News Wire | August 2022 Archive

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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


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.

China Sends Ships and Planes Toward Taiwan, Despite Rising Criticism

By Jane Perlez & Mike Ives | The New York Times

China sent warships and aircraft into waters and airspace near Taiwan on Friday despite growing international criticism of its military exercises, including a call from Japan’s leader to stop them immediately.

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

Russia Turns to Turkey, Other Trading Partners to Blunt Sanctions’ Impact

By Catherine Belton & Kareem Fahim | The Washington Post

Russia is turning to Turkey and other potential new trading partners as it tries to circumvent Western sanctions that are starting to bite even deeper into its economy following its invasion of Ukraine.

China Halts High-Level Military Dialogue With U.S., Suspends Other Cooperation


China is halting cooperation with the United States in a number of areas, including dialogue between senior-level military commanders and climate talks, in retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, it said Friday.

As Monkeypox Spreads, U.S. Declares a Health Emergency

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg & Apoorva Mandavilli | The New York Times

The Biden administration Thursday declared the growing monkeypox outbreak a national health emergency, a rare designation signaling that the virus now represents a significant risk to Americans and setting in motion new measures aimed at containing the threat.

Senegal: Governing Coalition Loses Legislative Majority

By Nick Roll | Al Jazeera (free)

After a tense few days of waiting for a winner in Sunday’s legislative elections, provisional results released showed President Macky Sall’s governing coalition lost its majority in a poll pitched by opposition groups as a referendum on his policies and potential third-term aspirations.

More from WPR: The ‘Senegalese Exception’ Loses Its Luster

Russia to Launch Spy Satellite for Iran but Use It First Over Ukraine

By Joby Warrick & Ellen Nakashima | The Washington Post

A new satellite that Russia is preparing to launch on Iran’s behalf next week will greatly enhance Tehran’s ability to spy on military targets across the Middle East—but first, Moscow intends to use the spacecraft to assist its own war effort in Ukraine, according to Western security officials familiar with the matter.

Brittney Griner Is Sentenced to Nine Years in a Russian Penal Colony

The New York Times

President Biden called the sentence “unacceptable” and vowed to pursue all avenues to bring the American basketball star home. Her case has become mired in the conflict between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine.

U.S. Bolsters Aid for Cambodia Amid Efforts to Ease Global Food Crisis

By Edward Wong | The New York Times

The United States will give $25 million in agriculture development aid over five years to projects in Cambodia to help alleviate food insecurity, an issue made more urgent by Russia’s war in Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

White House Summons Chinese Ambassador for Rebuke on Taiwan Response

By Yasmeen Abutaleb | The Washington Post

The White House summoned China’s ambassador Thursday to condemn Beijing’s escalating actions against Taiwan and reiterate that the United States does not want a crisis in the region, after a visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply escalated tensions in the Taiwan Strait this week.

U.N. Experts Say Rwanda Provided Military Support to M23 Rebels in Eastern Congo

Reuters (free)

A United Nations Group of Experts said it has “solid evidence” that Rwandan troops have been fighting alongside the M23 rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and providing it with weapons and support.

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

Papua New Guinea PM Says He Can Form a Government as Vote Counting Continues


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said his party has the numbers to form a coalition government, after a national poll plagued by violence, fraud allegations and large numbers of voters missing from the electoral roll.

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

Colombia’s Next Defense Minister Faces ‘a Hell of a Fight’

By Daniela Diaz Rangel & Joshua Collins | Al Jazeera (free)

Ivan Velasquez has gone head-to-head with drug lord Pablo Escobar, local paramilitaries and disgraced Guatemalan politicians.

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

South Korea Launches First Lunar Orbiter as Space Bid Gathers Pace

By Hyonhee Shin | Reuters

South Korea launched its first lunar orbiter Friday as it doubles down on its space programs, aiming to land a probe on the moon by 2030.

Solomon Islands Takes Tighter Control Over State Broadcaster

By Nick Perry | Associated Press (free)

The government of the Solomon Islands has taken tighter control over the nation’s state-owned broadcaster—a move that opponents say is squarely aimed at controlling and censoring the news.

