News Wire | June 2023 Archive

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Burning of Quran in Stockholm Sparks Outrage in Muslim World

By Alissa J. Rubin and Isabella Kwai | The New York Times

The burning of a Quran outside a mosque in Sweden on one of the holiest days in Islam sparked outrage Thursday in many Muslim countries and widespread condemnations of the Swedish authorities.

Pakistan and IMF Reach $3 Billion Rescue Funding Deal

By Benjamin Parkin and Farhan Bokhari | Financial Times

Pakistan has reached a deal for $3 billion in short-term financing from the IMF following months of tense negotiations, offering the crisis-hit economy a reprieve as the government fights to avert a possible default.

Brazil Electoral Court Close to Ending Bolsonaro's Political Career

By Ricardo Brito | Reuters

Former President Jair Bolsonaro was on the cusp of losing his political future on Thursday, as three of a required four federal electoral court justices ruled he had abused his power in last year's fraught election. The case was adjourned until Friday when the remaining justices will rule.

Dutch Curb Chip Equipment Exports Amid U.S. Pressure

By Toby Sterling | Reuters

The Dutch government on Friday announced new rules restricting exports of certain advanced semiconductor equipment, a move that comes amid U.S. pressure on its allies to curb sales of high-tech components to China.

More from WPR: The CHIPS Act Alone Won’t Win the U.S.-China Tech War

Over 600 Arrested in France After Another Night of Unrest

By Aurelien Breeden | The New York Times

More than 600 people were arrested in France in a third night of unrest that has rocked cities around the country since a police officer fatally shot a 17-year-old driver this week, the authorities said on Friday, with decades-long complaints about police violence and persistent feelings of neglect and racial discrimination in France’s poorer urban suburbs adding fuel to the protests.

More from WPR: France's Youth Aren't Apathetic. They're Angry

UN Security Council to Vote to End Peacekeeping Mission in Mali

By Michelle Nichols | Reuters

The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on Friday to end a decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali after the West African country's military junta abruptly asked two weeks ago for the 13,000-strong force to leave "without delay."

More from WPR: In Mali, Islamist Insurgent Groups Are Forming Shadow Governments

Israel’s Mossad Spy Agency Says Its Agents in Iran Busted an Alleged Plot Against Israelis in Cyprus

Associated Press

Israel’s Mossad spy service announced on Thursday that its agents inside Iran seized the head of an alleged Iranian hit squad that planned to kill Israeli businesspeople in Cyprus.

Taiwan Says 11 Chinese Aircraft Crossed the Taiwan Strait Median Line


Eleven Chinese aircraft crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait on Friday morning, an unofficial barrier between the two sides, Taiwan's defense ministry said, as China ramps up military pressure on the democratic island.

U.S. Weighs Tougher Restrictions on AI Chip Exports to China

By Demetri Sevastopulo | Financial Times

The update by the US commerce department to sweeping export controls introduced in October could make it harder for companies such as Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to sell advanced chips to China, according to three people familiar with the situation.

France Arrests 150 as Violent Protests Spread Over Police Killing of Teen

By Niha Masih | The Washington Post

French authorities arrested 150 people as anger over the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy spilled into violent protests overnight in cities across the country. Towns halls, schools and police stations were set on fire, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said on Twitter, calling it a night of “intolerable violence.”

More from WPR: France's Youth Aren't Apathetic. They're Angry

Chile Assumes Temporary Presidency of Pacific Alliance After Diplomatic Spat

Reuters (registration required)

Chile temporarily took over leadership of Latin America's Pacific Alliance on Wednesday after a spat that saw Mexico refuse to hand over the rotating presidency of the trade bloc to Peru.

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

Argentina Announces Over $1 Billion in Credit From World Bank, IDB

By Reuters (registration required)

The World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank will provide Argentina with funds totaling over $1 billion, the South American nation's economy ministry said on Wednesday, adding these should go toward development and energy projects.

More from WPR: In Latin America, No Quick Fixes for Inflation and Economic Growth

Sunak Dealt Blow as Court Rules Rwanda Deportation Plan Unlawful

By Andrew Macaskill, Sam Tobin and Michael Holden | Reuters (registration required)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's pledge to stop asylum seekers arriving in small boats across the Channel suffered a major setback on Thursday when the Court of Appeal ruled that his plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda was unlawful.

More from WPR: Instead of Resettlement Schemes, Make Migration Easier, The Global North Is Closing Its Doors to Migration

Sierra Leone Election Observers Flag 'Statistical Inconsistencies'

By Reuters (registration required)

European election observers in Sierra Leone said there were "statistical inconsistencies" in the presidential results published by the electoral commission, which declared President Julius Maada Bio the winner of Saturday's vote.

More from WPR: Bio Faces an Uphill Task in Sierra Leone’s Elections

Israel’s Netanyahu Revives Judicial Overhaul Stripped of Most Controversial Piece

By Dov Lieber and Michael Amon | The Wall Street Journal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would drop the most controversial part of his plan to remake the country’s court system, pushing ahead with legislation stripped of a provision that would have given the national legislature the power to overturn rulings by the Supreme Court.

More from WPR: Israel’s Protests Are a Battle Over the Meaning of a Jewish State

Japan, South Korea Revive Currency Swaps as Icy Relations Slowly Thaw

Tetsushi Kajimoto and Jihoon Lee | Reuters (registration required)

Japan and South Korea agreed on Thursday to revive a $10-billion currency swap deal, a symbolic but significant step as the countries' leaders seek to improve long-strained ties amid increasing geopolitical risks.

More from WPR: Are Japan-South Korea Relations On the Mend?

