News Wire | February 2023 Archive

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To Heal Brexit Wound, U.K. and EU Strike a Northern Ireland Trade Deal

By Mark Landler & Stephen Castle | The New York Times

Britain and the European Union struck a landmark agreement Monday to end a festering dispute over post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, potentially resolving one of the most poisonous legacies of Britain’s exit from Europe’s trade bloc in 2020.

More from WPR: Brexit’s Ghosts Still Haunt Northern Ireland

China, Saying It Can Mediate on Ukraine, Hosts Putin’s Ally Lukashenko

By Meaghan Tobin | The Washington Post

Even as China pushes to distance itself from the perception that it supports Russian hostilities in Ukraine—or at least benefits from economic ties with Russia amid strict Western sanctions—one of Moscow’s closest allies, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, is due to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a state visit.

More from WPR: With or Without Troops, Belarus Is Already Part of the War in Ukraine

A U.S. Diplomatic Push Arrives in the Heart of the Former Soviet Sphere

By Edward Wong | The New York Times

The Biden administration took its push to isolate Russia into the heart of the former Soviet sphere of influence Tuesday, with the top U.S. diplomat meeting with Central Asian leaders to urge them not to help Russia evade sanctions imposed by the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

More from WPR: China Is Taking Advantage of Russia’s Weakness in Central Asia

Chipmakers Receiving U.S. Federal Funds Barred From Expanding in China for 10 Years

By Demetri Sevastopulo | Financial Times (free)

Chipmakers must agree not to expand capacity in China for a decade if they are to receive money from a $39 billion federal fund designed to build a leading-edge U.S. semiconductor industry, according to new commerce department rules.

In Kyiv, Yellen Showcases Heft of Economic Aid to Ukraine

By Kamila Hrabchuk & Missy Ryan | The Washington Post

American funding for teachers, firefighters and medical workers is as important in helping Ukraine prevail against Russia as U.S. missiles and bombs are, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Monday during a visit to Kyiv.

U.S. Requests Extradition of Ovidio Guzman, Son of ‘El Chapo’, From Mexico

By Lizbeth Diaz | Reuters

The United States asked Mexico’s government to extradite Ovidio Guzman, son of jailed drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, so that he can face criminal charges in a U.S. court, two Mexican government sources told Reuters on Monday.

Mexican Troops, Border Residents Clash After Five Shot, Killed

By Alfredo Peña | Associated Press (free)

A shooting by Mexican army soldiers left five people dead in the rough border city of Nuevo Laredo, igniting a clash between the soldiers and residents who came to the scene to protest.

Brazil Allows Two Iranian Warships to Dock in Rio Despite U.S. Pressure

By Rodrigo Viga Gaier & Gabriel Araujo | Reuters

Two Iranian warships docked in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government granted permission despite pressure from the United States to bar them.

Ecuador, Belgium Sign Deal to Fight Crime After Mega Cocaine Bust


Ecuador and Belgium on Monday agreed to increase bilateral cooperation in their fight against international organized crime, a day after Ecuadorean police seized nearly nine tonnes of drugs bound for the European country.

Putin Orders Ukraine Border Tightening as Drones Hit Russia

By Susie Blann | Associated Press (free)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered officials to tighten control of the border with Ukraine after a spate of drone attacks that Russian authorities blamed on Kyiv delivered a new challenge to Moscow more than a year after its full-scale invasion of its neighbor.

More from WPR: Russians Are Buying Into Putin’s Ukraine War Propaganda—for Now

Moldova Expels Two Foreigners Caught in ‘Destabilization’ Plot

Associated Press (free)

Moldova’s intelligence agency said Monday that two foreign nationals who posed as tourists have been expelled from the country and banned from returning for 10 years after they were caught carrying out “subversive actions” to destabilize Moldova.

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

To Save France, Macron Is Dividing Europe

By Eoin Drea | Foreign Policy

Plans to reshape the European Union in France’s image have met stiff resistance.