Italy, Intel Close to $5 Billion Deal for Chip Factory

By Giuseppe Fonte & Giulio Piovaccari | Reuters

Italy is close to clinching a deal initially worth $5 billion with Intel to build an advanced semiconductor packaging and assembly plant in the country, two sources briefed on discussions told Reuters Thursday.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister to Tour African States, Zelensky Says


Ukraine’s foreign minister will make a tour of African states this autumn, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Thursday.

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

Argentina: New Economy Chief Met by Market, Political Doubts

By Almudena Calatrava | Associated Press (free)

The market welcomed Argentina’s new Economy Minister Sergio Massa on Thursday with what appeared to be a cautiously optimistic attitude amid questions about how he would fulfill a key goal of reducing the fiscal deficit, while leftist groups criticized his initial plans they said would inevitably lead to austerity measures.

South Sudan Again Delays Its First Election, Until Late 2024

By Deng Machol | Associated Press (free)

Parties to the peace deal ending South Sudan’s devastating civil war have again delayed the country’s first elections since independence by extending the transitional period by two years. The vote meant for early next year has been pushed to December 2024.

South Sudan’s Kiir Sacks Finance Minister, Central Bank Governor


South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has removed the finance minister and central bank governor from their posts, a decree read on state-run television said.

Airbus Axes Remaining A350 Jet Deal With Qatar Airways

By Tim Hepher | Reuters

Airbus has revoked its entire outstanding order from Qatar Airways for A350 jets, severing all new jetliner business with the Gulf carrier in a dramatic new twist to a dispute clouding World Cup preparations, two industry sources said.

Israel Sends Reinforcements to Gaza Border as Tensions Rise

Associated Press (free)

The Israeli military said Thursday it is sending additional forces to the area around the Gaza Strip as it braces for possible attacks after the arrest of a senior militant in the West Bank this week.

China Stresses Ties With Southeast Asia in Cambodia Meeting

By David Rising | Associated Press (free)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed his country’s efforts to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian countries at a meeting Thursday with their foreign ministers, which came as Beijing seeks to expand its influence in the region.

Can Russia Divide Europe?

By Nathalie Tocci | Foreign Affairs

Why a false peace could be worse than a long war.

In Sri Lanka, the Military Still Runs the Show

By Viruben Nandakumar | Foreign Policy

The international community has a part to play in ending its culture of impunity.

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

Italy Finalizes Justice Reform to Help Unlock EU Funding


Italy’s outgoing government approved Thursday a decree to reform the country’s notoriously slow criminal justice system, according to government officials, paving the way for the finalization of a broader reform needed to keep European Union funds flowing.

Peru’s Castillo Forced to Stay in Country as Cabinet Crisis Continues


Peru’s Congress on Thursday forced President Pedro Castillo to stay in the country this week as he navigates a leadership crisis, without a prime minister and with a new Cabinet expected to be sworn in Friday.

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

More Than a Show: China’s Exercises Help It Practice Seizing Taiwan

By Chris Buckley & Amy Chang Chien | The New York Times (free)

A day after Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, visited Taiwan, celebrating it as a bulwark of democracy, China launched three days of military exercises around the island, which its forces may use to press in closer than ever, honing their ability to impose a blockade.

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

China Blocks Some Taiwan Imports but Avoids Chip Disruptions

By Joe McDonald | Associated Press (free)

China blocked imports of citrus, fish and other foods from Taiwan in retaliation for a visit by a top American lawmaker, Nancy Pelosi, but has avoided disrupting one of the world’s most important technology and manufacturing relationships.

More from WPR: Social Media Outrage Won’t Drive Social Change in China

Senate Overwhelmingly Votes to Add Sweden and Finland to NATO

By Catie Edmondson | The New York Times

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a treaty that would expand NATO to include Finland and Sweden, with Republicans and Democrats linking arms to pave the way for one of the most significant expansions of the alliance in decades amid Russia’s continued assault on Ukraine.

