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Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak delivering his 2017 budget in Parliament. Photo: Mohd Samsul Mohd Said / Getty Images

Ahead of Malaysia's August general election, the scandal-plagued ruling party will soon vote on new constituency boundaries that would allow it to maintain power even if fails to win a majority of votes, as happened in 2013, The Economist reports.

Why it matters: This comes as at least six countries, including the U.S. Department of Justice, are carrying out a criminal inquiry into more than $4.5 billion missing from a state development agency Prime Minister Razak Najib oversaw. Despite poor approval ratings and a dismal track record, the proposed electoral map virtually guarantees Najib another term, per the Economist.

How it's done: "The constituencies in the maps proposed by the government-appointed election commission range in size from 18,000 voters to 146,000. The Barisan Nasional controls all the 15 smallest districts; 14 of the 15 biggest ones are in the hands of the opposition. The average Barisan seat has 30,000 fewer voters than the average opposition one." In the 2013 election, the ruling Barisan Nasional got 47% of the popular vote and secured 60% of the 222 seats in parliament.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.