Lagos Ex-Governor Tinubu Closes In on Nigeria Election Victory

By Tife Owolabi | Reuters

Provisional results from Nigeria’s disputed presidential election showed Bola Tinubu from the ruling party closing in on victory, a Reuters tally of votes in 31 of the country’s 36 states and the federal capital showed Tuesday.

More from WPR: Nigeria’s Election Euphoria Might Be Short-Lived

Ugandan Lawmaker Introduces New Anti-LGBTQ Legislation

By Rodney Muhumuza | Associated Press (free)

A Ugandan lawmaker on Tuesday introduced draft legislation that he said seeks to prohibit homosexuality in the East African country, voicing widespread anti-gay sentiment that has peaked in recent days.

Kenyan Traders Protest Against Chinese Competitor’s Cheap Prices

By Duncan Miriri | Reuters

More than a thousand Kenyan traders protested in the capital Nairobi on Tuesday against a new Chinese-owned retail shop they accuse of undercutting them with ultra-low prices.

Israeli PM’s Ultranationalist Ally Quits as Deputy Minister

Associated Press (free)

An ultranationalist ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tendered his resignation as a deputy minister in the new government.

More from WPR: Netanyahu’s Far-Right Government Is Tearing Israel Apart

U.S.-Israeli Dual National Killed by Palestinian Gunmen in West Bank Attack

By Dov Lieber | The Wall Street Journal

A U.S.-Israeli dual national was killed Monday in what Israeli authorities said was a terrorist attack by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank, the latest incident in an extended wave of deadly violence.

Top Indian Opposition Leader Arrested on Corruption Charges

By Sameer Yasir | The New York Times

The Indian authorities have arrested a top leader of an opposition party that has tried to project itself as a rival to the ruling party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, escalating a messy tussle that has hamstrung local governance of the capital, Delhi.

Pakistani Court Orders Arrest of Former Premier Imran Khan

By Munir Ahed | Associated Press (free)

A Pakistani court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as the cricket star-turned-politician called on his supporters to keep up protests amid a roiling political crisis.

More from WPR: Pakistan’s Political Crisis May Be Reaching a Breaking Point

Taliban: Two Senior IS Members Killed in Afghanistan

By Rahim Faiez | Associated Press (free)

Two senior regional members of the Islamic State group have been killed in Afghanistan in recent weeks in separate operations by the Taliban security forces, a Taliban spokesman said Tuesday.

More Than 100,000 in Mexico Protest Changes to Election Agency

By Natalie Kitroeff | The New York Times (free)

More than 100,000 people took to the streets of Mexico on Sunday to protest new laws hobbling the nation’s election agency, in what demonstrators said was a repudiation of the president’s efforts to weaken a pillar of democracy.

More from WPR: Mexico’s Democracy Just Dodged a Bullet on AMLO’s Electoral Reforms

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through Palestinian Towns in Revenge for Shooting

By Miriam Berger & Shira Rubin | The Washington Post

Dozens of Israeli settlers rampaged through Palestinian towns, torching cars, homes and killing a man, hours after a Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis.

U.K. and Brussels Are Close to a Deal on a Brexit Sticking Point

By Stephen Castle & Megan Specia | The New York Times

The president of the European Union’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen, arrived in Britain on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on finalizing an agreement that could resolve one of the thorniest legacies of the country’s withdrawal from the bloc: the trade status of Northern Ireland.

More from WPR: Brexit’s Ghosts Still Haunt Northern Ireland

Lab Leak Most Likely Caused Pandemic, Energy Dept. Says

By Julian E. Barnes | The New York Times

New intelligence has prompted the Energy Department to conclude that an accidental laboratory leak in China most likely caused the coronavirus pandemic, though U.S. spy agencies remain divided over the origins of the virus, American officials said Sunday.

U.S. Commandos Advise Somalis in Fight Against Al-Qaida Branch

By Eric Schmitt | The New York Times

A campaign in the Horn of Africa is now the most active element in the “forever wars” the United States has waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Congress to Examine Operations of U.S. Companies in China

By Demetri Sevastopulo | The New York Times

The U.S. congressional panel created to focus on threats from Beijing plans to look at the role of private equity, venture capital and Wall Street firms in China as it prepares to launch hearings Tuesday.

