News Wire | January 2023 Archive

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Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Leader, Says She Will Step Down

By Natasha Frost | The New York Times

Jacinda Ardern, who became a global liberal icon as New Zealand’s prime minister but faced deepening political challenges with an election looming at home, said in a surprise announcement on Thursday that she would step down as the country’s leader.

Amid Fight Over Judiciary, Israeli High Court Orders Netanyahu Minister Removed

By Isabel Kershner | The New York Times

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a politician convicted of tax fraud was not fit to serve as a senior minister in Benjamin Netanyahu’s new right-wing coalition, a move likely to accelerate a looming showdown between the government and the judiciary over control of the country’s highest court and one that could destabilize the government.

More from WPR: Netanyahu’s New Partners Could Spell Trouble for U.S.-Israel Ties

U.S. Finalizing Plans to Send Nearly 100 Stryker Combat Vehicles to Ukraine

By Felicia Schwartz, Guy Chazan & Laura Pitel | Financial Times

The U.S. is finalizing plans to send nearly 100 Stryker combat vehicles to Kyiv, with an announcement expected at a meeting of Ukraine’s allies in Germany on Friday, according to officials.

More from WPR: Why the War in Ukraine Hasn’t Polarized Western Democracies

U.S. Warms to Helping Ukraine Target Crimea

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

The Biden administration is considering the argument that Kyiv needs the power to strike at the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.

Biden Adviser Meets Netanyahu Amid Unease Over His Government

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.

Growing Outrage as Protesters Descend on Lima to Urge Peru President to Quit

By Dan Collyns | The Guardian (free)

Peru’s capital city is bracing for further unrest as thousands of protesters from across the country pour into Lima to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, after nearly six weeks of turmoil that has claimed close to 50 lives.

More from WPR: Peru’s Challenge Runs Deeper Than the Current Crisis

El Salvador Arrests Colombian Linked to Paraguayan Prosecutor’s Murder


A Colombian suspect in the murder of a Paraguayan prosecutor last year was arrested in El Salvador and will be handed over to Colombian authorities, El Salvador’s government said Wednesday.

More from WPR: Drugs, Corruption and Organized Crime Make for a Deadly Mix in Paraguay

Protesters Lift Blockades in Bolivia’s Santa Cruz Region

By Paola Flores & Daniel Politi | Associated Press (free)

Protesters ended blockades Wednesday that had largely isolated the rich Santa Cruz region from the rest of Bolivia for more than 15 days, but leaders said the roadblocks could resume to press demands that the government free the region’s governor.

More from WPR: The Arrest of Another Opposition Leader Puts Bolivia on Edge

First Brazil Logging Raids Under Lula Aim to Curb Amazon Deforestation

By Jake Spring | Reuters

Brazil’s first raids against illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest under President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were underway Thursday, after the new leader’s pledge to end destruction that surged under his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.

More from WPR: Lula Will Have Trouble Keeping His Promises on Protecting the Amazon

Strikes and Protests Across France as Macron Faces Pensions Showdown

By Aurelien Breeden | The New York Times

Classrooms in France were empty, trains were still and the Paris metro was heavily disrupted Thursday as workers around the country went on strike and took to the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the legal age of retirement.

EU Lawmakers Want Iran’s Guards Branded Terrorist Group


The European Parliament called Wednesday for the EU to list Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, blaming the powerful force for the repression of protesters and the supply of drones to Russia.

More from WPR: The West Should Be Ready for All Scenarios in Russia and Iran

Two Swedes Get Lengthy Sentences in Russia Espionage Case

By Jan M. Olsen | Associated Press (free)

Two Iranian-born Swedish brothers were given lengthy prison sentences Thursday for spying for Russia and its military intelligence service GRU for a decade in the Scandinavian country’s biggest espionage case in decades.

Congo: 49 Bodies Found in Mass Graves After Militia Attacks

By Jean-Yves Kamale | Associated Press (free)

Mass graves containing the bodies of 49 civilians have been discovered in northeastern Congo after a series of weekend attacks blamed on a local militia, the United Nations said Wednesday.

Russia, China to Hold Naval Drills Off South Africa

By Mogomotsi Magome & Gerald Imray | Associated Press (free)

Russia and China will conduct naval drills in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa next month in another indication of their strengthening relationships with Africa’s most developed country amid the war in Ukraine and global financial uncertainty.

