Today at WPR, we’re covering former Pakistani PM Imran Khan’s standoff with the country’s military and a dangerous new development in Haiti’s ongoing crisis.
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First, though, here’s our take on today’s top stories:
War in Ukraine: The wall of a major dam in a Russian-controlled area of southern Ukraine was destroyed Tuesday, triggering floods and threatening drinking water supplies. Kyiv and Moscow each blamed the other side for the destruction. (Associated Press)
Our Take: The disaster will add to Ukraine’s humanitarian crisis and comes just as a widely anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive seems to be kicking off. The dam’s destruction could limit Ukraine’s options for that counteroffensive and highlights the continued risk of escalation (and unintended consequences) in what is almost certain to be a prolonged war.
Iran-Saudi Arabia: Iran announced Monday it will reopen its embassy in Saudi Arabia this week, seven years after it closed and three months after the two sides signed a China-mediated agreement to restore ties. (Washington Post)
More context from WPR:
- Lina Khatib on why the implications of the recent agreement shouldn’t be overstated
- Frida Ghitis on why the deal serves as a “warning” from Saudi Arabia to the U.S.
You can read the rest of today’s News Wire, a curated selection of one must-read article from every region, here.
Arif Rafiq breaks down former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent standoff with Pakistan’s army—who won in the short-term and who might win in the long-term:
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his PTI party are facing a punishing crackdown by Pakistan’s military. Read more.
Meanwhile, columnist Charli Carpenter writes about an armed vigilante group in Haiti that has been portrayed as an effective solution to the country’s problem of gang violence. In actuality, the group is just “latest incarnation of deadly gang violence in Haiti.”
The Bwa Kale vigilante group targeting gangs in Haiti will worsen the country’s political and security crisis, not solve it. Read more.
Question of the Day: General Kenan Evren of Turkey led a coup to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government in what year?
Ahead of general elections on June 25, presidential candidates in Guatemala are taking a “tough on crime”—and specifically “tough on gangs”—approach that has made El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele incredibly popular.
Bukele’s crackdown on gangs, however, has come at the expense of human rights and democracy. As James Bosworth wrote in March, Bukele’s formula is a dangerous export:
March 6, 2023 | Bukele’s crackdown on El Salvador’s gangs is capturing the region’s imagination, but his “cool authoritarian” model is a dangerous export. Read more.
Thailand’s prime ministerial frontrunner Pita Limjaroenrat is facing potential charges of violating the country’s electoral laws. Thailand’s opposition parties, including Pita’s Move Forward party, routed the country’s military in last month’s election.
As Michael Hart wrote before the election, though, in a country whose democracy has been damaged, simply getting the most votes might not be enough to win:
April 28, 2023 | Ahead of Thailand’s election, Pheu Thai, the country’s main opposition party, is gaining momentum as it looks to end nearly a decade of military-backed rule. Read more.
That’s all for today’s Daily Review. Be on the lookout for stories on China’s expanding ties in Central Asia and the EU’s cryptocurrency regulation plans.
Have a great day,
More from WPR
- Helen Morgan on Sanchez’s snap election gamble in Spain.
- James Bosworth’s column on Lula’s regional currency plans.
- Paul Poast on what we learned about how the G-7 plans to counter Russia and China.
- Joshua Collins on Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s recent struggles.
Jakob Cansler is WPR’s assistant editor and the author of the Cansler Culture newsletter.