UKRAINE:* *Ukraine marked a tense independence day on Wednesday, with the

US expected to announce a further $3bn in aid, but no parades or parties

because of the threat of Russian attacks.* It is 31 years since the country

declared its independence from the Soviet Union, and six months to the day

since Russia launched a war that aimed to reverse that step away from

Moscow’s control. (Guardian, UK)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned of the risk of “brutal strikes” by

Russia and said any attack would provoke a powerful response. (Al Jazeera) In

an emotional pre-recorded speech on Ukraine’s Independence Day, President

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that now it is seen that the war will not end with

peace, but with victory. Ukraine was “reborn” when Russia attacked on

February 24. (Dagens Nyheter, Sweden) He also said that in the six months

since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “the world, history and our country have

changed”. Moreover, in his opinion, Ukraine has managed to revitalize the

whole continent. “Europe goes out to the squares. Europe introduces tough

sanctions. Europe unanimously recognizes Ukraine as a future member of the

European Union”, added. (EFE, Spain)

*The Russian army deliberately slowed down its advance in the special

military operation in Ukraine in order to reduce civilian casualties,

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said at a meeting of defense chiefs

from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on Wednesday.


The U.N. nuclear watchdog will visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia

nuclear power plant in Ukraine within days if talks to gain access succeed,

it said in a statement on Tuesday. (Reuters)

*As United Nations officials pleaded for inspection and demilitarization of

a battle-scarred nuclear power plant caught in Russia’s war on Ukraine, the

two countries traded harsh accusations at a Security Council meeting and a

path forward to avert a nuclear disaster remained unclear. (New York


*UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs

Rosemary DiCarlo expressed grave concern about the dangerous situation in

and around the nuclear plant at an urgent Security Council meeting

requested by Russia. (Anadolu, Türkiye)

UN wants “unhindered access” to

Zaporizhzhya. “We again call on the parties to grant the mission of the

International Atomic Energy Agency immediate, safe and unhindered access to

the site,” UN political affairs envoy Rosemary DiCarlo said at the Security

Council meeting. An expert mission from Ukrainian territory to the

Russian-occupied nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhya has so far lacked the

necessary security guarantees from the warring parties, according to the

UN. The IAEA mission, which is supported in principle by all sides, has so

far failed because of the dispute if experts should travel through

Russian-controlled or Ukrainian territory. (ORF, Austria)

Russia expects the IAEA to visit the Zaporizhzhya NPP in the near future

and is ready to assist it to the fullest in doing so, Russia’s Permanent

Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a session of the UN

Security Council convened at Moscow’s initiative. (Izvestia, Russia) According

to CNN, Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya called Tuesday’s meeting

of the Security Council a waste of time and said Russia’s UN ambassador

Vasily Nebenzya filled the meeting with false slogans. Nebenzya said that

the Ukrainian forces continued to fire artillery at the nuclear power plant

area and thereby increased the risk of a nuclear accident even more.

Kyslytsya, in turn, accused Russia of increasing the risk by continuing the

presence of its forces in the power plant area. (YLE, Finland)

*The U.N. human rights office expressed concern on Tuesday about plans by

Russian-backed authorities to try Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) in the

port city of Mariupol, possibly within days, saying such a process could

itself amount to a war crime.* The Russian-backed authorities appear to be

installing metal cages in a hall in Mariupol as part of plans to establish

what they were calling an “international tribunal”, Ravina Shamdasani,

spokesperson for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

(OHCHR), told a briefing. (Reuters)

Six months after the start of the Russian invasion, more than 29,000

alleged war crimes have already been reported to the office of the

Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andriy Kostin. There are reports of 373

children killed, not counting potential victims in areas still occupied by

the Russian army. To date, 624 alleged Russian sponsors have been

identified. The International Criminal Court, which has described Ukraine

as a “crime scene”, began an investigation into possible war crimes in

early March after receiving the green light from 43 states. Russia

systematically denies all the abuses its troops are accused of and accuses

Ukraine of war crimes in return. (Le Monde, France)

The Ukraine conflict is stretching the entire humanitarian system and could

have lasting impacts on the ability of organizations to tackle emergencies

worldwide, the Red Cross warned on Tuesday. The war, now six months old,

has pushed people to “a critical breaking point,” said Francesco Rocca,

president of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Societies (IFRC). (Moscow Times)

