News Wire | August 2022 Archive

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Ayman al-Zawahri, Top Al-Qaida Leader

By Peter Baker, Helene Cooper, Julian E. Barnes & Eric Schmitt | The New York Times

An American drone strike killed Ayman al-Zawahri, a key plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who took over as the leader of Al-Qaida after Osama bin Laden’s death, at an urban safe house in Afghanistan, President Biden announced Monday night.

Pelosi Is Expected to Go to Taiwan, Biden Administration Officials Say

By David E. Sanger & Vivian Wang | The New York Times (free)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began a fraught tour of Asia on Sunday that administration officials say they now expect will include a stop in Taiwan, despite China’s increasingly sharp warnings in recent days that a visit to the self-governing island would provoke a response, perhaps a military one.

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

Senegal’s Ruling Coalition Claims Win but Opposition Rejects

By Babacar Dione | Associated Press (free)

Senegal’s ruling coalition says it has won 30 of 46 departments in Sunday’s legislative election, giving it a majority over the opposition.

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

Threat of Protests, Violent Escalation Stirs Fears in Iraq

By Samya Kullab & Qassim Abdul-Zahra | Associated Press (free)

Thousands gathered in Baghdad on Monday for a counter-rally called by Iran-backed groups against their rival, an influential cleric whose followers are staging a sit-in inside the Iraqi parliament—only to withdraw hours later.

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

U.S. Will Send Another $550 Million in Arms to Ukraine

By Peter Baker | The New York Times

The United States will send another $550 million in arms to Ukraine to help it fend off Russia, the White House said Monday, increasing the total American investment in the fighting there to more than $8 billion since the invasion began in February.

U.S. Targets Chinese, UAE Firms in New Iran Oil Sanctions

By Daphne Psaledakis & Arshad Mohammed | Reuters

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

Why Designating Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism Is a Bad Idea

By Ingrid Brunk Wuerth | The Washington Post

Russia has done many terrible things in Ukraine and beyond. It is thus understandable that President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, members of the Senate and many others have called on the Biden administration to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. That designation (currently applied only to Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria) may seem like a good way to further punish Russia, help the Ukrainians and give more concrete form to our outrage. But it is not.

Congo to Reassess U.N. Withdrawal Plan After Deadly Protests


Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will reevaluate the withdrawal plan of the United Nations peacekeeping mission after deadly anti-U.N. protests last week, it said late Monday, suggesting it may ask the force to leave quicker than expected.

Four Dead in South Africa Protests Over High Power Costs

Al Jazeera (free)

At least four people have died during protests over the cost of electricity in a South African township, police officials have said.

Zimbabwe Electoral Appointments Spark Controversy Ahead of 2023

By Chris Muronzi | Al Jazeera (free)

Electoral commission’s appointments of people related to party stalwarts has triggered fears of electoral malpractice.

Sri Lanka Says Chinese Military Survey Ship Will Port Only to Refuel

By Uditha Jayasinghe | Reuters

A Chinese military survey ship will visit a strategic port in crisis-hit Sri Lanka later this month only to refuel, a Cabinet spokesman said Tuesday, after neighboring India raised concerns over the vessel’s journey to the Indian Ocean island.

Pakistan Election Commission Says Imran Khan’s Party Accepted Illegal Donations

AFP (free)

Pakistan’s ex-premier Imran Khan’s party accepted millions of dollars in illegal funds from foreign individuals and groups, the election commission ruled Tuesday.

Key Hong Kong Court Ruling to Lift Lid on National Security Cases

AFP (free)

A Hong Kong court delivered a landmark ruling Tuesday that will help lift the lid on secrecy-shrouded pre-trial hearings held under a national security law.

More from WPR: Lee Will Be Beijing’s Man in Hong Kong

Iran Arrests Baha’i Members; Advocates Demand Their Release

Associated Press (free)

Iran arrested several members of the Baha’i faith on spying charges, authorities said Monday, the latest sign of a tightening crackdown across the Islamic Republic as it faces international pressure over its tattered nuclear deal.

Panama Teachers End Long Strike That Set Off Wider Protests

Associated Press (free)

Panama’s teachers will return to the classroom Tuesday after a month-long strike supported by a number of other sectors that blocked commerce and snarled the capital with traffic over the high cost of living and government corruption.

