidate was ahead.

More from WPR: Another High-Stakes Presidential Election Has Kenya on Edge

Sentence of American Lawyer Held in UAE Is Overturned

By Vivian Yee | The New York Times

An American lawyer imprisoned in the United Arab Emirates since mid-July is expected to be released after his sentence was overturned by an Emirati court, reversing a punishment that raised alarm that he was being targeted for political reasons.

Justice Dept. Charges Iranian in Plot to Kill John Bolton

By Glenn Thrush & Michael Crowley | The New York Times

The Justice Department charged a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Wednesday with planning to assassinate John Bolton, who served as the national security adviser to President Donald Trump, as payback for the killing of a senior Iranian official.

South Korea, China Clash Over U.S. Missile Shield, Complicating Conciliation

By Hyonhee Shin | Reuters

China and South Korea clashed Thursday over a U.S. missile defense shield, threatening to undermine efforts by the new government in Seoul to overcome longstanding security differences.

China Fumes as Somaliland Refuses to Unfriend Taiwan

By Michael M. Phillips | The Wall Street Journal

Few African regions have the nerve to say no to China. Independence-minded Somaliland is one.

Chinese Court Rejects Appeal in Landmark Sexual Harassment Case

By Karina Tsui | The Washington Post

A Beijing court Wednesday dealt a serious blow to China’s beleaguered #MeToo movement, rejecting the appeal of a woman whose harassment claims against a TV host had inspired dozens of others to open up about their assaults.

More from WPR: China’s Corporate World Is Reckoning With Its #MeToo Moment

Crimea Airfield Blast Was Work of Ukrainian Special Forces, Official Says

Isabelle Khurshudyan, Adela Suliman and Liz Sly | The Washington Post (free)

A Ukrainian government official told The Washington Post on Wednesday that an attack on a Russian air base in occupied Crimea was the work of Ukrainian special forces.

China Withdraws Promise Not to Send Troops to Taiwan If it Takes Control of Island

Yew Lun Tian | Reuters

China has withdrawn a promise not to send troops or administrators to Taiwan if it takes control of the island, an official document showed on Wednesday, signalling a decision by President Xi Jinping to grant less autonomy than previously offered.

No Declaration Wednesday in Kenya’s Vote, Commission Says

Cara Anna | Associated Press (free)

Kenyans are waiting for the results of a close but calm presidential election in which the turnout was notably lower than usual, and the electoral commission indicated it would be at least Thursday before a winner is declared.

Blinken Calls for End to Congo Violence, Backs Negotiations

Jean Yves-Kamale | Associated Press (free)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that his country will support the efforts led by Kenya and Angola to put an end to the violence in Congo’s east and to help solve the central African nation’s crisis with Rwanda.

More from WPR: The Congo-Rwanda Border Conflict Gets a Reprieve—For Now

U.S. Accuses Chinese Company of Helping ZTE Hide Business With Iran

Karen Freifeld | Reuters

The U.S. Commerce Department on Tuesday accused Far East Cable, China's largest wire and cable manufacturer, of violating U.S. export controls related to shipments of telecommunications equipment to Iran.

Venezuela Seeks to Reestablish Military Relations With Colombia, Says Minister

Reuters

Venezuela will seek to reestablish its military ties with neighbor Colombia, the country's defense minister said on Tuesday, after years of conflictive relations between the two nations.

Cuba Brings Oil Depot Fire Under Control, Worst In Island's History

Nelson Acosta and Mario Fuentes | Reuters

Firefighters on Tuesday finally overcame what officials described as the worst fire in Cuba's history that over five days destroyed 40% of the Caribbean island's main fuel storage facility and caused massive blackouts.

Sierra Leone Reshapes Environmental Battleground

By Elian Peltier | The New York Times (free)

Under new laws passed this week, companies operating in Sierra Leone will have to obtain the express consent of local communities before starting mining, industrial or farming activities. Residents owning land will be able to veto any project affecting it.

Congo Arrests Opposition Leader Kabund

Reuters

A former right-hand man of Democratic Republic of Congo's president and now opposition leader, Jean-Marc Kabund, was arrested on Tuesday, his lawyer said, during controversy over a remark about his onetime boss.

