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News

September 19, 2018

Trump Hit Iran With Oil Sanctions. So Far, They’re Working

By Clifford Krauss | The New York Times

When President Trump announced in May that he was going to withdraw the United States from the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration and five other countries negotiated with Iran in 2015 and reimpose sanctions on the country, the decision was fraught with potential disaster. But the policy has been effective without either of those nasty consequences, at least so far.

More from WPR: U.S. Sanctions Take Effect, Putting Iran—and Trump’s Approach—to the Test

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Once Upon a Time, America Needed Syria

By James Barr | Foreign Policy

Americans have forgotten that their long history of intervention in the Middle East started in Damascus. Now it might end there.

The Americas

News

September 19, 2018

Mexico Fires Morgue Director in Corpse Scandal

By AP Editors | Associated Press

The governor of the western Mexico state of Jalisco has fired the director of the state morgue after a refrigerated truck carrying 157 unidentified bodies drew complaints from neighbors over the smell.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Saying that journalism is amid a deep metamorphosis worldwide is stating the obvious. But in Venezuela, there’s a deeper transition taking place under the weight of political repression. The ways that media and citizens are searching for and sharing information are changing at an accelerated process in Venezuela, triggered by direct censorship or self-censorship.

Europe

News

September 19, 2018

Italy’s League Brings ‘Racism’ Defamation Case Against Black European Parliament Member

By Miles Johnson & Davide Ghiglione | Financial Times (subscription required)

When Cecile Kyenge was appointed as Italy’s first black government minister in 2013, she was likened to an “orangutan” by a politician from the country’s hard right League Party. Five years later the League is Italy’s most popular party and has brought a defamation case against her for accusing it of racism.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Partition in Kosovo Will Lead to Disaster

By Michael Rossi | Foreign Policy

Ill-advised land swaps and population transfers won’t bring peace. They’re more likely to revive the bloodshed that plagued the Balkans during the 1990s.

Africa

News

September 19, 2018

With “staggering brutality,” South Sudan government soldiers and allied militia targeted civilians by raping them, burning them alive, running them over with armored vehicles and hanging them in trees even as the government pursued a new peace deal to end a civil war, a new Amnesty International report says.

More from WPR: A Resurrected Peace Plan Is the Best Hope for Ending South Sudan’s Brutal War

Islamist militants have killed hundreds of soldiers in attacks in northeastern Nigeria in recent weeks, security and military sources say, forcing a turnaround in the course of an insurgency which the government has frequently claimed to have vanquished.

Eritrea has arrested a former minister who wrote books critical of the country’s leader, a rights group and a U.N. official said. British-based rights body Human Rights Concern - Eritrea said Berhane Abrehe, minister from 2000 to 2012, was arrested on Monday morning in the capital Asmara.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

America Is Quietly Expanding Its War in Tunisia

By Heni Nsaibia | The National Interest

The first documented U.S. direct military engagement in Tunisia since World War II has largely passed unnoticed, but it is a sign of things to come.

Middle East & North Africa

News

September 19, 2018

Turkey Arrests 24 Airport Workers After Protests

By AP Editors | Associated Press

A construction workers union says 24 of its members have been detained in the aftermath of protests denouncing poor working conditions at Istanbul’s new airport.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

How Peace Keeps Receding in the Middle East

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

Russia as a Middle East bullyboy has been a nuisance for the United States. Russia as the hegemonic regional power that brokers peace deals may be a more serious problem.

Asia-Pacific

News

September 19, 2018

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said former Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested on Wednesday and will face further charges of abuse of power over the multimillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Kim Jong Un’s Statecraft by Crime

By Bruce E. Bechtol & Paul Rexton Kan | The National Interest

Office #39 is how Pyongyang breaks sanctions and gets cash through global crime.

United States

News

September 19, 2018

Trump Hit Iran With Oil Sanctions. So Far, They’re Working

By Clifford Krauss | The New York Times

When President Trump announced in May that he was going to withdraw the United States from the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration and five other countries negotiated with Iran in 2015 and reimpose sanctions on the country, the decision was fraught with potential disaster. But the policy has been effective without either of those nasty consequences, at least so far.

More from WPR: U.S. Sanctions Take Effect, Putting Iran—and Trump’s Approach—to the Test

U.S. Seeking to Negotiate a Treaty With Iran

By Lesley Wroughton | Reuters

The United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional behavior, the U.S. special envoy for Iran said on Wednesday ahead of U.N. meetings in New York next week.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Once Upon a Time, America Needed Syria

By James Barr | Foreign Policy

Americans have forgotten that their long history of intervention in the Middle East started in Damascus. Now it might end there.

News

September 18, 2018

Trump Announces New Tariffs on Chinese Imports

By Jacob M. Schlesinger & Vivian Salama | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

President Trump said Monday he will impose new tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods and threatened to add hundreds of billions more as part of his campaign to pressure Beijing to change its commercial practices, escalating trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

More from WPR: What Is the Endgame for the Trump Trade Wars?

