World this week
In Pakistan, Imran Khan was arrested for the second time in three months, but while his first arrest led to protests in the streets from Peshawar to Karachi, with buildings burning and the army on the streets, this time the reaction was notably muted. It came after he was sentenced to three years for not declaring money gained by selling state gifts. The sentence disqualifies him from running in elections for five years, including one due to be held in October.
Days after Khan's arrest, the country's parliament was formally dissolved, paving the way for a caretaker administration but it emerged that polls meant to be held within 90 days will likely be delayed. The electoral commission says electoral boundaries must be redrawn to reflect fresh census data, a months-long process. A Election Commission of Pakistan official told the BBC: "The elections will be held once the census is done, which will take about four months' time. As a result, the elections may be delayed till next year."
Niger's junta told a top U.S. diplomat that they would kill deposed President Mohamed Bazoum if neighbouring countries attempted any military intervention to restore his rule, two Western officials told AP. West African bloc ECOWAS said it had directed the deployment of a "standby force" to restore democracy in Niger, after its deadline of Sunday (Aug. 6) to reinstate Bazoum expired. Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu said the use of force would be a "last resort".
The threat to the deposed president raises the stakes both for ECOWAS and for the junta, which has shown its willingness to escalate its actions since it seized power on July 26. The junta has cut ties with France and exploited popular grievances toward its former colonial ruler. It also has asked for help from the Russian mercenary group Wagner, which operates in a handful of African countries and has been accused of committing human rights abuses.
Six men arrested as suspects in the assassination of an anti-corruption Ecuadorian presidential candidate are Colombian nationals, a police report said, as authorities investigated the motive for a crime that shocked a nation already reeling from a surge in drug-related violence. The six men were captured hiding in a house in Quito, Ecuador's capital. Officers also seized four shotguns, a 5.56-mm rifle, ammunition and three grenades, along with a vehicle and a motorcycle. Ecuador's interior minister, Juan Zapata, had earlier confirmed the arrest of some 'foreigners' in the case.
Fernando Villavicencio, 59, who was known for speaking up against drug cartels, was assassinated in Quito on Wednesday (Aug. 9), less than two weeks before a special presidential election. He was not a front-runner, but his death deepened the sense of crisis around organised crime that has already claimed thousands of lives and underscored the challenge that Ecuador's next leader will face.
Opposition parties walked out of the Indian parliament in protest at the refusal of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to address ethnic violence in the state of Manipur - a situation that has been described as being close to civil war. The opposition had tabled a no-confidence vote in Modi largely to force him to appear and speak about the three-month-long crisis, about which he had refused to say more than a few words.
Modi raised the conflict in Manipur state about 90 minutes into his speech in response to the no-confidence motion - and only as opposition lawmakers staged a walkout in frustration. About an hour into Modi's speech, opposition MPs began chanting "Manipur, Manipur, Manipur". Modi ignored the chants, instead continuing his attack on the opposition, particularly the Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi, who was reinstated as an MP this week following a Supreme Court decision in a defamation case.
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