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U.S. Representative George Santos (R-NY) chats with his State of the Union guest and members of his staff as they prepare for the evening in Santos’s office on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2023.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Hard Numbers: Santos chargesheet grows, Niger kicks out UN rep, GOP voters question McCarthy ouster, China reaps oil windfall

44,000: US Rep. George Santos (R-NY) — already under scrutiny for lying about his background — allegedly stole more than $44,000 from campaign donors by using their identities and credit card information, according to a new 23-count indictment. Santos is also alleged to have lied to the Federal Elections Commission by claiming he loaned his campaign $500,000 at a time when he only had around $8,000 in the bank.

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U.S. President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, walks outside on the day of his appearance in a federal court on gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., October 3, 2023.

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Hard Numbers: Hunter Biden in court, deadly Niger ambush, post-terror raids in Turkey, India questions journalists, cyber attacks target Kenya

3: President Joe Biden’s son Hunter President Joe Biden's son pleaded not guilty to three firearms charges in a Delaware federal court on Tuesday. The younger Biden was indicted last month on three counts related to possession of a firearm while using illegal drugs.

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Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune chairs the meeting of the Higher Committee for Supervision of Customs Declarations and Commercial Operations Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune chairs the meeting of the Higher Committee for Supervision of Customs Declarations and Commercial Operations in Algeria on Aug. 01, 2023 .

Algerian Presidency Office via Reuters

Algeria tries to play peacemaker in Niger

Algeria announced that the military junta in Niger has accepted its offer to mediate a return to civilian control. In late August, Algiers proposed a six-month-long transition plan, overseen by a civilian.

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Activists protest at Nigerian Embassy against Ecowas' military intervention in Niger


France to leave Niger

After a marked increase in anti-French sentiment following a military coup in Niger on July 26, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France will immediately withdraw its ambassador and remove its 1,500 soldiers over the next few months. The decision follows months of anti-French protests – linked to an increased presence of Russian mercenaries in the country – and escalating tensions between Paris and the coup leaders. Just hours before the announcement, the junta banned "French aircraft" from flying over the country.
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Migrants sit on their belongings in the back of a truck


Hard Numbers: Migrants in the middle, people smugglers freed, bridge workers killed, South Carolina upholds abortion ban

7,000: The UN says 7,000 migrants – those fleeing Africa, and those returning – have been stuck in Niger since the coup in the West African country last month prompted the closing of borders. Niger has been suspended from the African Union and ECOWAS since the coup, but diplomatic efforts to restore constitutional order have failed … which means these discouraged migrants might have a helluva wait.

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The McDougall Creek wildfire burns next to houses in the Okanagan community of West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

REUTERS/Chris Helgren

Hard Numbers: Canada fires, Israelis killed, Nicaraguan visas, Niger junta's plans … and where was William?

30,000: At least 30,000 households in British Columbia, Canada, have been told to evacuate, with another 36,000 homes on alert, as the province battles an unprecedented number of wildfires. Further north, 20,000 residents of Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, have also been ordered to leave their homes. Overall, 1,000 fires are burning across Canada in what is now the country’s worst fire season on record.

3: Two Israeli men were killed on Saturday in a suspected Palestinian attack at a West Bank car wash, and on Monday, an Israeli woman was shot and killed in Hebron. Since the start of 2023, Palestinian attacks against Israelis have claimed 30 lives while nearly 180 Palestinians have been killed in the worst spate of violence in the region in 20 years.

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Niger's security forces stands guard as pro junta supporters take part in a demonstration in front of a French army base in Niamey, Niger.


Niger’s junta to try ousted president for “high treason”

The prospect of a diplomatic solution in the West African country of Niger – more than two weeks after a military coup – appears more remote than ever after military leaders announced that they’ll prosecute the recently deposed leader.

After weeks of back-and-forth with regional leaders, junta personnel say they will try President Mohamed Bazoum, who’s currently in custody along with his wife and son, for “high treason.”

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Niger's junta supporters take part in a demonstration in front of a French army base in Niamey, Niger, on Aug. 11, 2023.

REUTERS/Mahamadou Hamidou

Talk, not troops, in Niger

West African nations continue to dither on using force in Niger, even after last week’s resolution by the Economic Community of West African States to send in troops to restore the government of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Instead, Nigerian President and ECOWAS Chairman Bola Tinubu is pursuing diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, including green-lighting a mission to Niger by a delegation of Islamic scholars, who met with coup leader General Abdourahamane Tchiani for several hours on Saturday.

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