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

Peru Withdraws Ambassador From Mexico Amid Dispute

Associated Press (free)

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte announced Friday the withdrawal of her country’s ambassador to Mexico in response to criticism from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whom she reproached for hurting ties in order to “privilege ideological affinities.”

More from WPR: Peru’s Political Crisis Is Reawakening Echoes of Its Civil Conflict

El Salvador’s President Is Flaunting a New Mega Prison. Activists Are Worried

By Maham Javaid | The Washington Post

Thousands of detainees were transferred to El Salvador’s new mega prison Friday, drawing suspicion from some human rights advocates who noted that the theatrical opening of what may become the world’s largest penitentiary came shortly after U.S. federal attorneys accused government officials of cutting deals with gang leaders.

More from WPR: Latin America Likes Bukele’s ‘War on Gangs.’ That’s a Problem

Ecuador Indigenous Organization Ends Talks With Government, Calls for Lasso Resignation

By Alexandra Valencia | Reuters

A major Ecuadorean Indigenous organization said Friday it will not continue talks with the government of President Guillermo Lasso, saying the government has not complied with accords, and called for Lasso’s resignation over alleged corruption.

More from WPR: Ecuador’s Protests Leave Lasso in a Catch-22

Dozens Drown as Migrant Boat Breaks Up Near Italian Beach

By Gaia Pianigiani | The New York Times

A wooden boat carrying 130 to 180 migrants broke apart against rocks near a beach town in southern Italy early on Sunday, drowning at least 59 people, including a newborn and other children, the authorities said.

More from WPR: African Migration to Europe Is a Lifeline, not a Threat

France to Unveil New Economic, Military Strategy in Africa

By Sylvie Corbet | Associated Press (free)

French President Emmanuel Macron will unveil on Monday his country’s changing economic and military strategy in Africa for the coming years, as France’s influence substantially declines on the continent.

More from WPR: France’s Troubles in West Africa Go Well Beyond a Failed Counter-Insurgency

German Leader Seeks Indian Support for Russia’s Isolation

By Ashok Sharma & Frank Jordans | Associated Press (free)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sought assurances Saturday from India that it would support, or at least not block, Western efforts to isolate Russia for waging a devastating war against Ukraine.

More from WPR: Europe’s Ties With India Are Dangerously Underdeveloped

In Surprise Result, Italy’s Left Picks Elly Schlein to Rebuild Party

By Crispian Balmer | Reuters

Italy’s opposition center-left Democratic Party picked Elly Schlein, a 37-year-old U.S.-Italian national who grew up in Switzerland, to be its new leader and rebuild the group after its election rout last year.

Nigeria’s Obi Wins Key Lagos State in Presidential Election

Al Jazeera (free)

Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi has gotten the most votes in the commercial hub of Lagos state, which houses Africa’s biggest city.

More from WPR: Nigeria’s Election Euphoria Might Be Short-Lived

More Than 70 Soldiers Killed in Burkina Faso, Extremists Say

By Sam Mednick | Associated Press (free)

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for killing more than 70 soldiers, wounding dozens and taking five hostage, in an ambush on a military convoy in northern Burkina Faso.

Nineteen People Injured in Blast at Cameroon Sports Event

By Edwin Kindzeka Moki | Associated Press (free)

At least 19 people were injured in an explosion Saturday at a sports event in southwest Cameroon, authorities said.

U.N. Suspends Flights in Eastern Congo After Helicopter Fired On

By Justin Kabumba | Associated Press (free)

A United Nations helicopter came under heavy fire in eastern Congo, bringing the mission to suspend flights in the conflict-riddled region, the organization said Monday.

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

Egypt’s Top Diplomat in Damascus, Meets With Syria’s Assad

By Albert Aji & Kareem Chehayeb | Associated Press (free)

Egypt’s foreign minister Monday met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus and promised to deliver more aid to the quake-hit country.

