Munich 2024: Protecting Elections in the Age of AI
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Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas takes his seat to testify before a Senate hearing on the department's budget request on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 26, 2021.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Hard Numbers: Mayorkas impeachment fails, Haley loses Nevada, School shooter’s mom found guilty, Kenyan cult leader charged with child murder

214: House Republicans on Tuesday tried and failed to make Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas the first Cabinet secretary to be impeached in 148 years – an effort that was tied to one of the most divisive issues in Washington: border security. Four Republican lawmakers went against their party and helped Democrats sink the articles of impeachment against Mayorkas in a 214-216 vote. Congressional Republicans are also moving to sink bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening border security because Donald Trump warned it could help Democrats in the 2024 election.

26: Nikki Haley was the only major candidate to take part in Nevada's GOP primary and still lost due to Donald Trump supporters choosing the "None of these Candidates" option instead. Haley decided not to campaign in the state, focusing instead on her home state South Carolina, and delegate-rich California. On Thursday, Donald Trump will run unopposed by any major candidate in the state GOP caucus, which will earn him the state's 26 delegates once he wins. To understand why Nevada Republicans voted in a primary AND a caucus this year, read our quick explainer.

4: For the first time, a US parent has been held criminally responsible in connection with a school shooting committed by their child. Jennifer Crumbley on Tuesday was found guilty of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Her son, Ethan Crumbley, shot and killed four fellow students at Michigan’s Oxford High School in 2021 using a gun gifted to him by his parents just days before (he’s serving a life sentence). James Crumbley, the father, is also facing charges, and his trial is set to begin in March.

191:Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, the leader of a Christian doomsday cult in Kenya, on Tuesday was charged along with 29 other people in the deaths of 191 children – whose bodies were found in mass graves in a forest. Mackenzie – founder and leader of the Good News International Ministry – is accused of convincing his followers to starve themselves and their children to achieve salvation and meet Jesus Christ. He pleaded not guilty. Hundreds of his followers have been found dead, and many others are missing.

Lawyers sit in court as Kenya High Court Judge Chacha Mwita delivers his ruling, terming the Kenya government's intention to deploy police officers to lead a U.N. approved mission to Haiti as unconstitutional, at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi, Kenya January 26, 2024.

REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenyan court halts Haiti deployment

On Sunday, the US reiterated its support for a Kenyan-led police deployment to Haiti despite Nairobi’s High Court ruling on Friday that the government could not deploy it. The long-awaited decision casts severe doubt on the prospects for stabilization in the Caribbean country.

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Ships are anchored near the construction site of a new Chinese mega port, in Chancay, Peru, as seen here in August 2023.

REUTERS/Angela Ponce

Hard Numbers: Chinese mega port to open in Peru, Bitcoin funds debut with a bang, Femicide alarm raised in Kenya, Germany’s East-West gender gaps

3.5 billion: A $3.5 billion Chinese state-owned port is set to open in Chancay, Peru, later this year, giving Beijing a direct gateway to Latin America’s bounteous natural resources – and cementing its status as the region’s largest trade partner. The port is expected to handle major volumes of copper and soy, and it could reduce shipping times to China by as much as two weeks for some of the region’s exporters.

1.9 billion: In the first few days after US regulators approved exchange-traded funds linked to Bitcoin, investors poured $1.9 billion into the new funds. The ETFs give people exposure to Bitcoin without having to actually own any. Some analysts think that as investor confidence in the funds grows, they could attract as much as $100 billion by year’s end.

4: At least four Kenyan women were killed in the first three weeks of the year, with at least two cases of them being targeted by gangs of men using dating apps to extort and rape their victims. The slayings follow a marked increase in femicide last year, in which at least 152 women were murdered (the real number is likely far higher according to experts), according to the NGO Femicide Count Kenya, which is calling on the government to investigate.

18: Women in Germany earn approximately 18% less than men, according to the latest data from the Federal Statistics Office, a stubborn plateau that has now held since 2020 after years of decreases. Experts largely attribute the persistent gap to women taking time away from work for childcare, which causes them to be overlooked for promotions or raises. Interestingly, the gap was less than half as broad in former East Germany, where women earned just 7% less than men.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, right, and Kenyan President William Ruto meet at the EU Commission headquarters on March 29, 2023.

Hans Lucas/REUTERS

EU and Kenya on the cusp of finalizing trade partnership

The European Union and Kenya signed a historic trade deal on Monday to grant Kenyan exports duty- and quota-free access to the bloc. Kenya will also gradually reduce tariffs on European imports over 25 years.

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FILE PHOTO: Men run next to burning tires during a protest demanding an end to gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, August 14, 2023.

REUTERS/Ralph Tedy

How long must Haitians wait for help?

On Wednesday, armed men surrounded the Fontaine Hospital Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, trapping scores of people for hours before police managed to evacuate at least 40 children and 70 other patients. This type of violence has become a daily occurrence in Haiti, where police have struggled to gain the upper hand against gangs since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has been urgently calling for international intervention for over a year to help crack down on the mayhem.

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Men stand near bunches of bananas at Yopougon market


Hard Numbers: Britain’s bananas, Houthis' drones, Chile’s Constitution, Haitians’ exodus, Hong Kong’s democrats, Kenya’s visa-free approach

11.5: African plantations’ 11.5% share of the UK banana market could be in peril as London — freed from its former EU trade policy obligations — looks to lower tariffs even further on Latin American producers who already supply two-thirds of Britain’s bananas. The move, meant to contain banana costs amid high inflation, could put some 80,000 jobs in Africa at risk. Side note: A banana is actually a berry, and a raspberry is NOT actually a berry. We don’t make the rules, we just report them.

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Britain's King Charles and the President of Kenya, Dr William Ruto

Victoria Jones/Pool via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Charles III visits Kenya, deadly sectarian violence in India, US murders plunge, antisemitic mob arrests in Russia

1: King Charles III is set to launch his first state visit to an African country — and his very first to a Commonwealth nation — since becoming Britain’s monarch in May. On Tuesday, he and Camilla will touch down in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is expected to face pressure to address the historic brutality of British colonial rule.

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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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