News Wire | August 2022 Archive

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Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Reformist Soviet Leader, Is Dead at 91

By Marilyn Berger | The New York Times

Mikhail S. Gorbachev, whose rise to power in the Soviet Union set in motion a series of revolutionary changes that transformed the map of Europe and ended the Cold War that had threatened the world with nuclear annihilation, has died in Moscow. He was 91.

U.N. Nuclear Chief Sets Off for Russian-Occupied Zaporizhzhia Plant

By John Hudson | The Washington Post

A team of United Nations nuclear experts packed into a convoy of armored vehicles in Ukraine’s capital Wednesday and drove off to the embattled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the culmination of six months of painstaking international negotiations aimed at preventing a catastrophe at the facility.

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

Solomon Islands Bans Foreign Navies From Docking, in Blow to U.S., U.K.

By Andrew Jeong | The Washington Post

The Solomon Islands will bar all foreign military ships from docking at its ports, the country’s government said late Tuesday, more than a week after requests from a U.S. Coast Guard ship and a British naval vessel went unanswered and months after the Pacific nation signed a defense pact with China.

U.N. Race Panel Sounds the Alarm on Abortion Access in the U.S.

By Nick Cumming-Bruce | The New York Times

An influential United Nations panel that examined the state of race relations in the United States called on the Biden administration Tuesday to address a host of concerns, including imperiled abortion access for minorities, curbs on voting rights and the country’s “increasingly militarized approach” to immigration.

More from WPR: Latin America’s ‘Green Tide’ Has Lessons for U.S. Abortion Rights Activists

U.S. Life Expectancy Falls Again in ‘Historic’ Setback

By Roni Caryn Rabin | The New York Times

The average life expectancy of Americans fell precipitously in 2020 and 2021, the sharpest two-year decline in nearly 100 years and a stark reminder of the toll exacted on the nation by the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Mexicans March to Demand Search for 100,000 Disappeared

Associated Press (free)

Relatives of some of Mexico’s over 100,000 missing people marched through downtown Mexico City Tuesday to demand authorities find their sons, daughters, parents and siblings.

St. Kitts Law Criminalizing Gay Sex Found Unconstitutional

By Dánica Coto | Associated Press (free)

The top court for nine eastern Caribbean nations and territories has struck down a colonial-era law against homosexual conduct in St. Kitts and Nevis, ruling that sexual orientation is covered by the right to privacy.

The Imminent Election Crisis in Brazil

By Brian Winter | Americas Quarterly (free)

Still trailing in polls, Bolsonaro seems determined to stay in power. AQ’s editor-in-chief examines potential scenarios for the confrontation ahead.

Russia Halts Nord Stream Gas Pipeline, Ratcheting Up Pressure on Europe

By Georgi Kantchev | The Wall Street Journal

Russia shut down its main artery for natural gas to Europe for maintenance Wednesday, in what Western governments see as the latest salvo in the Kremlin’s economic war on the continent.

More from WPR: Europe Won’t Make Up for Shortfalls of Russian Gas Easily

EU to Restrict Travel Rules for Russians, Split on How Far to Go

By Sabine Siebold & Robert Muller | Reuters

The EU’s foreign policy chief Wednesday urged bickering nations to settle their differences on restricting travel for Russian citizens, saying Europe must remain united vis-a-vis Moscow six months after the invasion of Ukraine.

Slovak Economy Minister Resigns Amid Government Row, Ready to Discuss Next Steps


Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulik said Wednesday he had tendered his resignation and was ready for further coalition talks to help defuse a row that has engulfed the government.

Main Target of Russian Mercenaries in Africa Is Civilians, Report Says

By Elian Peltier | The New York Times

As Russian mercenaries from the private military group Wagner have been operating in Ukraine, their counterparts in Africa have received little scrutiny and have made civilian populations their primary targets, according to a newly released report on their activities in two of the continent’s most fragile countries.

New Front Opens in Ethiopia’s Resurging Tigray War


Fighting in Ethiopia’s nearly two-year Tigray war has erupted along a new front near Sudan, the government said Wednesday, after a cease-fire collapsed a week ago.

More from WPR: Ethiopia Just Might Have a Chance for Peace

Iraqi Shiite Factions Turn Their Guns on Each Other in a Deadly New Phase

By Jane Arraf | The New York Times

With no functioning government and no common ground, tensions among Shiite political factions have become a deadly matter in Baghdad this week.