More from WPR: In Syria, Assad Is Using the Earthquake as a Cover-Up

Hundreds Protest New Proposed Election Law in Baghdad

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra | Associated Press (free)

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Baghdad on Monday to denounce a draft elections law that would increase the size of the country’s electoral districts, potentially undermining independent candidates.

Tunisia Holds Prominent Critics of President in Pre-Trial Detention, Lawyers Say


A Tunisian anti-terrorism investigative judge decided Saturday to hold three prominent politicians and a high-profile businessman in pre-trial detention, their defense team said, amid a continuing crackdown targeting opposition figures.

More from WPR: Saied’s Power Grab May Provoke a Backlash in Tunisia

China to Welcome Belarusian Leader, Raising Concerns Over Ukraine

By Marc Santora & Chris Buckley | The New York Times

As officials in Ukraine anxiously watch evolving diplomatic overtures between Moscow and Beijing, China’s top leader will host the president of Belarus—a staunch Kremlin ally—with the pomp of a state visit next week.

More from WPR: With or Without Troops, Belarus Is Already Part of the War in Ukraine

Communist Rift Plunges Nepal’s Ruling Coalition Into Crisis

By Gopal Sharma | Reuters

Splits within Nepal’s communist-dominated ruling coalition plunged the Himalayan nation into crisis Monday as a Marxist-Leninist party said it would withdraw support after the Maoist prime minister backed an opposition candidate for the presidency.

More from WPR: Nepal’s Federal System Has Won Over Voters. Now It Must Deliver

China’s Coal Plant Approvals Highest in Seven Years, Research Finds

By Christian Shepherd | The Washington Post

China last year approved the largest expansion of coal-fired power plants since 2015, a new report has found, showing how the world’s largest emitter still relies on a fossil fuel that scientists say must be quickly phased out to avoid the worst consequences of a warming atmosphere.

Nigeria Presidential Election to Test Dominant Parties

By Tim Cocks | Reuters

Nigerians will vote Saturday in what could be their most credible and close electoral contest since military rule ended nearly a quarter of a century ago—and the first in which a presidential candidate who is not from one of the two main parties stands a chance.

More from WPR: Buhari’s Legacy Is a Diminished Nigeria and a Frayed State

Western Allies Hit Russia With Sanctions on Anniversary of Ukraine Invasion

By Demetri Sevastopulo, Henry Foy & Sam Fleming | Financial Times

Ukraine’s western allies are unveiling a swath of new sanctions targeting Russia’s military, industrial capacity and financial sector as they vow to increase pressure on Vladimir Putin.

More from WPR: At One Year and Counting, the War in Ukraine Is Set to Last

Racist Rhetoric by Tunisian President Sparks Fear Among Migrants and Black Tunisians

By Claire Parker | The Washington Post

Tunisian President Kais Saied took a page from the white-nationalist playbook this week, espousing xenophobic and conspiratorial views on migration as his government rounded up sub-Saharan African migrants, leaving Black residents of Tunisia worried about their safety.

More from WPR: Saied’s Power Grab May Provoke a Backlash in Tunisia

U.S. Sends Home Brothers Held for Nearly 20 Years at Guantanamo Bay

By Carol Rosenberg | The New York Times

The U.S. military released two brothers Thursday who had been held as detainees in the war against terrorism for helping to operate safe houses where suspected operatives of al-Qaida holed up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

G-20 Tussles Over Ukraine War as West Steps Up Sanctions

By Shivangi Acharya & David Lawder | Reuters

Finance leaders of the world’s top economies sought Friday to bridge differences over how to deal with Russia following its year-old invasion of Ukraine as the West stepped up sanctions against Moscow.

More from WPR: A Year In, Europe Is Preparing for a Long War in Ukraine

U.S. Nominates Former Mastercard Chief as World Bank President

By Aime Williams & Camilla Hodgson | Financial Times

Joe Biden has nominated former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga as World Bank president, picking a Wall Street veteran raised in India to oversee the institution’s biggest mission change in a generation.

Blinken Heads to Asia, With China, Russia Tensions Soaring

By Matthew Lee | Associated Press (free)

Fresh from a meeting with China’s top diplomat and a U.N. Security Council session on Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Central and South Asia next week for international talks that will put him in the same room as his Chinese and Russian counterparts.