Tear Gas Fired at Congo Protesters Opposing Foreign Troops

By Justin Kabumba | Associated Press (free)

Police fired tear gas at demonstrators in eastern Congo on Wednesday after dozens of people took part in an unauthorized protest in Goma against the presence of foreign troops to help quell violence from armed groups.

More from WPR: The War in Eastern Congo Matters, Too

Senegal Opposition Leader Sonko to Face Trial Over Rape Charges

Al Jazeera (free)

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko will face trial on charges of rape and making death threats to a beauty salon employee in 2021, an investigating judge has said.

More from WPR: Senegal’s Democratic ‘Exceptionalism’ Is Showing Cracks

Israeli Military Kills Palestinian Teacher, Militant in Raid

Associated Press (free)

Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian schoolteacher and a militant during a military raid in the occupied West Bank early Thursday, Palestinian officials said, the latest deaths as Israeli-Palestinian violence continues to surge.

Iraq Economy Reels as U.S. Moves Against Money Flows to Iran

By David S. Cloud | The Wall Street Journal

Iraqis are blaming an unexpected culprit for a weakening currency that has caused the price of food and imported goods to rise: a little-noticed policy change by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

More from WPR: Iraq’s New Government Puts Iran-Backed Militias in the Driver’s Seat

South Korea, Iran Summon Each Other’s Envoys Over Yoon Comment

By Kim Tong-Hyung | Associated Press (free)

South Korea and Iran have summoned each other’s ambassadors in a diplomatic spat triggered by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s comments describing Iran as the “enemy” of the United Arab Emirates during a trip to that country this week.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Turkey

By Steven A. Cook | Foreign Policy

Turkey isn’t East or West. It’s Turkey.

Taiwan Premier, Cabinet Submit Resignations Ahead of Reshuffle


Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang submitted his resignation along with that of his Cabinet to President Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday ahead of a widely expected government reshuffle, but there was no immediate word about his successor.

Kazakh President Calls Early Parliamentary Election for March


Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dissolved the lower house of parliament on Thursday and called a snap election for March 19, his office said.

Myanmar Military Bombs Village, Killing Seven, Sources Say


At least seven civilians were killed when Myanmar’s armed forces launched air strikes at a village in the country’s central Sagaing region, according to a witness and BBC Burmese.

More from WPR: As Myanmar’s Crisis Gets Bloodier, the World Still Looks Away

Philippine President Marcos Says He Is Seeking Ways to Defuse Tensions With China

By Greg Ip & Matt Murray | The Wall Street Journal

The Philippines is increasing cooperation with the U.S. and developing stronger mechanisms to defuse disputes with China as it walks a fine line between the two superpowers, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said.

Ukrainian Interior Minister, Top Officials Killed in Helicopter Crash

By Isabelle Khurshudyan & Serhiy Morgunov | The Washington Post

Ukrainian Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky and other top ministry officials were killed Wednesday morning when their government helicopter crashed near a kindergarten just outside Kyiv, in what appeared to be an accident.

Brazil Charges Dozens in Pro-Bolsonaro Riots; More Expected

By Carla Bridi | Associated Press (free)

The office of Brazil’s prosecutor-general has presented its first charges against some of the thousands of people who authorities say stormed government buildings in an effort to overturn former President Jair Bolsonaro’s loss in the October election.

More from WPR: The Roots of Brazil’s Capital Riot Run Deep—and Far

Maria Ressa, Philippine Journalist and Nobel Laureate, Is Acquitted of Tax Evasion

By Jason Gutierrez & Mike Ives | The New York Times

The journalist and Nobel laureate Maria Ressa was acquitted of tax evasion Wednesday, a rare victory after numerous setbacks in her fight to keep publishing her news site Rappler, whose run-ins with the authorities have become emblematic of the Philippines’ declining press freedoms.

More from WPR: In a Surprise, Marcos Is Turning the Page on the Philippines’ Duterte Era

Pentagon Sends U.S. Arms Stored in Israel to Ukraine

By Eric Schmitt, Adam Entous, Ronen Bergman, John Ismay & Thomas Gibbons-Neff | The New York Times

The Pentagon is tapping into a vast but little-known stockpile of American ammunition in Israel to help meet Ukraine’s dire need for artillery shells in the war with Russia, American and Israeli officials say.

