Ukraine's previous Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has contradicted claims by President Trump relating to the sacking of the country's former Prosecutor General. President Trump has repeatedly alleged without providing evidence that the former US Vice President Joe Biden demanded the prosecutor be sacked because he was investigating a Ukrainian company his son worked for. Mr. Klimkin told the BBC that there was a much broader anticorruption drive in Ukraine at the time. The whole sense of this push was to deliver all the reforms in Ukraine. It wasn't about Prosecutor General. It was about prosecutor offices which were systemically corrupt, and it was important to have full reshuffle of these offices. It was a real drive from the whole international community, not just Biden, not just US, but also from the European Union. Mr. Trump is facing impeachment proceedings over the case against Mr. Biden, currently his main rival for the US presidency.
Election officials in Afghanistan say nearly half of ballot boxes are yet to be delivered to polling stations ahead of presidential elections on Saturday. There were also concerns that a rise in violence may deter voters. Here in the government-controlled areas in the capital Kabul, I spoke to some voters and they said yes, we are going to go on. The reason we're going to go on is that it's our national duty. One man said to me, you know, I know this election will probably be riddled with fraud, but I still think it's the best process to try and move this country forward. But outside of government-controlled areas where the Afghan government realizes that security is so bad, it's already shut down hundreds of polls.
The World Athletics Championships is getting underway in Qatar with the buildup dominated by debates over fierce heat and low ticket sales. There's also been controversy over missed drugs tests by the US sprinter Christian Coleman and doping allegations against Kenyan athletes. This is where most of the action will take place, the al-Khalifa stadium on the outskirts of Doha. It's a snazzy looking venue with a striking curved roof and above it a steel arch similar to the one at Wembley in London, but with temperatures here in the mid-to-high thirties, its most useful feature is an air conditioning system which should keep the athletes relatively cool. The bigger problem though will be for the marathon runners and the walkers out on the road. They're going to have a tough time coping with the heat, but especially the humidity.
Rwanda has abolished more than one thousand laws dating from the colonial era. The Legal Affairs Minister told Parliament it was a cause for shame that Rwanda was governed by laws enacted by colonizers. One law allowed the church to acquire significant amounts of land which are in short supply in Rwanda. Another banned traders from giving away alcoholic drinks.
The UN Human Rights Council has voted to send a mission to Venezuela to investigate reported human rights violations, including executions, disappearances and torture. The resolution was put forward by Venezuela's neighbors. Human rights organizations say Venezuela's security forces have killed nearly 18,000 people in the past three years.
Brazilian police have searched the homes of directors of the state-controlled Banco do Brasil who are suspected of involvement in a $48 million money laundering scandal. Prosecutors said the operation is part of a wider anticorruption investigation known as Operation Car Wash, which embroiled dozens of politicians and business executives.
A group of prominent writers, actors and journalists have condemned the BBC's decision to reprimand its presenter Naga Munchetty. The corporation is being asked to overturn its decision to uphold a complaint about alleged bias. The complaint concerns her response to comments made by President Trump to four ethnic minority US congresswoman. Naga Munchetty was asked on air by her co-presenter to comment on Donald Trump telling a group of members of Congress to go back to where they came from. She said based on her own experiences, the words were embedded in racism and that she was furious a president would skirt the lines with such language. The BBC Complaints Unit, which is independent from BBC News, said she was allowed to say the words were racist but could not comment on Donald Trump's motives. Today's letter, signed by more than 40 people including Lenny Henry and a number of BBC journalists, calls for the judgment to be overturned, saying racism is not an opinion over which the BBC has to be impartial.
A study has revealed more than half of Europe's native tree species are at risk of extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature says fifteen percent are critically endangered.