The Guardian 2024-07-07 12:12:57


‘Potentially historic’ heatwave threatens more than 130 million people across US

Temperatures could crest 100F (38C) in many regions after breaking records and sparking dozens of wildfires

A long-running heatwave that has already broken records, sparked dozens of wildfires and left about 130 million people under a high-temperature threat is about to intensify enough that the National Weather Service has deemed it “potentially historic”.

The NWS on Saturday reported some type of extreme heat or advisory for nearly 133 million people across the nation – mostly in western states where the triple-digit heat, with temperatures 15F to 30F higher than average, is expected to last into next week.

Oppressive heat and humidity could team up to spike temperatures above 100F (about 38C) in parts of the Pacific north-west, the mid-Atlantic and the north-east, said Jacob Asherman, a meteorologist with the NWS.

Records were broken in at least four Oregon cities on Friday, the NWS reported. Medford, which had a high temperature of 102F set in 1926, saw temperatures soar to 109F. The biggest leap, however, was in North Bend, whose record of 74F set in 1913 was busted by a spike of 11 degrees when it hit 85F on Friday.

“Certainly a pretty anomalous event that we’re expecting here, which looks like it will continue through at least midweek,” Asherman said.

At the Waterfront blues festival in Portland, Oregon, music fans dealt with heat on Friday by drinking cold water, seeking refuge in the shade or freshening up under water misters.

Angela Quiroz, 31, kept her scarf and hat wet and applied sunscreen to protect herself from the heat at the music festival.

“Definitely a difference between the shade and the sun,” Quiroz said. “But when you’re in the sun, it feels like you’re cooking.”

In sweltering Las Vegas, where the temperature had hit 100F (37.7C) by 10.30am, Marko Boscovich said the best way to beat the heat was in a seat at a slot machine with a cold beer inside an air-conditioned casino.

“But you know, after it hits triple digits, it’s about all the same to me,” said Boscovich, who was visiting from Sparks, Nevada, to see a Dead & Company concert later Saturday night at the Sphere. “Maybe they’ll play one of my favorites: Cold Rain and Snow.”

By midday Saturday, Las Vegas ended up tying its daily heat record of 115F, the NWS said, as it pleaded with people to be mindful of leaving children or pets inside vehicles in the extreme heat.

On Friday, a new heat record for the day was set in California’s Death Valley, one of the hottest places on Earth. The previous high was shattered by 5F, with the mercury climbing to 127F (53C). The old mark of 122F was last tied in 2013.

More extreme highs are in the near forecast, including 129F for Sunday at Furnace Creek in Death Valley national park, and then around 130F through Wednesday. The hottest temperature ever officially recorded on Earth was 134F (57C) in Death Valley in July 1913, though some experts dispute that measurement and say the real record was 130F recorded there in July 2021.

Rare heat advisories were extended even in upper elevations, including around Lake Tahoe, with the National Weather Service in Reno warning of “major heat risk impacts, even in the mountains”.

“How hot are we talking? Well, high temperatures across [western Nevada and north-eastern California] won’t get below 100 degrees [37.8C] until next weekend,” the service posted online. “And unfortunately, there won’t be much relief overnight either.”

There was also a record high for the date of 118F in Phoenix, where highs of 115F or hotter were forecast through Wednesday. In Needles, California, where the NWS has records dating to 1888, the high of 122F edged the old mark of 121F set in 2007. It was 124F in Palm Springs, California.

The intense heat – combined with winds and low humidity – means the potential for wildfires to spread is high.

Red-flag warnings are in effect across much of California until Saturday evening, said the California department of forestry and fire protection, or Cal Fire. Officials urged people to stay vigilant and take extra precautions such as avoiding activities that can spark fires and following evacuation orders.

California has more than two dozen wildfires burning across the state, with the two largest, in the central part of the state, burning more than 24,000 acres combined. The Thompson fire, in northern California’s Butte county, has devoured at least 3,700 acres since it was reported on 2 July.

By Saturday, the blaze had forced thousands to evacuate and injured two firefighters. It was 71% contained. Cal Fire reported that 26 structures had been destroyed by the blaze.

The French fire, which erupted on 4 July near Yosemite national park and quickly grew to more than 900 acres (364 hectares), has held steady after more than 1,000 personnel worked overnight to get it to 25% containment, according to Cal Fire.

The eastern US also was bracing for more hot temperatures. Baltimore and other parts of Maryland were under an excessive heat warning, as heat index values could climb to 110F, forecasters said.

“Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors,” said a National Weather Service advisory for the Baltimore area. “Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.”