More from WPR: In Lebanon and Iraq, Violence Wins Out Over Votes

Saudi Woman Gets 45 Years in Prison for Social Media Use

By Isabel Debre | Associated Press (free)

A Saudi court has sentenced a woman to 45 years in prison for allegedly damaging the country through her social media activity, according to a court document obtained Wednesday. It was the second such sentence that has drawn scrutiny of the kingdom this month.

India’s Supreme Court Widens Definition of ‘Family’

By Emily Schmall & Hari Kumar | The New York Times

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that family benefits under the law must be extended to blended families, same-sex couples and other households the court considers “atypical,” widening its definition of family. It is the latest in a series of court decisions to challenge the country’s conservative mores, and it could have major implications for the rights of women and gay people.

Taiwan Forces Fire at Drones Flying Over Island Near China

Associated Press (free)

Taiwan’s military fired warning shots at drones from China flying over its outposts just off the Chinese coastline, underscoring heightened tensions and the self-ruled island’s resolve to respond to new provocations.

More from WPR: China’s Saber-Rattling Won’t Make Taiwan Shift Course

Japan Plans Big Defense Spending Boost to Counter Rising China Threat

By Kana Inagaki | Financial Times

Japan will upgrade its cruise missiles and research hypersonic weapons as it seeks to significantly increase military spending to counter what Tokyo sees as the rising threat from China.

Iraqi Shiite Cleric Tells Supporters to Go Home After Clashes Kill 24

By Jane Arraf | The New York Times (free)

Iraq’s influential Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr took a step Tuesday to try to defuse an eruption of violence in the capital, Baghdad, calling on his followers to stand down after at least 24 people were killed in two days of clashes with security forces.

More from WPR: In Lebanon and Iraq, Violence Wins Out Over Votes

Angola’s Ruling Party Retains Power in Tightest Election Yet

By Gilberto Neto & Lynsey Chutel | The New York Times

Angola’s ruling party Monday was declared the winner of the general election, but it was its weakest showing in the five elections that have taken place since the country gained independence.

More from WPR: Angola’s Bleak Economy Fails to Dislodge the Ruling MPLA From Power

Iran Sends First Shipment of Drones to Russia for Use in Ukraine

By Ellen Nakashima & Joby Warrick | The Washington Post

Russian cargo planes have quietly picked up the first of scores of Iranian-made combat drones for use against Ukraine, U.S. officials said, in a move that underscores deepening ties between Moscow and Tehran while also highlighting Russia’s struggles to supply its overstretched military.

Death in Navy SEAL Training Exposes a Culture of Brutality, Cheating and Drugs

By Dave Philipps | The New York Times

The elite force’s selection course is so punishing that few make it through, and many of those who do resort to illicit tactics.

Drone Attack on Syria Base Came From Iraqi Militants, U.S. Officials Say

By Michael R. Gordon & David S. Cloud | The Wall Street Journal

The drones that attacked a U.S. military compound in southeast Syria on Aug. 15 were launched by Iranian-backed militants in central Iraq, U.S. officials say, posing a challenge for the White House as it seeks to navigate Baghdad’s tumultuous politics.

Arizona Governor to Focus on Semiconductors in Taiwan Visit

By Huizhong Wu & Joe McDonald | Associated Press (free)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday for a visit focused on semiconductors, the critical chips that are used in everyday electronics and have become a battleground in the technology competition between the U.S. and China.

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

One Man Dies, and an Entire Uncontacted Tribe Vanishes in Brazil

By Flávia Milhorance & André Spigariol | The New York Times

When officials from Brazil’s Indigenous protection agency approached the hut in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, their fears were confirmed: They were witnessing the first recorded disappearance of an uncontacted tribe in the country’s history.

Over Caves and Over Budget, Mexico’s Train Project Barrels Toward Disaster

By Maria Abi-Habib | The New York Times

Pitched as a way to develop the country’s poorest region, the Maya Train is threatened by a ballooning budget and rushed construction over fragile terrain. But Mexico’s president has refused to slow it down.

Venezuela, Colombia Take Step Toward Normalizing Ties

By Regina Garcia Cano | Associated Press (free)

The governments of Venezuela and Colombia took a step toward normalizing ties Monday when President Nicolas Maduro hosted an event to welcome the newly appointed ambassador from the neighboring country, a post that had been empty since 2019 over a diplomatic impasse.