Foreign-Policy Dissenters Deserve a Fair Hearing

By Matthew Duss | Foreign Policy

Iraq’s upcoming anniversary is a reminder of the dangers of hawkish groupthink.

Colombia Slams Nicaragua’s Ortega Over Expulsion of Critics


Colombia’s leftist government Thursday blasted Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s expulsion of hundreds of prominent critics earlier this month and called for international monitoring and a criminal inquiry, according to a statement by the Colombian foreign ministry.

More from WPR: Further Sanctions May Only Enable Ortega’s Repression in Nicaragua

Anti-Logging Activist Killed in Western Mexico

Associated Press (free)

Authorities in western Mexico said Thursday they are investigating the killing of an Indigenous anti-logging activist, the latest in a round of murders and disappearances in the region.

Justice Department Indicts 13 Alleged Leaders of MS-13 Gang

Associated Press (free)

Federal prosecutors Thursday announced charges against more than a dozen alleged high-ranking leaders of the international gang MS-13, accusing them of directing criminal activities including murder in the United States, El Salvador, Mexico and other countries over the past two decades.

European Countries Step Up Delivery of Tanks to Ukraine

By Guy Chazan, Raphael Minder & Barney Jopson | Financial Times

European efforts to arm Ukraine with western tanks have edged forward after Finland pledged to supply combat vehicles to the war-torn country and Poland said 14 of its Leopard 2A4s would cross the border “in a few days.”

More from WPR: The War in Ukraine Is Also a Battle of Narratives

Beaten and Divided, Italy’s Center-Left Seeks New Leader

By Crispian Balmer | Reuters

Italy’s center-left Democratic Party will chose a new leader this weekend who it hopes can pull the group out of a tail spin and provide a credible challenge to the nationalist prime minister, Giorgia Meloni.

More from WPR: Meloni’s Backstabbing Coalition Brings the Drama Back to Italy’s Politics

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

By Greg Miller & Catherine Belton | The Washington Post

In the final days before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s security service began sending cryptic instructions to informants in Kyiv. Pack up and get out of the capital, the Kremlin collaborators were told, but leave behind the keys to your homes.

More from WPR: Russians Are Buying Into Putin’s Ukraine War Propaganda—for Now

Djibouti Holds Parliamentary Vote Branded as Sham by Opposition

AFP (free)

The tiny Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti is voting in parliamentary elections Friday that have been boycotted by the main opposition parties, who have branded the polls a sham.

Nigeria Lawmaker Arrested With Nearly $500K Ahead of Vote

By Chinedu Asadu | Associated Press (free)

Police in Nigeria arrested a lawmaker who allegedly was carrying nearly $500,000 in cash in a battleground state a day before the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections, raising fresh concerns Friday about the influence of money in the vote.

Gunmen Kill at Least 12 Civilians in Central Mali Village


Gunmen have killed at least 12 civilians in an attack on a village in central Mali, two officials said Friday, the latest reported attack in an area rife with jihadist activity.

Assad Approved Syria Quake Aid With a UAE Nudge, Sources Say

By Laila Bassam, Ghaida Ghantous, Maya Gebeily & Tom Perry | Reuters

President Bashar al-Assad ceded to calls for more aid access to Syria’s northwest with prodding from the United Arab Emirates, sources say, a diplomatic win for the Gulf state which has rebuilt ties with Damascus despite U.S. disapproval.

More from WPR: In Syria, Assad Is Using the Earthquake as a Cover-Up

Israel Approves Over 7,000 Settlement Homes, Groups Say

By Josef Federman | Associated Press (free)

Israel’s far-right government has granted approval for over 7,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, settlement backers and opponents said Thursday. The move defies growing international opposition to construction in the occupied territory.

More from WPR: Netanyahu’s Far-Right Government Is Tearing Israel Apart

Algeria Moves Against Dissident Youth Association and Political Party


An Algerian judicial council has ordered the dissolution of a youth association linked to a protest movement and suspended a leftist opposition party, the council said Thursday.

