World News Roundup: Najib loyalists call for royal pardon as Malaysia's ex-PM begins jail term; Flooding devastates rural areas south of Sudan's capital and more
The decision was a rare, though possibly brief, victory for opposition parties that have sought to loosen Prayuth's hold on power through elections, parliamentary manoeuvres and legal cases. Ukrainians, weary but defiant, mark Independence Day amid fears of new attacks Ukrainians revelled in a surreal display of burnt-out Russian tanks and armour laid out this week as war trophies in central Kyiv to mark the 31st anniversary of independence, but fears of fresh Russian attacks lurked behind their show of defiance.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Najib loyalists call for royal pardon as Malaysia's ex-PM begins jail term
Supporters of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak petitioned King Al-Sultan Abdullah to pardon the disgraced politician, a day after he was jailed for corruption linked to the multi-billion-dollar scandal at a state investment fund. About 200 loyalists gathered outside the national palace on Wednesday afternoon to hand in a request for an immediate pardon for Najib, who led the country for nine years until 2018.
Flooding devastates rural areas south of Sudan's capital
After annual rains that have left dozens dead in Sudan, thousands of people in the farming town of Al Managil and surrounding villages have lost homes and property in what they say is the worst flooding in a decade. "We've lost everything," said 29-year-old Butheyna Alhadi, speaking to Reuters amid the ruins of her family home.
Draghi says Italy must remain at heart of EU, international alliances
Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Italy must remain at the heart of the European Union and not isolate itself, in an apparent warning on Wednesday to the centre-right alliance that is expected to win an election next month. Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, will step down once a government is formed after the early election on Sept. 25.
Ukraine says Russian 'shackles' worse than missiles six months after invasion
Ukraine was "reborn" when Russia invaded six months ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Wednesday, marking 31 years of his country's independence from the Moscow-controlled Soviet Union with a vow to drive Russian forces out completely. After days of warnings that Moscow could use the anniversary of Ukraine's Independence Day to launch more missile attacks on major cities, the second biggest city Kharkiv was under curfew after months of bombardment.
Just over half of Americans say U.S. should back Ukraine until Russia withdraws - Reuters/Ipsos poll
After half a year of war in Ukraine, a slim majority of Americans agree that the United States should continue to support Kyiv until Russia withdraws all its forces, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday. The polling suggests continued support for President Joe Biden's policy of backing Ukraine, despite economic worries and domestic political developments grabbing Americans' attention in recent months.
Explainer-How a Thai court suspended Prime Minister Prayuth
A decision by Thailand's Constitutional Court to suspend Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha from official duties on Wednesday was a blow to the former army chief who first came to power when he toppled an elected government in a 2014 coup. The decision was a rare, though possibly brief, victory for opposition parties that have sought to loosen Prayuth's hold on power through elections, parliamentary manoeuvres and legal cases.
Ukrainians, weary but defiant, mark Independence Day amid fears of new attacks
Ukrainians revelled in a surreal display of burnt-out Russian tanks and armour laid out this week as war trophies in central Kyiv to mark the 31st anniversary of independence, but fears of fresh Russian attacks lurked behind their show of defiance. An air raid siren perforated an eerie calm in Kyiv on the morning of Wednesday's Independence Day following dire warnings that Russia could launch fresh attacks on major cities. Kyiv has warned Moscow of a powerful response if that happens.
Twenty-five years since Paris death, Princess Diana still captivates
A quarter of a century after her death at the age of just 36, Princess Diana remains a source of fascination to people around the world and her fate still casts a shadow over the British royals. Diana was killed on Aug. 31, 1997, when the limousine carrying her and her lover Dodi al-Fayed crashed in the Pont de L’Alma tunnel in Paris as it sped away from chasing paparazzi photographers on motorbikes.
Ukraine rejects 'cynical' Independence Day greeting by Belarusian leader
Ukraine rejected on Wednesday what it called a "cynical" Independence Day greeting from Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, blasting Minsk for allowing Russia to stage attacks on Ukraine from its territory. In an unexpected message on his website to mark the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Moscow-dominated Soviet Union, Lukashenko wished Ukrainians "peaceful skies, tolerance, courage, strength and success in restoring a decent life".
Fatal stabbings highlight violence against women in Egypt
A series of violent crimes against women in Egypt has drawn attention to gaps in legal and social protections that leave female citizens vulnerable to attacks and harassment, victims and activists say. The highest profile case was the murder in late June of 21-year-old student Nayera Ashraf, who was stabbed 19 times outside the gates of a university in Mansoura, north of Cairo. It emerged that the man convicted for her killing, Mohamed Adel, had been harassing her for almost a year after she rejected his marriage proposal.
(With inputs from agencies.)