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The Week from 2022 July 25 – July 31

Things you need to know what happened

July 25

The shark

House Jan. 6 committee to interview more Trump Cabinet members
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack said Sunday it would interview more members of former President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, as well as other prominent supporters. The committee also is prepared to subpoena conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, who is married to conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, as the panel continues to look into Trump’s role in inspiring the violence. “We anticipate talking to additional members of the president’s Cabinet,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee’s vice chair. “We anticipate talking to additional members of his campaign. Certainly, we’re very focused as well on the Secret Service.” The committee held eight public hearings in June and July, and plans to reconvene in September. [The Associated Press]
Heat wave brings record daily highs to parts of Northeast
Temperatures reached daily record highs of 99 degrees Fahrenheit in Boston, 99 degrees in Philadelphia, and 96 degrees in Providence, Rhode Island, on Sunday as a heat wave intensified in the Northeast. In New York City, where the temperature neared a record daily high, the medical examiner’s office confirmed one heat-related death over the weekend. NBC Philadelphia reported that a 73-year-old man died of heat-related complications in Pennsylvania. Tens of millions of people live in areas under excessive heat warnings and advisories. A cold front heading into the Northeast on Monday and Tuesday could ease what forecasters called “dangerously hot conditions.” [USA Today, NBC News]
California wildfire spreads fast near Yosemite
California’s Oak fire, the state’s largest fire of the year so far, continued to burn out of control on Sunday in the Sierra Nevada foothills west of Yosemite National Park. The fast-moving blaze has forced thousands of people to flee their homes. It had burned 10 structures as of late Sunday and was threatening several mountain communities. More than 6,000 people were ordered to evacuate over the weekend but many stayed behind, even though the fire had burned more than 14,000 acres in its first two days, fueled by high temperatures and low moisture levels. “We urge people to evacuate when told,” said Adrienne Freeman with the U.S. Forest Service. “This fire is moving very fast.” [Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press]
Volcano erupts in southern Japan
The Sakurajima volcano erupted Sunday night in southern Japan, prompting evacuations and triggering the country’s highest volcano warning level. The eruption blasted rocks and boulders up to a mile and a half away, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No injuries were immediately reported. People within two miles of the volcano’s main craters were ordered to leave. The volcano sits in Kagoshima Bay, and fleeing residents escaped by ferry across a narrow strait to the main part of Kagoshima, a city of 590,000. Sakurajima has become active again in recent years after erupting many times in recent centuries. A 1914 eruption, one of Japan’s largest in the 20th century, killed dozens of people. [The Wall Street Journal, CNN]
Ukraine pushes to resume grain exports despite Russian attacks
Ukraine on Sunday continued trying to restart grain exports from its Black Sea ports under a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, but a government economic advisor warned that continued Russian missile strikes on the port city of Odesa could put the goal of restoring grain shipments to pre-war levels beyond reach. Ukraine’s military said Russian warships fired four missiles at Odesa on Saturday. Air defense forces shot down two, but two hit near a pumping station at the port. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said the attack, a day after the deal was signed, demonstrated Russia’s “barbarism.” Russia said Sunday it used high-precision missiles to strike a Ukrainian warship and a weapons storage area in Odesa. [Reuters]
China to use real estate fund to boost debt-plagued property sector
China plans to launch a real estate fund to prop up a property sector struggling through a debt crisis, Reuters reported Monday, citing a state bank official. The fund will start out with $11.9 billion from the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, according to Reuters. If the model does what it’s supposed to, other banks will contribute toward the goal of increasing the size of the fund to $44 billion. China’s property sector has long been a key driver of the world’s second-largest economy, but it has hurt growth over the past year. “If just 80 billion, it’s not enough to solve the problem,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie. [Reuters]
Myanmar junta executes 4 democracy activists
Myanmar’s military junta has executed four democracy activists it accused of “terror acts,” state media reported Monday. A junta spokesman later confirmed the news, which sparked condemnation from human rights activists. Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41, and Kyaw Min Yu (also known as Ko Jimmy), 53, were convicted on terrorism charges in closed-door trials last fall. The other two executed men, Hla Myo Aung and Aung Thura Zaw, were convicted of killing an alleged military informant. The executions were the first in the country in more than three decades. The activist Assistance Association of Political Prisoners says security forces have killed more than 2,100 people since last year’s coup, a figure the junta disputes. [The Washington Post, Reuters]


