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May 19, 2023: G7 steps up Russia sanctions, Ukraine nuclear plant, Debt ceiling, Assad, China’s Xi

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May 19, 2023: G7 steps up Russia sanctions, Ukraine nuclear plant, Debt ceiling, Assad, China's Xi

May 19, 2023: G7 steps up Russia sanctions, Ukraine nuclear plant, Debt ceiling, Assad, China’s Xi



May 19, 2023: G7 steps up Russia sanctions, Ukrainian nuclear plant, Debt ceiling talks, Syria’s Assad, China’s Xi

1. Leaders of the world’s richest democracies agreed on Friday to stiffen sanctions against Russia, while a draft communique to be issued after their talks in the Japanese city of Hiroshima stressed the need to reduce reliance on trade with China.

2. Russian military forces have been enhancing defensive positions in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in recent weeks, four witnesses said, ahead of an expected counteroffensive in the region.

3. Democratic negotiators told President Joe Biden on Friday that they are making “steady progress” in talks with Republicans aimed at avoiding a U.S. default, according to a White House official.

4. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was given a warm welcome at an Arab summit, winning a hug from Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince at a meeting of leaders who had shunned him for years, in a policy shift opposed by the U.S. and other Western powers.

5. Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled a grand plan for Central Asia’s development, from building infrastructure to boosting trade, taking on a new leadership role in a region that has traditionally been a Russian sphere of influence.

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