More from WPR: Why the War in Ukraine Hasn’t Polarized Western Democracies

U.S., Chinese Officials Discuss Climate, Economy, Relationship

By Fatima Hussein | Associated Press (free)

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met Wednesday with her Chinese counterpart and pledged an effort to manage differences and “prevent competition from becoming anything ever near conflict” as the two nations try to thaw relations.

More from WPR: Rising or Falling, China Is a Serious but Manageable Competitor

Supreme Court Struggles With Criminal Charges Against Turkish-Owned Bank

By Robert Barnes | The Washington Post

The Supreme Court faced weighty and seemingly novel questions Tuesday as it considered whether the federal government can pursue criminal charges against Turkey’s state-owned bank, which is accused of helping to launder billions of dollars so Iran could evade U.S. economic sanctions.

Top U.S. General Meets Ukrainian Counterpart Near Edge of War Zone

By Dan Lamothe | The Washington Post

The Pentagon’s top general met Tuesday for the first time in person with his Ukrainian counterpart, traveling by vehicle from a base here in Poland to an undisclosed location near the countries’ border in what appeared to be a symbolic show of support as Washington intensifies its military assistance to Ukraine.

Brazil’s Lula Removes Soldiers From Guarding Presidential Residence


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has removed 40 troops guarding the presidential residence after expressing distrust in the military for failing to act against demonstrators that ransacked government buildings on Jan. 8.

More from WPR: Brazil’s ‘Capital Riot’ Highlights the Challenges Lula Faces

Argentina to Buy Back $1 Billion in Foreign Debt in Signal to Markets


Argentina will buy back foreign bonds equivalent to over $1 billion to improve the South American country’s debt profile, economy minister Sergio Massa said Wednesday, looking to send a positive signal to markets despite low reserves levels.

Venezuela Isn’t on Track for 2024 Elections

By Guillermo Zubillaga | Americas Quarterly (free)

Widespread expectations for political opening in exchange for sanctions relief ignore a difficult global landscape and enduring crisis at home.

More from WPR: Recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s President Now Looks Like a Failed Strategy

Belarus Puts Opposition Leader on Trial for Treason in Her Absence

By Yan Zhuang | The New York Times

Belarus on Tuesday put the country’s main exiled opposition leader on trial in absentia for treason, in the latest crackdown on dissent against the country’s autocratic ruler.

More from WPR: To Support Belarus’ Opposition, the West Needs to Get Creative

Main Suspect in EU Corruption Scandal Strikes Plea Bargain

By Andy Bounds | Financial Times

The key suspect in the corruption scandal engulfing the European parliament has struck a plea bargain with Belgian prosecutors, pledging to reveal who he bribed and which countries gave him the money to do so.

More from WPR: The EU Parliament’s Qatar-gate Scandal Doesn’t Make Sense—Yet 

At a Pivotal Moment in Ukraine, U.S. and Allies Will Decide on Sending Arms

By Steven Erlanger | The New York Times

Ukraine is redoubling its pleas for more advanced weapons like tanks and air defense missiles in a pivotal week of diplomacy involving its American and European allies, as they debate how best to help Kyiv’s forces take the battlefield initiative ahead of an expected new Russian offensive.

More from WPR: Delivering Tanks to Ukraine Could Be a Gamechanger in Europe

Gambian Vice President Dies After ‘Short Illness’ in India

Al Jazeera (free)

Gambia’s vice president, Badara Alieu Joof, has died of illness in India, President Adama Barrow said Wednesday.

Attacks on Electoral Commission Spark Concerns for Nigeria Polls

By Ope Adetayo | Al Jazeera (free)

On Sunday, Nigerian policemen repelled an attack by unknown gunmen on the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the southeastern state of Enugu.

More from WPR: Nigeria’s Worsening Security Crisis Is Nearing Buhari’s Doorstep

DRC President Says M23 Rebels Yet to Withdraw as Agreed

Al Jazeera (free)

The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, says the M23 rebel group has not fully withdrawn from areas seized in the country’s east, accusing the militia of faking an agreed pullback of its forces.

More from WPR: M23 Violence Overshadows Eastern Congo Peace Talks

Berlin Museums Ready to Return Skulls From African Ex-Colony

By Kirsten Grieshaber | Associated Press (free)

The Berlin museum authority said Wednesday that it was ready to return hundreds of human skulls from the former German colony of East Africa after having researched their origin for several years.

