November 12, 2022

UN Talks on Russia Grain, Fertilizer Exports End Without Breakthrough

U.N. chiefs held talks with Russian officials Friday on the Black Sea agreements about exporting grain and fertilizers, eight days before one of the deals is set to expire, but no settlements were reached. U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and Rebeca Grynspan, head of the U.N. trade and development agency UNCTAD, met a high-level delegation from Moscow, led by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin. The talks took place behind closed doors at the U.N. Palais des Nations headquarters in Geneva and finished by midafternoon. “The discussions updated on progress made in facilitating the unimpeded export of food and fertilizers,

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LGBTQ-Friendly Votes Signal Progressive Shift for Methodists

The United Methodist Church moved toward becoming more progressive and LGBTQ-affirming during U.S. regional meetings this month that included the election of its second openly gay bishop. Conservatives say the developments will only accelerate their exit from one of the nation’s largest Protestant denominations. Each of the UMC’s five U.S. jurisdictions — meeting separately in early November — approved similarly worded measures aspiring to a future church where “LGBTQIA+ people will be protected, affirmed, and empowered.” They also passed non-binding measures asking anyone to withdraw from leadership roles if they’re planning to leave the denomination soon — a category that

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Wagner ‘Atrocities’ Give Mali Jihadists Ammunition for Propaganda

Since the withdrawal of the French army from Mali, Russia’s Wagner Group has replaced it as a target of jihadis propaganda, experts say, with extremists making hay with claims that its mercenaries have committed atrocities against civilians. Having been pushed toward the exit by the leaders of Mali’s 2020 coup, France withdrew in August, more than nine years after its military intervened to stop a jihadi takeover of the troubled Sahel nation. The colonels in charge in Bamako have been increasingly turning to Russia, and particularly to Wagner’s paramilitaries, according to Western sources. Bamako denies this, acknowledging only the support

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