Hello, I'm Chris Barrow with the BBC news.
The Supreme Court in London has begun hearing legal challenges to the decision of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to Brexit. It will first decide if a lower court was correct in ruling that the suspension was a political not a legal matter, then it will consider the government's appeal against a ruling by Scottish judges who held that the suspension was unlawful. The lawyer David Pannick is arguing against the government's case. He told the court that Boris Johnson had shut down Parliament a process known as prorogation to avoid scrutiny by MPs.
We say it is an improper purpose for the Prime Minister to use the power of prorogation because he wants to avoid the risk of Parliament undermining the policies of the executive.
At least twenty-six people have been killed by a blast in northern Afghanistan at an election rally for President Ashraf Ghani. There's also been a separate explosion in the capital Kabul. The Taliban said they carried out both attacks. Our South Asia editor Jill McGivering has more details.
President Ghani was addressing a rally in Parwan province when the bomb went off at a venue close to a police academy. A spokesman for the Taliban said they were targeting Afghan security forces including those protecting the president. Hospital officials say women and children are among the dead. Mr. Ghani was unhurt. Soon after there was a second blast in Kabul, close to a ministry of defense building on a busy road in a residential district. The attacks come just weeks before voting starts in presidential elections.
Iran's Supreme Leader says his country will not negotiate at any level with the United States unless it returns to the nuclear agreement that President Trump abandoned last year. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that what Washington calls its policy of maximum pressure involving severe sanctions on Iran would fail. The Trump administration had previously suggested that the president could soon meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.
Indonesia is stepping up its response to thousands of forest fires that are descending thick smoke across the region. These annual fires are worse than usual this year. Our Asia Pacific editor Michael Bristow has the latest for us.
Indonesia's president Joko Widodo has deployed thousands more soldiers to tackle the fires which are raging on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Hundreds of schools in many neighboring countries have been closed over health fears. Face masks have been issued. Most of the fires are started in order to clear land for plantations. The president has said he'll take action against individuals and companies who start them. Nearly two hundred people have already been arrested. After devastating fires four years ago, Mr. Widodo promised to end this annual man-made disaster. That hasn't happened yet. Our Asia Pacific editor Michael Bristow, with the latest for us.
And you're listening to the latest world news from the BBC with me, Chris Barrow.
1.to the decision of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to Brexit.
The union suspended strike action this week.
2.because he wants to avoid the risk of Parliament undermining the policies of the executive.
This crisis has undermined his position.