July 26

Georgia judge blocks prosecutor from investigating state senator
A judge in Georgia ruled Monday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can’t look into Republican Georgia state Sen. Burt Jones’ role as one of the 11 “fake electors” who falsely claimed that then-President Donald Trump was the rightful winner of the state’s electoral votes in the 2020 presidential election. A Fulton County grand jury is investigating efforts by Trump and his supporters to overturn President Biden’s victory in Georgia. Jones, who is running for lieutenant governor, asked the court to disqualify Willis from the case because she supported his Democratic opponent, Charlie Bailey, at a fundraiser earlier this year. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney disqualified Willis from investigating Jones only, not the other fake electors. [Reuters]
Pence’s former chief of staff testified to Jan. 6 grand jury 
Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s onetime chief of staff, testified last week before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, The New York Times reported Monday. Greg Jacob, who was Pence’s counsel, also appeared before the committee. Short and Jacob are the highest-ranking Trump administration officials known to have cooperated after being subpoenaed by federal prosecutors. Short and Jacob also testified to the House Jan. 6 committee about how Trump and his allies tried to pressure Pence into blocking the certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory. “If the mob had gotten closer to the vice president, I do think there would have been a massacre in the Capitol that day,” Short told ABC News. [The New York Times, ABC News]


Report: Trump deleted call to prosecute rioters from Jan. 7 remarks 
Then-President Donald Trump deleted lines from his prepared remarks the day after the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that called for prosecuting rioters, according to evidence released Monday by Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a member of the House select committee investigating the riot. In a video Luria posted, Jan. 6 panel investigators showed Ivanka Trump, who served as a senior adviser to her father during his presidency, a draft of his Jan. 7 statement, titled “Remarks on National Healing,” in which handwritten edits Ivanka Trump identified as her father’s deleted mention of prosecuting rioters. Trump also apparently crossed out a line telling violent members of the mob, “you do not represent me.” [The Washington Post]

The running amuck starts here

Gazprom further cuts gas flow to Europe 
Russian energy company Gazprom said Monday it was shutting down another Nord Stream 1 pipeline turbine, further reducing the flow of natural gas to Germany. The gas flow through the pipeline, a key energy source for Europe, will be cut to 20 percent of its normal capacity. The European Union has accused the Kremlin of using gas supplies to blackmail Western nations for imposing sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has said the sanctions have made it harder to get parts and maintenance services necessary to keep the pipeline working properly. The latest cuts raise pressure on European nations to come up with alternative energy sources before winter. [NBC News]
Pope apologizes to Canada’s Indigenous people for church role in residential schools
Pope Francis on Monday apologized to Indigenous people in Canada for the church’s role in running residential schools where students were subjected to abuse, sometimes fatal, and forced assimilation for more than a century. “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples,” Francis said to a crowd of Indigenous people in Maskwacis, Alberta, the site of a former residential school. Christian churches operated most of the schools for the government; Catholic orders ran 60 to 70 percent of the 130 facilities. Residential school survivor Cam Bird, 42, said the apology was “genuine,” and showed the pope “believes us.” [NPR, The New York Times]
Lavrov says Russia aims to free eastern Ukraine from ‘unacceptable regime’
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that his country’s military goal in Ukraine was to “help the people of eastern Ukraine to liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime.” Moscow’s top diplomat, speaking at an Arab League summit in Egypt on Sunday, appeared to mark a shift from the Kremlin’s claims early in its invasion that it was not out to topple the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to The Associated Press. Lavrov said last week that Russia plans to take control of more than just the regions of eastern Ukraine where it is concentrating its current offensive. “We will certainly help the Ukrainian people to get rid of the regime, which is absolutely anti-people and anti-historical,” he said. [The Associated Press]
Gazprom further cuts gas flow to Europe 
Russian energy company Gazprom said Monday it was shutting down another Nord Stream 1 pipeline turbine, further reducing the flow of natural gas to Germany. The gas flow through the pipeline, a key energy source for Europe, will be cut to 20 percent of normal capacity. The European Union has accused the Kremlin of using gas supplies to blackmail Western nations for imposing sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has said the sanctions have made it harder to get parts and maintenance services necessary to keep the pipeline working properly. The latest cuts raise pressure on European nations to come up with alternative energy sources before winter. [NBC News]
Heat wave eases in Northeast but Pacific Northwest braces for record temperatures
A heat wave that scorched parts of the Northeast with daily record high temperatures is easing, but extreme heat is intensifying in the Pacific Northwest. More than 60 million Americans remained under heat alerts on Monday in the Northeast, the central United States, and the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures are expected to rise Tuesday. “Daytime highs will surpass the 90s each day and even eclipse the century mark in the Columbia River Gorge and Columbia River Basin,” the Weather Prediction Center said. “Daily record highs will likely be broken from northern California to the Portland and Seattle metro areas.” Extreme heat is expected to continue through the week in the region. [CNN]