More from WPR: Slowly but Surely, Africa’s Plundered Artifacts Are Coming Home

Jordan Protests to Israel After Envoy Blocked From Holy Site

By Isabel Debre | Associated Press (free)

Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador to Amman on Tuesday to protest a move by Israeli police to block the Jordanian envoy from entering a volatile holy site in Jerusalem. The incident quickly escalated tensions between the neighbors and reflected the heightened sensitivity around the sacred compound under Israel’s new ultranationalist government.

More from WPR: Netanyahu’s New Partners Could Spell Trouble for U.S.-Israel Ties

Lebanon to Take Out $116 Million in Loans for Ailing Electric Grid

By Kareem Cheyayeb | Associated Press (free)

Lebanon’s caretaker government Wednesday approved opening credit lines totaling $116 million to help fix its crippled state electricity grid.

A New Path for Syria’s Kurds

By Asli Aydintasbas & Julien Barnes-Dacey | War on the Rocks (free)

For the United States and European powers, Turkish-Syrian normalization would represent a dramatic shift, fundamentally altering the strategic calculus in Syria and directly threatening the position of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds—given that both Ankara and Damascus want to see their territorial control and autonomous governing curtailed or brought under the auspices of a centralized Syrian government.

Japan Court Acquits Utility Executives in Fukushima Disaster

By Mari Yamaguchi | Associated Press (free)

A Japanese court Wednesday found three former utility company executives not guilty of negligence over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and the subsequent deaths of more than 40 elderly residents during their forced evacuation.

Kazakhstan Tightens Visa Rules, Setting Limits for Russians Fleeing War Duty

By Francesca Ebel | The Washington Post

Kazakhstan has changed its entry rules for foreigners, in a move that is expected to make entering and staying in the country much harder for Russians fleeing military conscription and other repercussions of President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.

More from WPR: Europe Should Welcome Russian Draft Dodgers, not Turn Them Back

India Considers Banning News Identified as ‘Fake’ by Government on Social Media


India’s government will not permit social media platforms to host any information that it identifies as false, according to a draft proposal of the country’s IT rules released this week.

More from WPR: India’s Misguided War on Social Media

Australia to Spend $2 Billion on 40 U.S. Black Hawk Choppers

By Lewis Jackson | Reuters

Australia confirmed Wednesday it would buy 40 Black Hawk military helicopters from the United States for an estimated $1.96 billion, finalizing a sale signed off by the U.S. State Department last August.

China’s First Population Decline in 60 Years Sounds Demographic Alarm

By Christian Shepherd | The Washington Post (free)

China’s population shrank last year for the first time since a devastating famine in the Mao era, in a clear sign that the country is facing a looming demographic crisis worsened by decades of coercive policy that limited most families to a single child.

More from WPR: China’s Demographic Dividend Is Tapering Off

Germany Appoints New Defense Minister as Pressure Mounts Over Ukraine

By Erika Solomon | The New York Times

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tapped Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of one of Germany’s largest states, to become the country’s next defense minister, a day after the previous minister resigned from the post amid heavy criticism, including over the war in Ukraine.

More from WPR: The War in Ukraine Just Caused a Revolution in German Military Affairs

Peru Extends State of Emergency as Deadly Protests Roil the Country

By Marisa Iati | The Washington Post

Peru’s government extended a state of emergency in the country’s capital and three other regions Sunday as President Dina Boluarte refused calls to resign amid anti-government protests that have killed at least 47 people, about one-third of whom have died in the last week.

More from WPR: Peru’s Challenge Runs Deeper Than the Current Crisis

U.S. Drug Trial Opens for Mexico Ex-Security Head

By Mark Stevenson | Associated Press (free)

The man who was once Mexico’s top security official and in charge of fighting the drug cartels goes on trial Tuesday on charges he accepted millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for helping the powerful Sinaloa Cartel move drugs and its members avoid capture.

Janet Yellen to Meet Chinese Economic Tsar in Switzerland This Week

By Courtney Weaver | Financial Times

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Zurich this week, in a move that signals Washington and Beijing’s commitment to improving ties between the two nations despite simmering tensions over trade and Taiwan.

