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Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.


Thaksin to Thai king: Pardon me?

Thailand’s billionaire former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has appealed to the country’s king for a pardon just days after being jailed upon his highly anticipated return to the country.

The background: In the early 2000s, Thaksin struck a populist chord to win a slew of elections, and was PM until he was ousted in a 2006 military coup that drove him into exile. Last week, he returned home for the first time since then, only to be jailed on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

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Supporters attend the Pheu Thai Party campaign

Sipa USA

Thailand elects new prime minister as exiled leader comes home

Tuesday is a tumultuous day for Thai politics. Thailand’s parliament has elected a new prime minister, thanks to the Pheu Thai Party and pro-military parties – former foes – joining forces to block the Move Forward Party. This made room for billionaire ex-politician Thaksin Shinawatra to return home after 15 years in exile. Shinawatra ruled the Pheu Thai before he was ousted in a military-backed coup in 2006 and fled to Dubai. With the Pheu Thai and the military-backed parties having set aside their differences, a “super deal” between them has allowed for his return.

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Move Forward Party's leader and prime ministerial candidate Pita Limjaroenrat


Political upheaval expected after Thai PM vote

On Tuesday, Thai lawmakers are expected to hold a high-stakes parliamentary vote for a new prime minister, the outcome of which could cause prolonged political unrest if the Move Forward Party continues being sidelined from forming the next government, even though it won the election.

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Ukrainian offensive tests Russian defenses
Ukrainian offensive tests Russian defenses | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Ukrainian offensive tests Russian defenses

How is the Ukrainian counteroffensive going? Pro-democracy opposition parties swept the Thai elections. Will they be allowed to govern? Is Assad's invitation to COP28 a sign of Syria's return to the global stage? Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60.

How is the Ukrainian counteroffensive going?

Well, it's just started. It's a little premature to ask me that question. Right now you're looking at probing attacks, artillery for the Ukrainians to try to assess where Russian defenses might be weakest so that when Zelensky gives the order for the full counteroffensive, it's starting, but not with masses of troops, that it's most likely to succeed. There is general optimism right now. The Russians are dug in along three lines of defense in southeast Ukraine. There's pretty significant optimism the Ukrainians will be able to break through one, at least maybe two of those lines of defense, which puts them in striking distance of artillery of the coast of the Sea of Azov, which means being able to threaten the land bridge to Crimea. That's a pretty big deal. It improves Ukraine's ability to negotiate if that happens after the counteroffensive is over.

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Thailand's former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

Not now, Thaksin!

We recently predicted that the shadow of self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra would loom large over the May 14 Thai election. Now the stakes just got a lot higher.

On Tuesday, Thaksin announced that he plans to return before his 74th birthday in July, almost 15 years after he skipped town when he was about to go on trial for corruption. Thaksin, ousted in a 2006 coup, was ultimately convicted in absentia of several charges that add up to over a decade in prison.

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Monarchs from around

Luisa Vieira

Monarchies that matter

It’s the moment he always knew would come. Eight months after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III will be crowned at a coronation ceremony on May 6 – though he did officially become king at the time of her death. (And who could forget his first royal row with … a pen!)

It’s been hard to escape the spectacle of this event, Britain’s first coronation in 70 years. Some 2,200 people are expected to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, while the broader three-day extravaganza will cost British taxpayers at least £100 million ($125 million) amid a painful cost-of-living crunch.

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Luisa Vieira

The Graphic Truth: How does El Salvador's prison rate stack up?

El Salvador made headlines in recent days after President Nayib Bukele released photos of gang members being corralled into the country’s new mega-prison – a sprawling complex that will eventually hold 40,000 inmates. It’s the latest development in Bukele’s massive – and very popular – crackdown on gangs, in which Salvadoran authorities have locked up almost 2% of the adult population. (Never mind that US officials have recently accused Bukele of colluding with the very gangs he says he’s trying to stamp out!) El Salvador now has the highest prison rate per 100,000 people in the world – but how does that compare globally? Here we take a look at the countries with the highest official prison rates.

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani meets Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo, Egypt, June 2022.

Amiri Diwan via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Egypt-Qatar bonding, Thai activist jailed for dressing up, Hungary's ‘fetal heartbeat’ law, fatal kangaroo incident, Ken Starr dies

5: Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah-el Sisi visited Qatar on Tuesday for the first time in five years. In 2017, Egypt – along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain – cut diplomatic ties with Doha, citing its support for terror groups, which Qatar denied. Mired in an economic crisis, Cairo now wants to boost economic ties with Qatar and other wealthy Gulf states.

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