In Arizona’s Maricopa county, which encompasses Phoenix, there have been at least 13 confirmed heat-related deaths this year, along with more than 160 suspected heat deaths still under investigation, according to the county’s most recent report.

That does not include the death of a 10-year-old boy earlier this week in Phoenix who suffered a “heat-related medical event” while hiking with family at South Mountain park and preserve, according to police.

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Viktor Orbán’s rightwing group hits quota for recognition by EU parliament

Patriots for Europe gets Danish and Flemish nationalists as latest members, amid EU anger over Hungary PM’s latest unauthorised foreign policy foray

Viktor Orbán’s rightwing political movement attracted enough parties on Saturday to achieve recognition from the European Union parliament in a boost for the Hungarian prime minister’s self-styled effort to “change European politics”.

The nationalist and pro-Russia leader announced on 30 June his intention to form an EU parliamentary grouping called “Patriots for Europe”.

The Danish People’s party and the Flemish nationalist pro-independence Vlaams Belang announced on Saturday that they would join, giving Patriots for Europe 23 MEPs – enough to meet the EU parliament’s threshold for formal recognition.

Other parties involved are the Austrian far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), the centrist ANO of former Czech prime minister Andrej Babis, the Party for Freedom (PVV) of Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, Portugal’s far-right Chega party and Spain’s Vox.

Orbán said the parties would meet on Monday in Brussels. France’s National Rally could become another ally after the second round of the French legislative elections on Sunday. Italy’s League, led by Matteo Salvini, has also expressed an interest in the new movement but has not confirmed its participation.

With the formation of Patriots for Europe, Orbán is bidding to become the dominant hard-right force in the EU parliament. As well as campaigning for conservative family values and against immigration, the group would push to end European support for Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s invasion.

Orbán, meanwhile, drew a fresh rebuke from the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, on Saturday after attending a meeting of the Organisation of Turkic States in Azerbaijan.

Hungary took over the EU’s rotating presidency this month and Orbán on Friday appeared to try to carry its imprimatur into a surprise meeting with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow about the Ukraine war.

EU leaders quickly blasted the visit as not authorised by them and stressed that Orbán was not representing Brussels.

Orbán’s participation at an informal OTS summit in Azerbaijan on Saturday was the latest event where he represented Hungary alone and not the EU, Borrell said.

“Hungary has not received any mandate from the EU council to advance the relations with the Organisation of Turkic States.”

Orbán has sparred with Brussels over his travels. “Are we allowed to have dinner, or do we need a EUCO mandate for that too?” his political director wrote on X/Twitter after the Moscow trip.

The EU also rejected OTS attempts to legitimise the unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus by admitting it as an observer, said Borrell. The island of Cyprus has been divided for decades between the internationally recognised, Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and the Turkish-speaking TRNC, recognised only by Ankara.

The OTS is an international organisation bringing together countries with Turkic languages, founded in 2009 by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Hungary became an observer of the group in 2018.

With Agence France-Presse in Belgium

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Biden’s doctor reportedly met with top neurologist at White House

Parkinson’s expert at Walter Reed medical center has visited White House eight times since August 2023 – report

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Joe Biden’s doctor met with a leading Washington neurologist at the White House this year, it was reported on Saturday.

The report came after Biden on Friday ruled out taking an independent cognitive test and releasing its findings publicly, in an interview with ABC News arranged following his disastrous performance in last week’s presidential TV debate with Donald Trump.

According White House visitor logs reviewed by the New York Post, Dr Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s disease expert at Walter Reed medical center, met with Dr Kevin O’Connor, a doctor of osteopathic medicine who has treated the president for years.

The visit took place at the White House residence clinic on 17 January. Cannard has visited the White House house eight times since August 2023. On seven of those visits, most recently in late March, he met with Megan Nasworthy, a liaison between Walter Reed and the White House.

Biden has consistently rejected taking any cognitive test, including in August 2020 when he dismissed a reporter’s question with: “Why the hell would I take a test?” He has continued to dismiss the need for one and, according to aides, has not received one during his three annual physical exams during his term in the White House.

The Washington Post on Saturday reported a White House aide saying that O’Connor, who has been Biden’s doctor since 2009, has never recommended that Biden take a cognitive test.

O’Connor has said that his most important job is to offer Biden an affirmative “Good morning, Mr President” – to get Biden off the on the right track each day.

During Biden’s ABC News interview on Friday, the anchor George Stephanopoulos, who was communications director in the Clinton White House, asked Biden if had taken specific tests for cognitive capability. “No one said I had to … they said I’m good,” Biden replied.

Later in the broadcast, Biden was asked if he would do an independent neurological and cognitive exam and release the results. “I get a cognitive test every day,” Biden said. “Everything I do – you know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world.”