More from WPR: NATO Finds a New Sense of Purpose in an Old Mission

Prime Minister Resigns, Adding to Political Turmoil in Peru

By Franklin Briceño | Associated Press (free)

Peru’s prime minister announced his resignation Wednesday, adding to political uncertainty in the South American nation as President Pedro Castillo faces several criminal investigations after only a year in office.

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

Journalist, Three Others Killed in Mexico; 13th This Year

Associated Press (free)

A journalist was among four people killed inside a beer shop in central Mexico, the 13th media worker killed in the country this year.

Senegal Opposition Leader Asks Supporters to Defend Their Votes by Any Means

By Diadie Ba | Reuters

A Senegalese opposition leader Wednesday called on supporters to be ready to defend their votes by any means, accusing the ruling party of President Macky Sall of wanting to steal a legislative election the opposition claims to have won.

More from WPR: The ‘Senegalese Exception’ Loses Its Luster

U.S., Indonesia Hold Joint Military Drills Amid China Concerns

By Niniek Karmini | Associated Press (free)

The United States and Indonesian militaries began annual joint combat exercises Wednesday on Indonesia’s Sumatra island, joined for the first time by participants from other partner nations, signaling stronger ties amid growing maritime activity by China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Colombia’s Military Eyes New President Gustavo Petro With ‘Deep Unease’

By Gideon Long | Financial Times (free)

Former left-wing guerrilla navigates tense relations with country’s armed forces as he prepares to take office

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

France’s Macron Poised to Win Passage of Measures to Fight Inflation

By Sam Schechner | The Wall Street Journal

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to secure passage of a package of measures to help bolster household finances, a boost for the French leader as the country copes with rampant inflation stemming in part from Russia’s war of attrition in Ukraine.

Iran Nuclear Negotiators to Meet in Last-Ditch Effort to Revive Deal

By Laurence Norman & David S. Cloud | The Wall Street Journal

Iran, the U.S. and the European Union said Wednesday that they would send negotiators to Vienna for what could be make-or-break talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran, but expectations of an agreement weren’t high after months of stalled negotiations.

Sri Lanka Targets Organizers of Protests That Toppled President

By Skandha Gunasekara & Mujib Mashal | The New York Times

The Sri Lankan government is cracking down on the people who participated in a protest movement that toppled the island nation’s president last month, arresting several demonstration leaders, slapping others with travel bans and ordering the clearing of the last remaining protest tents.

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

Italy Investigating Case of Hospitalized Ex-Kremlin Official

By Claire Parker | The Washington Post

Authorities in Italy are examining the case of a former senior Russian official who was hospitalized in Sardinia this week after suffering neurological symptoms, Italian media reported Wednesday.

Ukraine Builds a Case That Killing of POWs Was a Russian War Crime

By Michael Schwirtz, Christiaan Triebert, Kamila Hrabchuk & Stanislav Kozliuk | The New York Times

Five days after an explosion at a Russian prison camp killed at least 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war, evidence about what happened remains sparse, but Ukrainian officials said Wednesday that they were steadily compiling proof that the mass slaughter was a war crime committed by Russian forces.

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

Saudi, UAE Save Oil Firepower in Case of Winter Supply Crisis

By Dmitry Zhdannikov & Maha El Dahan | Reuters

OPEC leaders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates stand ready to deliver a “significant increase” in oil output should the world face a severe supply crisis this winter, sources familiar with the thinking of the top Gulf exporters said.

Germany’s Conservative Leaders Push for Nuclear Power to Stay On as the Country Breaks From Russian Fuels

By Erika Solomon | The New York Times

Germany’s leading conservative politicians will visit one of the country’s last remaining nuclear plants Thursday as part of a push to urge the government to abandon its planned exit from nuclear power amid growing concerns of a looming energy crisis due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

More from WPR: Europe’s Gas-Rationing Plan Shows the Cracks in the EU’s Unity

Kenya’s Election Rips Open Scars of Inequality, Corruption

By Cara Anna | Associated Press (free)

Kenya’s Aug. 9 election is ripping open the scars of inequality and corruption as East Africa’s economic hub chooses a successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The vastly rich son of the country’s founding leader, Kenyatta has deflected graft allegations by calling for transparency but done little in a decade in power to enable it.