July 27

Garland vows prosecution of anyone ‘criminally responsible’ for Jan. 6
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday that the Justice Department would prosecute anyone “criminally responsible for interfering with the peaceful transfer of power,” and he declined to rule out charging former President Donald Trump. “We pursue justice without fear or favor,” Garland said in a taped interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. Garland said House Jan. 6 committee hearings have revealed the truth about the Jan. 6 Capitol attack by Trump supporters trying to block the certification of his election loss and “what a risk it meant for our democracy.” He said the Justice Department also is investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election and use the Justice Department to push baseless claims of voter fraud. [NBC News, CNN]
Ex-defense secretary says Trump didn’t order troops to protect Capitol on Jan. 6 
Former President Donald Trump never ordered 10,000 troops deployed to protect the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller testified in a video the Jan. 6 committee released Tuesday. “I was never given any direction or order or knew of any plans of that nature,” Miller said in the recorded deposition to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump’s supporters. Miller’s comment contradicted claims by Trump that he requested up to 20,000 National Guard troops because he had a feeling “the crowd was going to be very large” as lawmakers met to certify the results of the 2020 election. [Axios, CBS News]
Russia says it’s withdrawing from the International Space Station
Russia announced Tuesday it would withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024 and focus on building its own orbiting facility. “We will fulfill all our obligations to our partners, but the decision … has been made,” Yuri Borisov, the newly appointed leader of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency, said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian officials have been considering pulling out of the project since at least 2021 due to its aging equipment and increasing safety concerns. Borisov’s predecessor, Dmitry Rogozin, has said Russia would only consider extending its involvement in the space station beyond 2024 if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia’s space agency that the U.S. imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. [The Washington Post]
Stock futures rise ahead of Fed decision
Stock futures rose early Wednesday ahead of an expected aggressive interest-rate hike by the Federal Reserve to fight the highest inflation in four decades. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were up 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. Nasdaq futures were up 1.4 percent. The three main U.S. indexes fell Tuesday after Walmart slashed its earnings forecast, stoking fears that consumers are cutting discretionary spending as food and gas prices rise, and dragging down other retail stocks. Other companies reported mixed earnings, with General Motors shares dropping after the automaker reported earnings that fell short of expectations, but shares of Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, 3M, and General Electric jumping after they reported strong quarters. [CNBC]
EU calls for member nations to cut natural-gas consumption
European Union energy ministers on Tuesday reached an agreement to call for members of the trading bloc to voluntarily reduce their natural-gas consumption 15 percent by spring. The deal came a day after Russia’s state-owned gas monopoly, Gazprom, said it would shut down another turbine for repairs and further cut deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, dropping flows to 20 percent of capacity. The Kremlin has blamed sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine for the cutbacks, while Western leaders have accused Moscow of blackmail. “Today, the EU has taken a decisive step to face down the threat of a full gas disruption by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. [The New York Times]
Record rainfall leads to flash flooding in St. Louis
Record rainfall caused flash flooding around St. Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday. Firefighters rescued about 70 people who had been trapped in vehicles, streets, and homes. Local fire officials reported at least one death — a 60-year-old man killed in a vehicle submerged under several feet of water. In a video posted on Twitter, St. Louis fire Capt. Garon Mosby urged people to avoid going out in standing water so they wouldn’t get stranded and need rescue. “We’re being overrun here,” Mosby said. The National Weather Service office said the St. Louis metro area got 8.81 inches of rain from midnight Monday to 9 a.m. Tuesday, shattering a record of 6.85 inches set on Aug. 20, 1915. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Indiana lawmakers advance proposed abortion ban
The Indiana Senate’s Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee voted 7-5 on Tuesday to advance a bill seeking to ban most abortions in the state, with limited exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Hundreds of anti-abortion protesters gathered at the Indiana Statehouse, saying the “loopholes” made the bill too “weak.” The full Senate could amend the bill before voting on it Thursday as part of a special legislative session. Indiana’s abortion laws made national news this month after a 10-year-old Ohio girl traveled to Indiana to obtain an abortion for a pregnancy that resulted from rape. Ohio bans abortion after about six weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest; Indiana currently allows the procedure through 22 weeks. [The Associated Press, IndyStar]