Pressed on the issue, he said: “I’ve already done it.”

Questions about Biden’s mental state continued on Saturday when the two radio hosts who interviewed him briefly on Thursday said that the Biden campaign had given them a list of approved questions. Wisconsin radio host Earl Ingram said that Biden aides had sent him a list of four questions in advance, about which there was no negotiation.

“They gave me the exact questions to ask,” Ingram told the Associated Press. “There was no back and forth.”

Philadelphia civic radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders told CNN she had received a list of eight questions, from which she approved four. Both interviews had been scheduled to restore Biden’s credibility following his meandering debate performance with Donald Trump a week earlier.

Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt said it is “not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees” and that acceptance of the questions was not a prerequisite for an interview to go ahead. However, both interviews had been structured for Biden to tout his achievements for Black voters.

On Saturday, Trump sarcastically called on Biden to “ignore his many critics and move forward, with alacrity and strength, with his powerful and far reaching campaign”. Last week, Trump’s campaign pre-emptively launched attack ads against vice-president Kamala Harris, who is polling better in a Trump match-up than the president.

Earlier this year, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, defended O’Connor’s decision not to administer a cognitive test when the issue came up following a report by the special counsel Robert Hur into classified documents found at Biden’s Delaware home that concluded Biden was a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory”.

At that time, as now, the White House pushed back, accusing Hur of being part of a partisan smear campaign. “I’m well-meaning, and I’m elderly, and I know what I’m doing,” Biden said at a news conference. “My memory is fine.”

But the eight visits Kevin Cannard has made to the White House over the past 11 months are certain to raise further questions about the 81-year-old president’s mental abilities in the wake of his debate with Donald Trump and subsequent verbal mistakes, including during a radio interview on Thursday when he said he was “proud” to be the “first Black woman to serve with a Black president”.

Cannard has served as the “neurology specialist supporting the White House medical unit” since 2012 and published academic papers including one last year in the Parkinsonism & Related Disorders journal that focused on the “early stage” of the brain degenerative disorder.

Ronny Jackson, a Republican congressman in Texas who was White House doctor for Barack Obama and Trump, has previously called for Biden to undergo a cognitive exam and accused O’Connor and Biden’s family of trying to “cover up” problems with Biden’s mental abilities.

Jackson told the New York Post he believed that O’Connor and Biden “have led the cover up”.

“Kevin O’Connor is like a son to Jill Biden – she loves him,” Jackson continued, adding that ‘they knew they could trust Kevin to say and do anything that needed to be said or done”.

Last week, the White House initially denied but later confirmed that Biden had seen a doctor since the debate. It has said that the president’s performance was affected, variously, by a cold, over-preparation and jet-lag. Biden has said simply: “I screwed up.”

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Top Democrats plan crisis meeting despite Biden’s vow to fight on

House Democratic leader schedules virtual conference for Sunday as several members call for president’s withdrawal

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Congressional Democrats are to hold an emergency weekend meeting to discuss Joe Biden’s tottering presidential candidacy, after a primetime television interview failed to dispel doubts triggered by last week’s debate fiasco.

Hakeem Jeffries, the Democrats’ leader in the House of Representatives, scheduled the virtual meeting for Sunday with ranking committee members, according to multiple reports, even as Biden struck a defiant posture in Friday’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

In a 22-minute interview from a school library in Wisconsin, aired in full, the president brushed off his miserable debate display as “a bad night” and insisted he would only withdraw his candidacy if the “Lord almighty” ordered it.

But his posture appeared only to reinforce the views of those Democrats who had already publicly urged him to quit the race, while others were said to be privately infuriated by his seemingly insouciant attitude to the prospect of defeat at the hands of Donald Trump in November’s election.

On Saturday, Congresswoman Angie Craig of Minnesota became the fifth House member to publicly urge Biden to stand aside. Four others had done so before Friday’s interview.

“Given what I saw and heard from the president during last week’s debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from [him] following [it], I do not believe [Biden] can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump,” she said.

Asked by Stephanopoulos how he would feel if he had to turn the presidency back to an opponent he and his party loathe, the president said: “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do – that’s what this is about.”

The response seemed to minimise the consequences of handing over power to a rival who tried to overturn the results of the 2020, incited a mob to attack the US Capitol and vowed to seek “retribution” on his opponents if he won again, a threat that has unnerved many Democrats.

The convening of Democratic House members by Jeffries would follow a similar move even before Friday’s interview by Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, who called on fellow senators from his party to meet to discuss Biden’s candidacy. Warner has been reported to be leading an effort by Senate Democrats urging the president to stand aside.