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

U.K. Leadership Election Rules Changed Over Security Fears

By Jill Lawless | Associated Press (free)

Britain’s governing Conservative Party said Wednesday that it has delayed sending out ballots for the party’s leadership election after a warning from the U.K. intelligence services about the risk of fraud.

More from WPR: Boris Johnson Is Gone, but London’s EU Delusions Remain

Long a Climate Straggler, Australia Advances a Major Bill to Cut Emissions

By Damien Cave | The New York Times

After years of being denounced as a laggard on climate change, Australia shifted course Thursday, with the Lower House of Parliament passing a bill that commits the government to reducing carbon emissions by at least 43 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, and reaching net zero by 2050.

More from WPR: Albanese’s Domestic Agenda Could Reshape Australia’s Regional Relations

New Evidence Shows How Myanmar’s Military Planned Its Brutal Purge of the Rohingya

By Poppy McPherson & Wa Lone | Reuters

War crimes investigators have obtained thousands of pages of documents that shed new light on Myanmar’s campaign to expel the country’s Muslim minority, as well as efforts to hide it from the world. The group that collected the documents, many of which it shared with Reuters, is already handing its material to prosecutors in the Hague.

Indian Government Approves New Emissions Targets

By Sibi Arasu | Associated Press (free)

Nine months after India announced its target of “net zero” emissions by 2070 at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, the country’s federal cabinet finally approved a new climate plan on Wednesday.

Pelosi’s Visit and the Coming Taiwan Crisis

By Minxin Pei | The Strategist (free)

Pelosi is hardly responsible for today’s heightened tensions over the island. Even if she had decided to skip Taipei on her tour of Asia, China’s bellicosity toward Taiwan would have continued to intensify, possibly triggering another Taiwan Strait crisis in the near future.

Chinese Military Drills Circling Taiwan Set Up a Potential Standoff

By Paul Mozur & Amy Chang Chien | The New York Times

Although much attention has been on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the real potential for a military showdown comes now that she has left.

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

White House Scrambles to Avoid Crisis Amid Pelosi Visit to Taiwan

By Yasmeen Abutaleb & Lily Kuo | The Washington Post (free)

The White House worked urgently to deescalate tensions with China as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Wednesday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials during a high-profile visit to the self-governing island against the administration’s wishes, hoping to head off a geopolitical crisis amid threats and military maneuvers by Beijing.

Taliban Facing Backlash After U.S. Drone Strike Against Al-Qaida Leader

By Pamela Constable | The Washington Post

The U.S. drone strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri here early Sunday also struck a humiliating blow against the Taliban regime, which had secretly hosted the aging extremist in the heart of the Afghan capital for months but failed to keep him safe.

More from WPR: Zawahiri’s Killing Could Make Life Under the Taliban Even Worse

U.S. Hits Russian Oligarchs and Companies With New Sanctions

The New York Times

The latest round of economic punishments are aimed at business figures close to the Kremlin, technology institutions with ties to the military and a woman believed to be President Vladimir Putin’s romantic partner.

Mexico’s Attorney General Investigating Ex-President

By María Verza | Associated Press (free)

Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday that it has opened several lines of investigation against former President Enrique Pena Nieto, several weeks after the country’s anti-money laundering agency accused the former leader of handling millions of dollars in possibly illegal funds.

Kuwait Formally Dissolves Parliament, Delays Budget Approval Until After Elections


Kuwait formally dissolved parliament in a decree issued Tuesday, state news agency KUNA said, as the Gulf Arab state’s crown prince moved to resolve a standoff between the government and elected parliament that has hindered fiscal reform.

More from WPR: Kuwait’s Political Gridlock Is Taking a Toll

A Wild-Card Candidate in Kenya Is Sparking an African Debate About Weed

By Rachel Chason & Rael Ombuor | The Washington Post

Pro-pot candidate George Wajackoyah is lighting up Kenya’s presidential campaign.

