Welcome to Thursday, where a Russian general is dismissed after speaking out, Kenyan protests kill at least six and the Scottish Highlands welcome some old best friends. Meanwhile, independent Russian-language outlet Proekt media reports on the chilling findings from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s house in St. Petersburg after it was raided by Russian police.
This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.It's easy (and free!) to sign up to receive it each day in your inbox: 👉 Sign up here
• Drone attack on Kyiv, Russian general dissent: A major overnight drone attack on Kyiv killed one and injured four. The UK Defense Ministry reports that Russia has been using vehicles as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, more signs of discord among Russia’s top military leaders, including Maj Gen Ivan Popov who says he was fired after telling “the truth” about the dire situation on the Ukrainian front, and the former top commander in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin — close to Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin — has not been seen in weeks.
• The vote for a new Thai prime minister has begun: The Thai parliament is voting to elect a new prime minister, with Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat running unopposed with an eight-party coalition. This is a key moment for democracy in the country, after Move Forward’s unprecedented success in the May 14 general election after nearly a decade of chaotic military-backed rule.
• Key party suspended ahead of Guatemala's presidential run-off: Just as the results came in for the first round of the Guatemalan presidential elections that took place on June 25, the attorney general’s office announced that the second-place Seed Movement party had been suspended, accused of falsifying signatures. The party leader, progressive Bernardo Arevalo, was set to head to the polls against conservative Sandra Torres on August 20.
• News anchor Huw Edwards named in BBC presenter scandal: Huw Edwards is the BBC presenter at the center of allegations related to sexually explicit images. After a week of speculation about the identity of the unnamed BBC personality cited by The Sun tabloid, Edwards’ wife said her husband is the person referred to, and that he is in hospital dealing with “serious mental health issues,” aggravated by the media speculation. The Sun claimed a BBC presenter paid a young person thousands of pounds for sexually explicit images, though authorities says Edwards will not face any police action.
• Heatwave Cerberus scorching southern Europe: Record-breaking temperatures are on the way as a heat wave sweeps across southern Europe and northwest Africa. Named for the monster in Dante's inferno, the “Cerberus” weather system has already killed a man in Italy and caused numerous cases of heat stroke. It promises record breaking heat in many countries including Italy and Spain, which are already experiencing 45°C (113°F) temperatures.
• The tech firms planning to rival ChatGTP: Google’s parent company Alphabet has announced that its AI chatbot Bard will now be rolled out in Brazil and the EU. A test version of this ChatGTP rival was made available in the UK and U.S. in February, but this launch introduces additional functions and 40 new languages. Meanwhile billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his new startup, xAI, in what he says is another bid to create a “safer” chatbot than OpenAi’s.
• Golden retrievers find their roots:Hundreds of golden retrievers from around the world are meeting up at their ancestral home: Guisachan House, in the Scottish highlands. The retrievers were first bred 155 years ago as gun dogs by aristocrat Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, who’s now dilapidated home is the grounds for the canine gathering.
"Immortal" is the headline on the front page of Prague-based Lidové noviny daily after the announcement of Milan Kundera's death. The Czech-born writer died on Tuesday at the age of 94 in Paris, where he had lived for nearly 50 years. His best-known works include The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Joke and Immortality.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $3 billion bailout program for Pakistan. The nine-month arrangement is set to help stabilize the country’s ailing economy, struggling for months from rising inflation, environmental disasters and policy missteps, which led to eight months of tough negotiations. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the agreement was achieved against “the heaviest of odds and against a seemingly impossible deadline.”
“Putin's sadist” — new findings in Prigozhin villa include photo of decapitated Africans
After the Wagner mutiny, the palatial home of the mercenary group’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was searched in St. Petersburg. Among other chilling finds was a framed photograph of the severed heads of slain Africans. It fits in with the profile of a man independent Russian-language outlet Proekt media calls “Putin’s Sadist.”
🚨 In recent days we have been learning more and more about Prigozhin’s past. Following the insurrection, Russian police raided his house in his native Saint Petersburg, where stashes of cash, weapons and other items were found. Most notably, officials say they found a framed photograph showing severed heads. Proekt revealed that the victims were of African origin, likely from a location on the continent where Wagner mercenaries were already infamous for having committed countless atrocities.
🔍 More details of the police raid on Prigozhin’s house and offices came from Russian state-owned broadcaster Rossiya-1. Presumably aimed at discrediting the Wagner chief, the broadcast provided glimpses into Prigozhin's lavish way of life: a grand piano, indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, and sauna. But amidst these displays of luxury, more disturbing items emerged: an assortment of weapons, a stuffed alligator, fake passports and wigs to help disguise the bald leader.
⚖️ Such revelations draw the connection between the geographical objectives of Wagner and its bloodthirsty leader. For at least a decade, Prigozhin was a bona fide untouchable in Putin’s orbit. A ruthless, out-of-control criminal who regularly broke laws, defied both legal and ethical limits, and somehow remained immune to any consequences, all due to his association with the Russian leader.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.”
— Talking to entertainment outlet Deadline Hollywood, a studio executive stated that the movie and television studios intend to dig in against the demands of the Writers Guild of America. The organization, which represents 11,500 screenwriters, has been on strike since May over work conditions and contracts, which has put many major TV and film projects on hold.
✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Michal Kubala, Laure Gautherin and Chloé Touchard
Let us know what’s happening in your corner of the world!