Democrats who had already called publicly for an end to his candidacy reiterated the sentiment after Friday evening’s broadcast of the interview, in which Biden projected greater assuredness than in the 27 June debate with Trump, yet affected obliviousness to concerns over his mental acuity or loss of support in the polls.

Lloyd Doggett, a veteran Texas Democrat who had been the first congressman to call for Biden to withdraw last Tuesday, said the interview only confirmed his view.

“The need for him to step aside is more urgent tonight than when I first called for it on Tuesday,” he told CNN.

He added: “[Biden] does not want his legacy to be that he’s the one who turned over our country to a tyrant.”

Mike Quigley, an Illinois congressman who was the fourth to urge the president to stand aside – after Doggett, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts – called aspects of the interview “disturbing”, adding that it showed “the president of the United States doesn’t have the vigour necessary to overcome the deficit here”.

Addressing Biden’s response to a putative Trump re-election, he told CNN: “He felt as long as he gave it his best effort, that’s all that really matters. With the greatest respect: no.”

Julián Castro, a former Democratic presidential hopeful and a member of Barack Obama’s cabinet, acknowledged to MSNBC that Biden had been “steadier” than in his debate performance but was in “denial about the decline that people can clearly see”.

Addressing Biden’s comments on a possible second Trump presidency, Castro said: “I think the most chilling was when Stephanopoulos asked him, ‘Well, what if you lose to [former President Trump,] then how are you gonna feel?’ and President Biden said, ‘Well, as long as I gave it my all,’ that, basically, that he would feel OK.”

“That’s not good enough for the American people. That’s not good enough with the stakes of Donald Trump winning.”

Other Democrats criticised Biden’s resistance to the idea of taking a cognitive test. He dismissed the suggestion out of hand by telling Stephanopoulos: “I take a cognitive test every day”, referring to the daily work of the presidency and running for re-election.

“I found the answer about taking a cognitive test every day to be unsettling and not particularly convincing, so I will be watching closely every day to see how he is doing, especially in spontaneous situations,” Representative Judy Chu of California told Politico.

Tim Ryan, a former representative from Ohio – who has also urged a Biden withdrawal – echoed that sentiment, telling the same network: “I think there was a level of him being out of touch with reality on the ground.”

He also said: “I don’t think he moved the needle at all. I don’t think he energised anybody. I’m worried, like I think a lot of people are, that he is just not the person to be able to get this done for us.”

Several Biden loyalists, including Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a chairman of his campaign, and John Fetterman, a senator from Pennsylvania, voiced their continued support. But even among supporters there were doubts.

Ro Khanna, a California congressman and Biden surrogate, issued a statement saying he expected the president to do more to show he has vigour to fight and win the election and “that requires more than one interview.”

“I expect complete transparency from the White House about this issue and a willingness to answer many legitimate questions from the media and voters about his capabilities,” Khanna said.

Gavin Newsom, the California governor who has been widely discussed as a potential successor to Biden, was campaigning on Saturday for the president in Pennsylvania’s Bucks county.

Kamala Harris, the vice-president, was due to make a public appearance at the Essence culture festival in New Orleans the same day.

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Jon Landau, Oscar-winning Titanic and Avatar producer, dies aged 63

Titanic became first film to gross $1bn globally, and Landau topped that with Avatar, and Avatar: The Way of Water

Jon Landau, the Oscar-winning Titanic and Avatar producer who helped bring director James Cameron’s visions to life, has died at 63.

Alan Bergman, co-chair of Disney Entertainment, announced Landau’s death in a statement on Saturday. No cause of death was given.

“Jon was a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen. His remarkable contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark, and he will be profoundly missed. He was an iconic and successful producer yet an even better person and a true force of nature who inspired all around him,” Bergman said.

Jon Landau helped make history in 1997 with Titanic, which became the first film to gross $1bn at the global box office. He topped that record twice, with Avatar in 2009 and the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, in 2022.

Landau began his career in the 1980s as a production manager, gradually rising through the ranks and eventually becoming producer for Cameron on his expensive, epic film about the infamous disaster that was the Titanic. Landau’s partnership with Cameron on that film led to 14 Oscar nominations and 11 wins, including for best picture.

“I can’t act and I can’t compose and I can’t do visual effects. I guess that’s why I’m producing,” Landau said while accepting the award with Cameron.

Their partnership continued, with Landau becoming a top executive at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. In 2009, the pair watched as Avatar, a sci-fi epic filmed and shown in theaters with groundbreaking 3D technology, surpassed the box-office success of Titanic. It remains the top-grossing film of all time.

Its sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, is third on the list.

