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Former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan is seen inside the courtroom of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia as he awaits a verdict in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Reuters

Hard Numbers: Khmer Rouge convictions, soaring Sri Lankan inflation, Japan’s Yen-tervention, “Fat Leonard” nabbed

3: After a trial that lasted more than 15 years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, a court in Cambodia managed to convict just 3 people in connection with the large-scale massacres that the Khmer Rouge regime carried out in the 1970s.

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A man walks past an almost empty vegetable stall at a market in Colombo amid Sri Lanka's economic crisis.

REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Hard Numbers: Sri Lanka’s long road to recovery, Ukraine’s homeless, Spain’s body-positive misstep, India’s cheetah resettlement

25: Sri Lanka’s new President Ranil Wickremesinghe will reveal a 25-year road map that he says will cut public debt and bring his country back from the economic brink. Wickremesinghe will present the plan to the International Monetary Fund as Sri Lanka tries to renegotiate some of the $51 billion in foreign debt it owes.

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From left to right, the presidents of Russia (Vladimir Putin), Iranian (Ebrahim Raisi), and Turkey (Recep Tayyip Erdogan) hold talks in Tehran.

utnik/Sergei Savostyanov/Pool via REUTERS

What We're Watching: Tehran trilateral, EU food jitters, Sri Lankan presidential vote

Putin, Raisi & Erdogan in Tehran: friends with differences

Leaving the former Soviet region for the first time since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Tehran on Tuesday with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts. The conflict in Syria, where Russia and Iran are on the opposite side of Turkey, was the main item on the agenda, but little of substance was announced beyond a pledge to rid the country of terrorist groups and to meet again later this year. Importantly, Turkey’s recent threat to invade northern Syria to destroy Kurdish militant groups based there still hangs in the air — a point underscored by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call for Russia and Iran to be more “supportive” of Turkey’s security concerns. Still, both Moscow and Tehran have warned him against an invasion. Putin and Erdogan also failed to close the remaining gaps on a UN-backed plan to restart Ukraine’s seaborne grain exports. Lastly, while Putin and the Iranians traded shots at NATO and the West, there was no public mention of the current, fast-fading efforts to revive the long-stalled 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

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Sri Lankans celebrate the resignation President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo.

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

What We're Watching: Sri Lanka swears in new leader, Bolsonaro spends big, Biden to kiss the ring

Sri Lanka has a new acting president

Gotabaya Rajapaksa finally resigned — by email — on Thursday as president of Sri Lanka, a country rocked by months-long mass protests, economic collapse, and political turmoil over his rule. He fled the country on Tuesday, likely to avoid arrest, and is now in Singapore, but Rajapaksa’s final destination remains unclear. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the sitting PM Rajapaksa appointed interim president before getting out of Dodge, was sworn in as acting president on Friday. Wickremesinghe’s ability to govern, however briefly, is uncertain given that protesters also want him out. Parliament’s process for selecting the new leader now begins, with a vote coming as early as next week. MPs will have to come up with an alternative candidate to serve out the remainder of Rajapaksa's term until 2025, or hold a snap election. Whoever becomes president will then have to pick a prime minister to lead a government that'll need to pass tough economic reforms to secure an IMF bailout, the only way Sri Lanka can salvage its ruined economy. Demonstrators ignored a new curfew to publicly celebrate Rajapaksa’s resignation overnight, and all eyes are on what happens next on the streets of Colombo.

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Demonstrators celebrate after entering the Sri Lankan PM's office in Colombo to demand his resignation as interim president.

REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

Sri Lanka slipping into anarchy

Things have gone from bad, to worse, to outright crazy in Sri Lanka since the beginning of the year.

We warned you early on that the country would default on its huge sovereign debt, which it did in May. Since then, the economic crisis has quickly morphed into full-blown political turmoil and a social catastrophe the likes of which the region has not seen for a long time.

And there’s no easy fix.

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Demonstrators gather on the lawn of the Sri Lankan prime minister's office in Colombo.

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Chaos in Sri Lanka

Just when we thought Sri Lanka’s worst-ever crisis was about to end, things took another unexpected turn on Wednesday.

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Trump speaks during a campaign rally when he was US president in Jacksonville, Florida.

REUTERS/Tom Brenner

What We’re Watching: GOP mulls Trump 2.0, UK leadership race heats up, energy crisis could get worse

Republican voters divided on Trump 2024

US Democrats seem to have soured on President Joe Biden, but are Republicans ready to turn their backs on former President Donald Trump? The short answer is: it’s complicated. A fresh New York Times poll shows about half of GOP voters don't want Trump to run a third time in 2024, but the other half do. The main takeaway is that Trump's once-formidable hold over the Republican Party has waned somewhat since (tumultuously) leaving office in January 2021, yet he still wields considerable influence with the base. Since hardcore Trump fans are more likely to turn out for primaries, he has been busy endorsing candidates for November’s midterm elections, so far with mixed results. The big test for Trump's stature within the GOP will be whether his picks can win in the general — especially the battle for control of the Senate, which Republicans are eager to flip (and only need one seat to do so). Meanwhile, there's growing chatter that Trump may announce his reelection bid before the midterms, which he hopes will freeze a potentially crowded GOP field in which Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now gaining on him.

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A natural gas pipe in front of EU and Russian flags.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We're Watching: Russia-EU pipeline repairs, AMLO in the (White) House, Sri Lanka's new leader

Will Russia turn the taps back on?

“Trust us,” Russia is saying, “we’re just doing routine maintenance.” Moscow has just shut off its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a major source of natural gas for Germany, for 10 days of summer repairs. Annual checkups to these pipelines are normal, but this is no normal year. Berlin worries the Kremlin might leave the pipes closed as a way to retaliate against the EU for the bloc’s Ukraine-related sanctions. Nord Stream 1 carries about 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany, equaling about half of the country’s yearly consumption. If Moscow keeps the line shut, Europe would struggle to store up enough gas supplies ahead of next winter. Natural gas prices in Europe are already soaring, and although the EU is moving to wean itself off of Russian energy, any further shortfalls would further stoke already-high inflation, with unpredictable political consequences across the continent. Putin, of course, knows this. Keep an eye on that “closed for repairs” sign hanging on Nord Stream 1.

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