Iran warned that renewed fighting between its neighbours Azerbaijan and Armenia could escalate into a wider regional war. President Hassan Rouhani said he hoped to "restore stability" to the region following days of heavy clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. The enclave is officially part of Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians. The current fighting is the worst seen in decades, and both sides have blamed each other for the violence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an end to the fighting which he described as a "tragedy". Putin also held a brief telephone call with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday, the Kremlin said. Russia is part of a military alliance with Armenia and has a military base in the country. However, it also has close ties to the government of Azerbaijan.
The US, France and Russia have jointly condemned the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and have called for peace talks, but the conflict shows no signs of abating.
Extreme poverty is set to rise this year for the first time in more than two decades, with coronavirus expected to push up to 115 million people into that category, the World Bank has said. The pandemic is compounding the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction, the bank said. By 2021, this could rise to as many as 150 million, it added. Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 (£1.50) a day.
The projected increase would be the first since 1998, when the Asian financial crisis shook the global economy. Before the pandemic struck, the extreme poverty rate was expected to drop to 7.9% in 2020. But now it is likely to affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world's population this year, according to the bank's biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report.
A Bollywood actress who was arrested by India’s narcotics agency, setting off a media frenzy that has gripped the nation, walked out of jail after being granted bail. Rhea Chakraborty was released from Bycula District Prison in Mumbai a month after being arrested for allegedly buying drugs for her boyfriend, popular movie actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who was found dead in a suspected suicide in June.
India’s freewheeling TV news channels speculated that Chakraborty drove him to take his life and was part of a drug-dealing mafia in Bollywood, India’s Mumbai-based film industry. The court in Mumbai on Wednesday said the actress was not part of any drug syndicate and had no criminal record. It said Chakraborty could not have financed or supported illegal drug trafficking as alleged by the narcotics agency.
The former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd posted bail on Wednesday and was released from prison. According to court documents, Derek Chauvin posted $1 million bond, and the Department of Corrections confirmed he was no longer in custody at the state’s facility in Oak Park Heights, where he had been detained. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd’s death was captured in widely seen bystander video that set off protests around the world. Chauvin and three other officers were fired. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. It was not immediately clear where Chauvin got the money to pay his bond. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which has a legal defense fund, did not provide any money for bail, a spokeswoman said.