July 28


Fed announces another big interest-rate hike to fight inflation
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would raise interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point for the second straight month as it continues to aggressively fight the highest inflation in four decades. The 12-member Federal Open Market Committee unanimously approved the unusually large increase, and signaled in a statement issued after its two-day meeting that it expected to make “ongoing increases.” The central bank’s statement noted that “spending and production have softened” since June’s three-quarter-point rate hike, but that strong job gains have continued and prices have continued to rise, “reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher food and energy prices, and broader price pressures.” [The New York Times]

Economic issues

Manchin, in reversal, agrees to health and climate spending plan
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday they had reached a deal on a health-care and climate spending package. The agreement signaled a possible breakthrough after more than a year of negotiations that collapsed several times. Democrats could try to advance the legislation next week. The deal, a pillar of President Biden’s economic agenda, calls for about $433 billion in new spending, mostly to fight climate change. Manchin, a moderate from a coal-producing state, and Schumer agreed to tax-law changes, including a new corporate minimum tax and Internal Revenue Service investments to catch tax cheats, to raise $739 billion over a decade. That would offset the bill’s cost and reduce the deficit, a Manchin priority. [The Washington Post]
Judge sentences two more ex-officers for violating George Floyd’s civil rights
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former Minneapolis police officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao to three years and three and a half years in prison, respectively, for violating George Floyd’s civil rights during his 2020 killing. Keung and another ex-officer, Thomas Lane, held down Floyd, an unarmed Black man detained on suspicion of using counterfeit money to buy cigarettes, while former officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Thao held back bystanders who were calling for the officers to give Floyd medical attention. Earlier this month, Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Chauvin to about 20 years and Lane to two and a half years. [Star Tribune, The Associated Press]