Russia Successfully Launches Iranian Satellite

Associated Press (free)

About nine minutes after the launch, it placed the Iranian satellite called Khayyam into orbit. Iran has said the satellite fitted with high-resolution camera will be used for environmental monitoring and will remain fully under its control.

Greece to Exit EU's 'Enhanced Surveillance' Framework After 12 Years

Reuters

Greece will exit the European Union's so-called enhanced surveillance framework on August 20, its finance minister said on Wednesday, a move that will allow the country greater freedom in making economic policy.

‘Greek Watergate’ Wiretap Scandal Throws Government Into Turmoil

Karina Tsui | The Washington Post

Recent revelations that Greek intelligence tapped an opposition leader’s phone have left the embattled prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, struggling to fend off a mounting scandal ahead of next year’s elections.

Israel-Gaza Truce Shines Light On Palestinian Hunger Striker

Jelal Hassan and Tia Goldenberg | Associated Press (free)

Khalil Awawdeh, who says his family has refused food for the past 160 days, is in the spotlight because the Islamic Jihad group sought his release as part of Egyptian-brokered talks that ended three days of fighting between the Gaza-based militants and Israel over the weekend.

Saudi Arabia Invests $1.3 Billion In Four Egyptian Firms

Ahmed Ismail and Patrick Werr | Reuters

The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co (SEIC), owned by Saudi Arabia's state-owned Public Investment Fund (PIF), has bought minority stakes in four Egyptian companies for $1.3 billion, Egypt's planning ministry said on Wednesday.

Japan PM Shuffles Cabinet As Anger Deepens Over Ties to Unification Church

Yoshifumi Takemoto and Kiyoshi Takenaka | Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled his cabinet on Wednesday amid growing public anger about the ruling party's ties to the controversial Unification Church, saying the group had held no sway over party policy.

Sri Lanka Introduces Bill to Clip Presidential Powers

Krishnan Francis | Associated Press (free)

A Sri Lankan government minister on Wednesday submitted to Parliament a constitutional amendment bill that would clip the powers of the president, a key demand of protesters calling for political reforms and solutions to the country’s worst economic crisis.

More from WPR: Rajapaksa's Gone, but Sri Lanka's Crisis Is Far From Over

At 75, India’s Kashmir Challenge Shifts Foreign Policy Focus

Aijaz Hussein | Associated Press (free)

In the last two years, since a deadly border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Kashmir’s Ladakh region, policy makers in New Delhi have been increasingly turning their focus away from Pakistan and to Beijing, a significant shift in policy as the nation celebrates 75 years of independence.

Taiwan Holds Drills, Says China Seeks Control of Seas

By Johnson Lai | Associated Press (free)

Taiwan’s foreign minister said Tuesday that China is using military drills to rehearse an invasion of the self-governing island democracy, while Taiwan’s military began its own live-fire exercises in a show of readiness to thwart off a potential attack.

New Ukraine Military Package Is Largest Yet, Pentagon Says

By Karoun Demirjian | The Washington Post (free)

The Pentagon on Monday said it is sending Ukraine an additional $1 billion in military assistance, including tens of thousands more munitions and explosives — the largest such package since Russia launched its invasion in February.

Kenyans Head to Polls in Tightly Contested, Closely Watched Election

By Rachel Chason and Rael Ombuor | The Washington Post

Analysts predict that the election, pitting Raila Odinga against William Rutto, could be one of the closest in recent history. A runoff vote would be triggered if neither candidate reaches a 50 percent majority — which could depend on the success of a third candidate, George Wajackoyah, whose platform is built around legalizing medicinal marijuana.

Biden Administration Says ‘Remain in Mexico’ Policy Is Over

Associated Press (free)

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.

In Africa, Blinken Seeks to Beguile, Not Browbeat, Over Russia

By Missy Ryan | The Washington Post

On his tour of African nations this week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has an recurring message for the continent’s leaders: Washington won’t push you to choose between America and its global rivals, even as Russia and China make inroads across the continent.

More from WPR: Africa Opposes the Ukraine War. It’s Abstaining From Great Power Rivalry.