Report: Istanbul Bomb Suspect Killed in Operation in Syria

Associated Press (free)

Turkish forces have killed the alleged mastermind behind a deadly Istanbul street bombing in an operation in northern Syria, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported Friday.

North Korea Test-Fires Cruise Missiles to Demonstrate Nuclear Counterattack

By Hyunsu Yim & Josh Smith | Reuters

North Korea test-fired four strategic cruise missiles during a drill designed to demonstrate its ability to conduct a nuclear counterattack against hostile forces, its state media said Friday.

More from WPR: The North Korean Nuclear Threat Is Creating a Regional Arms Race

Pakistan-Afghan Border Crossing Shut After Brief Reopening

By Riaz Khan & Rahim Faiez | Associated Press (free)

Pakistan shut down a key border crossing with Afghanistan just hours after it was reopened Thursday, officials said, the latest twist in the controversial closure of the Torkham junction that started earlier this week.

Indonesia Tightens Security in Papua After 10 Killed in Riot


Indonesia tightened security in the town of Wamena in the easternmost region of Papua, after 10 people were killed during a riot triggered by rumors that a child had been kidnapped, an official said Friday.

Pacific Islands Tap Taiwan Ally Nauru for Next Top Diplomat

By Kirsty Needham | Reuters

The top Pacific islands diplomatic post will pass to Taiwan ally Nauru next year, the 18-member regional bloc agreed Friday, as it resolved to face climate change and superpower rivalry as a united “family.”

Mexico Hobbles Election Agency That Helped End One-Party Rule

By Natalie Kitroeff | The New York Times

Mexican lawmakers passed sweeping measures overhauling the nation’s electoral agency Wednesday, dealing a blow to the institution that oversees voting and that helped push the country away from one-party rule two decades ago.

More from WPR: Mexico’s Democracy Just Dodged a Bullet on AMLO’s Electoral Reforms

Gaza Rockets, Israeli Strikes Follow Deadly West Bank Raid

By Tia Goldenberg | Associated Press (free)

Palestinian militants in Gaza launched rockets at southern Israel and Israeli aircraft struck targets in the coastal enclave early Thursday after a gunbattle triggered by an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank killed 10 Palestinians.

A Global Divide on the Ukraine War Is Deepening

By Liz Sly | The Washington Post (free)

Russia capitalizes on disillusionment with the United States to win sympathy in the Global South.

More from WPR: The War in Ukraine Is Also a Battle of Narratives

U.S. to Expand Troop Presence in Taiwan for Training Against China Threat

By Nancy A. Youssef & Gordon Lubold | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is markedly increasing the number of troops deployed to Taiwan, more than quadrupling the current number to bolster a training program for the island’s military amid a rising threat from China.

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

Supreme Court Wrestles With Suit Claiming Twitter Aided Terrorists

By Adam Liptak | The New York Times

The Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over whether internet platforms may be sued for aiding and abetting international terrorism by failing to remove videos supporting the Islamic State.

U.S. Releases Photo of Chinese Balloon Captured by U-2 Spy Plane

By Dan Lamothe | The Washington Post

The Pentagon on Wednesday released imagery of a U-2 spy plane soaring over the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that transited the mainland United States this month, providing a new glimpse of the information U.S. officials gathered about the craft before shooting it down over the Atlantic Ocean.

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

Argentina Government Loses Senate Power After Senators Exit Coalition


Argentina’s ruling Peronist coalition was dealt a blow Wednesday when four of its senators announced their departure, weakening the government’s sway in the Senate just eight months before high-stakes general elections.

Ecuador Prosecutor Asks for Corruption Charges Against Former President


Ecuador’s attorney general Wednesday said she will ask for charges against former President Lenin Moreno and three dozen others for alleged corruption surrounding the construction of the country’s largest hydroelectric plant between 2009 and 2018.

Colombia, Bolivia to Ask U.N. to Remove Coca Leaf From Narcotics List


Colombia and Bolivia will jointly ask the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to remove coca leaves from its list of prohibited substances and accept the plant’s traditional uses, Colombia’s government said Wednesday.