July 29

The evidence against Trump

Mulvaney testifies to Jan. 6 committee
Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney testified Thursday to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters. Mulvaney was acting White House chief of staff until March 2020, when Trump replaced him with Mark Meadows. Mulvaney was serving as special envoy to Northern Ireland when the insurrection occurred. He resigned afterwards, and told reporters after his interview that he hadn’t “talked to anyone in the White House for a long time.” The panel’s vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), told CNN last weekend that the committee hoped to interview more high-ranking former Trump aides and Cabinet members. [CNN]
Economy contracted for second straight quarter
The U.S. economy contracted by 0.9 percent in the second quarter, after shrinking at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday. Two consecutive quarters of contraction technically meet the unofficial definition of a recession, but it’s up to the nonprofit, non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research to determine whether the economy has fallen into a recession. The eight economists on the NBER committee that makes the call consider many factors, and the White House said the economy remained too strong to fit the label after posting record job growth and foreign business investment. “That doesn’t sound like a recession to me,” President Biden said. [Reuters]
Flooding kills at least 8 in Kentucky
At least eight people have died in flooding caused by heavy rains in eastern Kentucky, state authorities said Thursday. Parts of the state got eight to 12 inches of rain early in the day. “This is by far the worst flooding disaster at least in my lifetime in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear told NBC Nightly News. “It has wiped out what we believe are hundreds of homes.” Beshear said the death toll was expected to rise into double digits. Up to three more inches of rain could fall Thursday night through the weekend, and flood alerts remained in place in areas that are home to four million people in Kentucky, southern Ohio, West Virginia, and soutwestern Virginia. [The Weather Channel, NBC News]
San Francisco declares state of emergency over monkeypox
San Francisco officials declared a state of emergency on Thursday to accelerate funding and emergency efforts to fight a monkeypox outbreak in the city. There were 281 known monkeypox cases in San Francisco as of Thursday afternoon, accounting for 30 percent of the cases reported in California. It is spreading primarily among gay and bisexual men and transgender and nonbinary people, the Los Angeles Times reported. For weeks, LGBTQ activists have been calling for acquiring more monkeypox vaccines and other actions, saying people at high risk have been overlooked. Earlier this week, U.S. health officials said that roughly 800,000 doses will soon be distributed nationwide. [Los Angeles Times]
Biden talks to Xi to ease tensions with China over Taiwan
President Biden and President Xi Jinping of China discussed Taiwan in a two-hour video call Thursday as tensions rise ahead of a possible visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that has angered China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory. It was the first time Biden and Xi had spoken directly in four months. Xi warned that the United States was “playing with fire” and should stay out of its relations with Taiwan. “President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes anyone who will change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. [The New York Times, Reuters]
Russia hits Kyiv region with 1st missile strikes in weeks
Russian forces fired six missiles at the Kyiv region on Thursday, targeting the Ukrainian capital for the first time in weeks. The attack hit a military unit in the village of Liutizh on the outskirts of Kyiv, said Oleksii Hromov, a senior official in Ukraine’s General Staff. Russia also targeted the northern Chernihiv region in what Ukraine said was retaliation for popular resistance against Russia’s invasion. The Russian strikes, fired from the Black Sea, wounded 15 people, Kyiv regional Gov. Oleksiy Kuleba said. Ukrainian officials said their forces launched a counteroffensive to take back the occupied southern Kherson region, which Russia seized early in its invasion, which started in February. [The Associated Press]

July 30

House passes new assault weapons ban
The House of Representatives on Friday voted 217-213, largely along party lines, to pass a new assault weapons ban. Five Democrats voted against the bill, while two Republicans voted in favor of it. The legislation would make it illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess semiautomatic assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, though some firearms would be grandfathered in. President Biden urged the Senate to “move quickly to get this bill to my desk,” but the ban is unlikely to secure the 60 Senate votes it would need to overcome the filibuster. [ABC News, The Hill]
Flooding in eastern Kentucky kills at least 25
Heavy rains have caused extensive flooding and mudslides in eastern Kentucky, killing at least 25 people. “In a word, this event is devastating,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said. “And I do believe it will end up being one of the most significant, deadly floods that we have had in Kentucky in at least a very long time.” Rescuers have been using boats and helicopters to help people evacuate their homes, with some residents waiting for them on rooftops. As of Saturday morning, more than 17,000 households were without electricity. [The New York Times, The Week]
Ukraine and Russia trade blame after explosion kills dozens of Ukrainian POWs
Russia and Ukraine blamed each other on Friday after an explosion at a prison in a Russian-occupied area of Donetsk Oblast killed dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war. Russia says 40 were killed and 75 wounded, while a spokesman for the Russian-backed separatists put the death toll at 53. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced the attack as a “deliberate war crime,” while Ukraine’s military accused Russia of targeting prison with its own artillery in order to cover up the mistreatment of Ukrainian POWs. The Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement claiming that the “Kyiv regime had deliberately carried out a bloody provocation” by striking the prison with a U.S.-made HIMARS rocket launcher. [Reuters, CNN]
Russia wants to add murderer to prisoner swap for Griner, Whelan
The Russian government has requested that convicted murderer Vadim Krasikov be added to the U.S.-proposed prisoner swap exchanging Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for detained Americans Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. The Russians apparently shared the request with the U.S. earlier this month. Krasikov is currently in German custody, having murdered a Chechen fighter in Berlin in 2019. U.S. officials have spoken with the Germans about including Krasikov in a trade, per a senior German government source. News of the Krasikov proposal broke Friday, the same day that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was “open to a call” with Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss swapping Bout for Griner and Whelan. [The Week, CNN]
Biden is ‘cleaning up’ Trump’s ‘mess,’ not ‘finishing the wall,’ White House spokesperson says
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Friday that the Biden administration has no intention of finishing former President Donald Trump’s border wall. “Why is the Biden administration building a border wall in Arizona?” Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre, referring to reports that the White House has directed the Department of Homeland Security to close several gaps in the barrier. “We’re not finishing the wall,” Jean-Pierre responded. “We are cleaning up the mess the prior administration left behind in their failed attempt to build a wall.” When Doocy brought up Biden’s campaign pledge that he would not build “another foot of wall,” Jean-Pierre reiterated that the administration is “not finishing the wall.” [The New York Post, Fox News]
Hochul declares state of emergency as monkeypox cases surge
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) on Friday declared a state of emergency as the number of monkeypox cases in the state approached 1,400, with over 1,100 cases in New York City alone. “After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to strengthen our aggressive ongoing efforts to confront this outbreak,” Hochul said, noting that her state accounts for a quarter of monkeypox cases nationwide. Hochul also announced that the federal government had agreed to send New York an additional 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine. [The New York Times, Gov. Kathy Hochul]