Biden Appeared to Overstate the Role of Al Qaeda’s Leader

By Carole Rosenberg and Charlie Savage | The New York Times

Mr. Biden’s words went well beyond how the government and terrorism specialists have described al-Zawahri’s record with regard to the Sept. 11 attacks and the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

Colombia's Leftist President Presents Ambitious Tax Plan

By Astrid Suarez and Manuel Rueda | Associated Press (free)

The new president presented a tax reform plan to his nation’ s congress that will increase income taxes on wealthy individuals and place a 10 percent levy on oil exports. The bill also includes an annual wealth tax on individuals who have a net worth of more than $750,000 as well as sales taxes on soft drinks and highly processed foods. It aims to raise up to $11 billion for anti-poverty programs.

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

Devastating Fire May Force Cuba to Resort to Floating Oil Storage

By Marianna Parraga | Reuters

An inferno at Cuba's largest oil storage facility has killed at least one firefighter, injured many more, and threatens to further swell the fuel import bill for the impoverished island nation that relies on foreign oil for everything from transportation to its power grid.

Chad’s Military Junta and Rebels Sign a Deal, but a Main Player Is Missing

By Elian Peltier | The New York Times

The signing of the agreement, after five months of negotiations, was overshadowed by the absence of Chad’s most powerful armed group, which refused to to join in the accord, making any prospects for a return to stability all the more uncertain.

Militants Kill 17 Soldiers in Mali Attack

Reuters

Militants killed 17 Malian soldiers and four civilians in an attack near the town of Tessit on Sunday, the Malian army said. Nine soldiers were also reported missing and vehicles and equipment were destroyed, it said in a statement released late on Monday, adding that it suspected an Islamic State affiliate.

Ukrainian Resistance Grows in Russian-Occupied Areas

By Yuras Karmanau and Hanna Arhirova | Associated Press (free)

In a growing challenge to Russia’s grip on occupied areas of southeastern Ukraine, guerrilla forces loyal to Kyiv are killing pro-Moscow officials, blowing up bridges and trains, and helping the Ukrainian military by identifying key targets.

Estonia, Finland Want Europe to End Russian Tourist Visas

Associated Press

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote Tuesday on Twitter that “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right” and that it is “time to end tourism from Russia now.” A day earlier, her counterpart in Finland, Sanna Marin, told Finnish broadcaster YLE that “it is not right that while Russia is waging an aggressive, brutal war of aggression in Europe, Russians can live a normal life, travel in Europe, be tourists.”

EU Presents ‘Final Text’ to Iran for Reviving Nuclear Deal

By Laurence Norman | The Wall Street Journal

A senior European Union official said the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will now write to the U.S., Iran and the other negotiating parties, setting out next steps for approving a deal. The official said Iran would have “very, very few weeks” to decide whether to revive the deal.

Public Sector Strike Cripples Cash-Strapped Lebanon

By Kareem Chehayeb | Associated Press (free)

The protest of the civil servants who form the backbone of government signals a further erosion of Lebanon’s public institutions, already struggling to afford their most basic operating costs.

More from WPR: Lebanon’s Avoidable Tragedy Is Simply Business as Usual

Egypt’s Political Prisoners Recount Horrific Conditions

By Vivian Yee | The New York Times

Many detainees are locked for long stretches in cells that lack bedding, windows or toilets and are denied warm clothes in winter, fresh air in summer and medical treatment, no matter how sick, according to former detainees, their families and lawyers, and rights groups. Torture is commonplace, they say. Visits are routinely prohibited. And some never leave.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Retains Power at Election

By Rod McGuirk | Associated Press (free)

Papua New Guinea’s Parliament returned Prime Minister James Marape to power Tuesday following elections in the South Pacific Island nation. He was nominated unopposed to lead the next coalition government at the first sitting of Parliament since the election.

More from WPR: In Papua New Guinea’s Elections, It’s Familiar Faces—and Problems

Sri Lanka Asks China to Defer Military Ship Visit After India Protests

By Waruna Cudah Nimal Karunatilake | Reuters

Sri Lanka said on Monday it had asked China to defer the planned visit of a Chinese ship to the island country after initially approving its arrival this week, yielding to diplomatic pressure from neighbour India to keep the military vessel out.

