The world this week - Politics
America said it would send more weapons to Ukraine, including long-range rocket launchers that will help the country’s defenders shoot back at the Russian artillery pounding their positions in the east.
The Pentagon is supplying the new kit on condition that it not be used to strike targets in Russia.
President Joe Biden reiterated that America does not seek war with Russia, and does not aim to oust Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president.
In an interview on French television Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that capturing Ukraine’s Donbas region (he termed it a “liberation”) was an “unconditional priority” for the Kremlin.
He denied that Russian soldiers were attacking civilian infrastructure.
Mr Lavrov also denied rumours that Mr Putin is seriously ill.
The Russian president “appears in public every day”, he insisted.
The European Union agreed to ban most imports of Russian oil.
However, the ban will not cover piped oil, an exemption sought by the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, which rely heavily on pipeline supplies, and it will be phased in.
At first it will block around 65% of total Russian oil exports to Europe; by the end of the year it will block 90%.
The M23 rebel group, which has long lurked in north-eastern Congo, clashed with the army near the city of Goma.
Congo’s government accused Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, of inciting the violence.
Congo has been trying to build new roads and trade links with east Africa, which the mayhem threatens.
Around a hundred people, mostly informal goldminers, were killed in clashes in the north-western desert of Chad, close to the border with Libya.
The violence began as “a mundane dispute between two individuals”, said the country’s defence minister.
Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, started enforcing a ban on motorcycle taxis.
The governor says they endanger road users and enable crime.
For many locals, they are a cheap and effective way to beat the city’s awful traffic.
A leaked report soon to be issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, said that unexplained nuclear material had been found at three undeclared sites in Iran, and that Iran had “not provided explanations that are technically credible”.
A former presidential candidate in Egypt, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotoh , a 70-year-old Islamist, was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labour for disseminating “fake news” and for joining a “terrorist” group, the government’s term for the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Sri Lanka’s economic situation showed no signs of improvement, as the government continued negotiations for a bail-out.
A food shortage is worsening.
The agriculture minister has urged farmers to plant more rice.
The government has asked for aid from its South Asian neighbours.
Inflation hit a new high of 39%.
Last month Sri Lanka defaulted on its debts and riots prompted the president to sack the prime minister, his brother.
Pakistan is also facing an economic crisis.
Foreign-currency reserves are down to just $10bn and inflation reached nearly 14% in May.
The government is in talks with the IMF for a bail-out, and has raised the price of fuel by 20%.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan, the ousted prime minister, has been leading protests to demand fresh elections.
He claims, without evidence, that parliament sacked him at America’s behest.