E.U. Border Agency Considers Pulling Out of Greece Over Migrant Abuses

By Monika Pronczuk | The New York Times (free)

The human rights chief at the European Union’s border agency said last week that it could suspend operations in Greece over chronic rights abuses against migrants, potentially pulling out dozens of border guards, vessels and aircraft from a key gateway into Europe.

More from WPR: Greece’s Press Is the Latest Casualty of Mitsotakis’ War on Migrants

Wagner Mercenaries Will Not Be Withdrawn from Africa, Says Russia

By Jason Burke | The Guardian (free)

Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, has moved to reassure allies in Africa that thousands of Wagner group fighters deployed to the continent will not be withdrawn after the mutiny led by their commander Yevgeny Prigozhin over the weekend.

More from WPR: Wagner Is Only One Piece in Central African Republic’s Messy Puzzle

International Criminal Court Authorizes Reopening Probe Into Venezuela Security Forces

By Mike Corder | Associated Press (free)

International prosecutors should resume investigating alleged crimes against humanity in Venezuela by security forces under President Nicolás Maduro because the country’s own probe has fallen short, the International Criminal Court ruled Tuesday.

More from WPR: What’s Ahead for Venezuela’s Crisis?

Armed Group in Mexico Kidnaps 14 Security Ministry Staff

Reuters (registration required)

Security forces in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas were searching on Tuesday for 14 state security ministry employees kidnapped by members of an armed group earlier in the day, authorities said.

More from WPR: AMLO Doubles Down on Mexico’s Failed Security Policy

Youths Clash With Police Near Paris After Teenager Shot Dead in Traffic Stop

By Layli Foroudi and Dominique Vidalon | Reuters (registration required)

Protesters armed with fireworks clashed with riot police in a Paris suburb overnight after a 17-year-old man was shot dead by police during a traffic stop and prosecutors opened a homicide investigation.

More from WPR: France’s Youth Aren’t Apathetic. They’re Angry

Sierra Leone’s President Re-Elected, Barely Avoiding a Runoff

By Elian Peltier | The New York Times

President Julius Maada Bio won re-election in the West African nation of Sierra Leone on Tuesday, a result rejected by his main opponent and questioned by some observers who cited a lack of transparency in the vote tallying.

More from WPR: Bio Faces an Uphill Task in Sierra Leone’s Elections

U.N. Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Set to End on June 30

By David Lewis and Edward Mcallister | Reuters (registration required)

A decade-long United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali is set to end on June 30, diplomats said on Tuesday, ahead of a Security Council vote on a draft resolution that will give the 13,000-strong operation six months to withdraw.

More from WPR: In Mali, Islamist Insurgent Groups Are Forming Shadow Governments

Israeli, Palestinian Ministers Discuss West Bank Violence in Rare Contact

Reuters (registration required)

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and a senior Palestinian official discussed violence in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, with Gallant's office saying he offered reassurance about Israel's intention to crack down on Jewish settler riots.

More from WPR: Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians Has Fallen Off the Agenda

China Signs Pacts With 'Friend and Partner' New Zealand

Reuters (registration required)

China signed cooperative arrangements with "friend" New Zealand on Wednesday during a visit by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins aimed at improving market access for a Western country that has long maintained a conciliatory approach towards China.

More from WPR: For New Zealand After Ardern, China Remains a Tricky Balancing Act

China Offers Closer Military Cooperation With Vietnam

Reuters (registration required)

China is willing to work with Vietnam to strengthen high-level communication and cooperation between their militaries, Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu said on Tuesday as he met his Vietnamese counterpart.

More from WPR: Vietnam’s Deteriorating Ties With China Should Be a Wake-Up Call

Russia Drops Uprising Charges and Says Wagner Will Hand Over Weapons

By Max Seddon, Polina Ivanova and Raphael Minder| Financial Times

The announcements on Tuesday came in the wake of the deal between the Kremlin and Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin and appeared to mark progress towards resolving the stand-off.

More from WPR: Don’t Look to Russian History to Understand Putin

Honduras Starts El Salvador-Style Crackdown On Gangs After Massacres

Associated Press (free)

Authorities in Honduras have launched an El Salvador-style crackdown and arrested a suspect in a pool hall shooting on Saturday that killed 11 people.

Emergence of Guatemalan Anti-graft Champion Shakes Up Election

By Sofia Menchu | Reuters (registration required)

Guatemalans fed up with persistent graft scandals on Sunday catapulted an unheralded anti-corruption candidate into a run-off for the presidency, raising hopes of a renewed drive to clean up the government after years of frustration.

With Eyes on Russia, Germany Read to Station Troops Permanently in Lithuania

Reuters (registration required)

Berlin is ready to station a 4,000-strong army brigade in Lithuania permanently in coordination with NATO defence planning following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the German defence minister said on Monday.

More from WPR: Germany’s Defense ‘Zeitenwende’ Will Need Popular Support to Succeed

Fighting Erupts in Sudan's Southeast After RSF Advance in Khartoum

Reuters (registration required)

Sudan's army confirmed on Monday that the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had taken the main base of a well-equipped police brigade in Khartoum and there were reports of fighting spreading for the first time to Blue Nile state near Ethiopia.

More from WPR: Only a United Civilian Coalition Can Bring Peace to Sudan

Critics of Egypt’s Regime Given Rare Platform Ahead of Elections

By Heba Saleh | Financial Times

One morning this month political science professor Mustapha Kamel al-Sayed, a critic of the Egyptian regime, took to the stage in a packed Cairo hall and openly denounced the way the country’s security services had curbed academic freedoms.

Thailand's Pita Says 'Enough Support' From Senate to Become PM

Reuters (registration required)

Thailand's leading prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat said on Tuesday he has enough support in the upper house to become the country's next premier, just days ahead of the new parliament's first session.

More from WPR: Thailand’s Opposition Will Need More Than Votes to Win Upcoming Elections

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