News Wire | August 2022 Archive

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FBI Searched Trump’s Home to Look for Nuclear Documents and Other Items, Sources Say

By Devlin Barrett, Josh Dawsey, Perry Stein & Shane Harris | The Washington Post (free)

Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in a search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida residence on Monday, according to people familiar with the investigation.

EU Proposes Significant Concession to Iran to Revive Nuclear Deal

By Laurence Norman | The Wall Street Journal

European Union diplomats trying to break a deadlock in talks over an Iran nuclear accord have proposed a significant new concession to Tehran aimed at speedily ending a U.N. investigation into the Islamic Republic’s past atomic activities.

Shelling Threatens Ukrainian Nuclear Plant, and U.N. Pleads for Access

By Alan Yuhas & Shashank Bengali | The New York Times

Shelling in Ukraine once again threatened the largest nuclear power plant in Europe on Thursday, damaging equipment on the grounds, as Russian and Ukrainian forces blamed each other for creating the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident in the middle of a war zone.

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

Sixth Probe Opened Into Peruvian President After Relative Detained

AFP (free)

Peruvian prosecutors have opened a sixth criminal investigation into President Pedro Castillo for alleged corruption involving government tenders, officials said Thursday.

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

Blinken Urges Rwanda and Congo to End Support for Warring Militias

By Edward Wong | The New York Times

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that he had urged the leaders of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to end their support for militias in eastern Congo, warning that continuing to back the groups threatened stability across the Great Lakes region of Africa.

China’s Taiwan Military Drills Offer Spying Opportunity for U.S.

By Greg Torode & Idrees Ali | Reuters

While China’s expanded drills surrounding Taiwan have marked an unprecedented military and political warning against outside interference over the island, they opened a window to gather intelligence for the United States and its allies.

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

What the U.S. Gets Wrong About Iran

By Karim Sadjadpour | The New York Times

By and large, the United States has sought to engage a regime that clearly doesn’t want to be engaged, and isolate a ruling regime that thrives in isolation. Yet over time, the Iranian regime has shown it’s too influential to ignore, too dogmatic to reform, too brutal to overthrow, and too large to fully contain.

Guatemalans March in Protest of Corruption, Cost of Living

By Sonia Pérez D. | Associated Press (free)

Hundreds of Guatemalans set out from various points of the capital Thursday to protest alleged corruption by a deeply unpopular government, the high cost of living and attacks on freedom of expression.

More from WPR: Guatemala Has No Intention of Tackling Corruption

Argentina Orders Seizure of Venezuelan Plane at U.S. Request


Argentina on Thursday ordered the seizure of a Venezuelan plane held in Buenos Aires since June at the request of the United States, amid suspicions the aircraft of Iranian origin could have ties to terrorism, local media reported.

Venezuela, Colombia Name Ambassadors in Attempt to Repair Ties

Al Jazeera (free)

Venezuela and Colombia have appointed ambassadors to each other, days after the inauguration of Colombia’s first left-wing president, Gustavo Petro, who has promised to mend ties with its neighbor.

Estonia to Ban Russians With Tourist Visas From Entering

Associated Press (free)

Estonia decided Thursday to bar people from neigboring Russia with tourist visas from entering the northernmost Baltic country as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.

More from WPR: The EU’s Next Ban Could Be on Russian Tourists

U.N. Ship to Carry Ukrainian Grain Directly to Countries Worst Affected by Shortage

By Carly Olsen | The New York Times

The first ship hired to carry Ukrainian grain directly to famine-stricken parts of the Horn of Africa since the Russian invasion halted food exports six months ago will arrive in Ukraine on Friday, U.N. officials said.

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

A Greek Scandal Reverberates as Eavesdropping Expands in Europe

By Jason Horowitz & Niki Kitsantonis | The New York Times

Revelations that the cellphone of a top opposition politician was tapped have shaken the government and stoked concerns over just how widespread such surveillance is.

Somaliland Leader Says Five Killed in Opposition Protests

By Omar Faruk | Associated Press (free)

The president of Somaliland says five people were killed in opposition protests over fears of a delayed election, hours after police confirmed shooting demonstrators and accused them of not following officers’ instructions.

Germany Suspends Military Mission in Mali Amid Diplomatic Tension

Al Jazeera (free)

Germany has suspended most of its operations in Mali after the local military-led government denied flyover rights to a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Ethiopia Says Completes Third Filling of Mega-Dam Reservoir

By Aymeric Vincenot | AFP (free)

Ethiopia has completed the third filling of its mega-dam reservoir on the Blue Nile, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Friday, a development that could raise further tensions with downstream neighbours Egypt and Sudan.

A Man Took Hostages at a Bank in Lebanon. People Came to Support Him

By Sarah Dadouch, Nader Durgham & Suzan Haidamous | The Washington Post

An armed man took hostages at a bank branch in Beirut on Thursday, quickly becoming a folk hero for a tired and angry nation.

Turkey Is the Biggest Swing Player in the Russia-Ukraine War

By Eugene Chausovsky | Foreign Policy

Ankara has used its unique position for a strategic advantage.

Xi Sought to Send Message to Biden on Taiwan: Now Is No Time for a Crisis

By Lingling Wei | The Wall Street Journal

Four days before U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Chinese leader Xi Jinping got on the phone with President Biden and delivered a message: Now isn’t the time for a full-blown crisis.

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

Chinese Navy Ship Near Sri Lanka Sparks Diplomatic Standoff

By Gerry Shih, Hafeel Farisz & Niha Masih | The Washington Post

Indian and U.S. officials have asked the bankrupt nation to rebuff China’s request to dock

U.S., Indonesia, Australia Hold Drills Amid China Concerns

By Fadlan Syam & Niniek Karmini | Associated Press (free)

Soldiers from the U.S., Indonesia and Australia joined a live-fire drill Friday, part of annual joint combat exercises on Sumatra island amid growing Chinese maritime activity in the Indo-Pacific region.

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


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


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


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


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.

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