Thai princess collapses from heart condition
The Thai King’s eldest daughter collapsed from a heart condition on Wednesday evening, Thailand’s royal palace says.
Princess Bajrakitiyabha, the eldest daughter of King Vajiralongkorn, collapsed while training her dogs north-east of Bangkok, the palace said.
The 44-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital, then taken by helicopter to Bangkok, where she is being treated.
The palace described her condition last night as “stable to a certain extent”.
Medical bulletins from the royal palace in Thailand are typically vague and cryptic, and from the single statement issued about Princess Bajrakitiyabha, it is difficult to gauge how serious her condition is, says the BBC’s Jonathan Head in Bangkok.
The statement says nothing about her state of health now. Some reports have suggested it is a lot more serious than stated.
The princess is the daughter of the king’s first wife Princess Soamsawali, and his eldest child. She has been a part of her father’s innermost circle since he succeeded King Bhumibol in 2016, and has been made a senior officer in the king’s personal guard.
She is the most visibly accomplished of the inner royal circle, with post-graduate degrees in law from two US universities.
King Vajiralongkorn has not yet named an heir to the throne, but Princess Bajrakitiyabha is widely viewed as the most suitable successor.
Being one of the king’s three children who have formal titles, she is eligible for the throne under a 1924 Palace Law of Succession.
She is a fitness enthusiast and also has a long record of advocating penal reform in Thailand.
She is especially vocal for female prisoners, of which Thailand has one of the world’s highest populations.
She was Thailand’s ambassador to Austria from 2012 to 2014.
Turkish President elected for a 3rd term
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters celebrated well into the night after Turkey’s long-time president secured another five years in power.
“The entire nation of 85 million won,” he told cheering crowds outside his enormous palace on the edge of Ankara.
But his call for unity sounded hollow as he ridiculed his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu – and took aim at a jailed Kurdish leader and pro-LGBT policies.
The opposition leader did not explicitly concede victory.
Complaining of “the most unfair election in recent years”, Mr Kilicdaroglu said the president’s political party had mobilised all the means of the state against him.
President Erdogan ended with just over 52% of the vote based on near-complete unofficial results – almost half the electorate in this deeply polarised country did not back his authoritarian vision of Turkey.
Ultimately Mr Kilicdaroglu was no match for the well-drilled Erdogan campaign, even if he took the president to a run-off second round for the first time since the post was made directly elected in 2014.
But he barely dented his rival’s first-round lead, falling more than two million votes behind.
China’s self-developed large passenger aircraft, completes maiden flight
China’s first domestically-manufactured passenger jet – C919 has successfully completed its maiden commercial flight today (28).
State TV showed the C919 rising into the skies above Shanghai, heading to the capital Beijing early on Sunday.
It was built by the Commercial Aviation Corporation of China (Comac) in the hope of breaking the dominance of Airbus and Boeing’s single-aisle jets.
But the 164-seater still relies heavily on Western components, including engines and avionics.
The Shanghai-Beijing leg of the journey, with more than 130 passengers on board, was completed in just under three hours.
New Indian Parliament inaugurated amid Opposition boycott
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating India’s new parliament building amid a boycott of the ceremony by 20 opposition parties.
The opposition has criticised the government for not asking the president to open the new building.
They also denounced the decision to hold the event on the birth anniversary of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called the boycott a “disrespect of democracy”.
The new parliament building is part of the government’s ambitious project to develop the Central Vista power corridor in capital Delhi.
On Sunday, Mr Modi will also unveil a new 75-rupee coin to commemorate the event and serve as a tribute to 75 years of India’s independence.
Built in front of the colonial-era parliament, the new four-storey building – built at an estimated cost of 9.7bn rupees ($117.1m, £94.2m) – has increased seating capacity.
The Lok Sabha chamber, which will seat the lower house of the parliament, is designed in the likeness of a peacock, India’s national bird. The Rajya Sabha chamber, which will seat the lower house, is designed resemble the lotus, India’s national flower.
Last week, 20 parties – including the main opposition Congress – had announced their “collective decision” to boycott the inauguration ceremony.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi said that the building should have been inaugurated by President Draupadi Murmu, the parliament’s highest constitutional authority.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh also criticised the government’s decision to hold the event “on the birth anniversary of the man [Savarkar] who opposed Mahatma Gandhi vehemently all his life”.
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