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Members of the second contingent of Kenyan police greet each other after arriving in the Caribbean country as part of a peacekeeping mission, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti July 16, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Double duty: Kenya and Bangladesh try to balance domestic crises with Haiti aid

Haiti’s Prime Minister Garry Conillecalled for gangs to surrender their weapons and recognize the state’s authority late Wednesday, as a Kenyan-led police mission there enjoys some early success.

Some 200 officers arrived in late June and are trying to take back the capital from gangs that launched a series of highly coordinated attacks in February, ousting former Prime Minister Ariel Henry and seizing about 80% of the capital. The mission received another 200 Kenyan officers on Tuesday, and, within the coming months, the multinational force is expected to see recruits from other countries, including Bangladesh. But oddly enough, both Nairobi and Dhaka are facing severe challenges to law and order at home.

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Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro looks on during his swearing-in ceremony as caretaker president following the death of President Hugo Chavez in Caracas March 8, 2013.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Hard Numbers: Venezuelan opposition arrests, Bangkok’s murder mystery, Acropolis closed amid heat wave, More Kenyan police arrive in Haiti, Voting day for von der Leyen

102: Ahead of presidential elections set for July 28, Venezuelan authorities have arrested at least 102 people linked to the political opposition this year, according to Foro Penal, a local legal aid non-profit. Three-quarters of them were jailed after the official presidential campaign period began on July 4. On Wednesday, police arrested the security chief of opposition leader Marina Corina Machado. Polls show strongman President Nicolas Madurotrailing badly ahead of the vote.

6: Authorities said Wednesday that traces of cyanide were found in the blood of six Vietnamese nationals, two of whom had dual US citizenship, in a luxury suite of a Grand Hyatt in Bangkok. The group was last seen alive on Monday by a waiter delivering room service. Police say there was a possible financial motive related to an investment … and that the suspected perpetrator is among the six dead.

5: Greece’s most-visited archaeological site, the Acropolis, was closed for five hours by the Ministry of Culture on Wednesday amid a brutal southern European heat wave. Wildfires, meanwhile, are proving difficult to contain amid the extreme heat and led to the closure of a major border crossing between Greece and North Macedonia for several hours on Wednesday.

200: Another 200 Kenyan police officers joined the UN-backed mission in Haiti this week to support local authorities against the violent gangs who took over the capital city of Port-au-Prince in a joint offensive last February. The Kenyan-led mission also expects new arrivals from Jamaica, Bangladesh, Chad, and others to help grow the force to 2,500 personnel in the coming weeks.

361: In the EU parliament later today, MEPs will decide whether to confirm Ursula von der Leyen as Commission president in a knife-edge vote that will either result in another five-year mandate for the EU executive’s first female leader or tip the bloc into a temporary crisis. Despite no other candidate standing, it looks like she will just barely, if at all, get the 361 votes she needs.

Haiti's Prime Minister Garry Conille shakes hands with members of the first contingent of Kenyan police as part of a peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean country, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 26, 2024.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol

Haiti takes back major hospital from gangs

On Tuesday, Haiti’s interim Prime Minister Garry Conillevisited the country’s largest hospital in the capital city of Port-au-Prince to celebrate taking it back from armed gangs on Sunday.

Haiti has been engulfed in deadly gang violence since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021. Since then, over 200 armed gangs formed large alliances that brought Haiti to a state of anarchy, with intensifying violence that eventually forced former Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s resignation this spring. Coordinated gang attacks in February — strategically timed to occur while Henry was overseas — seized control of harbors and airports, effectively cutting the country off from the world.

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Gang member in carrying gun in Haiti

REUTERS/Daniel Morel DM/SV

The very bad thing that is going from Florida to Haiti

As Haiti sinks ever deeper into a maelstrom of gang violence, state failure, and vigilantism, US authorities are trying to cut off one big aggravating factor: US guns.

Agents of the DHS are targeting port facilities in South Florida, where traffickers take advantage of loopholes in US customs rules that all allow them to hide powerful weapons in containers of commercial goods or humanitarian aid.

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Hong Kong's new security law ends remaining political independence
Hong Kong's new security law ends remaining political independence | Ian Bremmer | World In :60

Hong Kong's new security law ends remaining political independence

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How will the new security law affect all aspects of life in Hong Kong?

Takes away small remaining vestiges of political independence, none of which people expected were going to be maintained for long. The Chinese government really fast tracked this, which did, you know, antagonize a lot of people on the island. But at the same time, I mean, they're already basically shut down, you know, free Democratic media and made it impossible to engage in demonstrations that were seen as difficult or upsetting to the mainland. I mean, Hong Kong is no longer a bridge into mainland China. It is now a component of a greater Chinese economy. And to the extent that economy starts turning around and doing better, Hong Kong will do well. It's not right now, so it's not performing quite as effectively. And, you know, a lot of the expats have already gotten out of Dodge.

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Kenya’s mission to Haiti hits early roadblock

It’s been barely a week since the UN approved Kenya’s proposal to lead a police force to quash Haiti’s gangs – and the wheels are already coming off.

Kenya’s high court on Monday temporarily froze the deployment, citing a lawsuit by a local politician who says President William Ruto’s approval of the plan was unconstitutional. The government has to respond to the lawsuit this week but won’t get a full hearing until Oct. 24.

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People fleeing gang violence take shelter at a sports arena, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


The clock starts ticking on Haiti’s border

The Dominican Republic has suspended all new visas for Haitians, and threatened to close the border with its neighbor entirely by Thursday unless a dispute over water rights is resolved before then.

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Residents of the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood gather outside a military base demanding help after they had to flee their homes when gangs took over, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in August 2023.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol/File Photo

The country that wants to take on Haiti’s gangs

Who on earth would want to fight the gangs of Haiti?

Kenya, for one.

In early August, the East African nation offered to lead a UN-backed policing mission to corral the gangs that have wreaked havoc on Haiti ever since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021 plunged the Caribbean nation into fresh political and economic chaos.

Several weeks later, a Kenyan security team spent several days in Port-au-Prince, meeting with local officials, UN representatives, and US diplomats to craft a peacekeeping proposal.

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