News Wire | August 2023 Archive

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Guatemala’s Congress Refuses to Recognize President-Elect’s Party

By Sonia Perez D. | Associated Press

Guatemala’s Congress, which is controlled by the currently governing party, on Wednesday refused to recognize the seven lawmakers from the Seed Movement party of President-elect Bernardo Arévalo, following the suspension of his party earlier this week.

More from WPR: To Reform in Guatemala, Arevalo Will Need the World’s Attention

Shapps Becomes UK Defense Minister With Vow to Keep Up Support for Ukraine

By Elizabeth Piper and Andrew Macaskill | Reuters

Former energy minister Grant Shapps replaced Ben Wallace on Thursday as Britain's defense minister, a surprise move that reaffirmed London's support for Ukraine while raising questions over his lack of experience of the military.

Niger’s Military Regime Orders Police to Expel French Ambassador

By Sam Mednick | Associated Press

The mutinous soldiers who ousted Niger’s president more than a month ago gave French Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to leave the country last week. The deadline expired on August 28 without France recalling Itte.

More from WPR: Niger Was Never the ‘Success Story’ It’s Being Made Out to Be

UN Vote on Lebanon Peacekeeping Force Delayed as France, US, UAE Argue

By Michelle Nichols | Reuters

A planned United Nations vote on Wednesday to renew approval for a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon has been delayed as France, the United States and the United Arab Emirates argue over the freedom of movement of U.N. troops, diplomats said.

More from WPR: Lebanon’s Military Could Be the Next Casualty of Its Economic Crisis

New China Map Draws Another Rejection, This Time From Manila

By Cliff Harvey Venzon | Bloomberg

The Philippines doesn’t recognize Beijing’s latest standard map showing its expansive South China Sea claims, joining opposition from India and Malaysia.

Gabon Army Officers Say They Have Seized Power After Election in Oil-Rich Country

By Gerauds Wilfried Obangome | Reuters

Military officers in oil-producing Gabon said they had seized power on Wednesday and had put President Ali Bongo under house arrest, after the Central African state's election body announced that he had won a third term.

More from WPR: In Gabon, the Bongo Family Is the State

Ukraine Launches Biggest Drone Attack Yet Inside Russian Territory

By Polina Ivanova and John Paul Rathbone | Financial Times

Ukrainian drones struck seven Russian regions overnight, destroying several military cargo planes, in Kyiv’s most sweeping unmanned aerial attack inside enemy territory since Moscow invaded last year.

Guatemalan President Calls for Transition of Power to Anti-Corruption Crusader Arévalo

By Sonia Pérez D. and Megan Janetsky | Associated Press

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei called Tuesday for a democratic transition of power to anti-corruption campaigner and president-elect Bernardo Arévalo and his Seed Movement party, which have faced waves of legal attacks in attempts to block his rise to power.

More from WPR: To Reform in Guatemala, Arevalo Will Need the World’s Attention

US Says it and Partners Have Taken Down Notorious 'Qakbot' Hacking Network

By Christopher Bing and David Ljunggren | Reuters

U.S. authorities on Tuesday said an international law enforcement operation had taken down the notorious "Qakbot" malware platform used extensively by cybercriminals in a variety of financial crimes.

Britain’s Top Diplomat Visits China for the First Time in 5 Years With Hopes of Stabilizing Ties

Associated Press

Britain’s top diplomat, James Cleverly, began a long-awaited visit to China on Wednesday as the two countries attempt to stabilize their ties that have frayed badly in recent years.

Uganda Arrests Man on Antigay Charge Punishable by Death

By Emma Bubola | The New York Times

Ugandan prosecutors have lodged charges of “aggravated homosexuality” against a 20-year-old man — a crime punishable by death — in one of the country’s first applications of a provision included in one of the world’s harshest antigay laws.

More from WPR: Uganda’s Escalating LGBT Crackdown Feels Eerily Familiar

Sudan Military Ruler Arrives in Egypt on First Trip Abroad Since War Began

By Nafisa Eltahir and Khalid Abdelaziz | Reuters

Sudanese military ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi discussed Sisi's offer to mediate the conflict during a short meeting in the coastal city of El Alamein, an initiative Burhan said he welcomed, according to an Egyptian presidency statement.

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

Will a Bitterly Divided Australia Elevate the Voice of Aboriginal People?

By Yan Zhuang and Natasha Frost | The New York Times

It was billed as a modest proposal that would help heal the traumas of history and unite the country. Australia would change its Constitution to recognize the original inhabitants of the land and enshrine an advisory body in Parliament for Aboriginal people, giving them a greater say on issues that affect their lives.

U.S Military in Talks to Develop Port in Philippines Facing Taiwan

By Karen Lema and Poppy Mcpherson | Reuters

The U.S. military is in talks to develop a civilian port in the remote northernmost islands of the Philippines, the local governor and two other officials told Reuters, a move that would boost American access to strategically located islands facing Taiwan.

EU’s €86 Billion budget Battle Casts Shadow Over Ukraine Funding

By Henry Foy | Financial Times

EU funding to shore up Ukraine is being held up by fractious disagreements among member states, with worries about strained national budgets and rising costs in Brussels threatening the flow of financial support to Kyiv.

Guatemala Progressive’s Presidential Victory Certified, but His Party is Suspended

By Sonia Pérez D. and Megan Janetsky | Associated Press

Progressive candidate Bernardo Arévalo was confirmed the winner of Guatemala’s presidential election by the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Monday, but the same day another government body ordered his political party suspended.

