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American citizens were involved in an attempted coup d’état that left at least three people dead on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a military spokesperson told CNN Monday.

The attempted coup, which targeted the residence of Congolese politician Vital Kamerhe and the country’s presidential palace, was led by opposition leader Christian Malanga, who was killed in a gun battle between the armed putschists and the presidential guards, according to army spokesman General Sylvain Ekenge. Ekenge also claimed Malanga was a US citizen, though the State Department said later it had no records of him.

“I confirm the death of Christian Malanga neutralized during the exchange of fire at the Palais de la Nation (presidential palace),” Ekenge told CNN, adding that Malanga’s son Marcel, “was among those arrested.”

Ekenge named three other Americans, identified as Benjamin Reuben Zalman-Polun, Patrick Ducey, and Taylor Thomson were involved in the foiled coup.

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Medical workers in Israel have told the BBC that Palestinian detainees from Gaza are routinely kept shackled to hospital beds, blindfolded, sometimes naked, and forced to wear nappies – a practice one medic said amounted to “torture”.

A whistle-blower detailed how procedures in one military hospital were “routinely” carried out without painkillers, causing “an unacceptable amount of pain” to detainees.

Another whistle-blower said painkillers were used “selectively” and “in a very limited way” during an invasive medical procedure on a Gazan detainee in a public hospital.

He also said critically ill patients being held in makeshift military facilities were being denied proper treatment because of a reluctance by public hospitals to transfer and treat them.

One detainee, taken from Gaza for questioning by the Israeli army and later released, told the BBC his leg had to be amputated because he was denied treatment for an infected wound.

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An ambulance collided with a moose early Sunday as it responded to another crash, also involving a moose, Ontario Provincial Police say.

The first crash was reported just after 1 a.m. on Highway 60, near Tea Lake in Algonquin Park, police said. A vehicle struck a moose, left the roadway and then hit a tree.

“One of the two Muskoka Paramedic Service ambulances responding to the scene also collided with a moose,” police said, adding that the ambulance was “extensively” damaged, but no one was injured.

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The Polish government arrested nine people from a Russian spy ring in connection to alleged sabotage plots, Prime Minister Donald Tusk told Polish media outlet TVN24.

"We currently have nine suspects detained and indicted, who have been directly implicated in the name of Russian (intelligence) services in acts of sabotage in Poland," Tusk said.

. . .

Acts of alleged sabotage include "beatings, arson, and attempted arson," not just in Poland but also in Latvia, Lithuania, and possibly even Sweden. Tusk explained that the group planned, for example, to set fire to a paint factory in Wroclaw, western Poland, and an Ikea center in Lithuania.

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Iran’s supreme leader has announced a five-day mourning period, but there have been fireworks and cheering in the country since the death was confirmed

Activists in Iran have said there is little mood to mourn the death of the country’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash near the border with Azerbaijan on Sunday. 

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, announced a five-day public mourning period after the deaths of Raisi, the foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and other passengers on the helicopter. However, Iranians who spoke to the Guardian have refused to lament the death of a man who they say was responsible for hundreds of deaths in his four-decade political career.

It was during Raisi’s tenure that protests swept the country after the death of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested by police under Iran’s harsh hijab laws. More than 19,000 protesters were jailed, and at least 500 were killed – including 60 children – during the Woman, Life, Freedom protests. The police continue to violently arrest women for refusing hijab rules.

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As Ukraine struggles to hold back Russian advances, the country’s officials say they are once again facing the formidable challenge of keeping electricity flowing as Moscow’s forces increasingly strike power plants.

To conserve energy, the government has ordered nationwide rolling blackouts for Monday night, broadening the smaller regional ones that have become the norm in recent weeks.

“This is another frontline in the war,” said Maxim Timchenko, the head of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private electricity company, on social media last week. He said the company’s workers were engaged in a “race against time” to restore power to consumers.

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The ringleaders of a far-right network of "Reichsbürger" around Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss begins in Frankfurt on Tuesday. The group has been accused of planning to topple the government.

