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Editions of Taiwanese newspapers reporting on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's historic visit to Taiwan.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

(More) trouble in Taiwan

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait are now at their highest level in a quarter-century after China fired ballistic missiles at waters near the self-governing island on Thursday. The launch was part of broader live-fire drills scheduled to conclude on Sunday — Beijing's furious answer to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan earlier this week. So, what might happen next? We're keeping an eye out for three things. First, whether China escalates even further by shooting missiles into waters off eastern Taiwan — thus violating the island's airspace, tantamount to declaring war. (By the way, the Chinese might need a bit of target practice after five projectiles landed inside Japan’s EEZ.) Second, how the drills will impact navigation and trade in the region, with many flights cancelled and cargo ships now avoiding the Taiwan Strait. Third, how the US will respond: 26 years ago Bill Clinton ended the last major US-China standoff over Taiwan in one military fell swoop, but it's unlikely Joe Biden will have the appetite to risk all-out war with China. Sanctions? Strong-worded statements blasting Beijing and supporting Taipei? You bet. But that'll be the end of it. Meanwhile, 23 million Taiwanese people will spend the next few days frantically awaiting China's next move.

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Somalia appoints former al Shabaab spokesperson as minister in Mogadishu

REUTERS/Feisal Omar

Somalia appoints former al-Shabab militant to cabinet

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has named former al-Shabab spokesperson, Muktar Robow, as Somalia’s minister for endowment and religious affairs. A veteran of the Afghan war, who was training with al-Qaida in Afghanistan during 9/11, Robow helped found al-Shabab, which is fighting to overthrow the Somali government in a bid to invoke a strict interpretation of Sharia law. The militants have killed tens of thousands since 2007, and they’ve recently been involved in cross-border attacks in Ethiopia. Robow (aka Abu Mansour), who once had a $5 million bounty on his head, broke from the al-Qaida-linked militants back in 2017. Arrested by Somali authorities in 2018 to prevent him from running for office, Robow had been under house arrest in Mogadishu until last year, when he was taken back into custody. This week, he was released just before his new role was announced. As the new face of Somalia’s war against al-Shabab, Robow is tasked with helming the ideological battle against the terrorists. Some believe this will strengthen the government’s hand against al-Shabab, but critics fear it could lead to sectarian violence.

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Paige Fusco

59: On Tuesday, 59% of voters in the US state of Kansas rejected granting the legislature authority to regulate abortion. The referendum result in the Sunflower State — where abortion is legal up to 22 weeks — is a big win for abortion-rights supporters in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

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Osama bin Laden sits with his successor Ayman al-Zawahri.

REUTERS/Hamid Mir

US kills al-Qaida leader

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Monday night to make an announcement 21 years in the making: the US killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike in Kabul over the weekend. Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man and key architect in the 9/11 terror attacks was killed in the first US attack in Afghanistan since the American withdrawal last August. The operation – a major counterterrorism coup for Biden – reportedly saw al-Zawahri killed at the home of a staffer to senior Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani. A CIA ground team, with the help of aerial reconnaissance, has confirmed the death. “My hope is that this decisive action will bring one more measure of closure,” Biden told loved ones of 9/11 victims. He also warned that the US “will always remain vigilant … to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and around the globe.” With al-Qaida franchises having cropped up globally over the past decade, the death of Zawahri – who was wary of the brand’s localization and its effect on his authority – will present a challenge for control of the militant group.

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The Sierra Leone-flagged ship Razoni leaves the sea port in Odesa after restarting grain export, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine.

REUTERS/Serhii Smolientsev

26,000: The first grain-filled ship to leave the Black Sea port of Odesa set sail on Monday. Carrying 26,000 metric tonnes of Ukrainian corn, the ship will first stop in Istanbul en route to Lebanon.

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GZERO Media

The pandemic sent global supply chains into a tizzy. Then, just as economies were embarking on their post-COVID economic recoveries, Russia invaded Ukraine, upending the global grain trade and sending supply chains spiraling further. Supply chain frictions have a lot of unintended consequences: Brexit-related supply chain issues made it hard for some Brits to get their hands on a pint of beer, while China’s punitive zero-COVID policy drove the auto industry – among others – into a full-blown crisis. We take a look at the Global Supply Chain Index from 2000-2022 along with key global economic milestones.

From left to right, the leaders of Forza Italia (Silvio Berlusconi), Brothers of Italy (Giorgia Meloni), and Lega (Matteo Salvini) attend an anti-government rally in Rome.

Vandeville Eric/ABACA via Reuters Connect

40: A week after Italian PM Mario Draghi's official resignation, a far-right coalition is on track to win the Sept. 25 parliamentary election. A Politico Europe poll says the Brothers of Italy, Lega, and Forza Italia parties will together scoop up 40% of the vote.

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Paige Fusco

At least 17 people — including three UN personnel — have died after three days of violent protests against the UN peacekeeping mission in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Demonstrations in the region have now spread to other cities.

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people surrounded and looted the UN base in Goma, demanding its forces withdraw from the eastern DRC. After the Congolese cops were unable to quell the protests, the UN decided to bring its peacekeepers home.

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