A Failure of Enforcement

By Terrence McCoy | The Washington Post

Deforesters are plundering the Amazon. Brazil is letting them get away with it.

More from WPR: Bolsonaro Isn’t Letting Up in His War Against the Amazon

Ukraine Mounts Attacks in Kherson; U.N. Inspectors Head to Nuclear Plant

By Mary Ilyushina & Annabelle Timsit | The Washington Post

Ukrainian officials said Monday that new attacks on Russian forces in the Kherson region were underway, potentially signaling the start of an offensive to recapture occupied territory.

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

Full Russian Tourist Ban in EU Is Topic of Fierce Debate

By Emily Rauhala & Beatriz Ríos | The Washington Post

With fighting raging in eastern Ukraine and Europe bracing for a war-induced recession, should Russians be allowed to enjoy the end of summer in southern France? Shop for luxury goods in Italy? Visit family in Finland?

EU to Unveil Emergency Measures to Curb Soaring Energy Prices

By Sam Fleming & Valentina Pop | Financial Times

The EU is preparing emergency measures to curb the price of electricity by separating it from the soaring cost of gas, as Shell warns the energy crisis could last for years, and utilities turn to the state for support.

Militants Kill at Least 40 Villagers in East Congo Attacks

By Erikas Mwisi Kambale | Reuters

Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 40 civilians in a string of attacks on several villages in east Democratic Republic of Congo between Thursday and Monday, a local human rights group and a hospital worker said Tuesday.

Medic: Madagascar Police Shoot 18 Dead in Albino Kidnap Protest

Al Jazeera (free)

Eighteen people have died after police in Madagascar opened fire on what they called a lynch mob angered at the kidnapping of a child with albinism, a senior doctor has said.

Kenya’s Top Court to Rule on Hacking Allegations, Votes Disparity in Election Dispute

By Duncan Miriri | Reuters

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Tuesday laid out eight questions it will answer when it rules on this month’s disputed presidential election result, including whether the commission’s website was hacked.

More from WPR: Kenya’s Election Was a Mixed Bag for Democracy

Sudan Journalists Defy Military Rule by Forming First Union in 30 Years

By Zeinab Mohammed Salih | The Guardian (free)

Sudanese journalists have formed the country’s first independent union in more than three decades.

Israel Sentences Gaza Aid Worker Convicted of Funding Hamas to 12 Years

By Shira Rubin & Hazem Balousha | The Washington Post

An Israeli court sentenced a former Gaza aid chief from a major international organization to 12 years in prison Tuesday after convicting him of siphoning millions of agency dollars to Hamas, the Islamist group that rules the enclave.

Turkish Opposition Seeks Probe Into Bribery Allegations

Associated Press (free)

Turkish opposition parties Monday filed legal complaints to press Turkish prosecutors into investigating corruption allegations made by a fugitive mafia boss against people close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.

Israelis Shot and Wounded After Entering West Bank City

Associated Press (free)

Several Israelis were wounded overnight after they entered the Palestinian West Bank city of Nablus and came under fire, the Israeli military said Tuesday.

Indonesia Parliament Approves Membership of China-Backed Regional Trade Deal


Indonesia’s parliament Tuesday passed a law cementing the country’s membership of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, making it the latest Southeast Asian nation to join the world’s biggest trade bloc.

China Sets Key Communist Party Congress for Mid-October

By Chris Buckley | The New York Times

A Communist Party congress that is poised to anoint Xi Jinping as China’s top leader for another five years will open in Beijing on Oct. 16, officials announced on Tuesday.

Japan, Israel Step Up Defense Ties Amid Regional Tensions

By Mari Yamaguchi | Associated Press (free)

The defense ministers of Japan and Israel shared concerns Tuesday about growing global tensions from Asia to the Middle East and signed an agreement to step up cooperation in military equipment and technology.

IMF Approves $1.1 Billion Bailout Package for Pakistan to Help Stave Off Default

By Benjamin Parkin & Farhan Bokhari | Financial Times

The IMF has approved the disbursement of more than $1.1 billion to Pakistan, reviving a stalled $7 billion assistance package expected to help stave off default despite a severe economic crunch and devastating floods.

U.S. Warships Sail Taiwan Strait, Defying Chinese Pressure

By Austin Ramzy | The New York Times

The U.S. Navy said that two of its warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first such passage by American ships since China began large-scale military exercises in response to a visit to Taiwan by Speaker Nancy Pelosi early this month.