More from WPR: Rising or Falling, China Is a Serious but Manageable Competitor

Turkey’s Top Diplomat to Travel to U.S. Amid Troubled Ties

By Suzan Fraser & Andrew Wilks | Associated Press (free)

Turkey and the United States will aim to smooth out a series of disagreements between the NATO allies when the Turkish foreign minister visits Washington this week. But expectations that outstanding issues can be resolved are low.

Mexico President Names National Guard Commander to Senior Security Role


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador named the commander of the country’s National Guard as deputy security minister Monday, the latest in a string of appointments of former military members to serve in civilian roles.

Colombia President Backs Defense Minister Accused by Guatemala


Colombian President Gustavo Petro said Monday he would not accept any “order for the arrest” of his defense minister after a Guatemalan prosecutor accused the official of illegal acts.

More from WPR: Guatemala Has No Intention of Tackling Corruption

Venezuelan Teachers March for Better Pay Amid Sky-High Inflation


Teachers, retirees and workers’ unions marched in at least six Venezuelan cities Monday to demand better salaries, as the government of President Nicolas Maduro faces renewed challenges in its attempt to fight inflation.

Honduran Activists Demand Action After Killing of Water Defenders

By Jared Olson | Al Jazeera (free)

The killing of two Honduran water defenders this month has sparked international outrage, with the United Nations calling for an investigation and locals questioning the government’s commitment to protecting environmental activists.

More from WPR: Castro Will Have Her Hands Full Cleaning Up Honduras’ Mafia State

Death Toll of Russian Strike in Dnipro Rises to 40, Ukraine Says

By Andrew E. Kramer & Megan Specia | The New York Times

The authorities said 34 people remained missing after three days of searching for the living and the dead at an apartment building struck by a Russian missile in Dnipro.

More from WPR: Delivering Tanks to Ukraine Could Be a Gamechanger in Europe

U.K. Government Blocks Scottish Law Making Gender Change Easier

ByStephen Castle | The New York Times

Britain’s government moved Monday to block new Scottish legislation on gender change recognition, opening a constitutional rift between London and Edinburgh and stoking a highly charged debate over transgender rights.

Renewed Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Underlines Russia’s Waning Influence

By Anton Troianovski | The New York Times

Russia helped end a 2020 war and its troops policed the cease-fire. But with a new crisis in the Caucasus heating up, Moscow, distracted and weakened by Ukraine, has not intervened.

More from WPR: Azerbaijan Presses Its Advantage Against an Isolated Armenia

European Parliament Focuses on Two More Lawmakers in Corruption Scandal

By Monika Pronczuk | The New York Times

European lawmakers began the process of lifting the immunity of two of their peers Monday, paving the way for more arrests as a sprawling cash-for-influence investigation ripples through the European Union institutions.

More from WPR: The EU Parliament’s Qatar-gate Scandal Doesn’t Make Sense—Yet 

Five Somali Troops Die in Attack; 21 Al-Shabab Fighters Killed

By Omar Faruk | Associated Press (free)

An attack by the al-Shabab extremist group on a military facility north of Somalia’s capital on Tuesday killed five soldiers, officials said. Somali troops repelled the assault, killing 21 al-Shabab fighters.

Armed Insurgents Kidnap 50 Women in Burkina Faso

By Elian Peltier | The New York Times

Armed assailants kidnapped about 50 women in northern Burkina Faso last week, the government said Monday, the latest security incident in the landlocked West African country, which has been battling a jihadist insurgency since 2015.

Somalia Says It Has Taken Control of Key Port From Al-Shabab

By Abdiqani Hassan | Reuters

Somalia’s government-led forces have captured an al-Shabab stronghold on the Indian Ocean coast, the defense minister said Monday, in one of their most significant victories since launching an offensive against the Islamist group last year.

Yemen Rebels, Saudis in Back-Channel Talks to Maintain Truce

By Samy Magdy | Associated Press (free)

Amid Yemen’s longest-ever pause in fighting—more than nine months—Saudi Arabia and its rival, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, have revived back-channel talks, according to Yemeni, Saudi and U.N. officials. The two sides hope to strengthen the informal cease-fire and lay out a path for a negotiated end to the long civil war.

More from WPR: The Houthis Are Gaming Yemen’s Cease-Fire

Dutch Police Arrest Suspected Islamic State Security Chief

Associated Press (free)

Dutch authorities arrested a Syrian man on Tuesday who is suspected of having been a security chief for the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra extremist groups during Syria’s grinding civil war, prosecutors said.

