World News Roundup: UK PM hopeful Sunak takes aim at China in the leadership contest; Ukraine hopes to ship grain again this week despite the Russian attack and more
The FT report, published on Saturday, cited six people familiar with the Chinese warnings as saying they were significantly stronger than the threats that Beijing has made in the past when it was unhappy with U.S. actions or policy on Taiwan, which is claimed by China. Russia's Lavrov says no barriers to Ukraine grain export, defends strikes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday there are no barriers to the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, after Ukraine and Russia signed a deal to unblock grain shipments on the Black Sea in Turkey last week.
Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
UK PM hopeful Sunak takes aim at China in the leadership contest
Former finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday China represented the largest threat to Britain and world security this century, setting out his plans to deal with Beijing in the latest front in the battle to become prime minister. Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss are fighting in an increasingly divisive Conservative Party leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson after a revolt against his scandal-ridden administration forced him to say he would stand down.
Ukraine hopes to ship grain again this week despite the Russian attack
Ukraine said on Monday it hoped a U.N.-brokered deal aimed at easing global food shortages by resuming grain exports from the Black Sea region would start to be implemented this week. Moscow brushed aside concerns that the deal could be derailed by a Russian missile strike on Ukraine's port of Odesa on Saturday, saying it targeted only military infrastructure. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has denounced the attack as "barbarism" which shows Moscow cannot be trusted.
South Korean government, police clash on oversight
A bid by South Korea's government to increase police oversight has sparked a protest by some officers, which drew criticism on Monday from a top minister who referred to the role the security forces played in the past to support authoritarian rule. The dispute comes as a new conservative government is settling in and trying to limit the impact of some changes made by the previous Liberal government, including on the sharing of powers and responsibilities between the police and prosecutors.
The Ukrainian fighters standing in Russia’s way on the eastern front
Barely a kilometer from Russian positions defending the captured eastern city of Izium, Ukrainian and foreign fighters hunker in a dank basement. Artillery rains down on them most nights, shaking loose the plaster and filling the air with dust.
At the sharp end of efforts to stop the Russian army's progress in eastern Ukraine are the Carpathian Sich Battalion, a unit of Ukrainians and foreign nationals who answered Kyiv's call for help to confront the invader.
Fears for Tunisian democracy as Saied holds a referendum
Tunisians began voting on Monday in a referendum on a new constitution that critics of President Kais Saied fear will dismantle the democracy that emerged from a 2011 revolution by handing him nearly total power. The vote is being held on the first anniversary of Saied's ousting of an elected parliament when he established emergency rule and began governing by fiat.
Exodus of Ukrainian workers hits Europe's emerging economies
Construction sites, factory assembly lines and warehouses across central Europe are scrambling to fill vacancies after tens of thousands of Ukrainian men left their blue-collar jobs to return home after Russia invaded their country. Ukrainian workers had flocked to central Europe in the past decade - drawn by higher wages and aided by an easing of visa requirements - filling jobs that weren't highly paid enough for local workers in construction, the automotive sector, and heavy industry.
Myanmar junta condemned for the execution of 4 democracy activists
Myanmar's ruling military has executed four democracy activists accused of helping to carry out "terror acts," it said on Monday, sparking widespread condemnation of the Southeast Asian nation's first executions in decades. Sentenced to death in closed-door trials in January and April, the men had been accused of helping a resistance movement to fight the army that seized power in a coup last year and unleashed a bloody crackdown on its opponents.
China confirms warnings to U.S. on Pelosi's possible Taiwan visit
China delivered sterner warnings to U.S. officials about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday, confirming a report by the Financial Times (FT). The FT report, published on Saturday, cited six people familiar with the Chinese warnings as saying they were significantly stronger than the threats that Beijing has made in the past when it was unhappy with U.S. actions or policy on Taiwan, which is claimed by China.
Russia's Lavrov says no barriers to Ukraine grain export, defends strikes
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday there are no barriers to the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, after Ukraine and Russia signed a deal to unblock grain shipments on the Black Sea in Turkey last week. Speaking after Russian missiles struck Ukraine's main port of Odesa on Saturday, Lavrov said the strike had been aimed at military infrastructure in the port.
Philippines' Marcos vows farms and tax overhauls in ambitious address
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Monday promised tax reforms, a faster infrastructure upgrade and to turn his country into an investment destination while pledging to transform agriculture to drive growth and reduce reliance on food imports. In an ambitious policy speech to Congress screened live on television, Marcos, the son of the strongman overthrown in a 1986 revolt, said he would create jobs and support growth by improving tourism and by modernizing agriculture, using scientific methods and an "infusion of fresh and new blood".
(With inputs from agencies.)