More from WPR: China Has Nothing to Gain From Invading Taiwan

Powerful Iraqi Shiite Cleric Says He Is Leaving Politics

By Jane Arraf | The New York Times

The influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said Monday that he was retiring from Iraqi politics and closing all of his movement’s political and social institutions, deepening the country’s political crisis and raising fears that his followers could increasingly turn to destabilizing street protests to achieve their aims.

More from WPR: In Lebanon and Iraq, Violence Wins Out Over Votes

Colombia, Venezuela Restore Full Diplomatic Relations

Al Jazeera (free)

Colombia and Venezuela have restored full diplomatic relations after a three-year break.

Pentagon Expands Use of Seas to Send Weapons to Ukraine

By Dan Lamothe | The Washington Post

The Pentagon has expanded its use of maritime shipping to deliver weapons for the war in Ukraine, U.S. defense officials said, after relying heavily on aircraft early in Russia’s invasion to get arms to Kyiv as quickly as possible.

U.S. Intelligence to Examine Documents Seized From Donald Trump’s Home

By Kiran Stacey | Financial Times

Intelligence officers will scour sensitive documents seized from Donald Trump’s Florida resort this month for potential compromises of national security.

U.S. Creates Arctic Ambassador as Russia, China Competition Rises

AFP (free)

The United States said Friday it will create a position of Arctic ambassador to step up diplomacy as Russia and China increase their presence in waters opened up by climate change.

More from WPR: Great Power Competition Is Coming for the Arctic. NATO Should Prepare

Colombia’s Left-Wing Government Unveils Tax-the-Rich Plan to Tackle Poverty

By Megan Janetsky | The Guardian (free)

Colombia’s new leftist government has proposed an ambitious plan to tax the rich in an effort to combat poverty in one of the most unequal countries in the Americas.

More from WPR: Colombia Could See Big Changes in Petro’s First 100 Days

Official: Six of 43 Missing Mexican Students Given to Army

By Fabiola Sánchez & Christopher Sherman | Associated Press (free)

Six of the 43 college students “disappeared” in 2014 were allegedly kept alive in a warehouse for days then turned over to the local army commander who ordered them killed, the Mexican government official leading a Truth Commission said Friday.

Police Investigating Highway Killing of Two Colombian Journalists


Two journalists were shot to death by unknown assailants on a motorcycle, who attacked them while they were traveling in a car on a highway in northern Colombia, police said Sunday.

Peru President’s Sister-in-Law Sent to Jail Amid Corruption Probe

Reuters (free)

The sister-in-law of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo has been given 30 months of pre-trial detention Sunday, the most serious escalation so far of a host of criminal investigations that have targeted the leader’s inner circle.

More from WPR: Peru Is Tired of Castillo’s On-the-Job Training

More Strikes Reported Near Nuclear Plant as U.N. Experts Plan Visit

The New York Times

Neither Russia nor Ukraine appeared to be pausing attacks in the south, even as talks continued over allowing international inspectors to visit the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

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

In Algeria, Macron Seeks to Reshape a Traumatic Relationship With France

By Roger Cohen | The New York Times

On a three-day visit, the French president said he was seeking “truth and acknowledgment” over the war and colonialism.

More from WPR: France’s Incomplete Reckoning With Its Colonial Past

EU Set to Suspend Visa Travel Agreement With Russia

By Henry Foy | Financial Times

EU foreign ministers are this week set to back suspending the bloc’s visa facilitation agreement with Moscow in an effort to curb the number of travel permits issued after some eastern member states threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists.

Serbia and Kosovo Agree to Ease Travel Restrictions

By Marton Dunai | Financial Times

The EU has brokered a deal between Serbia and Kosovo to ease travel restrictions, removing an issue that had raised tensions in the western Balkans.

How to Avoid a Nuclear Disaster in Ukraine

By Yan Zhuang | The New York Times

There were reports Saturday that the International Atomic Energy Agency has a team of experts ready to visit Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant within days. It would not be a minute too soon: Artillery shells are landing with chilling regularity in and around the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power station.

Ethiopia: Airstrike Hits Playground in Tigray, Killing at Least Seven

Reuters (free)

An airstrike on a children’s playground has killed at least seven people in the capital of Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region, medical officials there said, in the first such attack after a four-month-old cease-fire collapsed this week.