Hamas Releases Video That Appears to Show Israeli Missing Since 2014

By Isabel Kershner | The New York Times

Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza, released a video Monday with footage of a man who identified himself as Avera Mengistu, an Israeli civilian held captive by the Palestinian group since 2014, issuing a direct challenge to Israel’s incoming military chief of staff and its new hard-line government.

More from WPR: Netanyahu’s New Partners Could Spell Trouble for U.S.-Israel Ties

Vietnam President Quits as Communist Party Intensifies Graft Crackdown

By Khanh Vu & Phuong Nguyen | Reuters

Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc has resigned after the ruling Communist Party blamed him for “violations and wrongdoing” by officials under his control, the government said Tuesday, in a major escalation of the country’s anti-graft campaign.

Former Afghan Lawmaker Shot Dead at Her Home in Kabul

By Christina Goldbaum & Najim Rahim | The New York Times

A female former legislator in Afghanistan was killed at her home in the capital, Kabul, the police and her family said—a high-profile murder of one of the few women parliamentarians who remained in the country after the Western-backed government collapsed and the Taliban seized power.

More from WPR: The U.S. Can Do More for Afghan Women Than Shame the Taliban

Pakistan PM Sharif Makes Conditional Talks Offer to Arch-Rival India

By Asif Shahzad | Reuters

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has made a conditional offer to his Indian counterpart to open talks on all outstanding issues between them, including disputed Kashmir, which he believes could be facilitated by the United Arab Emirates.

More from WPR: The India-Pakistan Thaw Is on a Road to Nowhere

Fiji Military Warns Government Against ‘Sweeping Changes’ After Tight Election


Fiji’s military chief warned lawmakers on Tuesday against making “sweeping changes” less than a month after an election that removed the government of Frank Bainimarama, who ruled the Pacific island for 16 years after taking power in a coup.

Officials Blame Negligence for Deadly Seoul Crowd Crush

By Choe Sang-Hun | The New York Times

South Korean officials Friday concluded their investigation of the Halloween crowd crush that killed nearly 160 people in Seoul, blaming the police and other government agencies​ for fail​ing to take precautionary measures to avoid such a disaster and for bungling rescue operations.

Amhara Forces Withdraw From Northern Ethiopia’s Tigray Region

Al Jazeera (free)

Forces from Ethiopia’s Amhara region who fought in support of federal troops during the two-year civil war in neighboring Tigray have withdrawn in line with an African Union-backed cease-fire, the army says.

More from WPR: With the Guns Silenced, Ethiopia and Tigray Must Now Secure the Peace

Biden, Kishida to Discuss Japan ‘Stepping Up’ Security

By Aamer Madhani | Associated Press (free)

President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were prepared to hold wide-ranging talks at the White House on Friday as Japan looks to build security cooperation with allies amid growing concerns about provocative Chinese and North Korean military action.

More from WPR: Why Japan Finally Got Tough on Russia

CIA Chief Makes Rare Visit to Libya


U.S. Central Intelligence Agency chief William Burns made a rare trip to Libya on Thursday, meeting Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah in Tripoli, the Libyan government said.

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

Russia Releases a U.S. Navy Veteran Quietly Detained in Kaliningrad in April of Last Year

By Michael Crowley | The New York Times

Russia released a Navy veteran who had been detained since April in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, a spokesman for his family announced Thursday, marking the second time in just over a month that an American has been freed from Russian custody.

U.S. Extends Temporary Deportation Protection to Somali Citizens

Al Jazeera (free)

The United States has extended temporary deportation relief to Somali citizens in the US, with President Joe Biden’s administration saying the humanitarian crisis and armed conflict in the African nation have created a situation too dangerous for them to return home.

Decoupling Wastes U.S. Leverage on China

By Paul Scharre | Foreign Policy

Keeping Chinese firms dependent on Western chips is a better strategy.

More from WPR: Washington’s Hawkish China Consensus Is Reaching a Point of No Return

At Least 11 Die in Colombia as ELN Rebels Clash With Dissident Ex-FARC Fighters


At least 11 fighters have been killed during clashes in northeast Colombia between dissident former members of the now-demobilized FARC guerrilla movement and National Liberation Army rebels, the army said Thursday.

