- Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin complained on Telegram that the Kremlin has cut off his hotlines and access to government agencies following his vocal complaints about insufficient ammunition supplies. Complaining more about being cut off probably won't help his cause.
- The leader of Transnistria - the breakaway pro-Russian region of Moldova - said his government had foiled a would-be "terror" attack that he accused Ukraine of backing. Ukraine denied the accusation and said it was probably a Russian ruse to stoke anti-Ukraine fervor.
- Pres. Xi formally began an unprecedented third presidential term after all 3,000 lawmakers in the National People's Congress unanimously rubber-stamped his reappointment. This next term will run through 2028, and Xi could well appoint himself to a fourth term after that.
- North Korea fired six more ballistic missiles to its west as part of Kim Jong Un's drive to be prepared for a "real war."
- Kim's sister recently said that any attempt to shoot down one of North Korea's test missiles would be seen as a declaration of war against it - so in a way, these launches could end up leading to the "real war" Kim is preparing for.
- The Gulf Cartel apologized for kidnapping four U.S. citizens last week - and killing two of them - and turned in five of its own members who it said were responsible for the incident, saying they had "acted under their own decision-making and lack of discipline."
- The cartel likely wants to distance itself from the outrage over the kidnapping after it led to demands for justice and even U.S. military action against the cartel. (Pres. AMLO immediately rejected the idea of letting the U.S. military chase any drug cartels in Mexico.)
- Reuters pointed out that three of the four kidnapped Americans had minor drug-related convictions, which raises the (purely speculative) possibility that perhaps they were in Mexico for a drug deal - and not the cosmetic procedures initially reported. It's also possible they were mistaken for members of a rival cartel.
- The U.S. transferred Ghassan Al Sharbi, a Saudi alleged to have built bombs for Al Qaeda, back to his home country. After Al Sharbi's transfer, there are 31 detainees at Guantanamo - of which 17 more are eligible for transfer. The Biden administration wants to close Guantanamo, so we could see more transfers soon.