Kakhovka Dam: grain prices spike, concern in Middle East
Today's headlines: Tension between India and Canada over a demonstration where Sikhs "celebrated" Indira Gandhi's assassination; Skyscrapers at risk in Tianjin, evacuated nearly 4,000 people; Minister Shanmugaratnam runs for president of Singapore; New ultimatum for monks linked to the Moscow Patriarchate still in the Kiev Lavra Monastery.
Floods caused by the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine's Russian-controlled Kherson region have already sent global crop prices soaring, with wheat up 2.4 percent Tuesday and corn up 1 percent, before falling slightly Thursday. Analysts say the Middle East will suffer from the damage to agricultural products in a region that has become a breadbasket for the world, just as it did when exports slowed at the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.
Nearly 4,000 people have been evacuated from 3 high-rise buildings in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin after several ground collapses created large cracks in nearby streets. Geologists believe they were caused by underground cavities at a depth of 1,300 meters. It cannot be ruled out that the drilling of geothermal wells caused soil loss and ground subsidence in the area, local authorities in Tianjin said.
India's Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar warned the Canadian government that activities on its territory by Khalistani elements--Sikh autonomists from Punjab--could impact bilateral relations between the two countries. A float in Toronto on Sunday that depicted the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as "revenge" for Operation Bluestar, the military action ordered by Gandhi in 1984 to flush out separatist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale and his supporters from the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar sparked anger and outrage in India.
Social Policy Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 66, has announced his intention to run for Singapore's presidency and has therefore resigned from government posts. The announcement comes just over a week after President Halimah Yacob declared that she will not run for a second term. Singapore's next presidential election must be called by September 13.
An explosion near a mosque in Nabawi in northern Afghanistan killed at least 15 people during a memorial service for the Taliban's deputy provincial governor of Badakhshan, who died Tuesday in another attack. Responsibility for the attack was not immediately claimed, but Khorasan Isis had claimed responsibility for the attack on Tuesday.
Ukraine's Culture Minister Aleksandr Tkačenko has issued a warning to all monks still in the Kiev Lavra of the pro-Moscow Upz jurisdiction: they will have to leave the monastery within three days, the procedures for vacating space and returning property having been "concluded," otherwise they will have to face court proceedures.
Kazakh President Tokaev has ordered Astana Mayor Ženis Kasymbek to "immediately take all necessary operational and system-wide measures" to solve the capital's water supply problem. The move follows protests by citizens who took to the streets exasperated because for more than a week water has been given only at night.