Honduras Reports ‘Historic’ Coca Seizure


Honduran authorities reported Monday the discovery of more than 1.6 million coca leaf bushes in the most important seizure of its kind ever as Honduras struggles to combat drug production.

The Secret Airstrips Behind Brazil’s Illegal Mining Crisis

By Manuela Andreoni, Blacki Migliozzi, Pablo Robles & Denise Lu | The New York Times

The Times identified hundreds of airstrips that bring criminal mining operations to the most remote corners of the Amazon.

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

A New Era for U.S.-Colombia Relations

By Cynthia J. Arnson | Americas Quarterly (free)

Intense White House outreach reflects an uncertain path forward.

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

Italy’s Center-Left Sees Open Electoral Race After Pact With Centrists

By Angelo Amante | Reuters

Italy’s Democratic Party formed an alliance with a smaller centrist group Tuesday in a move seen as boosting the center-left’s chances of preventing a right-wing triumph in an election next month.

More from WPR: Italy’s Political Drama Could Lead to a European Tragedy

Spain Moves to Replace Franco Regime Official Secrets Law

Associated Press (free)

The Spanish government unveiled a proposed new Official Secrets Law on Monday, the first since the country returned to democracy in 1978.

Why Britain Changed Its China Stance

By Tom McTague | The Atlantic

The cycles of London’s engagement with Beijing reveal how the U.S.’s ability to keep allies in line for its great-power competition is weakening.

Tensions Flare on Kosovo-Serbian Border Amid Protests and Gunfire

By Valerie Hopkins | The New York Times

A dispute over license plates between the Balkan nations of Kosovo and Serbia, from whom Kosovo split 14 years ago, yielded protests and gunfire Sunday night, prompting fears that the violence could escalate as Western countries are focused on the war in Ukraine.

First Ship Carrying Ukrainian Grain Leaves the Port of Odesa

By Susie Blann & Suzan Fraser | Associated Press (free)

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain set out from the port of Odesa on Monday under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that is expected to release large stores of Ukrainian crops to foreign markets and ease a growing food crisis.

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

Ukraine Seeks to Retake the South, Tying Down Russian Forces

Associated Press (free)

Even as Moscow’s war machine crawls across Ukraine’s east, trying to achieve the Kremlin’s goal of securing full control over the country’s industrial heartland, Ukrainian forces are scaling up attacks to reclaim territory in the Russian-occupied south.

The Fantasy of Brexit Britain Is Over

By Richard Seymour | The New York Times

The Boris Johnson era is over. But the turmoil has only just begun.

Pelosi Goes to Singapore, but Is Silent on Taiwan

By David E. Sanger & Vivian Wang | The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began a fraught tour of Asia on Sunday that administration officials say they now expect will include a stop in Taiwan, despite China’s increasingly sharp warnings in recent days that a visit to the self-governing island would provoke a response, perhaps a military one.

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

Blinken and Lavrov Discuss Griner in Their First Call of the War

By Michael Schwirtz, Michael Crowley & Richard Pérez-Peña | The New York Times

The top Russian and American diplomats spoke on Friday for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, to discuss a possible prisoner swap involving the American basketball star Brittney Griner. Although no breakthrough was reported, it marked a resumption of direct communication between Washington and Moscow.

U.S. Eyes Sanctions Against Global Network It Believes Is Shipping Iranian Oil

By Ian Talley | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is considering sanctions that would target a United Arab Emirates-based businessman and a network of companies suspected of helping export Iran’s oil, part of a broader effort to escalate diplomatic pressure on Tehran as U.S. officials push to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

Brazil Moves Toward Paving Road Key to Deforestation

By Fabiano Maisonnave | Associated Press (free)

In a decision that critics have labeled as dangerous, Brazil’s government granted a preliminary environmental permit for paving a dirt highway that cuts through one of the Amazon rainforest’s most preserved areas.

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

In Widening Crackdown, Renowned Journalist Arrested in Guatemala

By Oscar Lopez | The New York Times

In another sign of growing political repression in Guatemala, the authorities have arrested an award-winning journalist who was critical of the government and raided the offices of the newspaper he founded.

More from WPR: Guatemala Has No Intention of Tackling Corruption

One Wounded in Attack on Army Guarding Guatemala President

By Sonia Pérez D. | Associated Press (free)

One man was wounded Saturday after gunmen opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint providing area security for a visit by Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to a town near the Mexican border.