Iran, U.S. Close In on Nuclear Deal Text but Hurdles Remain

By Laurence Norman | The Wall Street Journal

Negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are close to completion, the European Union’s senior negotiator at the talks said Sunday evening, but it remained unclear whether Tehran will accept the final deal.

China’s Military Extends Drills Near Taiwan After Pelosi Trip

By Lily Kuo | The Washington Post

After four days of military drills encircling Taiwan, the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a post on the microblog Weibo that it was “continuing” exercises, with a focus on anti-submarine combat and sea assaults.

More from WPR: China’s Response to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Is Rewriting the Playbook

Ukraine and Russia Trade Blame After Rockets Hit Near Nuclear Site

The New York Times (free)

A strike landed near spent-fuel storage at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, which Russian forces have held since March.

Antony Blinken Visits Africa, Vying With Russia for Favor on Continent Hit by Rising Food Prices

By Jessica Donati and Gabriele Steinhauser | The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken began a three-country tour of Africa on Sunday at a time of growing U.S. concern about Russia’s clout on the continent and on the heels of a recent trip by Moscow’s top envoy.

Cease-Fire Between Palestinians, Israel Takes Effect in Gaza

By Fares Akram and Tia Goldenberg | Associated Press (free)

A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

Former Colombia Rebel Gustavo Petro Inaugurated as President

By Juan Forero and Kejal Vyas | The Wall Street Journal

Gustavo Petro, a former member of a leftist guerrilla group that had fought the Colombian state, was inaugurated Sunday as president, a change in a country with a history of guerrilla wars that have stifled its modernization and polarized its people.

More from WPR: Petro and Colombia’s Armed Forces Are Heading for a Showdown

Explosions Rock Cuba as Fire at Oil Facility Kills 1, Injures 125

By Maria Luisa Paúl | The Washington Post

The fire broke out around 7 p.m. Friday when lightning struck one of the crude storage deposits at a supertanker base in northwestern Cuba, some 55 miles east of Havana.

Iraq Broils in Dangerous 120-Degree Heat as Power Grid Shuts Down

By Louisa Loveluck and Mustafa Salim | The Washington Post

Extreme heat is paralyzing Iraq, forcing shutdowns in the overstretched power grid as authorities extend public holidays to protect employees from 125-degree temperatures.

The Troubles of Kenya’s China-Funded Train

By Abdi Latif Dahir | The New York Times

President Uhuru Kenyatta proclaimed that the new train would help transform Kenya into an industrialized, middle-income nation. That was five years ago. The railway has since turned into a fiasco.

Ivory Coast President Pardons Predecessor Gbagbo to Boost 'Social Cohesion'

By Ange Aboa | Reuters

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara on Saturday said he had offered a presidential pardon to longtime rival Laurent Gbagbo, as part of a reconciliation drive with his predecessors ahead of elections in 2025.

How YouTube Keeps Broadcasting Inside Russia’s Digital Iron Curtain

By Sam Schechner, Miles Kruppa and Evan Gershkovich | The Wall Street Journal

Months into its war against Ukraine, Moscow continues to let its own citizens access YouTube, leaving a conspicuous hole in its effort to control what Russians see and hear about the conflict.

More from WPR: The Battle for the Internet’s Future Has Just Begun

Medvedev: Russia Will Achieve Its Aims in Ukraine

Reuters

Medvedev cast the 2008 war in Georgia, the enlargement of the NATO military alliance westwards and the Ukraine war as part of an attempt by the United States and its allies to destroy Russia.

In the Philippines, Blinken Vows to Strengthen Military Ties

By Edward Wong | The New York Times

Against a backdrop of rising regional tensions with China, the U.S. secretary of state reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending Manila.

More from WPR: A Marcos Presidency Will Be Bad News for the Philippines’ Democracy

Senate Democrats Pass Budget Package, a Victory for Biden

By Alan Fram and Lisa Mascaro | Associated Press (free)

Democrats pushed their election-year economic package to Senate passage Sunday, a hard-fought compromise less ambitious than President Joe Biden’s original domestic vision but one that still meets deep-rooted party goals of slowing global warming, moderating pharmaceutical costs and taxing immense corporations.

One Year After Afghanistan, Spy Agencies Pivot Toward China

By Nomaan Merchan | Associated Press (free)

In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China.

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