Dozens of representatives of countries and international institutions today

expressed their support for Ukraine at the summit of the Crimean Platform,

which seeks to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and end the

occupation of the peninsula. Although Turkey is on Ukraine’s side in the

conflict unleashed by Russia, Ankara is trying to maintain good relations

with both Moscow and Kyiv and has acted as a neutral mediator on some

issues. (Dennik N, Slovakia) The official representative of the Turkish

President, Ibrahim Kalin , said that the return of Crimea to Ukraine,

according to Ankara’s position, should be part of any agreement between

Moscow and Kiev. (RIA Novosti, Russia0

Slovakia will send its tanks to Ukraine and will receive 15 tanks from

Germany in a deal signed by the two countries’ Defence Ministries. (Slovak


*Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn, barley and

sunflower oil, shipping around five million metric tons of grain each month

before the war. […] “Thanks to intensive international cooperation, Ukraine

is on track to export as much as four million metric tons of agricultural

products in August,” a senior US State Department official told AFP. (AFP)*

Six months after Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine, an inflationary shock

is still ripping through boardrooms, finance ministries and households,

with European natural-gas prices surging again on August 22nd owing to

fears of further disruptions to supply from Russia. But in one crucial

area, prices have come back to Earth. The cost of grains, cereals and oils,

staples of diets around the world, have returned to levels last seen before

the war began. (The Economist)

*RUSSIA:* In Moscow, until August 29, it will be abnormally hot, with an

average daily temperature exceeding the norm by seven degrees, according to

the website of the capital’s head office of the Russian Emergencies

Ministry. (RIA Novosti, Russia) The total area charred by wildfires in

Russia is nearly two-thirds less than last year’s expanse, but the

situation is still difficult, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.


According to Wall Street Journal, US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally

Adeyemo sent a letter to the Turkish Industry and Business Association

(TÜSIAD) to warn that Russia may try to evade the Western sanctions through

Türkiye. The letter stated that anyone who supports individuals and

organizations that are subject to US sanctions is subject to US sanctions.

(T24, Türkiye)

Russia vowed “no mercy” for the killers of Daria Dugina, the daughter of an

ultranationalist intellectual, as hundreds gathered for her funeral

following her death in a car bomb blast over the weekend. (AFP)

In the Security Council meeting, Russia’s ambassador to the UN Nebenzia

accused Czech Defence Minister Cernochova of supporting terrorism. His

excuse was her comments after Saturday’s assassination of Darya Dugin. The

Minister responded that there was a fundamental difference between

“celebrating a terrorist attack” and feeling pity for the death of a

fascist propagandist. (iDnes, Czechia)

*ETHIOPIA*: *Authorities in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region alleged

Wednesday that Ethiopia’s military launched a “large-scale” offensive for

the first time in a year, which would be a significant setback to mediation

efforts and humanitarian work to feed millions of people starved of food

and other necessities. (AP)* The fighting is a major blow to hopes for

peace talks between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and the Tigray

People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the party that controls Tigray. (Reuters)

*SYRIA:* *US forces carried out airstrikes in Syria against groups tied to

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, US Central Command said, a move

that comes as Washington and Tehran weigh a new nuclear agreement.


**The airstrikes, in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour, were carried out

at President Biden’s direction after U.S. forces reported an attack by

drone aircraft on one of their remote outposts last week. (Washington

Post) *Opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and

activist collective Deir Ezzor 24 said the airstrikes targeted the Ayash

Camp run by the Fatimiyoun group made up of Shiite fighters from

Afghanistan. The war monitor reported that at least six Syrian and foreign

militants were killed in the airstrikes. (AP)

121 Syrian organizations condemned “repeated threats and hostilities” in

northern Syria, calling for the UN Security Council to immediately

intervene to stop violence, refusing plans for demographic change. The

joint statement called for the UN, members of the UN Security Council and

the EU to take firm measures and procedures to prevent destabilization and

any new military operations in north Syria. (North Press)

*IRAN: **Iran will not allow inspections beyond what is in a 2015 nuclear

deal, the country’s nuclear chief said on Wednesday, as the United States

prepares to respond to a proposal to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with

world powers. (Reuters)* The Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of