Landau was a key player in the Avatar franchise, which saw frequent delays of the release of The Way of Water. Landau defended the sequel’s progress and Cameron’s ambitious plans to film multiple sequels at once to keep the franchise going.

“A lot has changed but a lot hasn’t,” Landau told the Associated Press in 2022, a few months before the sequel’s release. “One of the things that has not changed is: why do people turn to entertainment today? Just like they did when the first Avatar was released, they do it to escape, to escape the world in which we live.”

Landau was named an executive vice-president of feature movies at 20th Century Fox when he was 29, which led him to oversee major hits including Home Alone and its sequel, as well as Mrs Doubtfire and True Lies, on which he first started working closely with Cameron.

Born in New York on 23 July 1960, Landau was the son of the film producers Ely and Edie Landau.

Ely Landau died in 1993. Edie Landau, the Oscar-nominated producer of films such as Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Hopscotch and The Deadly Game, died in 2022.

Jon Landau is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Julie Landau, and their two sons, Jamie and Jodie Landau.

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Israeli strike on Gaza school kills 16, say Palestinian officials

Another 50 injured taken to hospital from the Unrwa-run Al-Jawni school in Nuseirat, central Gaza

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said an Israeli strike on Saturday on a school where displaced people were sheltering killed 16 people.

The ministry, which condemned the strike as an “odious massacre”, said another 50 injured were taken to hospital from Al-Jawni school at Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The Israeli military made no immediate comment when approached by AFP.

The Hamas-run government’s press office said there were 7,000 people sheltering at the school.

Earlier, paramedics said 10 people, including three journalists, died in a strike on a house in Nuseirat.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, said two of its workers were killed in a strike at Al-Bureij in central Gaza. The agency has a large food warehouse in the district.

“Absolutely no place in the Gaza Strip is safe,” said civil defence spokesperson Mahmud Bassal.

The war began with Hamas’s 7 October attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The militants also seized hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza including 42 the military says are dead.

In response, Israel has carried out a military offensive that has killed at least 38,098 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the Gaza health ministry.

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Israeli strike on Gaza school kills 16, say Palestinian officials

Another 50 injured taken to hospital from the Unrwa-run Al-Jawni school in Nuseirat, central Gaza

The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said an Israeli strike on Saturday on a school where displaced people were sheltering killed 16 people.

The ministry, which condemned the strike as an “odious massacre”, said another 50 injured were taken to hospital from Al-Jawni school at Nuseirat in central Gaza.

The Israeli military made no immediate comment when approached by AFP.

The Hamas-run government’s press office said there were 7,000 people sheltering at the school.

Earlier, paramedics said 10 people, including three journalists, died in a strike on a house in Nuseirat.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, said two of its workers were killed in a strike at Al-Bureij in central Gaza. The agency has a large food warehouse in the district.

“Absolutely no place in the Gaza Strip is safe,” said civil defence spokesperson Mahmud Bassal.

The war began with Hamas’s 7 October attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The militants also seized hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza including 42 the military says are dead.

In response, Israel has carried out a military offensive that has killed at least 38,098 people in Gaza, also mostly civilians, according to data from the Gaza health ministry.

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Ukraine war briefing: Russian shelling kills three in Kherson region as road crash in west leaves 14 dead

Two bodies recovered from rubble of southern house while collision of oil truck and minibus in western Rivne region leaves single survivor. What we know on day 865

  • See all our Ukraine war coverage
  • Russian shelling killed three civilians in Ukraine’s southern region of Kherson on Saturday, officials said. Two bodies were recovered from the rubble of a house that came under fire in the morning in a village near Beryslav, north of Kherson town, prosecutors said. An artillery strike in the evening killed one person in a village south of the town, said the region’s governor, Oleksander Prokudin.

  • Russian night-time strikes left more than 100,000 households without power in northern Ukraine and cut off the water supply to a regional capital, Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday. The northern Sumy region, which borders Russia, was plunged into darkness after Russian strikes late on Friday damaged energy infrastructure, the Ukrainian energy ministry said. Hours later, the Ukrainian public broadcaster reported that Russian drones hit the provincial capital, also called Sumy, cutting off water by hitting power lines that feed its system of pumps. Russian state news agency RIA cited a local pro-Kremlin “underground” leader as saying Moscow’s forces hit a plant producing rocket ammunition in the city. The claim could not be independently verified.

  • Fire broke out at a gas pipeline in Crimea, Russian-installed officials said on Sunday, blaming an accident and stating there were no casualties. Videos online showed a large fire, said to have followed one or more explosions in the Alushta district.

