World News Roundup: EU chief vows no let-up in democracy battles with Poland, Hungary; Thai court grants bail to 4 protest leaders held over unrest and more
If Andersson is picked to head her party in November, she is likely to become Sweden's first female prime minister - 40 years after neighbour Norway got its first woman leader and more than 60 years behind Sri Lanka, which was the first country to do so. German conservatives drag ECB's monetary policy into election campaign Germany's conservatives, trailing in polls less than two weeks before a national election, launched a stinging attack on Wednesday on the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
EU chief vows no let-up in democracy battles with Poland, Hungary
The European Union's chief executive on Wednesday vowed no let-up in battles with Poland and Hungary over democratic standards, threatening to take more legal action and block off funds. The EU has been at loggerheads with the eurosceptic, nationalist rulers in Budapest and Warsaw for years over their restrictive stance on migration, discrimination against women and gays, as well as the imposition of more state control on media, courts, NGOs and academics.
Thai court grants bail to 4 protest leaders held over unrest
A court in Thailand granted bail on Wednesday to four leaders of an anti-government protest movement, their lawyer said, after more than a month in pre-trial detention over unrest at recent demonstrations against the prime minister. The student-led rallies have gathered steam since late June, when the movement that sought army-backed premier Prayuth Chan-ocha's removal last year returned with broader support from other political groups and people angered by a worsening coronavirus crisis.
North and South Korea conduct duelling missile tests as arms race heats up
Both North Korea and South Korea test-fired ballistic missiles on Wednesday, the latest volley in an arms race https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-southkorea-analys-idUSKBN2BM0G8 that has seen both countries develop increasingly sophisticated weapons while efforts to get talks going on defusing tension prove fruitless. South Korea tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), becoming the first country without nuclear weapons to develop such a system.
Ex-rebel denies war crimes as Kosovo tribunal starts first trial
A special tribunal in The Hague investigating allegations of atrocities committed by Kosovo pro-independence fighters opened its first case on Wednesday, against a commander accused of torturing prisoners during the 1998-1999 conflict with Serbia. At the start of his trial, Salih Mustafa, 50, pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes, comparing the court to the Nazi secret police.
Hong Kong security chief steps up pressure on city's main press group
Hong Kong's security chief called on Wednesday for the city's main press association to disclose to the public who its members work for and how many of them are students, a day after he accused the group of infiltrating schools. The comments by Secretary for Security Chris Tang are likely to deepen concern over a crackdown on civil society in the Asian financial hub after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the former British colony last year.
Swedish finance minister tipped to become country's first female PM
Magdalena Andersson is favorite to become Sweden's prime minister when her Social Democrat colleague Stefan Lofven steps down in November, but major challenges face the current finance minister if she is to keep the top job longer than a few months. If Andersson is picked to head her party in November, she is likely to become Sweden's first female prime minister - 40 years after neighbor Norway got its first woman leader and more than 60 years behind Sri Lanka, which was the first country to do so.
German conservatives drag ECB's monetary policy into election campaign
Germany's conservatives, trailing in polls less than two weeks before a national election, launched a stinging attack on Wednesday on the European Central Bank's loose monetary policy. Friedrich Merz, the expert for fiscal and economic policies in the team of conservative top candidate Armin Laschet, said that, in contrast to central banks in Japan and the United States, the ECB was still not normalising its monetary policy.
UK PM Johnson to reshuffle senior ministers on Wednesday
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reshuffle his cabinet of senior ministers on Wednesday as he seeks to refocus the government on raising living standards after the COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson has made tackling regional inequality a priority for his government but it has been eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic since he won the biggest Conservative Party parliamentary majority since Margaret Thatcher in a 2019 election.
Yemeni gives her time and wages to treat children malnourished by war
In the poor village of Jarb in northern Yemen, Ashwaq Mahmoud gives her time and spare cash to provide basic health services that people there could not otherwise reach or afford.
The 23-year-old Mahmoud was trained by the United Nations children's agency UNICEF as a community health worker after a village elder noticed her helping displaced people fleeing the frontlines of Yemen's war.
Anti-laundering unit goes off-grid, fraying Afghan ties to global finance
A unit in Afghanistan's central bank leading a 15-year effort to counter illicit funding flows has halted operations, four staff members said, threatening to hasten the country's slide out of the global financial system. Since 2006, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Afghanistan (FinTRACA) has gathered intelligence on thousands of suspicious transactions and helped convict smugglers and terrorist financiers, according to its website.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)