IRA Dissidents Suspected of Shooting Northern Ireland Detective

By Jill Lawless | Associated Press (free)

A senior Northern Ireland police officer was in critical but stable condition in a hospital after two masked men shot him after he coached a children’s soccer team, authorities said Thursday.

European Commission Bans TikTok From Staff Phones Over Security Fears

By Emily Rauhala & Beatriz Ríos | The Washington Post

The European Commission banned staffers Thursday from using the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok on their work devices over security concerns, following similar moves in the United States and a growing standoff between China and the West.

West Probes Potential Sanction Dodging as Exports to Russia’s Neighbors Surge

By Sam Fleming & Daria Mosolova | Financial Times

The EU and its allies are investigating a surge in exports to economies in Russia’s vicinity as they seek to prevent companies from evading western sanctions imposed on Moscow.

More from WPR: Sanctions on Russia Are a Long Game, Not a Quick Fix

Nigerian Senate Candidate Killed Three Days Before Election

By Anamasere Igboereteonwu | Reuters

A senatorial candidate from Nigeria’s opposition Labour Party was killed late Wednesday by unknown gunmen in southeastern Enugu State, a local party official said Thursday, the latest violent incident ahead of a momentous national election.

More from WPR: Buhari’s Legacy Is a Diminished Nigeria and a Frayed State

Iconic West African Leader Sankara Reburied in Burkina Faso

By Sam Mednick & Arsene Kabore | Associated Press (free)

Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader, Thomas Sankara, was reburied Thursday, eight years after his body was exhumed as part of an investigation.

More from WPR: A Trial in Burkina Faso Puts Sankara’s Legacy Back in the Spotlight

ANC Launches Withering Attack on Eskom Chief Who Criticized Party

By Joseph Cotterill | Financial Times

South Africa’s African National Congress has mounted a scathing attack on the outgoing chief executive of the blackout-prone Eskom, who was ousted after he accused senior members of the ruling party of involvement in corruption at the electricity monopoly.

What Nigeria’s Next President Can Learn From China

By Howard W. French | Foreign Policy

The country’s hope lies in the example of a rapidly reforming China at the turn of the 1980s.

Tunisia Detains More Dissidents Amid Growing Crackdown


Tunisian police detained two prominent dissidents and surrounded the home of a third Wednesday, part of an escalating crackdown on critics of President Kais Saied, who has labelled his opponents traitors and criminals.

More from WPR: Saied’s Power Grab May Provoke a Backlash in Tunisia

Israel: Oman to Allow Israeli Planes Through Its Airspace

Associated Press (free)

Israel’s foreign minister said Thursday that the Gulf Arab state of Oman has decided to allow Israeli planes to fly through its airspace. The announcement was another sign of closer ties between Israel and some Arab countries.

Iran Acknowledges Accusation It Enriched Uranium to 84 Percent

By Jon Gambrell | Associated Press (free)

Iran on Thursday directly acknowledged an accusation attributed to international inspectors that it enriched uranium to 84 percent purity for the first time, which would put the Islamic Republic closer than ever to weapons-grade material.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Held High-Level Meeting in Washington

By Joyu Wang | The Wall Street Journal

Taiwan’s foreign minister traveled to the U.S. this week for an unusual high-level meeting with senior American officials in the Washington area.

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

More Than 50 Missing After Coal Mine Collapses in Northern China

By Chang Che & John Liu | The New York Times

Rescuers in northern China were working Thursday to save 53 coal miners who were missing after the collapse of an open-pit mine. At least four deaths had been confirmed, local officials and state media said.

Deadlier and More Media Savvy, Separatist Rebels Evolve in Indonesia’s Papua

By Kate Lamb | Reuters

Egianus Kogoya, the dreadlocked rebel behind the kidnapping of a New Zealand pilot this month in the highlands of Indonesia’s Papua region, is at the vanguard of an increasingly dangerous and media-savvy insurgency for independence.

More from WPR: Indonesia’s Heavy-Handed Approach in West Papua Is Backfiring

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