Iran (AEOI) Mohammad Eslami urged IAEA chief Rafael Grossi not to raise the

demands of the Israeli regime. (Mehr)

The Biden administration is expected to weigh in this week on Iran’s latest

offer to resume its compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but neither

side is offering a definitive path to revive the agreement, which has been

on life-support since former President Donald Trump withdrew from it in

2018. (AP)

Western diplomats are concerned that Russia plans to use Iran as a backdoor

to circumvent international sanctions if Tehran’s nuclear deal comes back

into force. Moscow dispatched teams of trade and finance officials and

execs from Gazprom and other companies to Tehran in July following Putin’s

meeting with the Iranian leadership to lay the groundwork for closer

cooperation; (Politico, EU)

The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have quietly restored diplomatic ties

with Tehran. Iran’s Foreign Ministry indicated Monday that talks with Saudi

Arabia over resuming ties are also going in a positive direction, as Eyes

are focused on the bigger prize of a diplomatic rapprochement between

Tehran and its long-time nemesis, Riyadh. (VOA, USA)

*IRAQ:* Iraq’s judiciary will resume its activities on Wednesday after Shia

cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to withdraw from outside

its headquarters, the state news agency INA reported. (Al Jazeera, Qatar)

*UAE:* Afghan refugees and migrants living in limbo at a United Arab

Emirates (UAE) facility for nearly a year since being evacuated from

Afghanistan held fresh protests this week over what they say is a slow and

opaque resettlement process. Hundreds of Afghans carried banners and

shouted for freedom on Monday and Tuesday, two Afghans in the facility told

Reuters, estimating that thousands were still awaiting resettlement to the

United States or third countries. (Reuters)

*LEBANON:* The last of the unstable grain silos at Beirut’s port collapsed

Tuesday morning, two years after a deadly blast heavily damaged the

structures, which for weeks had been burning and slowly collapsing as a

traumatized country looked on.

No injuries were reported as the area was evacuated in anticipation of the

collapse, but the sight of the dramatic, large plume of dust emanating from

the port harked back to Aug. 4, 2020, when smoke rising from a fire at the

port preceded an explosion of tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate.

(Washington Post)

*YEMEN:* The forces of the secessionist movement in southern Yemen, backed

by the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday peacefully seized control of the

southern province of Abyan from their allies in the internationally

recognised Yemeni government, according to several sources. (Expresso,


The head of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) Rashad al-Alimi

has ordered United Arab Emirates-backed separatists to stop military

operations in the country’s south. The notice issued to the head of the

Southern Transitional Council, and fellow council member, Aidarous

al-Zubaidi, on Monday, and seen by Reuters, is an attempt by al-Alimi to

step in and stop an STC campaign against rival factions within the

government umbrella, including the Islah Party. (Al Jazeera, Qatar)

*EGYPT:* A new presidential initiative called 100 Million Trees has been

launched as part of Egypt’s focus on efforts to mitigate the repercussions

of climate change. It also comes in tandem with preparations to host the

27th session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in the Red Sea

resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh in November. (Al Ahram, Egypt)

*LIBYA: The United Nations Libya mission said on Tuesday it was deeply

concerned by what it called an ongoing mobilization of forces and threats

to use force to resolve the country’s political crisis*. Libya has been

enmeshed in a stalemate for months after the eastern-based parliament swore

in a new prime minister despite the incumbent in Tripoli refusing to cede

power, leading to a standoff with armed factions backing each side.


*ALGERIA*: The Chief Rabbi of France, Haïm Korsia, of Algerian origins,

will accompany President Emmanuel Macron in Algiers, which irritates some

Algerian opinion. For the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Abderrazak

Makri, the visit of the Chief Rabbi of France to Algeria would be part of

the pressure exerted on Algeria to normalise its relations with Israel. (Le

Point, France)

*COTE D’IVOIRE:* The largest body of brackish water in West Africa, known

as the “pearl of the lagoons”, is being suffocated by hundreds of tonnes of

waste produced by the capital’s factories or dumped by residents. (Le

Monde, France)

*SUDAN: *The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court urged the

U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to accelerate action to help deliver

justice for thousands of people in Sudan´s western Darfur region, which was

wracked by bloodshed in 2003. (Daily Mail, UK) Karim Khan briefed the

Security Council via videoconference from Khartoum about his fresh visits

to three camps in the Darfur region including the Kalma, Hasahisa and

Hamidiya displacement camps*,* Khan told the 15-member body that the

displaced people rejoiced and chanted “Welcome ICC!” calling for and

expressing belief in justice. (Sudan Tribune)

