World this week
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin was on the passenger list of a jet which crashed killing all on board, Russia's civil aviation authority said. Earlier, Wagner-linked Telegram channel Grey Zone reported that the private plane, which belonged to the 62-year-old, was shot down by air defences. Grey Zone posted later that Prigozhin died "as a result of actions of traitors of Russia". Prigozhin led a failed mutiny against the Russian armed forces in June.
The crash came on the same day that senior Russian general Sergei Surovikin was reportedly sacked as air force chief. Gen Surovikin was known to have good relations with Prigozhin and had not been seen in public since the mutiny. The aircraft was flying from Moscow to St Petersburg, with seven passengers and three crew. It is said to have come down near the village of Kuzhenkino in Tver region, about half-way between Moscow and St Petersburg.
Thaksin Shinawatra, the divisive former prime minister of Thailand made a dramatic return home to face an eight-year prison term, just as a party linked to him won a vote in Parliament to lead the government - the latest turn in the country's tumultuous politics. The move indicates he is hoping that a friendly government will be able to cut short his sentence, although he has said his decision to come back had nothing to do with the Pheu Thai party's bid for power.
Thaksin's return after 15 years in self-imposed exile was an emotional moment for supporters of the 74-year-old billionaire, who won the loyalty of millions with populist policies that directed attention and funding to the country's largely rural, impoverished north before being removed in a coup. His reemergence recalls the years of pitched battles - both figurative and sometimes literal - between his "red shirt" supporters and "yellow shirt" opponents who champion conservative, royalist values.
The Biden administration approved a $500 million arms sale to Taiwan as it ramps up military assistance to the island despite fervent objections from China. The State Department said it had signed off on the sale of infrared search tracking systems along with related equipment for advanced F-16 fighter jets. The sale includes the infrared systems as well as test support and equipment, computer software and spare parts, it said. Although the deal is modest in comparison to previous weapons sales, the move is likely to draw fierce criticism from Beijing, which regards self-governing Taiwan as a renegade province and refuses to rule out the use of force to reunify it with the mainland.
The announcement came just hours after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen renewed a pledge to strengthen Taiwan's self-defence as she visited a war memorial from the last time Taiwan and China battled. Tsai, visited the outlying islands of Kinmen where the conflict was fought 65 years ago, commemorated those who died.
Police in Pakistan arrested the owner of a cable car that left eight people stranded and dangling over a ravine when it malfunctioned. The incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa sparked a massive rescue operation lasting more than 12 hours. Officers detained Gul Zareen on multiple charges, including endangering valuable lives and negligence. A military chopper rescued one trapped child, while zipline experts recovered the rest of the group after dark.
The group had been on their way to school when two of the car's cables snapped. It was left hanging precariously 274m (900ft) above the ground and in high winds. Pakistan's army said the rescue mission had been "extremely difficult and dangerous". The incident happened at about 07:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Tuesday near the city of Battagram in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Six children, aged between 10 and 16 years old, were trapped, along with two adults.
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