  • Russian air defence units downed seven Ukrainian drones each in the southern Belgorod and Kursk regions on the Ukrainian border on Saturday, officials and the military said. Russia’s defence ministry said seven drones were intercepted over the Belgorod region, which is subjected to nearly daily Ukrainian attacks. Alexei Smirnov, the governor of Kursk region, farther north and west, also reported seven drones had been downed over his region. He said Ukrainian forces had shelled about 10 villages across the day.

  • Ukraine’s air force commander said his forces had duped Russian troops into deploying missiles against sophisticated models put in place to look like military targets. Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram that the models depicted fighter aircraft and a surface-to-air missile battery. They were put in place at an airfield near the central city of Kriviy Rih and a district of the Black Sea port of Odesa. A video attached to Saturday’s post, described as footage from a Russian reconnaissance drone, showed what Oleshchuk said were Russian Iskander missiles attacking the depictions. “Air force personnel conducted passive defence measures!” he wrote.

  • In Ukraine’s eastern frontline region of Donetsk, Russian shelling killed 11 civilians and wounded 43 on Friday and overnight to Saturday, said the regional governor, Vadym Filashkin. Five people died in the town of Selydove, south-east of Pokrovsk, the eastern city that has emerged as a frontline hotspot. The Ukrainian general staff said on Saturday morning that Ukrainian and Russian forces clashed 45 times near Pokrovsk over the previous day. Hours later, the Russian ministry of defence said its troops had captured a village about 30km (19 miles) east of the city.

  • An oil truck collided with a minibus in western Ukraine on Saturday, killing 14 people, including a six-year-old child, and leaving a single survivor, emergency services said. The report on Telegram was accompanied by pictures of an overturned vehicle in a cornfield in the Rivne region. It said the survivor was in serious condition and being treated for her injuries.

  • Japan has announced a joint project with Cambodia to share knowledge and technology on landmine removal with countries worldwide including Ukraine. Under the Japan Cambodia landmine initiative, “Japan will provide full-scale assistance to humanitarian mine action in Ukraine”, Japan’s foreign minister, Yoko Kamikawa, said in Phnom Penh. “Next week, we will provide Ukraine with a large de-mining machine, and next month, here in Cambodia, we will train Ukrainian personnel on how to operate the machine.”

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PNG government minister charged over alleged domestic assault in Sydney

Jimmy Maladina, the country’s petroleum minister, says he is ‘fully cooperating with the authorities to address this matter’

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A minister in the Papua New Guinea government has been arrested in Sydney after an alleged domestic assault offence.

Guardian Australia understands that the country’s petroleum minister, Jimmy Maladina, was charged with domestic assault on Saturday after an alleged incident in Bondi.

NSW police said a 31-year-old woman received facial injuries allegedly as the result of an “altercation” with a 58-year-old man who was known to her. The man was arrested and taken to Waverley police station, where he was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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In a statement on Sunday, Maladina said he was aware of reports concerning the alleged incident, and he was “fully cooperating with the authorities to address this matter”.

“I understand the gravity of this situation and the concerns it raises,” he said.

“As a public servant, I hold myself to high standards of conduct, both personally and professionally.

“I want to make it clear that violence in any form is unacceptable, and I am committed to handling this situation with integrity and transparency. I respectfully request privacy for all parties involved as we work through this process.”

Maladina was granted conditional bail to appear in Waverley local court on 11 July.

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Tropical Storm Beryl smashes through Caribbean and heads for Texas coast

Earliest category 5 hurricane on record is 495 miles south-east of Corpus Christi, with winds near 60mph

Tropical Storm Beryl, which has already smashed its way across the Caribbean as a hurricane before slamming into the Yucatán peninsula, is intensifying once again and expected to make landfall as a hurricane for the third time along the Texas coast.

The powerful hurricane – Beryl is the earliest category 5 hurricane on record – was by early Saturday approximately 495 miles (797km) south-east of Corpus Christi, Texas. The storm is forecast to turn toward the north-west later Saturday and then north/north-westward by Sunday night.

Beryl currently contains maximum sustained winds near 60mph with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 105 miles from the center.

By the time it reaches Texas early Monday, it is anticipated to have re-intensified to a category 1 hurricane, though the National Weather Service has advised residents to prepare for the stronger category 2.

“Still some uncertainty with the exact strength and track Beryl will take, but an eastward trend in the guidance continues,” the advisory states, warning of “an increasing risk of damaging hurricane-force winds and life-threatening storm surge”.

Beryl made landfall in Grenada’s Carriacou island as a category 4 hurricane on Monday, before hitting St Vincent and the Grenadines, flattening buildings and killing at least six people.

Managers on the private island of Mustique, also in Beryl’s path, said: “The Grenadines have been badly hit. Union Island has been rendered completely uninhabitable and thousands of men, woman and children are currently being relocated in order to give them access to shelter, food and water.”

