Beijing has sanctioned U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her close family members in response to her visit to Taiwan, which China’s foreign ministry characterized as “vicious” and “provocative” interference in Chinese affairs. (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of escalating tensions by firing missiles over Taiwan itself, some of which landed in Japanese territorial waters, and urged Beijing to show restraint. (The Associated Press)
Russian forces have shelled a suburb of Zaporizhzhia that sits directly across the Dnieper River from the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power complex, a move that some experts suspect is an attempt to force Ukrainians to return fire and potentially cause a nuclear accident. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is pleading with both Kyiv and Moscow to allow inspectors and spare parts into the plant to ensure its safe operation, as Russian occupation and fierce fighting in the region cut communications and deliveries while risking catastrophe. (The Associated Press)
WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison — nearly the maximum sentence — after pleading guilty to bringing a small amount of cannabis oil concentrate into Russia. U.S. officials say they are hopeful that her sentencing will open the door to sealing a proposed prisoner swap deal that would bring Griner and fellow U.S. detainee Paul Whelan home in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. (The Wall Street Journal)
Ukraine wants to expand its grain export deal with Russia, Turkey and the United Nations to include other products following the arrival of the first grain ship dispatched under the agreement in Lebanon. Kyiv is eager to maximize the utility of the framework, as senior Zelenskyy adviser Mykhailo Podolyak says he expects Russia will eventually seek to block Ukrainian exports again. (Financial Times)
China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that it summoned Beijing-based Canadian diplomat Jim Nickel over Canada’s participation in a statement issued by the foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) nations.
Southeast Asian foreign ministers issued a joint statement Friday after a series of meetings in the Cambodian capital criticizing Myanmar for its lack of progress in ending violence there, but with weaker language than several countries had hoped for.
Human rights group Amnesty International accused Ukraine on Thursday of endangering civilians by basing troops in residential areas during Russia’s invasion in a report that Kyiv likened to Russian propaganda and disinformation.
Berlin has realized it will never again import as much energy from Russia as before the Ukraine war. So the challenge is to wean Germany off its dependence on Russian energy sources, and quickly; the question is how.
Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega’s government has closed seven radio stations owned by the Roman Catholic church this week, as well as two other outlets serving the largely rural northern area with a history of opposition to his Sandinista National Liberation Front party.
Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is campaigning to return to the job he held between 2003-2010, on Thursday received an endorsement from moderate André Janones who had been expected to run himself.
The al-Shabab extremist group has exploited Ethiopia’s internal turmoil to cross the border from neighboring Somalia in unprecedented attacks in recent weeks that a top U.S. military commander has warned could continue.
U.N. experts say they have “solid evidence” that members of Rwanda’s armed forces are conducting operations in volatile eastern Congo in support of the M23 rebel group, which is waging a major offensive in the mineral-rich region that has caused deaths and massive displacement of civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis heeded the call of an influential Shiite cleric to gather in a show of strength for a mass prayer in the heart of Baghdad’s heavily fortified government zone on Friday. The gathering took place amid an escalating political crisis that has put the country’s capital on edge.
Africa recorded a ten-year growth in its healthy life expectancy from 2000 to 2019, the World Health Organization Africa office said Thursday, exceeding the global average and progress seen in any other region over the same period.
Parties to the peace deal ending South Sudan’s devastating civil war have again delayed the country’s first elections since independence by extending the transitional period by two years. The vote meant for early next year has been pushed to December 2024.
China says it is canceling or suspending dialogue with the U.S. on issues from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Targeted operations by U.S. forces have eliminated notorious leaders of armed extremist groups, al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri the latest among them. But how much they disrupt these terrorist organizations is questionable.