News Wire | July 2023 Archive

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West African Nations Threaten Military Action Unless Niger Coup Is Undone

By Declan Walsh | The New York Times

West African leaders on Sunday threatened military action against Niger, where soldiers seized power in a coup on Wednesday, unless the country’s democratically elected president is restored to office within a week.

More from WPR: Africa’s Stalled Post-Coup ‘Transitions’ Are Telling Us Something

At Least 40 Killed in Blast at Pakistan Political Convention

By Rick Noack, Shaiq Hussain and Haq Nawaz Khan | The Washington Post

The blast struck a gathering for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, a right-wing political and religious party led by hard-line cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, near the border with Afghanistan, and injured nearly 200 people, according to the provincial information minister, Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel.

IMF Agrees to Release $7.5 Billion to Cash-Strapped Argentina

Associated Press

The International Monetary Fund said Friday that it reached an agreement with Argentina that would open the door for the cash-strapped South American country to receive $7.5 billion over the next few months as part of an existing program.

More from WPR: Argentina Needs More Than a ‘Super-Minister’ to Save Its Economy

UK to Grant Hundreds of New Oil and Gas Licenses, Ignoring Calls From Environmentalists

By Danica Kirka | Associated Press

Britain said on Monday it will grant hundreds of new oil and gas licenses in the North Sea in a bid for energy independence, ignoring calls from the environmental campaigners and the United Nations to stop the development of new fossil fuel projects.

Constitutional Referendum to Remove Presidential Term Limits Divides Central African Republic

By Jean Fernand Koena and Zane Irwin | Associated Press

President Faustin Archange Touadera wants to extend presidential terms from five to seven years and remove the previous two-term limit, enabling him to run again in 2025. If the new constitution is passed, it could entrench the ruling party’s power indefinitely, analysts say.

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

At Least Six Die in Palestinian Faction Clashes in Lebanon


At least six people were killed in two days of clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, where the mainstream faction Fatah fought against rival groups that support Islamists, security sources said.

Bangladesh Police Clash With Protesters Calling for PM to Resign

Agence France-Presse

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) and its allies have staged a series of protests since last year demanding that Sheikh Hasina step down and allow a caretaker government to oversee the elections that are scheduled for January next year.

More from WPR: Hasina Is Pushing Bangladesh’s Democracy to the Breaking Point

African Leaders Press Putin on Grain Deal and Peace Plan for Ukraine

By Mark Trevelyan | Reuters

African leaders pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday to move ahead with their peace plan to end the Ukraine war and renew a deal on the export of Ukrainian grain that Moscow tore up last week.

More from WPR: Don’t Dismiss Non-Western Efforts to End the War in Ukraine

Bolivia Is the Latest South American Nation to Use China's Yuan for Trade in Challenge to Dollar

By Carlos Valdez and Daniel Politi | Associated Press

Bolivia is now using the yuan to pay for imports and exports, becoming the latest country in South America to regularly use the Chinese currency in a small but growing challenge to the hegemony of the U.S. dollar for international financial transactions in the region.

More from WPR: Dollar Doomsayers Are Wrong—Again

Ukraine Forces Press Southward, Say Strategic Village Recaptured From Russians


Ukrainian forces pressed their counteroffensive through the Russian-occupied southeast on Thursday, capturing the village of Staromaiorske in a campaign to drive a wedge through Russian defensive positions.

UN Lifts Last Restriction on Arms for C.A.R. Government, but Not for Mercenaries

By Edith M. Lederer | Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council lifted a requirement that the Central African Republic get advance U.N. approval for arms purchases and transfers for its security forces, but kept an arms embargo on mercenaries and all other armed groups despite vehement opposition from the country’s government.

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

US-Saudi Talks Amid Reports of Far-Reaching Diplomatic Plan for Middle East

By Julian Borger | The Guardian

The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, has held talks with the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in Jeddah, in what was reported to be part of a bid for an ambitious and far-reaching diplomatic breakthrough in the region.

North Korea Showcases Attack Drones During Show of Unity With China and Russia

The Guardian (with AP and AFP)

North Korea has carried out demonstration flights of new military drones, state media reported, as leader Kim Jong-un shared centre stage with senior delegates from Russia and China in a show of unity at a parade in the capital.

Niger's Army Command Declares Support for Military Coup

By Boureima Balima and Moussa Aksar | Reuters

Niger's army command on Thursday declared its support for a coup instigated the previous day by soldiers of the presidential guard, saying its priority was to avoid destabilizing the country.

El Salvador Plans Mass Trials for Those Imprisoned in Gang Crackdown

By Marcos Alemán | Associated Press

New rules passed by El Salvador’s congress Wednesday will allow courts to try accused gang members in mass trials, in an effort to expedite tens of thousands of cases for those detained under the country’s crackdown on street gangs.

