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A renegade Congolese soldier stands at an outpost in Eastern Congo deserted town of Kanyabayonga December 16, 2004 which is deserted due to clashes in the area. The Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced its army commander in the eastern province of North Kivu, the scene of days of fighting between government reinforcements and rebel units, authorities said.

REUTERS/Radu Sigheti REUTERS RSS/AA

A humanitarian truce in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo between government troops and M23 rebels backed by neighboring Rwanda was extended by 15 days, to August 3rd, but fighting in the area continues, and the prospect of a wider conflict looms.

The background: Over a hundred rebel groups are fighting for control of mineral-rich regions in the eastern DRC along the Rwandan border. M23, formed by deserters from the DRC army, is the most powerful of the groups – its decision to launch an offensive to capture the provincial capital of Goma in 2022 reignited a decades-long conflict in DRC that has so far displaced more than 3 million people.

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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

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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Data center construction was already on the rise, but thanks to the tech world’s new crush on artificial intelligence, there’s been an acceleration worldwide.

Data centers are the digital infrastructure that most of the world has come to depend on – so much so that they now account for over 1% of the world’s electricity use. Governments, businesses, and everyday folks have come to rely on these facilities for data storage, management, security, and so much more.

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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

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.

Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) leaves the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York after the second day of deliberations after an indictment for an alleged 16 counts of conspiracy on July 15, 2024, in New York City. Menendez is charged with using his political influence to benefit Egypt in exchange for compensation, a scheme orchestrated by his wife and by three business co-conspirators, Wael Hana, Jose Uribe and Fred Daibes who are charged with similar crimes relating to payments made to Menendez on Monday September 25, 2023 the Senator denied all allegations and that the $500,000 found in his house by agents is an old fashioned way of safeguarding money against emergencies.

John Lamparski via Reuters Connect

16: Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey was found guilty on Tuesday of all 16 counts in his federal corruption trial, including bribery, acting as a foreign agent (a first for a US senator), and fraud. Prosecutors said “he put his power up for sale,” lending support in exchange for money, gold bars, and other bribes in a yearslong scheme. He faces decades in prison when he’s sentenced on Oct. 29.

1: One person was killed Tuesday in violent anti-government protests that resumed in Kenya less than a week after Kenyan President William Rutodismissed most of his cabinet to demonstrate his commitment to make radical changes to the demonstrators. The protests first broke out last month – 39 people were killed, and demonstrators breached the Parliament building – in response to a deeply unpopular finance bill that aimed to raise $2 billion in taxes to offset worsening economic crises. Ruto backed down from the tax, but protesters are still demanding that he resign.

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The Republican National Convention is kicking off in the wake of Donald Trump surviving an assassination attempt this weekend. Have you been keeping up? Prove it by solving our political mini crossword.

Supporters of a bill aimed at decriminalizing female genital mutilation demonstrate as parliament debates the bill in Banjul, Gambia March 18, 2024.

REUTERS/Malick Njie

Gambia’s Parliament on Monday rejected a bill that sought to overturn the 2015 landmark ban on female genital mutilation – a dangerous practice involving the partial or total removal of female external genitalia.

The bill was brought forward by religious conservatives in March to decriminalize the practice – arguing it is “one of the virtues of Islam” – and was initially met with majority support from MPs.

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Rwanda's incumbent President and presidential candidate for the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) Paul Kagame waves to his supporters as he arrives for his final campaign rally in Gahanga, Kicukiro district in Kigali, Rwanda, July 13, 2024.

REUTERS/Jean Bizimana

Rwandans are heading to the polls Monday for a presidential election, and while official results are not expected until next Saturday, President Paul Kagame – who won with a suspicious 98.8% of the vote in 2017 – looks set to secure a fourth term.

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