Heat records fall around the globe
The past three days were quite likely the hottest in Earth’s modern history, scientists said, as an astonishing surge of heat across the globe continued to shatter temperature records from North America to Antarctica.
The surge of heat came just after the planet experienced its warmest June ever recorded, researchers said, with deadly heat waves scorching Texas, Mexico and India. Off the coasts of Antarctica, sea ice levels this year have plummeted to record lows.
On Tuesday, global average temperatures climbed to 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 17 Celsius, making it the hottest day Earth had experienced since at least 1940, when records began. The sharp jump in temperatures has been unsettling even to scientists who have been tracking climate change.
What’s next: More heat is most likely on the way. The spike comes as forecasters warn that Earth could be entering a multiyear period of exceptional warmth driven by two main factors: continued emissions of heat-trapping gases, mainly caused by humans burning oil, gas and coal; and the return of El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern.
Belarus’s president says Prigozhin is in Russia
The president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, said that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Wagner group, was in Russia, adding to the questions swirling around Prigozhin’s fate nearly two weeks after he called off an armed rebellion against Moscow’s military leadership.
In a rare interview with reporters, Lukashenko said Prigozhin was in his native city of St. Petersburg as of yesterday morning, in contrast with statements he made days after the mutiny, when he said Prigozhin had arrived in Belarus. Lukashenko’s statement could not be verified.
The comments added to the confusion surrounding the aftermath of the most dramatic challenge to President Vladimir Putin’s authority in his 23 years in power. The Kremlin refused to comment on Lukashenko’s claims, telling reporters yesterday that it was unaware of Prigozhin’s whereabouts.
Background: Lukashenko intervened last month in the mutiny led by Prigozhin, striking a deal that saw him stand down in exchange for amnesty for his fighters, and safe passage to Belarus for himself. Prigozhin’s apparent presence in Russia raises questions about the future of the deal.
Analysis: As the purveyor of information about the whereabouts of Prigozhin, Lukashenko may be trying to reclaim some of the leverage he once had with Putin.
News from the war:
German companies are worrying about China
Germany’s economy is underpinned by small and medium businesses, and these companies are increasingly caught in the diplomatic tussle between the U.S. and China. They are wooed by China but urged by Washington to move further away from Beijing, and how they navigate these new global forces will be critical to the country’s future prosperity.
Some business groups have raised alarms over Germany’s vast exposure to China, while officials worry that an event like a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be an inescapable disaster for Germany’s economy. The government is now pushing “de-risking” by finding alternatives to trade with China.
Background: Even as the tech revolution and climate change added strain in recent decades, Germany’s economic model plodded profitably along. But the pillars it relied on to do that — cheap Russian natural gas and the Chinese market — are collapsing.
Related: Janet Yellen, who arrived in Beijing yesterday for a four-day visit, faces a high-stakes diplomatic test as she attempts to ease years of festering distrust between the U.S. and China.
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Around the World
For years, poachers hunted in relative peace at the North Luangwa National Park in the African nation of Zambia. Then Delia Owens, the author of “Where The Crawdads Sing,” and her husband, Mark Owens, intervened, trying everything they could think of to stop the killing.
But their crusade and its long-term effects on local villagers have raised a question: Were they the good guys?
Lives lived: Coco Lee, a Chinese American singer and songwriter best known for performing an Oscar-nominated song in the hit film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” died at 48.
Fleshing out Asian American characters
For decades after the 1993 drama “The Joy Luck Club” proved a landmark hit, the handful of movies with Asian American casts mostly offered family-centric stories filled with generational hardship, sacrifice and culture clash.
But now, in part thanks to the 2018 blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians,” a wave of films and television shows like “Joy Ride,” “Beef” and “Shortcomings” is finally exploring all dimensions of the Asian American experience — even the weird, bad and raunchy parts.
Taken together, these productions represent an important moment in the relatively short history of Asian American lives onscreen. For the Asian American actors in these shows, playing a hot mess can be liberating.