More from WPR: Bukele’s ‘War on Gangs’ Is Reopening El Salvador’s Civil War Wounds

Canada's Trudeau Unveils Major Cabinet Shuffle as Poll Numbers Sag

By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren | Reuters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled much of his cabinet on Wednesday with the aim of increasing focus on economic issues like a housing shortage and the rising cost of living that have hurt his standing with voters.

EU Watchdog Investigates the Role of the Bloc’s Border Agency in Migrant Tragedy Off Greece in June

By Raf Casert | Associated Press

The European Union’s official watchdog said Wednesday that it has opened an investigation into the role of the bloc’s Frontex border agency in the tragedy off Greece last month that is feared to have killed hundreds of people in the Mediterranean Sea.

African Leaders Seek Grain Commitments at Russia Summit With Putin

By Mark Trevelyan and Joe Bavier | Reuters

African leaders will look to Russian President Vladimir Putin for concrete promises on grain supplies at a summit starting on Thursday, with some also likely to seek clarity and assurances on the future of Wagner mercenaries in the continent.

Israel’s High Court Says It Will Review Netanyahu’s Judicial Overhaul

By Patrick Kingsley and Aaron Boxerman | The New York Times

Israel’s Supreme Court said Wednesday that it would review a contentious new law that diminishes the court’s own role, setting the stage for a constitutional crisis and renewed social turmoil if the judges end up overturning the legislation.

China Offers to Hold Joint Military Drills With Philippines


China has offered to hold joint military exercises with the Philippines, local media reported on Thursday, quoting Manila's military chief.

Deadly Wildfires Across Mediterranean Destroy Homes, Threaten Nature Reserves

By Petros Giannakouris and Derek Gatopoulos | Associated Press

Major fires raging in parts of Greece and in other Mediterranean countries advanced Wednesday, causing additional deaths, destroying homes and threatening nature reserves during a third successive wave of extreme temperatures.

More: Fire-Ravaged Greece Braces for More Heat as Rest of Europe Cools (Bloomberg) | Hundreds of Firefighters Scramble to Put Out Portugal Wildfire (Reuters) | Three Dead as Sicily Counts Losses From 'Devastating' Fires (Reuters) | Wildfires in Algeria Kill at Least 34 and Injure Hundreds (AP)

China’s Foreign Minister Is Removed After a Month of Silence

By Chris Buckley and David Pierson | The New York Times

In a sign of the capriciousness of China’s elite politics, Qin Gang was abruptly removed as foreign minister on Tuesday after having disappeared from public view for 30 days. The move ended the career of a diplomat who had leaped to the top as one of President Xi Jinping’s most trusted rising stars.

Bolivia Says it Is Interested in Obtaining Iranian Drone Technology to Protect its Borders

By Paola Flores and Daniel Politi | The New York Times

Bolivia is interested in obtaining Iranian drone technology to protect its borders and combat smuggling and drug trafficking, the Andean country’s defense minister confirmed Tuesday, a day after Argentina demanded information on an agreement reached by Iran and Bolivia that has raised security concerns in the region.

Meloni to Tell Biden Privately That Italy Plans Break With China

By Chiara Albanese | Bloomberg

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is looking to build up a relationship with Joe Biden by pledging to break with China and plans to brief the U.S. president in person Thursday on the delicate choreography of that split.

More from WPR: Italy’s Belt and Road Deal With China Widens Rifts in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance

Niger's President Being Held Inside Palace - Security Sources

By Moussa Aksar and Boureima Balima | Reuters

Niger presidential guards are holding President Mohamed Bazoum inside the presidential palace in the capital, which has been blocked off by military vehicles since Wednesday morning, security sources said. The movements have the semblance of four military takeovers that have hit neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso since 2020.

More from WPR: The ‘Pivot’ to Niger Is No Magic Bullet for France’s Sahel Strategy

Iran Gives ‘Detailed Answers’ to UN Inspectors Over 2 Sites Where Manmade Uranium Particles Found

By John Gambrell | Associated Press

Iran said Wednesday it gave new details to the United Nations about two sites near Tehran that inspectors say bore traces of manmade uranium, part of a wider probe as tensions remain high over the Islamic Republic’s advancing program.

More from WPR: The IAEA Just Bought Some Time for Nuclear Diplomacy With Iran

Hun Sen, Asia’s Longest-Ruling Leader, to Step Down, Names Son Successor

By Rebecca Tan | The Washington Post

Asia’s longest-serving head of state, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, is stepping down and handing over power to his son, Hun Manet, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.

More from WPR: Hun Sen Is Tightening His Grip Ahead of Cambodia’s Elections

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