More from WPR: Petro’s Road to ‘Total Peace’ for Colombia Passes Through Venezuela

Teen’s Death Brings Toll in Month of Unrest in Peru to 49

By David Pereda Z. | Associated Press (free)

A 16-year-old shot during a protest in the southern Peruvian region of Puno died Thursday, bringing the death toll to 49 in more than a month of unrest following the ouster of President Pedro Castillo.

More from WPR: Peru’s Challenge Runs Deeper Than the Current Crisis

U.S. Sending Delegation to Cuba to Restart Talks on Law Enforcement

By Matt Spetalnick & Dave Sherwood | Reuters

The Biden administration plans to send a delegation to Havana this month to restart U.S.-Cuba talks on law-enforcement issues that were halted under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. State Department said Thursday.

More from WPR: Biden Finally Realized He Can’t Ignore Cuba Any Longer

ConocoPhillips in Talks to Sell Venezuelan Oil in U.S. to Recover Billions It Is Owed

By Patricia Garip | The Wall Street Journal

ConocoPhillips, which abandoned Venezuela after its assets were nationalized in 2007, is now open to a deal to sell the country’s oil in the U.S. as a way to recover the close to $10 billion it is owed by Venezuela, according to people familiar with discussions between the company and Venezuela representatives.

Poland Lawmakers Back Law Intended to Release EU Funds

By Monika Scislowska| Associated Press (free)

Poland’s legislators voted Friday to approve a new law on judicial accountability that the government hopes will meet European Union expectations and help unfreeze billions of euros in pandemic recovery funds for the country.

EU Inaugurates First Mainland Satellite Launch Port

Associated Press (free)

The European Union wants to bolster its capacity to launch small satellites into space with a new launchpad in Arctic Sweden.

Activist Who Ran for Belarusian Presidency in 2020 Detained

Associated Press (free)

An opposition politician who ran against authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in the controversial 2020 presidential election has been arrested in Minsk, a human rights group said Thursday.

More from WPR: To Support Belarus’ Opposition, the West Needs to Get Creative

Pro-Government Parties Win Parliament Majority in Benin Polls

Al Jazeera (free)

Benin’s pro-government parties have won a majority of seats in parliament, the country’s Constitutional Court said, in a vote marking the return of the opposition after four years of absence.

Worst Cholera Outbreak in Decades Kills 750 People in Malawi

By Gregory Gondwe | Associated Press (free)

The worst cholera outbreak to affect Malawi in two decades has now claimed 750 lives, a government minister said, while the World Health Organization chief described the southeast African country as among the hardest-hit amid ongoing global epidemics that are “more widespread and deadly than normal.”

Ghana Increases Salaries by 30 Percent Amid Economic Woes

Al Jazeera (free)

Ghana’s government and trade unions have agreed to increase all public servants’ salaries by 30 percent for 2023, they said in a joint statement, as the country struggles to reduce debt and tackle rampant inflation.

Israeli Army Kills Three Palestinians During West Bank Raids

By Isabel Debre | Associated Press (free)

The Israeli military shot and killed three Palestinians during arrest raids in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said, the latest bloodshed in months of rising violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

Iran’s FM Says Talks With Saudis Could Restore Relations

Associated Press (free)

Talks between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia are continuing and could eventually restore diplomatic relations that were severed years ago, Iran’s foreign minister said Friday.

More from WPR: What Brought Saudi Arabia and Iran to the Negotiating Table

Suspect Charged With Murder in Assassination of Japan’s Abe

By Mari Yamaguchi | Associated Press (free)

Japanese prosecutors formally charged the suspect in the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with murder, sending him to stand trial, a court said Friday.

Kazakhstan Strips Ex-President’s Family of Legal Immunity


Kazakhstan’s parliament Friday repealed a law that gave former president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s immediate family immunity from prosecution, and took away his status as a leader of the nation.

More from WPR: Nazarbayev’s Fate in Kazakhstan Is a Cautionary Tale for Putin and Xi

The Limits of Japan’s Military Awakening

By Brahma Chellaney | The Strategist (free)

Japan’s push to become more self-reliant on defense should be welcomed. Improved defense capabilities will translate into a more confident and secure Japan—and a more stable Indo-Pacific. But if Japan is to “disrupt and defeat” threats, as the national security strategy puts it, Japanese leaders must move proactively to beat China at its own game.

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