Angola’s Incumbent Claims Election Lead Amid Rising Tensions

By Jason Burke | The Guardian (free)

Provisional results from elections in Angola have put the incumbent president, Joao Lourenco, and the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola ahead.

More from WPR: Angola’s Bleak Economy Fails to Dislodge the Ruling MPLA From Power

Militants Kill Six in Attack on Convoy From Burkina Faso Gold Mine


Unidentified gunmen killed six people and wounded two others in an attack on a convoy from the Boungou gold mine in eastern Burkina Faso, the army said Saturday.

Fighting Between U.S. and Iran-Backed Militias Escalates in Syria

By Farnaz Fassihi, Raja Abdulrahim & Adam Entous | The New York Times

Militias backed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards force attacked a U.S. military base in southern Syria with drones recently and on the same day, a different base used by the U.S.-led coalition near Syria’s eastern border with Iraq came under rocket fire.

Clashes Between Rival Militias in Libya Kill at Least 32

By Raja Abdulrahim | The New York Times

Some of the fiercest clashes in two years in Libya’s capital between militias loyal to rival political leaders have left nearly three dozen people dead, as neighborhoods became battlefields and residents hunkered down in their homes, fearing a return to war in the country.

More from WPR: Libya’s Transition Out of Civil War Has Stalled

Morocco Recalls Tunisia Ambassador Over Western Sahara


Morocco recalled its ambassador to Tunisia on Friday after Tunisian President Kais Saied received the head of the Polisario Front movement that is seeking independence for Western Sahara, a territory Morocco regards as its own.

More from WPR: The Western Sahara Issue Is Souring Morocco’s Relations With Europe

China and Russia Join Forces for Vostok Military Exercises

By John Paul Rathbone | Financial Times

Russia and China will embark on a series of military exercises this week, a sign of Moscow’s deepening ties with Beijing and of the Kremlin’s desire to project a “business as usual” image despite the mounting costs of its war in Ukraine.

More from WPR: A War-Weakened Russia Has No Strategic Value to China

Pakistan Hit by Deadly Floods of ‘Epic Proportions’

By Austin Ramzy | The New York Times

Devastating floods have surged across Pakistan, overflowing riverbanks and bridges, inundating houses and fields and killing more than 100 people this weekend, officials said late Saturday.

Japan Pledges $30 Billion in Aid for Africa at Tunisia Conference

Al Jazeera (free)

Japan has pledged $30 billion in aid for development in Africa, saying it wants to work more closely with the continent at a time when the rules-based international order is under threat after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

China Charges 28, Probes Corruption After Attack on Women

Associated Press (free)

Chinese authorities said Monday that 28 people have been charged and 15 officials including police are being investigated for corruption two months after a brutal attack on several women in the northern city of Tangshan that sparked outrage and safety concerns.

Mexico Says Disappearance of 43 Students Was a ‘Crime of the State’

By Oscar Lopez | The New York Times

The disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014 was a “crime of the state” involving every layer of government, an official inquiry reported Thursday, in the most profound admission to date of government responsibility for one of the most notorious atrocities in Mexico’s modern history.

Russia’s Spies Misread Ukraine and Misled Kremlin as War Loomed

By Greg Miller & Catherine Belton | The Washington Post (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.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to Attend G-20 Summit in Bali, Says Indonesian President

By Oliver Telling & Edward White | Financial Times

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will attend the G-20 summit in Bali in November, raising the prospect of a meeting with Joe Biden at a time of heightened tensions between the world’s military superpowers over Taiwan and Ukraine.

Biden Administration Readies About $800 Million in Additional Security Aid for Ukraine

By Patricia Zengerle, Idrees Ali & Steve Holland | Reuters

President Joe Biden’s administration is readying about $800 million of additional military aid to Ukraine and could announce it as soon as Friday, three sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

U.S. Lawmakers Meet Detained Philippine Opposition Leader

By Jim Gomez | Associated Press (free)

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, who was once banned from the Philippines by former President Rodrigo Duterte, on Friday met a long-detained Filipino opposition leader, whom he says was wrongfully imprisoned under Duterte and should be freed.

Paraguay Vice President Backtracks, Says He Won’t Resign

Associated Press (free)

Paraguay Vice President Hugo Velázquez Moreno said Thursday he will not resign from his post, backtracking on a vow he made last week shortly after he was included on a U.S. corruption list for his alleged involvement in offering bribes to a public official.