The total death toll from flooding in Sudan since the start of the

country’s rainy season in May has risen to at least 89, an official source

said on Tuesday. Sudan’s National Civil Defence Council spokesman Brigadier

General Abdul-Jalil Abdul-Rahim also said at least 36 people have been

injured since the start of the rainy season. (Expresso, Portugal)

*SOUTH SUDAN*: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on

Tuesday decried renewed clashes between rival armed groups in South Sudan’s

Upper Nile State, a northern region. (Xinhua)

South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

said in a statement on Tuesday that it has learned with regret of the

alleged rape incident involving one of its diplomats at the country’s

permanent mission to United Nations in New York, United States. (Sudan Post)

*UGANDA: *The Health Ministry has intensified surveillance at border points

after a 46-year-old woman died of Ebola in North Kivu, DR Congo. Dr Allan

Muruta, the commissioner in charge of epidemics at the Ministry of Health,

told Daily Monitor yesterday that the risk of disease spread is high in 21

Ugandan districts, which border DR Congo. (Daily Monitor and The Observer,


*KENYA:* A group of Kenyans filed a case against the British government at

the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday over what it said was

colonial-era land theft, torture and mistreatment. The Kenyans are seeking

an investigation and redress for crimes they say were committed in western

Kenya’s Kericho region, now one of the most important in the world for tea

production. (Reuters)

More women won parliamentary seats in Kenya’s elections this month than

ever before. The National Gender and Equality Commission said Kenyans

elected 30 female MPs, up from 23 in 2017, seven female governors, up from

three in 2017, and three female senators, the same number as in 2017.

(Guardian, UK)

*ANGOLA*: As Angola — one of Africa’s largest oil producers — prepares for

a general election Wednesday, voters are debating whether they should vote

and sit at the polling stations to monitor the process or cast their

ballots and go home. (AP)

Polls will open in Angola on Wednesday morning, with the ruling People’s

Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) facing the most significant

challenge from opposition parties for decades. (Guardian, UK) An

Afrobarometer survey in May showed the National Union for the Total

Independence of Angola (UNITA)’s opposition coalition, led by Adalberto

Costa Junior, increasing its share to 22%, from 13% in 2019. That’s still

seven points behind the MPLA, but nearly half of voters were undecided.

Many youths—under 25s make up 60% of the country—are voting for the first

time. (France 24)

Adalberto Costa Junior, the UNITA leader called for Angolans to vote in

today’s general elections, but criticised electoral procedures, giving the

example of his polling station where the voters’ lists were not distributed

to inspectors. (LUSA, Portugal)

The outgoing president, Joao Lourenço, has failed to reform the country

despite an anti-corruption campaign that has made him more likeable

internationally. (Le Monde, France)

*INDIA:* An outbreak of a new viral infection referred to as tomato flu

that was first detected in children in the southern Indian state of Kerala

in May has spread to two other states. It has been referred to as tomato

flu because of the painful red blisters it produces on the body, and it is

very contagious. (Guardian, UK)

India’s largest power producer is looking to develop another massive

nuclear project just weeks after announcing its entry into the sector, a

sign that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expansion into atomic energy is

gaining momentum. (Times of India)

*THAILAND*: *Thailand’s Constitutional Court suspended Prime Minister

Prayuth Chan-ocha from his duties on Wednesday while it decides whether the

man who led a military coup in 2014 has violated the country’s term limits.

