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Severodonetsk Cut Off, Extreme EU Heat, BoJo Croissant

Severodonetsk Cut Off, Extreme EU Heat, BoJo Croissant

Firefighters battle a fire at a water supply facility after a shelling attack by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine.

McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri, Lisa Berdet and Lila Paulou

👋 Aloha*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the Russian army destroys the three bridges connecting Severodonetsk, Spain and France are hit by record temperatures and the WHO says clean air could extend life expectancy by years. Meanwhile, Ukrainian daily Livy Bereg takes us on a tour of the pro-Ukrainian street art that has been flourishing on walls around the world.



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• Severodonetsk cut off after Russia destroys bridges: The city of Severodonetsk has become impassable for vehicles after the three bridges connecting it to its twin city Lysychansk were destroyed by the Russian army. Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk region military administration, says Russian forces now control 70% to 80% of the city.

• EU threatens legal action after UK plans to alter Northern Ireland Protocol: The European Union has threatened to take legal action after the UK unveiled a legislation to unilaterally alter the North Ireland Protocol, which was part of the Brexit deal. EU and Irish officials said the new plan would be damaging to all parties involved. A majority of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly have also rejected the new legislation.

• Israeli prime minister says government has “week or two” to avoid collapse: Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned his government coalition that they had a week or two to solve their internal problems after losing a majority in the national parliament, the Knesset. The divergences between the eight parties composing the coalition might lead to Israel’s fifth elections in three years.

• Sri Lankan civil servants asked to take holiday to grow food: The Sri Lankan government has told civil servants to take an extra day off each week to engage in agricultural activities in their backyards amid food shortages caused by the ongoing economic crisis. The move also aims to save on fuel consumption by limiting workers’ commutes.

• Cuba anti-government protesters sentenced to jail: Cuban courts have convicted 381 people for taking part in anti-government protests which gathered thousands in Cuba last summer amid a severe economic crisis. Of those, 297 were issued jail time, including some of up to 25 years.

• Abnormally high temperatures in Spain and southern France: For the second time this year, Spain and the south of France are being hit by an extreme heat event. Experts have deemed the temperatures as abnormal this early in June, with a peak expected between Thursday and Saturday.

A cup of tea to go with your BoJo croissant?: A café in Kyiv has released a pastry in tribute to Boris Johnson’s support to Ukraine. The British Prime Minister’s disheveled blond hair has inspired a croissant topped with wavy meringue and vanilla ice cream, which is now a best-selling delicacy.


Dutch daily de Volkskrant focuses on how the Netherlands is planning to be less dependent on Russian natural gas and wants to import liquid gas to its ports amid the energy crisis.


First Peoples Mountain

The U.S. government is changing the name of Mount Doane in Yellowstone national park to First Peoples Mountain after a 15-0 vote by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Its original namesake Gustavus Doane was responsible for the Marias massacre in 1870, killing at least 173 members of the Piegan Blackfeet tribe.


2.2 years

Average global life expectancy would rise 2.2 years if global air pollution was permanently reduced to meet the WHO’s guidelines, researchers reported Tuesday in an Air Quality Life Index report. The microscopic air pollution in question, called PM2.5, is caused mostly by burning fossil fuels, and penetrates the lungs and enters the bloodstream.


Icons Of Ukraine: Street Art Marks World's Support For A People And A Cause

In the last 100 days, street art murals supporting Ukrainian resistance have appeared everywhere from Kyiv to Syria. Here's a look at the most moving and powerful murals, writes Andriy Darkovich for Ukrainian daily Livy Bereg.

🎨 "Art is our weapon. Culture is a form of resistance.” These words belong to Shirin Neshat, an Iranian political refugee, photo artist and film director living and working in exile in the United States. Art forms the context and culture that decides how society will perceive certain historical events, and, as a result, which society will be the winner of the war.

🧱 The CHESNO movement (from the Ukrainian word "honestly") decided to make a selection of street art about the war as part of the exhibition "Information Front: Boards, Murals, Graffiti." They want to preserve these cultural and artistic voices.

🇺🇦 Street art in Ukraine often takes place against the backdrop of air raids in shelling. But in the safer streets of cities around the world, murals have also appeared in the last 100 days. In addition to the heroic fate of Ukrainians, artists pay great attention to the symbols of spirit and struggle.

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✍️ Newsletter by McKenna Johnson, Joel Silvestri, Lisa Berdet and Lila Paulou

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China's Military Intentions Are Clear — And Arming Taiwan Is The Only Deterrence

China is spending more money on weapons and defense than ever. The reason is evident: Xi Jinping wants to take Taiwan. Europe should follow the U.S. and support Taipei militarily as the only way to deter Beijing from war.

Photo of Military drills in Taiwan amid rising China-U.S. Tensions

Taiwanese soldiers stand guard at a base during a military drill simulating defense operations against a possible Chinese PLA intrusion

Gregor Schwung


BERLIN — Fear is never the best advisor.

It is, however, an understandable emotion when China announces the biggest increase in its defense budget in memory. And when Beijing does so after siding with Russia in the Ukraine war with its supposed "peace plan" and justifying the increase with an alleged "escalating oppression" of China in the world.

The budget plan unveiled by outgoing Premier Li Keqiang calls for a 7.2% increase in defense spending. That's more than in previous years — and just the official figure.

Experts estimate the true spending is much higher, as Beijing finances its military through numerous shadow budgets.

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