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High temperatures have caused a massive wildfire in Catalonia, in the north east of Spain, burning at least 1,614 hectares of forest as southern Europe is hit by a record heatwave.

High temperatures have caused a massive wildfire in Catalonia, in the north east of Spain, burning at least 1,614 hectares of forest as southern Europe is hit by a record heatwave.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet

👋 Servus!*

Welcome to Monday, where Volodymyr Zelensky pushes out two top Ukrainian security officials, Europe battles heatwaves and wildfires and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez tie the knot in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, we look at how a delivery startup has switched its sights from Asia to Latin America.

[*Bavarian, Germany and Austria]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Ukrainian officials suspended: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has suspended two top security officials, Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov, over allegations of more than 600 cases of treason under their respective watches.

• European countries battle wildfires and heat records: The peak of the ongoing heatwave in France is expected today with temperatures up to 42 °C on the western Atlantic coast. The country is also battling wildfires which have burned at least 34,595 acres of land in the south west. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the region as well as from other Mediterranean countries affected by the heatwave, including Spain, Croatia and Greece.

• China enforces new COVID-19 testing: Several Chinese cities including Shanghai are enforcing new mass COVID-19 testings and extending lockdowns on millions of people. These drastic measures are part of China’s zero COVID policy as the country is facing a resurgence of new cases.

• Ghana confirms two cases of Marburg virus: Ghana’s health officials have confirmed the country’s first two cases of the deadly and highly infectious Marburg virus, which is similar to Ebola. At least 98 people have been put into quarantine and the World Health Organization has praised Ghana’s quick response.

• Sri Lanka calls state of emergency: Sri Lanka’s acting president Ranil Wickremesinghe has declared a new state of emergency ahead of a vote by the parliament to elect the new president. An ally of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was forced to resign, Wickremesinghe also faces protesters’ distrust.

• Gunman kills three in Indiana mall: A gunman killed three people and injured two more in the food court of a shopping mall outside Indianapolis this Sunday, before being shot dead by a 22-year-old armed bystander.

• Bennifer’s Vegas wedding: Hollywood stars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez tied the knot during an intimate ceremony in a Las Vegas chapel on Saturday. The couple had been previously engaged in 2002 but parted ways two years later, before getting back together in 2021.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

The front page of today’s Spanish daily El País details the EU’s proposal to relax the control of polluting emissions. The proposal comes in the face of the threat of a cut-off from Russia’s gas supply. The European Commission's plan involves promoting the substitution of gas for other fuels in industrial production and electricity generation, even if they may be more polluting. The story runs opposite a photo of one of the waves of fires spreading across Spain with a caption announcing the death of a brigade member.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

73 minutes

An 80-page investigative report released on Sunday on the Uvalde shooting reveals that 376 law enforcement members were present in the Robb elementary school. The Committee says it found “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making” as victims had to wait 73 minutes between the arrival of the first police officer and the death of the shooter. “Some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue,” the Committee concluded. Twenty-one people, including 19 children, died during this shooting on May 24.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Didi, the Chinese food delivery app finding its tasty niche in Latin America

Didi Food, a delivery startup that struggled in East Asia, has found a growing market in Latin American cities, where appetite for home deliveries has yet to be fully satisfied, reports Gwendolyn Ledger in business magazine America Economia.

🇨🇴 Barranquilla and Soledad are the latest Colombian cities to join the Chinese delivery firm Didi Food's expanding market in Latin America. The firm began exploring partners here months ago, but announced its "arrival" online in late June once it had a critical mass of eateries and partners registered with it. The application is available in other Colombian cities, as well as in Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and the Dominican Republic.

📱 Mexico was Didi Food's first port of call in this part of the world in 2019, when it began expanding outside China. The firm told América Economía that in just over two years of activity there, Didi Food has become the platform with the "most options, with more than 50,000 registered restaurants and 80,000 delivery partners using the app to receive orders." The firm has become the most downloaded food and drinks application in iOS and Android phones, says María Pía Lindley, head of Didi Food for Mexico, Colombia, Central America and the Caribbean.

🛵 The difference between Didi Food and other food delivery applications may be its entry into the sector through transportation. The firm cites the absence of a service fee for users as one of its advantages, alongside a lower-than-average fee charged to restaurants. It says it helps its drivers by easing and optimizing their access to and use of its application. So is the home delivery market in Latin America saturated, or is there room for more firms?

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

The U.S. is once more trying to create tensions and crises across the region.

— Nasser Kanani, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, released a statement on Sunday, just a day after U.S. President Joe Biden finished his first tour in the Middle East as president, visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel. Iran accused the U.S. of inciting tensions in the region with “Iranophobia.” Kanani’s statement also said that the U.S. was “the first country to deploy a nuclear bomb, that it constantly interferes with other countries’ affairs, has launched armed conflicts, and has sold massive amounts of arms across the region.”

✍️ Newsletter by Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet, McKenna Johnson and Anne-Sophie Goninet


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Ogwang Ongoda prays for his mother, Albina Okoi, by her grave in Oyamdistrict. A mob accusing her of practicing witchcraft attacked and killed Okoi.

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OYAM, UGANDA — On the morning of March 4, at the invitation of her grandchildren, Albina Okoi attended services at a makeshift church different from the one she usually attends. When the prayers continued for longer than she expected, Okoi, 71, excused herself and went home to have tea.

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