(AP)* Though Prayuth could be restored to his position when the court

rules on the petition, the surprise suspension threw Thai politics into

confusion. “The court has considered the petition and related documents and

sees that the facts from the petition are cause for questioning as

demanded,” it said. Prayuth has 15 days to respond, the court told media in

a statement, adding that a panel of judges ruled five to four in favour of

his suspension, starting from Wednesday. (Reuters) The interpretation by

the nine-judge court will determine if Mr Prayut has breached the maximum

term in his role as premier, and if he is eligible for re-election to the

post in the next general election expected early next year. (Straits Times,


The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday informed the Cabinet about its bid for a

seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), deputy government

spokeswoman Trisulee Trisaranakul said. (The Nation)

Thailand has been chosen by Asean members to establish an Asean Centre for

Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. (Bangkok Post)

*MALAYSIA:* Malaysian ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak began his 12-year

prison sentence Tuesday after losing his final appeal in a graft case

linked to the looting of the 1MDB state fund, with the top court

unanimously upholding his conviction and sentence. Najib Razak is

Malaysia’s first former prime minister to go to prison — a mighty fall for

a British-educated politician whose father and uncle were the country’s

second and third prime ministers, respectively. (AP)

*SRI LANKA:* A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet

Sri Lanka’s president on Wednesday for talks to finalise a bailout package,

including restructuring debt of about $29 billion, amid the nation’s worst

financial crisis in more than seven decades. (Reuters)

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka says former President Gotabaya

Rajapaksa is entitled to protection and should be allowed to return to the

country. (Colombo Gazette)

*BANGLADESH:* The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on

Tuesday called for more efforts by the international community to ensure

financial support and solutions for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

(Jornal de Angola)

Schools in Bangladesh will close an additional day each week and government

offices and banks will shorten their work days by an hour to reduce

electricity usage amid concerns over rising fuel prices and the impact of

the Ukraine war. (Al Jazeera)

*MYANMAR:* *Last week’s **meeting between UN special envoy Noeleen Heyzer

and the Myanmar junta chief ended without any breakthrough, becoming yet

another failed UN mission to the country, one of many involving the world

body’s diplomats and military rulers of Myanmar since 1990. **(The


Myanmar’s trade unions and civil society organisations are facing the

threat of extinction under the military administration that took power in

last year’s coup, according to a United Nations report. (Al Jazeera, Qatar)

*PHILIPPINES:* PA tropical storm blew out of the northern Philippines on

Wednesday, leaving at least three people injured and thousands displaced

and prompting authorities to shut down schools and government offices in

the capital and several provinces prone to flooding and landslides. (AP)

*AUSTRALIA:* The Australian government will launch an inquiry aimed at

preventing a prime minister from ever again secretly amassing new

ministerial powers, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday. (AP)

*PAPUA NEW GUINEA:* Police investigations have begun into 30 deaths that

occurred during the just completed poll, which a number of commentators

have deemed one of the most violent in Papua New Guinea history. (RNZ)

*VANUATU:* The 27 signatories of a no confidence motion against Vanuatu

Prime Minister, Bob Loughman, have filed an urgent constitutional

application contesting the dissolution of Parliament. (Radio News Zealand)

*CHINA:* *Brutal heatwaves have ravaged a vast swathe of China for 70 days

straight, as half the country’s landmass endures its longest sustained

period of extreme high temperatures in six decades. (South China Morning

Post, China) *

China is easing its tight restrictions on visas after it largely suspended

issuing them to foreign students and others more than two years ago at the

start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AP)

A Chinese ambassador to the United Nations called for the establishment of

a security concept that meets the needs of the times, respects the

sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and creates a

stable strategic security environment. (China Daily)

China strongly condemned on Tuesday the visit to Taiwan by the delegation

of Japanese parliamentarians, assuring that it will take “resolute and

forceful measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial

integrity.” (Corriere del Ticino, Switzerland)

*JAPAN*: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced an easing of

the country’s strict pandemic-related border restrictions, scrapping

pre-departure COVID-19 tests. (Al Jazeera, Qatar)

*Japan is planning to develop next-generation nuclear power plants to

provide a stable supply of electricity and reduce carbon emissions, marking

a significant shift away from earlier pledges to reduce atomic energy use.

The government could also consider extending the operational life of

reactors that have passed new safety standards from the presently mandated

40 years to 60 years. (South China Morning Post)*

*KOREAN PENINSULA:* South Korea and the United States “entirely” align on

their plans to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization in stages, the US

State Department said, urging North Korea to affirmatively respond to South

Korea’s “audacious initiative.” (Korea Herald)

The Yoon Suk-yeol administration is taking a series of steps to revive

North Korea human rights initiatives that were paused or downscaled under

president Moon Jae-in, prompting the ruling main opposition parties to lock

horns yet again. (Korea Herald)

