Welcome to Monday, where U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, a new trial opens today for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and a study (from Spain, obviously) zeroes in on the perfect siesta length. Meanwhile, Mateusz Sowiński, in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, looks at the colorful yet endangered world of dragonflies.
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• Blinken has “good” meeting with Xi: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to conclude his two-day visit to Beijing. The Chinese president said that “The two sides have also made progress and reached agreement on some specific issues. This is very good." Meanwhile, the Italian government has moved to protect its tyre producing giant Pirelli from further Chinese control, as its biggest shareholder is already a Chinese state-owned company.
• Navalny facing decades of prison in new trial: Alexei Navalny, jailed Russian opposition leader and Vladimir Putin critic, is facing multiple charges in a new trial. If he is found guilty for creating an extremist network, he could face an additional 30 years in prison. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces have recaptured Piatykhatky in the Zaporizhzhia region as the UN accuses Moscow of continuing to block humanitarian aid.
• Israel raids refugee camp: A raid by Israeli forces on the Jenin refugee camp In the West Bank killed four Palestinians and wounded at least 45. The Israeli military claimed that they intended to arrest two suspects when they came under fire. Other sources claim that they open fire upon arrival, using live ammunition, a helicopter rocket, stun grenades and toxic gas.
• Death toll in Uganda attack on students rises to 41: Rebels killed 41 civilians in the deadliest attack Uganda has seen in more than a decade. During the night on Friday, Lhubiriha Secondary School’s dormitory was set on fire as armed men attacked the students inside. The attackers are suspected of being a part of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a group allied with ISIS. They kidnapped six students as they fled towards the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• Swiss climate referendum approved: A new climate proposition was backed by 59.1% of voters in a referendum in Switzerland that will cut fossil fuel use and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The measure comes at a time when the Swiss Alps are under threat due to climate change.
• The Mediterranean’s "worst ever tragedy"? The capsizing of an overcrowded migrant boat off Greece’s coast last week that has left hundreds of people missing could turn out to be the Mediterranean sea’s “worst tragedy ever”, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said Sunday night. So far, 78 bodies have been recovered from the wreck, with up to 500 more still missing. Pakistan has declared a day of mourning for its 300 nationals feared to have died trapped in the boat's hold, while Greek authorities are being criticized for their handling of the situation.
• Perfect siesta length: A study by team of Spanish scientists sheds new light on the link between the duration — and location — of naps and health. It found that people who take long siestas (more than 30 minutes) present a higher risk of obesity while short nappers have shown a reduced risk of high blood pressure.
The Dutch daily NRC relates the stories of migrants who died in the shipwreck off the coast of Greece. “Forgive me if something happens” is the last message Israa sent to her husband, Ahmed, who was waiting for her in Germany. At least 78 people died in the disaster and more than 100 have been rescued, but the boat may have carried more than 700 people. According to local authorities, nine alleged smugglers have also been arrested, while thousands of people demonstrated in Greece to protest the EU’s “failure” and migration policies.
Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen has matched legendary Ayrton Senna’s career-long victory count of 41 following his win at the Canadian Grand Prix. The Dutchman’s victory marked the 100th win of his Red Bull Team and extended his lead in the 2023 championship by 69 points. The 25-year-old pilot still has a long way to go to surpass Lewis Hamilton’s record of 103 all-time race wins.
The hidden world of the common dragonfly
June is the best time to spot a dragonfly. Here’s why it’s worth looking for one common species, writes Mateusz Sowiński in Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.
🦋 The beginning of the summer is peak season for several species of dragonfly, whose color can be just as striking as that of a butterfly. Even the common dragonfly species, Gomphus vulgatissimus (known as the Common Clubtail in English), is a flying jewel, marked by an eye-catching black and yellow pattern. As its name suggests, the common dragonfly species is found all over Europe, even as far as the south of France.
💧 The Common Clubtail dragonfly prefers moving bodies of water, which is why they can most frequently be seen around rivers and streams. They are a less commonly seen near lakes and gravel pits. But dragonflies will also willingly move away from the water reservoirs where they are born, and can be seen flying in forests and basking in spots of sun on dry land as well.
⚠️ Although this species of dragonfly is familiar in Poland, it is commonly classified as endangered in Western European countries. In Germany, the pollution of water reservoirs has made them all but impossible to spot, as the species is known for liking clean water. Luckily, Poland’s dragonflies are still thriving. But if we continue polluting our rivers and streams, it could face dangers here as well.
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➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“A choice must be made between dialogue or confrontation, cooperation or conflict.”
— Wang Yi, China’s top foreign affairs adviser, has met with the U.S. Secretary of State during Antony Blinken’s two-day visit to Beijing, alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. “We must reverse the downward spiral of China-U.S. relations, and promote a return to a healthy and stable track,” Wang said during the meeting.
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✍️ Newsletter by Chloé Touchard, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Sophie Jacquier and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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