Havana Announces Blackouts, Cancels Carnival as Crisis Deepens

By Marc Frank | Reuters

The Cuban capital of Havana will begin electricity blackouts in August, has canceled carnival and is taking other measures as the country’s energy crisis worsens, state media reported Saturday.

Forget a Coup. Beware Brazil’s Bottom-Deeding Congress

By Mac Margolis | The Washington Post

The fact is that Brazil’s dysfunctional politics won’t be fixed by whoever occupies the Palacio do Planalto, the presidential palace in Brasilia.

Followers of Iraqi Cleric Occupy Parliament Again, Demanding Reforms

By Alissa J. Rubin | The New York Times (free)

Iraqi protesters loyal to the nationalist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr thronged Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone for the second time in a week Saturday to prevent the formation of a new government. They scaled concrete barriers and pushed past security forces to get into the Iraqi Parliament, filling the empty seats of representatives and shouting their support for Sadr: “Son of Mohammed, take us wherever you want.”

Kuwait Announces Formation of New Cabinet to Defuse Crisis

Associated Press (free)

Kuwait on Monday announced the formation of a new government to defuse a protracted political feud blocking economic reforms in the oil-rich state.

Iran Arrests Another Swedish Citizen on Espionage Charge

Associated Press (free)

Iranian agents have arrested a Swedish citizen suspected of spying, the intelligence ministry said Saturday.

U.N. Peacekeepers Open Fire in DR Congo, Causing Several Casualties

Al Jazeera (free)

At least two people have been killed and 15 wounded when members of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo opened fire at a border post in the country’s eastern region, according to the Congolese government.

Senegal Elects Parliament in Test for Ruling Party’s Influence

Al Jazeera (free)

Polls have closed in Senegal’s parliamentary elections pitting President Macky Sall’s ruling party against an opposition coalition energised by food price hikes and fears the incumbent leader could run for a controversial third term in 2024.

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

At Least 32 People Killed After Bandits Set Homes on Fire in Madagascar


At least 32 people were killed in Madagascar in an area north of the capital Friday after local bandits known as “dahalo” set homes on fire, according to statements by the defense ministry.

Zambia Debt Relief Pledge Clears Way for $1.4 Billion Program, Says IMF

By Gayatri Suroyo & Rachel Savage | Reuters

Zambia’s creditors pledged to negotiate a restructuring of the country’s debts Saturday, a move IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva welcomed as “clearing the way” for a $1.4 billion Fund program.

Senegal’s Democratic Backsliding Is a Threat to African Democracy

By Danielle Resnick | Foreign Policy

A constitutional coup in a country that has long been a beacon for freedom would encourage authoritarians across the continent.

Former Maoist Commander Reinstated as Nepal’s Finance Minister

By Gopal Sharma | Reuters

Nepal has reinstated its finance minister, the president’s office announced Sunday, after an internal investigation found no evidence to prove he was involved in making illegal changes to the budget.

China Announces Military Exercise Opposite Taiwan

Associated Press (free)

China said it was conducting military exercises Saturday off its coast opposite Taiwan after warning Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives to scrap possible plans to visit the island democracy, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

China’s Most Powerful Rocket Falls Back to Earth, Lands in Criticism

By Jennifer Hassan & Christian Shepherd | The Washington Post

China said its most powerful rocket fell back to Earth, as NASA criticized Beijing for failing to share crucial data about its trajectory.

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos Dies at 94

By Regine Cabato | The Washington Post

Fidel V. Ramos—former president of the Philippines, career military official and figure of the 1986 revolution that deposed a dictatorship—died Sunday. He was 94.

China on the Offensive

By Bonny Lin & Jude Blanchette | Foreign Affairs

How the Ukraine war has changed Beijing’s strategy.

Gangs Advance on the Seat of Haitian Government Power: ‘Haitians Are Hostages’

By Maria Abi-Habib & Andre Paultre | The New York Times

Gangs are increasing their chokehold on Haiti’s capital, using bulldozers to raze entire neighborhoods, overwhelming poorly armed police and taking their violence to within blocks of the seat of government.

More from WPR: Haiti Can Solve Its Own Problems, if Foreign Powers Would Let It

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