The Big Story: Record heatwave leaves half of China crippled by drought

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Catch the latest news reports on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

A crippling drought exacerbated by a record heatwave has spread out across half of China, with temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius expected to continue in the next few days. The worst-affected area - the Yangtze river basin, stretching from coastal Shanghai to Sichuan province in China's south-west - is home to over 370 million people and contains several manufacturing hubs, including the megacity of Chongqing.

The Big Story speaks to ST China correspondent Elizabeth Law on the implications and effects of the extreme weather.

Over in Thailand, the country could be in for weeks of uncertainty after the Constitutional Court suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha from his official duties pending a legal review of his eight-year tenure.

The court decided to hear a petition from the main opposition party arguing that Mr Prayut, who first came to power in a coup in 2014 when he was army chief, has reached the term limit.

Thailand correspondent Tan Tam Mei reports on the conflicting views of when Mr Prayut's term started and when it should end.

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