*TAJIKISTAN:* The international human rights organization Human Rights

Watch called on the Tajik authorities to stop illegal arrests and unfair

trials over residents of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region. (Aki Press)

*CYPRUS:* A new gas discovery outside Cyprus can help solve the energy

crisis in Europe, says the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce and

Industry, Natasa Pilides. The new gas discovery is of 70 billion cubic

meters of natural gas and can help Europe to become less dependent on

import from Russia. (TV2 Nyheter, Norway)

*GERMANY: *On Wednesday, the first fully hydrogen-powered railway line will

be inaugurated in northern Germany. It has 14 trains, a step towards the

decarbonisation of rail. (L’essentiel, Luxembourg)

*GERMANY/CANADA:* Germany and Canada sign a joint declaration of intent on

Canada’s east coast, which calls on the two countries to invest in

hydrogen, establish a “transatlantic Canada-Germany supply corridor” and

start exporting hydrogen by 2025. Canadian PM Trudeau describes an

“historic moment”. (, Germany)

*FRANCE:* French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that France faces

“sacrifices” in a new era marked by climate change and instability caused

by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine that signalled “the end of

abundance.” After a summer marked by drought, massive wildfires and

continuing loss of life in Ukraine, the 44-year-old leader on Wednesday

delivered a stark speech at the start of the first cabinet meeting after

the country’s traditional August holiday break. (Al Jazeera)

*UNITED KINGDOM:* Dozens of alerts for high levels of pollution have gone

off on beaches and bathing spots in England and Wales in recent days after

heavy rains following a record heat wave caused many sewage systems to

clog, resulting in spills into the sea. (Corriere del Ticino, Switzerland)

*UNITED STATES:* *President Donald J. Trump took more than 700 pages of

classified documents, including some related to the nation’s most covert

intelligence operations, to his private club and residence in Florida when

he left the White House in January 2021, according to a letter that the

National Archives sent to his lawyers this year. (NYT)*

*MEXICO:* A local journalist who ran an online news program has been shot

to death in southern Mexico, making him the 15th media worker killed so far

this year nationwide. Prosecutors in the southern state of Guerrero said on

Monday that Fredid Román was gunned down in the state capital,

Chilpancingo. (Guardian, UK)

*CHILE:* The government of Chilean President Gabriel Boric said on Tuesday

it has revived efforts to pass a bill that would reduce working hours in

the country and fulfill a campaign promise.The bill, which aims to reduce

the working week from 45 to 40 hours within five years, has stalled in

Congress since it was introduced in 2017 by then-lawmaker and current

government spokesperson Camila Vallejo. (Reuters)

*BRAZIL:* Brazilian police on Tuesday conducted raids targeting several

businessmen who have backed President Jair Bolsonaro’s re-election, two

sources said, after a media report accused them of discussing the virtues

of a coup d’etat if the far-right leader lost the October vote. Federal

police confirmed they were carrying out eight search warrants in five

states at the direction of Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who

became head of Brazil’s top electoral court last week. Police did not name

the targets. (Reuters)

*ECLAC: The Latin America and the Caribbean region is likely to see average

economic expansion of 2.7 percent in 2022, reverting to pre-pandemic

sluggish growth amid strong external and domestic macroeconomic

restrictions, the Santiago-based Economic Commission for Latin America and

the Caribbean (ECLAC) said on Tuesday. (Xinhua)*

*NATO: *NATO allies need to invest more in defense spending as “we live in

a more dangerous world,” the alliance’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg

said on Wednesday. *Speaking to British outlet Sky News in an exclusive

interview, Stoltenberg said that, as a former politician, he knew it was

always “more tempting” to invest in health care, education, and

infrastructure. (Anadolu, T**ürkiye**) *

*CLIMATE:* Europe is facing its worst drought in at least 500 years, with

two-thirds of the continent in a state of alert or warning, reducing inland

shipping, electricity production and the yields of certain crops, a

European Union agency has said. (Al Jazeera)

*BIODIVERSITY:* Researchers have declared a mammal related to the manatee –

said to have inspired ancient tales of mermaids and sirens – extinct in

China. (BBC)

*NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY*: A nuclear disarmament conference

entered a final stage of plenary meetings amid growing uncertainty as to

whether members can hammer out an agreement by Friday’s conclusion of the

nearly monthlong session. (Kyodo)