News Wire | Tuesday, August 2, 2022

U.S. Drone Strike Kills Ayman al-Zawahri, Top Al-Qaida Leader

By Peter Baker, Helene Cooper, Julian E. Barnes & Eric Schmitt | The New York Times

An American drone strike killed Ayman al-Zawahri, a key plotter of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who took over as the leader of Al-Qaida after Osama bin Laden’s death, at an urban safe house in Afghanistan, President Biden announced Monday night.

Pelosi Is Expected to Go to Taiwan, Biden Administration Officials Say

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

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

Senegal’s Ruling Coalition Claims Win but Opposition Rejects

By Babacar Dione | Associated Press (free)

Senegal’s ruling coalition says it has won 30 of 46 departments in Sunday’s legislative election, giving it a majority over the opposition.

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

Threat of Protests, Violent Escalation Stirs Fears in Iraq

By Samya Kullab & Qassim Abdul-Zahra | Associated Press (free)

Thousands gathered in Baghdad on Monday for a counter-rally called by Iran-backed groups against their rival, an influential cleric whose followers are staging a sit-in inside the Iraqi parliament—only to withdraw hours later.

More from WPR: A New Pick for Iraqi Prime Minister Could Spark Conflict

U.S. Will Send Another $550 Million in Arms to Ukraine

By Peter Baker | The New York Times

The United States will send another $550 million in arms to Ukraine to help it fend off Russia, the White House said Monday, increasing the total American investment in the fighting there to more than $8 billion since the invasion began in February.

U.S. Targets Chinese, UAE Firms in New Iran Oil Sanctions

By Daphne Psaledakis & Arshad Mohammed | Reuters

A U.S. warship sailed through the strait separating Taiwan and China on Tuesday, the navy said, the first such passage since leaders from the two rival superpowers held a video summit.

Why Designating Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism Is a Bad Idea

By Ingrid Brunk Wuerth | The Washington Post

Russia has done many terrible things in Ukraine and beyond. It is thus understandable that President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, members of the Senate and many others have called on the Biden administration to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. That designation (currently applied only to Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria) may seem like a good way to further punish Russia, help the Ukrainians and give more concrete form to our outrage. But it is not.

Congo to Reassess U.N. Withdrawal Plan After Deadly Protests

Reuters

Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will reevaluate the withdrawal plan of the United Nations peacekeeping mission after deadly anti-U.N. protests last week, it said late Monday, suggesting it may ask the force to leave quicker than expected.

Four Dead in South Africa Protests Over High Power Costs

Al Jazeera (free)

At least four people have died during protests over the cost of electricity in a South African township, police officials have said.

Zimbabwe Electoral Appointments Spark Controversy Ahead of 2023

By Chris Muronzi | Al Jazeera (free)

Electoral commission’s appointments of people related to party stalwarts has triggered fears of electoral malpractice.

Sri Lanka Says Chinese Military Survey Ship Will Port Only to Refuel

By Uditha Jayasinghe | Reuters

A Chinese military survey ship will visit a strategic port in crisis-hit Sri Lanka later this month only to refuel, a Cabinet spokesman said Tuesday, after neighboring India raised concerns over the vessel’s journey to the Indian Ocean island.

Pakistan Election Commission Says Imran Khan’s Party Accepted Illegal Donations

AFP (free)

Pakistan’s ex-premier Imran Khan’s party accepted millions of dollars in illegal funds from foreign individuals and groups, the election commission ruled Tuesday.

Key Hong Kong Court Ruling to Lift Lid on National Security Cases

AFP (free)

A Hong Kong court delivered a landmark ruling Tuesday that will help lift the lid on secrecy-shrouded pre-trial hearings held under a national security law.

More from WPR: Lee Will Be Beijing’s Man in Hong Kong

Iran Arrests Baha’i Members; Advocates Demand Their Release

Associated Press (free)

Iran arrested several members of the Baha’i faith on spying charges, authorities said Monday, the latest sign of a tightening crackdown across the Islamic Republic as it faces international pressure over its tattered nuclear deal.

Panama Teachers End Long Strike That Set Off Wider Protests

Associated Press (free)

Panama’s teachers will return to the classroom Tuesday after a month-long strike supported by a number of other sectors that blocked commerce and snarled the capital with traffic over the high cost of living and government corruption.

Honduras Reports ‘Historic’ Coca Seizure

Reuters

Honduran authorities reported Monday the discovery of more than 1.6 million coca leaf bushes in the most important seizure of its kind ever as Honduras struggles to combat drug production.

The Secret Airstrips Behind Brazil’s Illegal Mining Crisis

By Manuela Andreoni, Blacki Migliozzi, Pablo Robles & Denise Lu | The New York Times

The Times identified hundreds of airstrips that bring criminal mining operations to the most remote corners of the Amazon.

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

A New Era for U.S.-Colombia Relations

By Cynthia J. Arnson | Americas Quarterly (free)

Intense White House outreach reflects an uncertain path forward.

More from WPR: Petro and Colombia’s Armed Forces Are Heading for a Showdown

Italy’s Center-Left Sees Open Electoral Race After Pact With Centrists

By Angelo Amante | Reuters

Italy’s Democratic Party formed an alliance with a smaller centrist group Tuesday in a move seen as boosting the center-left’s chances of preventing a right-wing triumph in an election next month.

More from WPR: Italy’s Political Drama Could Lead to a European Tragedy

Spain Moves to Replace Franco Regime Official Secrets Law

Associated Press (free)

The Spanish government unveiled a proposed new Official Secrets Law on Monday, the first since the country returned to democracy in 1978.

Why Britain Changed Its China Stance

By Tom McTague | The Atlantic

The cycles of London’s engagement with Beijing reveal how the U.S.’s ability to keep allies in line for its great-power competition is weakening.

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