Opinion

September 18, 2018

The Right Way to Achieve Security in Space

By Stewart Patrick & Kyle L. Evanoff | Foreign Affairs

For months, pundits have debated whether maintaining such dominance requires a Space Force. What these discussions often miss, however, is that space security depends at least as much on international cooperation as it does on national dominance.

The Americas

News

September 19, 2018

Mexico Fires Morgue Director in Corpse Scandal

By AP Editors | Associated Press

The governor of the western Mexico state of Jalisco has fired the director of the state morgue after a refrigerated truck carrying 157 unidentified bodies drew complaints from neighbors over the smell.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Saying that journalism is amid a deep metamorphosis worldwide is stating the obvious. But in Venezuela, there’s a deeper transition taking place under the weight of political repression. The ways that media and citizens are searching for and sharing information are changing at an accelerated process in Venezuela, triggered by direct censorship or self-censorship.

News

September 18, 2018

Argentina’s Fernandez Charged, Arrest Sought

By Debora Rey & Almudena Calatrava | Associated Press

A federal judge indicted former President Cristina Fernandez on Monday and asked for her arrest for allegedly heading a corruption scheme that collected bribes from business leaders in exchange for public work contracts.

Colombia Struck a Peace Deal With Guerrillas—but Many Return to Arms

By Nicholas Casey & Federico Rios Escobar | The New York Times

The peace accords signed in 2016 by then-President Juan Manuel Santos and the rebels were meant to bring an end to five decades of fighting that left at least 220,000 dead and nearly 6 million people displaced from their homes. Behind the agreement, though, loomed a fear: That many of the thousands of fighters granted amnesty under the pact might sour on civilian life and pick up arms again.

More from WPR: Colombia’s New Conservative President Sets His Sights on the FARC Peace Deal

Colombian Coffee Growers Protest Falling Prices

By The Editors | Latin American Herald Tribune

A group of Colombian coffee growers demonstrated on Monday before the European Union Embassy in Bogota to express their disagreement with the low prices for the beans on the international market.

Opinion

September 18, 2018

Military Action Is Not the Answer to Venezuela’s Refugee Crisis

By The Editors | Financial Times (subscription required)

There are other, better steps to take. The U.S. should step up its $70 million in refugee aid. Europe and Latin America need to join Washington’s lead in identifying officials who have salted abroad billions of dollars of stolen funds, and sanction them. Concerned nations should pressure Venezuelan allies including China, a key business partner, and Cuba, which provides military intelligence.

More from WPR: Venezuela’s Neighbors Scramble to Cope With the Region’s Worst Refugee Crisis

Europe

News

September 19, 2018

Italy’s League Brings ‘Racism’ Defamation Case Against Black European Parliament Member

By Miles Johnson & Davide Ghiglione | Financial Times (subscription required)

When Cecile Kyenge was appointed as Italy’s first black government minister in 2013, she was likened to an “orangutan” by a politician from the country’s hard right League Party. Five years later the League is Italy’s most popular party and has brought a defamation case against her for accusing it of racism.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s closest security officer, fired after video showed him beating May Day protesters, defended himself before a Senate inquiry on Wednesday, saying he was neither a police officer nor a genuine bodyguard.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Partition in Kosovo Will Lead to Disaster

By Michael Rossi | Foreign Policy

Ill-advised land swaps and population transfers won’t bring peace. They’re more likely to revive the bloodshed that plagued the Balkans during the 1990s.

News

September 18, 2018

France’s interior minister, one of President Emmanuel Macron’s closest allies, has announced plans to quit the government and run for election as mayor of Lyon in 2020, adding to doubts and instability around the young leader’s administration.

Pussy Riot Activist May Have Been Poisoned, German Doctors Say

By Christopher F. Schuetze & Melissa Eddy | The New York Times

German doctors treating a Pussy Riot activist who lost his sight, speech and mobility after spending time in a court in Moscow said on Tuesday that it was “highly plausible” that he had been poisoned, as their tests had found no evidence that he was suffering from a long-term illness.

Greece to Move 2,000 Out of Overcrowded Lesbos Migrant Camp

By Elena Becatoros & Menelaos Hadjicostis | Associated Press

Some 2,000 asylum-seekers will be moved out of a severely overcrowded migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos this month, a Greek official said Tuesday as charities slammed conditions at the camp, which has raw sewage running out of its main entrance.

Opinion

September 18, 2018

The Corrupt Shall Inherit Ukraine

By Linda Kinstler | Foreign Policy

In a country where even the anti-corruption prosecutors abuse their power, it’s hard to say who the good guys are.

Africa

News

September 19, 2018

With “staggering brutality,” South Sudan government soldiers and allied militia targeted civilians by raping them, burning them alive, running them over with armored vehicles and hanging them in trees even as the government pursued a new peace deal to end a civil war, a new Amnesty International report says.