The most high-profile of three trials linked to a far-right coup plot begins on Tuesday in a newly erected courtroom on the outskirts of Frankfurt. The defendants are alleged to be the 10 ringleaders of a group led by German aristocrat Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, and stand accused of preparing to commit high treason and of membership in a terrorist organization.

All the suspects, part of the so-called "Reichsbürger" movement, were allegedly plotting to overthrow the German government. They were allegedly planning to storm the German parliament and detain prominent politicians, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and conservative opposition leader Friedrich Merz.

The Reichsbürger, or "citizens of the Reich," reject Germany's postwar state, claiming it was installed and controlled by the Allied powers who won World War II.

Police uncovered the suspected plot in a series of nationwide raids on December 7, 2022. Some 25 people were arrested and are now in detention awaiting the upcoming trials. More than 380 firearms were confiscated, along with almost 150,000 pieces of ammunition.

The alleged military arm of this group has been facing court in Stuttgart since April 29. A further eight suspected members of the alleged association will have to stand trial in Munich from June 18.

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Reactions ranged from welcoming the International Criminal Court’s decision to slamming it as “appalling” and “non comprehensible.”

While Israeli politicians of all stripes have sharply rebuked the International Criminal Court’s request for arrest warrants for its top officials, European leaders’ reactions are split.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan filed applications Monday for arrests of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, as well as the commander of Hamas’s military wing and Israel’s defense minister, citing allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Israel and the State of Palestine.

“Crimes committed in Gaza must be prosecuted at the highest level, regardless of the perpetrators,” Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Hadja Lahbib, wrote in a statement on X, emphasizing Belgium’s support for the work of the ICC. 

Slovenia’s foreign ministry issued a statement in a similar vein, stating that war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on Israeli and Palestinian territory “must be prosecuted independently and impartially regardless of the perpetrators.”

Other EU leaders saw the decision less favorably. 

“The ICC Chief Prosecutor’s proposal to issue an arrest warrant for the representatives of a democratically elected government together with the leaders of an Islamist terrorist organisation is appalling and completely unacceptable,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer expressed similar reservations.

In London, the United Kingdom’s government distanced itself from the ICC’s move.

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The United States and its allies in the Group of 7 nations set two goals in 2022 when they enacted a novel plan to cap the price of Russian oil: restrict Moscow’s ability to profit from its energy exports while allowing its oil to continue flowing on international markets to prevent a global price shock.

. . .

A variety of factors have allowed Russia to continue profiting from strong oil revenue, including lenient enforcement of the price cap. Russia’s development of an extensive “shadow” fleet of tankers has allowed it to largely circumvent that policy. That has allowed the Russian economy to be more resilient than expected, raising questions about the effectiveness of the coordinated sanctions campaign employed by the G7.

The Biden administration maintains that the strategy has been effective and that the price cap has imposed costs on Russia and forced it to redirect money that it would have used in Ukraine to finance an alternative oil ecosystem.

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U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin delivered the opening remarks at the 22nd Ramstein-format summit of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) on May 20, emphasizing that the new Russian offensive in Kharkiv Oblast has added to the urgency of the West's support for Ukraine.

. . .

Russia launched a new offensive on May 10 in northern Kharkiv Oblast. According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Moscow's forces had managed to advance as far as 10 kilometers (6 miles) in the region but had been halted by the first line of defense.

While the specific results of the summit have yet to be announced, Austin said that the U.S. has "already delivered many of Ukraine's top priority requirements, and much more assistance is on the way."

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Thermoplastics coming from the US, the EU, Taiwan and Japan are sold at prices below fair market value, says Beijing.

China has launched an "anti-dumping" investigation into chemical imports, in what appears to be a response to trade barriers introduced by the EU, the US and other countries. 

Polyoxymethylene copolymer, a plastic widely used in electronics and cars, is being sold at an unfairly low cost in China, therefore causing damage to domestic companies, said China's Ministry of Commerce.

The investigation will focus on imports from the US, the EU, Taiwan and Japan, and could take up to 18 months to complete.

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Full statement:

The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous. And let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas. We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security.

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