July 31

Zelensky orders evacuation of Donetsk
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday announced a mandatory evacuation order for war-torn Donetsk Oblast. Ukraine’s forces are holding the line against the invaders in Donetsk, but Russian artillery strikes on towns and villages behind Ukrainian lines continue to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure. “The sooner it is done, the more people leave Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” Zelensky said, promising material and financial support to evacuees. Zelensky’s evacuation order, the largest his government has issued since the beginning of the war, affects hundreds of thousands of people. [The New York Times, Fox News]

Newsom declares state of emergency as wildfires ravage Siskiyou County
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Saturday declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County near the Oregon border as wildfires burned tens of thousands of acres and forced nearly 2,000 residents to evacuate. On Saturday afternoon, the area’s Klamath National Forest posted on Facebook that “[c]umulus clouds are developing in the fire area, which have potential to exacerbate fire behavior.” The county’s largest fire — known as the McKinney fire — has burned between 30,000 and 40,000 acres. [CNN, The San Francisco Chronicle]
Homemade drone explosive injures 6 at Russian fleet HQ in Sevastopol
Six people were injured on Sunday when an explosive device carried by a drone detonated at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, officials said. The fleet said the explosive device was “low-power” and that the drone carrying it appeared to be homemade. No information was immediately available on where the drone may have been launched from, but given that Sevastopol is located deep within Russian-controlled territory, it is possible that the bombing was carried out by Ukrainian partisan forces. [The Associated Press]
Iraqi protesters storm and occupy parliament in Baghdad
Hundreds of Iraqi protesters are occupying the country’s parliament in Baghdad to disrupt the formation of a pro-Iran government. Demonstrators, urged on by influential Shiite cleric and politician Muqtada al-Sadr, stormed the building on Saturday for the second time in a week and began erecting tents for a long sit-in. At least 60 people sought medical attention after Iraqi security forces used tear gas in an attempt to hold back the surging crowd. [Al Jazeera, The New York Post]
Ukrainian grain magnate killed in Russian shelling
Ukrainian grain magnate Oleksiy Vadatursky, whose net worth was estimated at $450 million in 2020, was killed Saturday night when a Russian missile struck his home in the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv. His wife, Raisa, was also killed. Regional Gov. Vitaliy Kim praised Vadatursky’s contributions “to the development of the agricultural and shipbuilding industry” in the region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described his death as “a great loss for all of Ukraine.” Vadatursky, who died at the age of 74, was a co-founder of the agricultural company Nibulon and a recipient of the “Hero of Ukraine” award. [BBC, Reuters]

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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