More from WPR: A Resurrected Peace Plan Is the Best Hope for Ending South Sudan’s Brutal War

Islamist militants have killed hundreds of soldiers in attacks in northeastern Nigeria in recent weeks, security and military sources say, forcing a turnaround in the course of an insurgency which the government has frequently claimed to have vanquished.

Eritrea has arrested a former minister who wrote books critical of the country’s leader, a rights group and a U.N. official said. British-based rights body Human Rights Concern - Eritrea said Berhane Abrehe, minister from 2000 to 2012, was arrested on Monday morning in the capital Asmara.

Zimbabwe is appealing to individual citizens and local companies for $35 million to help fight a cholera outbreak that has killed 31 and infected more than 5,000, the finance minister said.

Kenyan President Proposes Tax Hike on Money Transfer Services

By George Obulutsa & Humphrey Malalo | Reuters

Kenya’s president has proposed hiking taxes on mobile money transfer services and other money transfer services, documents sent to parliament this month showed, amid a tussle in government over how to boost revenues without hurting the poor.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

America Is Quietly Expanding Its War in Tunisia

By Heni Nsaibia | The National Interest

The first documented U.S. direct military engagement in Tunisia since World War II has largely passed unnoticed, but it is a sign of things to come.

News

September 18, 2018

A lawyer defending an alleged commander in Uganda’s shadowy Lord's Resistance Army accused of crimes including murder, sexual slavery and using child soldiers cast him Tuesday him as a victim of the rebel group and its brutal leader, Joseph Kony.

Libyan authorities say fighting between rival militias in the capital of Tripoli has flared up again, breaking a cease-fire that began earlier this month. Generators that were damaged in the clashes have caused mass power outages across the country.

Opinion

September 18, 2018

Middle East & North Africa

News

September 19, 2018

Turkey Arrests 24 Airport Workers After Protests

By AP Editors | Associated Press

A construction workers union says 24 of its members have been detained in the aftermath of protests denouncing poor working conditions at Istanbul’s new airport.

Palestinians protested Wednesday at a new location along the perimeter fence between Israel and Gaza as Hamas intensified demonstrations at the border after Egyptian-led cease-fire talks stalled.

Jordan Scrambles to Recoup Funds for Palestinians Lost to U.S. Cuts

By Felicia Schwartz | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Jordan has embarked on an overseas lobbying campaign to replace funding that the Trump administration pulled last month for an agency that supports hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the kingdom.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

How Peace Keeps Receding in the Middle East

By David Ignatius | The Washington Post

Russia as a Middle East bullyboy has been a nuisance for the United States. Russia as the hegemonic regional power that brokers peace deals may be a more serious problem.

News

September 18, 2018

Cyprus Public School Teachers Stage Two-Day Strike

By AP Editors | Associated Press

Some 120,000 primary, middle and high school students in Cyprus have stayed home as school teachers go ahead with a two-day strike to protest what they say was the government’s move to impose money-saving measures without consulting with them.

Opinion

September 18, 2018

Asia-Pacific

News

September 19, 2018

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency said former Prime Minister Najib Razak was arrested on Wednesday and will face further charges of abuse of power over the multimillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

China Reaches Out to U.S. Over Demand for Media Registration

By Christopher Bodeen | Associated Press

China has reached out to the U.S. over reports that the Department of Justice has ordered two top Chinese state-run news outlets to register as foreign agents, a spokesman said Wednesday, adding that Beijing opposed “politicizing” the role of the media.

New Zealand plans to increase the number of refugees it takes each year from 1,000 to 1,500. Liberal Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday that the new quota will take effect from 2020.

Afghanistan’s deputy foreign minister will visit Moscow on Thursday to discuss the dates of a new round of Moscow peace talks on Afghanistan, Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday citing Afghanistan’s embassy.

Opinion

September 19, 2018

Kim Jong Un’s Statecraft by Crime

By Bruce E. Bechtol & Paul Rexton Kan | The National Interest

Office #39 is how Pyongyang breaks sanctions and gets cash through global crime.

News

September 18, 2018

Korean Leaders Meet in Pyongyang for Potentially Tough Talks

By Eric Talmadge & Hyung-Jin Kim | Associated Press

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday with possibly his hardest mission to date—brokering some kind of compromise to keep North Korea’s talks with Washington from imploding and pushing ahead with his own plans to expand economic cooperation and bring a stable peace to the Korean Peninsula.

At least nine members of a local Afghan police force were killed when another policeman opened fire at them at a checkpoint in northern Balkh province, a provincial official said Tuesday, the latest so-called “insider attack” in Afghanistan.

Hong Kong Grants Dependency Visas to Foreigners in Same-Sex Unions

By Natasha Khan | The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

Hong Kong’s government agreed, in a step toward greater recognition of gay rights, to grant dependency visas to foreigners in same-sex unions, a move long sought by multinational companies operating in the Chinese financial center.

Opinion

September 18, 2018

Is #MeToo Changing China?

By Yaqiu Wang | The Washington Post

Today’s feminists in China know from long experience to be wary of men’s claims that they support equal rights, whether they are government officials or liberal intellectuals and activists.

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