Nicaragua’s Government Shutters Six Church Radio Stations

By Gabriela Selser | Associated Press (free)

Nicaraguan authorities ordered the closure of six radio stations belonging to the Roman Catholic Church on Monday and surrounded one with riot police, church officials said.

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

U.S. Seeks Possession of Venezuelan 747 Grounded in Argentina

By Daniel Politi & Eric Tucker | Associated Press (free)

The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday it is seeking possession of a Venezuelan cargo jet that has been grounded in Argentina since early June because it was previously owned by an Iranian airline that allegedly has ties to terror groups.

Burkina Faso Army Admits to Killing Civilians in Air Raid

Reuters (free)

Burkina Faso’s army has said it accidentally killed civilians during a military operation in the country’s southeast earlier this week.

More from WPR: Burkina Faso’s Post-Coup Transition Could Be a Road to Nowhere

Congo Expels U.N. Peacekeeping Mission Spokesman After Protests


Democratic Republic of Congo has asked the spokesman of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, to leave the country, blaming him for stoking tensions that led to deadly protests last week.

Somalia Names Former Al-Shabab Deputy a Government Minister

By Omar Faruk | Associated Press (free)

A former deputy leader of the al-Shabab extremist group has been named a government minister by Somalia’s new administration in what some call a chance to persuade fighters to denounce violence.

Clashes Erupt in Bolivia Capital Between Police and Coca Farmers

AFP (free)

Clashes broke out Tuesday in the Bolivian capital La Paz between police and coca leaf producers in a dispute over control of the coveted commercialization of the plant.

Montenegro Signs Long-Disputed Contract With Serbian Orthodox Church


Montenegro’s government signed a contract regulating its ties with the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church on Wednesday, saying it would help heal deep divisions between pro-European Union parties and backers of closer relations with Serbia and Russia.

Greek Intelligence Service Admits Spying on Journalist

By George Georgiopoulos | Reuters

The head of Greek intelligence told a parliamentary committee his agency had spied on a journalist, two sources present said, in a disclosure that coincides with growing pressure on the government to shed light on the use of surveillance malware.

Italy Parliament Approves Competition Bill to Unlock European Funds


The Italian parliament has given its final approval to a highly contested bill to promote competition in product and services markets, required to help secure a new tranche worth $19.4 billion of post-pandemic European funds.

ASEAN to Rethink Peace Plan If Myanmar Executes More Prisoners


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations will be forced to reconsider a peace plan agreed with Myanmar if the country’s military rulers execute more prisoners, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday.

More from WPR: Myanmar’s Junta Still Has Nothing to Fear From ASEAN

Sri Lanka to Restart IMF Bailout Talks, President Calls for Unity Government

By Uditha Jayasinghe | Reuters

Sri Lanka will restart bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund in August, its new president said Wednesday, while calling on lawmakers to form an all-party government to resolve a crippling economic crisis.

More from WPR: Youth Will Pay the Cost of Global Inaction on Sri Lanka’s Crisis

U.N. Says Yemen’s Warring Sides Agree to Renew Existing Truce

By Samy Magdy & Ahmed Al-Haj | Associated Press (free)

The United Nations said Yemen’s warring parties agreed Tuesday to renew an existing truce for two more months after concerted international efforts.

More from WPR: Yemen’s Cease-fire Is Challenging Popular Notions of How Wars End

Guatemala Arrests Migrant Smugglers Wanted by the U.S.

By Sonia Pérez D. | Associated Press (free)

At dawn, police and federal agents with cover from helicopters flying overhead raided a large ranch nestled among the mountains of northern Guatemala, not far from the border with Mexico.

Lebanon Clears Ship Ukraine Says Is Carrying Stolen Grain

By Bassem Mroue | Associated Press (free)

Lebanon’s prosecutor general decided a Syrian ship allegedly carrying Ukrainian grain stolen by Russia may leave a port in the country’s north, officials said Tuesday. The move came after an investigation showed the vessel wasn’t carrying stolen goods.

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

China Is Stepping Up Its Information War on Taiwan

By A.A. Bastian | Foreign Policy

Pelosi’s visit is another spur for Beijing’s disinformation campaign.

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