The statement said there had been “significant superficial damage” to Mustique bit that “the island’s core infrastructure is intact” and its planes were being used to ferry supplies to worse-hit islands and assist with the evacuation of people from Union.

The Associated Press reported that on the tiny island of Mayreau, home to 360 people and one of the smallest inhabited islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Beryl had ripped roofs off schools, crumbled homes and stripped trees of almost every leaf on the 0.46 sq miles (1.2 sq km).

“Everything was flying all over the place,” Mayreau resident James Alexander said in recalling the storm. “I saw a tank full of water lifted up and swirl in the air.”

Beryl later intensified to a category 5 storm, its rapid strengthening astonishing experts. The storm passed south of Jamaica before travelling, as a category 5 storm, to hit Tulum on the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico on Friday as a category 2 hurricane.

The storm toppled trees but caused no injuries or deaths before weakening to a tropical storm as it moved across the peninsula. “It is recommendable that people get to higher ground, shelters or the homes of friends or family elsewhere,” Mexico president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said before Beryl hit.

“Don’t hesitate, material possessions can be replaced,” he added.

With Beryl again re-intensifying, the former hurricane is expected to conclude its 3,000-mile journey somewhere along the lower or middle Texas coast, where it will drop 5–10ins of rain and could produce a few tropical tornadoes around Houston.

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Netherlands fight back to see off Turkey and set up semi-final against England

The Netherlands lie between England and a place in next Sunday’s final, although that does not tell half the story of a night that swirled in every conceivable direction. In the end they overcame a relentless Turkey and did so, in large part, by resorting to the kitchen sink.

Or, as he is better known, Wout Weghorst. He watched from the bench as everything his teammates tried in the first half ran aground. After beginning brightly enough they buckled under the sheer will, aggression, energy and noise pulsating from their opponents and deserved to be a goal down at half-time. Ronald Koeman knew his players had been running into a brick wall and reached for the 6ft 6in totem, whose introduction eventually turned the tide and sent an orange wave heading for Dortmund.

Weghorst gave the Netherlands a decisive focal point but, before assessing his attacking impact, it is worth zeroing straight in on a remarkable piece of defensive work that kept them in the game. Turkey were looking capable of scoring a second goal, tearing the Dutch defence up on the break and striking a post through an extraordinary Arda Guler free-kick, when Bart Verbruggen spilled Kenan Yildiz’s drive in the 65th minute. The way was clear for Kaan Ayhan to gobble up the loose ball before Weghorst, lying on the ground, showed astonishing reactions to poke out a leg and save the day.

The game would surely have been up if Ayhan had converted. In the next significant action Weghorst was peeling off at the far post in the other penalty area, sought by the latest of several crosses from the left side. His volley, half caught in truth, was tipped wide by Mert Gunok and it was time to load the box again. Memphis Depay took the corner short, received the return pass and crossed on to the head of the towering Stefan de Vrij. The centre-back did the rest from 12 yards and Turkey, comfortably the better side for the middle 40 minutes, were deflated.

Soon they were behind after Denzel Dumfries, who had come back from an offside position, was found unattended on the right and curved a glorious low centre across the face of goal. It was met by a mixture of Cody Gakpo and the right-back Mert Muldur, who both hurled themselves at the ball, and their combined force sent it flashing past a helpless Gunok.

Four days previously Gunok had been Turkey’s hero with a late save for the ages from Austria’s Christoph Baumgartner. Moments like that can leave the impression your name is on the trophy but football has a habit of turning the tables. With Turkey pushing ferociously for an equaliser in the first minute of added time, their substitute Semih Kilicsoy timed his run perfectly and jabbed towards goal from six yards. Verbruggen should have had no chance but somehow, diving to his right, scooped clear to give them a bitter taste of their own medicine.

How vigorously they had fought, their every run and challenge so intensely meant. Before Verbruggen’s stop they were also denied extra time by a monumental block from Micky van de Ven when Zeki Celik took aim at a seemingly open goal. What Vincenzo Montella’s team lacks in control, it atones for in gusts of pressure that threaten to blow opponents away.

One such first-half spell resulted in an opener that raised the roof. They had survived a couple of Netherlands half chances and gained impetus when Guler, magical to watch once again, delivered deliciously with his weaker right foot and watched the centre-back Samet Akaydin crash his header past Verbruggen from an angle.

Akaydin was playing because Merih Demiral, their surprise matchwinner against Austria, was suspended. Therein lay the match’s other subplot, confirmed by the presence of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the stands. Turkey’s president had not shown up simply for fun: Demiral’s two-match ban, handed down after he celebrated with a “wolf” gesture associated with an extremist nationalist group, had caused a diplomatic incident with Germany.