Colombian Rebels Free Five Soldiers, One Policeman Ahead of Talks

Associated Press (free)

A Colombian guerrilla group says it has freed six captive members of the security forces in a goodwill gesture ahead of planned peace talks with the government of new President Gustavo Petro.

More from WPR: Colombia Could See Big Changes in Petro’s First 100 Days

Brazil Government Removes Environment Chief in Possible Reprisal

By Fabiano Maisonnave | Associated Press (free)

The administration of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has removed a top environmental official in a potential act of retribution, just days after he appeared in a report on illegal gold mining in the Amazon rainforest for the Brazilian television station Globo.

More from WPR: Bolsonaro Won’t Accept Defeat in Brazil’s Upcoming Presidential Election

U.N. Chief Heads to Odesa, Facing Limits of Influence Over War in Ukraine

By Dan Bilefsky & Farnaz Fassihi | The New York Times

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, traveled on Friday in Odesa, Ukraine’s largest port city, in the midst of a war that has underscored the limits of his organization’s influence when one of its most powerful members instigates a war.

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

Bomb Threats Put Tiny Moldova, Ukraine’s Neighbor, on Edge

By Cristian Jardan & Stephen McGrath | Associated Press (free)

For tiny Moldova, an impoverished, landlocked nation that borders war-torn Ukraine but isn’t in the European Union or NATO, it’s been another week plagued by bomb threats.

More from WPR: Moldova Could Be the Next Flashpoint in Europe’s Standoff With Putin

Europe’s Scorching Summer Puts Unexpected Strain on Energy Supply

By Jason Horowitz | The New York Times

The dry summer has reduced hydropower in Norway, threatened nuclear reactors in France and crimped coal transport in Germany. And that’s on top of Russian gas cuts.

Why Macron’s European Policy Keeps Failing

By Shahin Vallée | Foreign Policy

The French president has good ideas—but his approach to the EU is vague, unilateral, and self-serving.

U.N.’s Congo Peacekeeping Mission Pulls Out of Major Eastern City


The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo has pulled out of one of the largest cities in the country’s east after deadly protests against its failure to protect civilians, Congolese and U.N. officials said Thursday.

Unequal and Divided, Angola Braces for Tense Election

By Catarina Demony | Reuters

Angolans head to the polls next week in what is likely to be a tense standoff between a ruling party in power for nearly five decades and an opposition with growing appeal to a frustrated, impoverished youth.

More from WPR: After Failing on Reforms, Angola’s Lourenco Opts for Repression

South Africa’s Zulu Nation to Host Celebration for New King

By Mogomotsi Magome | Associated Press (free)

South Africa’s ethnic Zulu nation is preparing to host a coronation event for its new traditional king amid internal divisions that have threatened to tear the royal family apart.

Market Blast in North Syria Kills at Least Nine, Injures Dozens

Associated Press (free)

A rocket attack on a crowded market in a town held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria on Friday killed at least nine people and wounded dozens, an opposition war monitor and a paramedic group reported.

Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Youth in West Bank Clashes, Medics Say


Israeli forces killed a Palestinian youth in predawn clashes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, Palestinian medics said.

North Korea Dismisses Seoul’s Aid Offer as ‘Foolish’ Repeat

By Kim Tong-Hyung | Associated Press (free)

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said her country will never accept South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s “foolish” offer of economic benefits in exchange for denuclearization steps, accusing Seoul of recycling proposals Pyongyang already rejected.

More from WPR: North Korea’s Muscle-Flexing Is Driving Seismic Shifts in East Asia

China Sentences Tycoon Xiao Jianhua to 13 Years in Prison

By Christian Shepherd & Eva Dou | The Washington Post

A court in Shanghai sentenced Chinese-born Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua on Friday to 13 years in prison after finding him guilty of bribery, illegal use of funds and other financial crimes in a case that has touched upon the highest rungs of Chinese political power.

Vanuatu Parliament Dissolved as Power Struggle Heads to Court

AFP (free)

A controversial decision to dissolve Vanuatu’s parliament looked set to be challenged in court, as opponents accused the country’s embattled prime minister of illegally dodging a Friday vote of no confidence.

Australia Upset at Indonesia Reducing Bali Bomber’s Sentence

Associated Press (free)

Australia’s leader said Friday that it’s upsetting Indonesia has further reduced the prison sentence of the bombmaker in the Bali attack that killed 202 people—which could free him within days if he’s granted parole.

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