News Wire | Monday, August 1, 2022

Tensions Flare on Kosovo-Serbian Border Amid Protests and Gunfire

By Valerie Hopkins | The New York Times

A dispute over license plates between the Balkan nations of Kosovo and Serbia, from whom Kosovo split 14 years ago, yielded protests and gunfire Sunday night, prompting fears that the violence could escalate as Western countries are focused on the war in Ukraine.

First Ship Carrying Ukrainian Grain Leaves the Port of Odesa

By Susie Blann & Suzan Fraser | Associated Press (free)

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain set out from the port of Odesa on Monday under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that is expected to release large stores of Ukrainian crops to foreign markets and ease a growing food crisis.

More from WPR: The Global Food System Was Already Unsustainable Before the War in Ukraine

Ukraine Seeks to Retake the South, Tying Down Russian Forces

Associated Press (free)

Even as Moscow’s war machine crawls across Ukraine’s east, trying to achieve the Kremlin’s goal of securing full control over the country’s industrial heartland, Ukrainian forces are scaling up attacks to reclaim territory in the Russian-occupied south.

The Fantasy of Brexit Britain Is Over

By Richard Seymour | The New York Times

The Boris Johnson era is over. But the turmoil has only just begun.

Pelosi Goes to Singapore, but Is Silent on Taiwan

By David E. Sanger & Vivian Wang | The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi began a fraught tour of Asia on Sunday that administration officials say they now expect will include a stop in Taiwan, despite China’s increasingly sharp warnings in recent days that a visit to the self-governing island would provoke a response, perhaps a military one.

More from WPR: Biden’s Taiwan ‘Gaffe’ Just Said the Quiet Part Out Loud

Blinken and Lavrov Discuss Griner in Their First Call of the War

By Michael Schwirtz, Michael Crowley & Richard Pérez-Peña | The New York Times

The top Russian and American diplomats spoke on Friday for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, to discuss a possible prisoner swap involving the American basketball star Brittney Griner. Although no breakthrough was reported, it marked a resumption of direct communication between Washington and Moscow.

U.S. Eyes Sanctions Against Global Network It Believes Is Shipping Iranian Oil

By Ian Talley | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is considering sanctions that would target a United Arab Emirates-based businessman and a network of companies suspected of helping export Iran’s oil, part of a broader effort to escalate diplomatic pressure on Tehran as U.S. officials push to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

Gangs Advance on the Seat of Haitian Government Power: ‘Haitians Are Hostages’

By Maria Abi-Habib & Andre Paultre | The New York Times

Gangs are increasing their chokehold on Haiti’s capital, using bulldozers to raze entire neighborhoods, overwhelming poorly armed police and taking their violence to within blocks of the seat of government.

More from WPR: Haiti Can Solve Its Own Problems, if Foreign Powers Would Let It

Brazil Moves Toward Paving Road Key to Deforestation

By Fabiano Maisonnave | Associated Press (free)

In a decision that critics have labeled as dangerous, Brazil’s government granted a preliminary environmental permit for paving a dirt highway that cuts through one of the Amazon rainforest’s most preserved areas.

More from WPR: Bolsonaro Isn’t Letting Up in His War Against the Amazon

In Widening Crackdown, Renowned Journalist Arrested in Guatemala

By Oscar Lopez | The New York Times

In another sign of growing political repression in Guatemala, the authorities have arrested an award-winning journalist who was critical of the government and raided the offices of the newspaper he founded.

More from WPR: Guatemala Has No Intention of Tackling Corruption

One Wounded in Attack on Army Guarding Guatemala President

By Sonia Pérez D. | Associated Press (free)

One man was wounded Saturday after gunmen opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint providing area security for a visit by Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei to a town near the Mexican border.

Havana Announces Blackouts, Cancels Carnival as Crisis Deepens

By Marc Frank | Reuters

The Cuban capital of Havana will begin electricity blackouts in August, has canceled carnival and is taking other measures as the country’s energy crisis worsens, state media reported Saturday.

Forget a Coup. Beware Brazil’s Bottom-Deeding Congress

By Mac Margolis | The Washington Post

The fact is that Brazil’s dysfunctional politics won’t be fixed by whoever occupies the Palacio do Planalto, the presidential palace in Brasilia.

Followers of Iraqi Cleric Occupy Parliament Again, Demanding Reforms

By Alissa J. Rubin | The New York Times (free)

Iraqi protesters loyal to the nationalist Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr thronged Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone for the second time in a week Saturday to prevent the formation of a new government. They scaled concrete barriers and pushed past security forces to get into the Iraqi Parliament, filling the empty seats of representatives and shouting their support for Sadr: “Son of Mohammed, take us wherever you want.”

Kuwait Announces Formation of New Cabinet to Defuse Crisis

Associated Press (free)

Kuwait on Monday announced the formation of a new government to defuse a protracted political feud blocking economic reforms in the oil-rich state.

Iran Arrests Another Swedish Citizen on Espionage Charge

Associated Press (free)

Iranian agents have arrested a Swedish citizen suspected of spying, the intelligence ministry said Saturday.

U.N. Peacekeepers Open Fire in DR Congo, Causing Several Casualties

Al Jazeera (free)

At least two people have been killed and 15 wounded when members of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo opened fire at a border post in the country’s eastern region, according to the Congolese government.

Senegal Elects Parliament in Test for Ruling Party’s Influence

Al Jazeera (free)

Polls have closed in Senegal’s parliamentary elections pitting President Macky Sall’s ruling party against an opposition coalition energised by food price hikes and fears the incumbent leader could run for a controversial third term in 2024.

More from WPR: The ‘Senegalese Exception’ Loses Its Luster

At Least 32 People Killed After Bandits Set Homes on Fire in Madagascar

Reuters

At least 32 people were killed in Madagascar in an area north of the capital Friday after local bandits known as “dahalo” set homes on fire, according to statements by the defense ministry.

Zambia Debt Relief Pledge Clears Way for $1.4 Billion Program, Says IMF

By Gayatri Suroyo & Rachel Savage | Reuters

Zambia’s creditors pledged to negotiate a restructuring of the country’s debts Saturday, a move IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva welcomed as “clearing the way” for a $1.4 billion Fund program.

Senegal’s Democratic Backsliding Is a Threat to African Democracy

By Danielle Resnick | Foreign Policy

A constitutional coup in a country that has long been a beacon for freedom would encourage authoritarians across the continent.

Former Maoist Commander Reinstated as Nepal’s Finance Minister

By Gopal Sharma | Reuters

Nepal has reinstated its finance minister, the president’s office announced Sunday, after an internal investigation found no evidence to prove he was involved in making illegal changes to the budget.

China Announces Military Exercise Opposite Taiwan

Associated Press (free)

China said it was conducting military exercises Saturday off its coast opposite Taiwan after warning Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives to scrap possible plans to visit the island democracy, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

China’s Most Powerful Rocket Falls Back to Earth, Lands in Criticism

By Jennifer Hassan & Christian Shepherd | The Washington Post

China said its most powerful rocket fell back to Earth, as NASA criticized Beijing for failing to share crucial data about its trajectory.

Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos Dies at 94

By Regine Cabato | The Washington Post

Fidel V. Ramos—former president of the Philippines, career military official and figure of the 1986 revolution that deposed a dictatorship—died Sunday. He was 94.

China on the Offensive

By Bonny Lin & Jude Blanchette | Foreign Affairs

How the Ukraine war has changed Beijing’s strategy.

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