It was an obvious, choreographed show of defiance. Erdogan was there to stand by his men, who hardly needed any greater encouragement from the side. Before the game there had already been a flashpoint when a fans’ march to the stadium was stopped by police, a number of those supporters having decided this was a moment to perform the salute en masse. The debate about banning it in Germany will surely intensify.

The football argument was won by the Netherlands, though, and what a turnaround it has been since Austria outplayed them at this venue in the group stage. At that point the knives were out for Koeman and his skilful but sometimes ragged side. Now a blunter instrument has taken them within reach of Europe’s summit.

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Hundreds in Canary Islands protest against influx of migrants

The Spanish archipelago has welcomed more than 19,000 migrants since the start of 2024

Hundreds protested on Saturday in the Canary Islands against an influx of migrants to the Spanish archipelago, which has welcomed more than 19,000 migrants since the beginning of 2024.

Located off the coast of north-west Africa, the Canary Islands have become an increasingly popular destination for people braving the perilous Atlantic crossing in the hope of finding a better life in Europe.

Carrying “Defend our neighbourhoods” and “Stop illegal immigration” placards, the demonstrators took to the streets of towns including Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, with local media putting their numbers at several hundreds.

“This situation in the Canaries is unbearable,” Juan Manuel Garcia, who took part in the demonstration in Tenerife, told AFPTV. “The Canaries don’t have the means to support those who arrive,” the 70-year-old added.

Rudy Ruyman, who helped organise the demonstration, said the situation had become “a traffic in human lives”, warning that “the mafia is profiting from all the deaths at sea”.

Several lawyers had asked the public prosecutor’s office to ban the demonstrations on the grounds they could constitute a hate crime. But the authorities did not act on that request, according to local media.

Spain is one of the three main entry points for migrants coming to Europe, along with Italy and Greece.

Until 30 June, 19,257 migrants arrived by sea in the Canary Islands aboard 297 boats, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior – up from 7,213 aboard 150 boats in the same period last year.

In 2023, nearly 40,000 migrants arrived in the archipelago, compared with 15,600 in 2022, surpassing the record set in 2006.

Although the Atlantic route is especially dangerous, it is becoming increasingly popular because it is less closely monitored than the Mediterranean.

On Saturday, a new vessel with 56 people on board arrived on the small island of El Hierro, in the south-west of the Canaries. One of the 56 was found dead, the emergency services said.

More than 5,000 people died trying to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of the year, equivalent to 33 deaths a day, Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras reported in June. The vast majority of those deaths happened en route to the Canary Islands.

Also on Saturday, thousands of protesters marched in Barcelona to denounce mass tourism and its effect on Spain’s most visited city, the latest in a series of similar marches in the country.

Under the slogan “Enough! Let’s put limits on tourism”, 2,800 people, according to police, marched along a waterfront district in Barcelona to demand a new economic model that would reduce the millions of tourists that visit every year.

“I have nothing against tourism, but here in Barcelona we are suffering from an excess of tourism that has made our city unliveable,” said Jordi Guiu, a 70-year-old sociologist.

With banners saying “Reduce tourism now!”, the protesters chanted slogans such as “Tourists out of our neighbourhood”, stopping in front of hotels to the surprise of visitors.

Barcelona’s rising cost of housing, up 68% in the past decade according to local authorities, is one of the main issues for the movement, along with the effects of tourism on local commerce and working conditions in the city of 1.6 million inhabitants.

“Local shops are closing to make way for stores that do not serve the needs of neighbourhoods. People cannot afford their rents,” said Isa Miralles, a 35-year-old musician who lives in the Barceloneta district.

The north-eastern coastal city, with internationally famous sites such as La Sagrada Familia, received more than 12 million tourists last year, according to local authorities.

To combat the “negative effects of mass tourism”, the city council run by the socialist Jaume Collboni announced 10 days ago that it was banning tourist apartment rentals – there are now more than 10,000 – by 2028 so that they can be put back on the local housing market.

The announcement could lead to a legal battle and is opposed by an association of tourist apartments who say it will just feed the hidden market.

The Barcelona protests come after similar demonstrations in tourist hotspots such as Málaga, Palma de Mallorca and the Canary Islands.

The second most visited country after France, Spain received 85 million foreign visitors in 2023, an increase of 18.7% from the previous year, according to the National Statistics Institute.

The most visited region was Catalonia, including its capital Barcelona, with 18 million, followed by the Balearic Islands (14.4 million) and the Canary Islands (13.9 million).

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