Daily Review: Standoff in Pakistan, Haiti’s Ongoing Crisis, More

Daily Review: Standoff in Pakistan, Haiti’s Ongoing Crisis, More
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives for a court appearance, in Islamabad, Pakistan, May 12, 2023 (AP photo by Anjum Naveed).

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:

Imran Khan, the leader of Pakistan's political party PTI, has been advocating for nationalism and striving to break the cycle of military rule in the country's political landscape.

Khan Has Lost His War With Pakistan’s Army—for Now

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.”

Haiti’s Bwa Kale Vigilantes Are Just Another Form of Gang Violence

The Bwa Kale vigilante group targeting gangs in Haiti will worsen the country’s political and security crisis, not solve it. Read more.

Haiti is currently facing a political crisis characterized by widespread violence instigated by gangs, leading to concerns about security in the country.

Question of the Day: General Kenan Evren of Turkey led a coup to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government in what year?

  • 1961
  • 1980
  • 2013
  • 1971

Find the answer in the latest WPR Weekly Quiz and read Alexander Clarkson’s column on the longstanding effects of that coup in Turkish politics.

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:


Bukele’s ‘Cool Authoritarian’ Model Makes for 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:

Thailand’s Opposition Will Need More Than Votes to Win Upcoming Elections

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,

Jakob Cansler

More from WPR

Jakob Cansler is WPR’s assistant editor and the author of the Cansler Culture newsletter.