08/21/2023, 09.35
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Majority of Thais opposed to government with groups close to military

Today's headlines: Chinese central bank cuts prime rate by 10 basis points; Japanese government still considering date for release of treated water from Fukushima atomic power plant into the sea; HRW accuses Saudi border guards of mass killings; At least 11 workers killed in Pakistan bomb blast; Tehran cuts off flow of Little Zab River in Iraq fueling water crisis in neighboring country; With EU embargo, Brazil becomes second largest buyer of Russian oil.


The majority of Thais are against the prospect of a coalition government that also includes groups close to the military. The poll, released two days after a crucial vote, shows that 64% of those interviewed do not want a "special" executive led by Pheu Thai with factions expressing the army. The Move Forward attempt, which won the polls, ran aground in Parliament.


For the second time in three months, the Central Bank of China (PBOC) has revised one of its key interest rates, to revive an economy struggling to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic. The 10 basis point cut concerns the one-year Loan prime rate (Lpr), set at 3.45%. The 5-year rate, the benchmark for real estate mortgages, remains unchanged at 4.2%, despite the decline in the sector.


Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government had not yet set an expected date for the release of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, site of the 2011 accident, into the Pacific Ocean. million tons could start in late August and early September, despite the fears of China and other nations in the area.

Saudi border guards are accused of the mass killing of migrants along the Yemeni border. The complaint is contained in a report by Human Rights Watch, according to which hundreds of people - mostly Ethiopians crossing Yemen to reach Saudi Arabia - were killed by gunfire. Riyadh has always rejected allegations of systematic killings.

At least 11 workers are killed in a bomb explosion yesterday in northwestern Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. The workers were involved in the construction of a new post for the army. Over the weekend, the police arrested Shah Mehmood Qureshi, vice-president of former premier Imran Khan's party, who also ended up in prison.

Tehran has cut off the flow of the Little Zab River into neighboring Iraq, exacerbating the water crisis that has long plagued the country and fueling the clash over water with the Islamic Republic. This was denounced by an Iraqi government official, with already evident repercussions on the levels of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The situation for the director of the water department is "even more precarious".

After the European Union embargo on Russian oil in February, one of the largest buyers of fuel from Russia has become Brazil, second only to Turkey in this trade. The South American country has gone from 30,000 to the current 235,000 barrels per day, with an average discount of 10-15 dollars per barrel, thus managing to calm the enormous price increases.

The extraordinary session of the UN Security Council requested by Armenia ended with a generic appeal to Azerbaijan to reopen the Lačin corridor. Moscow underlined the need to "take into account the positions of all parties" and seek alternative routes for humanitarian aid; Baku invites Yerevan to "cooperate constructively" and not bend the UN to its own interests".

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