More from WPR: To Reform in Guatemala, Arevalo Will Need the World’s Attention

Mexico's Sheinbaum Grows Lead in Presidency Race Ahead of Decision-Poll


Former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has increased her lead in the race to be ruling party candidate in next June's presidential election with just days to go before the winner is chosen, an opinion poll showed on Monday. The ruling party, Morena, will conduct national polling this week to select a winner to be announced on Sept. 6.

More from WPR: AMLO’s Successor Will Be Anointed Long Before Mexico’s Elections

Britain Delays Post-Brexit Border Checks on EU Goods Again


The British government will delay imposing full post-Brexit import controls on goods from the European Union by a further three months, it said on Tuesday, pushing the start date back to January 2024. Britain has delayed full implementation of border controls several times due to worries about disruption at ports and the risk of adding to a cost-of-living crisis.

More from WPR: Britain’s Uncertain Future After Brexit

Stalled Rebel Peace Process Threatens Congo Elections Buildup

By Michael J. Kavanagh | Bloomberg

Democratic Republic of Congo accused Rwanda and the M23 armed group of delaying a peace process that would allow voters in eastern Congo to participate in December elections.

More from WPR: The M23 Conflict Is Creating a Humanitarian Nightmare in Eastern Congo

Tehran and Baghdad Reach a Deal to Disarm and Relocate Iranian Dissident Groups Based in North Iraq

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra | Associated Press

Iran and Iraq have reached an agreement to disarm members of Iranian Kurdish dissident groups based in northern Iraq and relocate their members from their current bases, officials from the two countries said Monday.

Syria Protests Spurred by Economic Misery Stir Memories of the 2011 Anti-Government Uprising

By Kareem Chehayeb | Associated Press

Anti-government protests in southern Syria have stretched into a second week, with demonstrators waving the colorful flag of the minority Druze community, burning banners of President Bashar Assad’s government and at one point raiding several offices of his ruling party.

More from WPR: Assad Has Survived Syria’s Civil War. Syria Might Not

US Given OK to Enforce Maritime Law Around Palau

By David Rising | Associated Press

The United States has signed a new agreement with Palau, which gives American ships the authorization to unilaterally enforce maritime regulations in the tiny Pacific island nation’s exclusive economic zone, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Imran Khan’s 3-Year Sentence Is Suspended by Pakistan Appeals Court

By Christina Goldbaum | The New York Times

An appeals court in Pakistan suspended former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s three-year prison sentence on Tuesday, the latest twist in a political showdown between Mr. Khan and leaders of the powerful military establishment who appear intent on sidelining him from politics.

Zelenskyy Says Elections Could Happen Under Fire if West Helps

By Nick Starkov | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, responding to calls by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham this week to announce elections in 2024, said on Sunday voting could take place during wartime if partners shared the cost, legislators approved, and everyone got to the polls.

Foxconn Founder Terry Gou Announces Run for Taiwan Presidency

By Ben Blanchard and Yimou Lee | Reuters

Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of major Apple supplier Foxconn, announced on Monday a bid to be Taiwan's president in January elections, saying he wanted to unite the opposition and ensure the island did not become "the next Ukraine."

More from WPR: Waiting for Tsai’s Departure Won’t Solve China’s ‘Taiwan Problem’

Two Candidates Vying to Become Mexico's President Under AMLO's Party

By Megan Janetsky | Associated Press

In recent months, Claudia Sheinbaum, the former mayor of Mexico City, and Marcelo Ebrard, the country’s former foreign minister, have fiercely competed for the candidacy of populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party.

More from WPR: AMLO’s Successor Will Be Anointed Long Before Mexico’s Elections

U.S. Knew Saudis Were Killing African Migrants

By Ben Hubbard and Edward Wong | The New York Times

Last fall, American diplomats received grim news that border guards in Saudi Arabia were using lethal force against African migrants who were trying to enter the kingdom from Yemen. In the months since, American officials have not publicly criticized the Saudis’ conduct, although State Department officials said this past week, following a published report of the killings, that U.S. diplomats have raised the issue with their Saudi counterparts and asked them to investigate.

France to Ban Muslim Abaya Dress in State Schools


France will ban children from wearing the abaya, the loose-fitting, full-length robes worn by some Muslim women, in state-run schools, its education minister said on Sunday ahead of the back-to-school season.

In a Departure, Zimbabwe’s Neighbors Question the Legitimacy of Its Elections

By John Eligon and Tendai Marima | The New York Times

Before President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of a second term on Saturday, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union publicly questioned the legitimacy of Zimbabwe’s elections for the first time.

More from WPR: In Zimbabwe, State Coercion, Voter Apathy Pave Way for Mnangagwa Reelection

Reported Israeli Strike Damages Aleppo Airport and Puts It Out of Service

By Albert Aji | Associated Press

An Israeli airstrike hit the international airport in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria early on Monday, damaging a runway and putting it out of service, Syrian state media said.

UAE Sees Ties With West Unbroken After Invitation From BRICS

By Manus Cranny and Abeer Abu Omar | Bloomberg

Joining the BRICS bloc of emerging economies won’t come to the detriment of the United Arab Emirates' ties with western nations, a top UAE official said, amid concern that China and Russia are expanding the group to counterbalance U.S. and European influence.

More from WPR: The UAE Is Testing Washington’s Red Lines on Russia

Biden’s Commerce Secretary Raimondo Says Trade Can Stabilize US-China Ties


U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stressed the importance of strong economic ties between the world’s biggest economies on a visit to Beijing, saying if done right, it could help stabilize political relations.

More from WPR: Biden’s Tech Restrictions on China Aren’t Just About Economics

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