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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.

[*Hawaiian]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• 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.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

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.

💬  LEXICON

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.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

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.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

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.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

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


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Coronavirus

Chinese Students' "Absurd" Protest Against COVID Lockdowns: Public Crawling

While street demonstrations have spread in China to protest the strict Zero-COVID regulations, some Chinese university students have taken up public acts of crawling to show what extended harsh lockdowns are doing to their mental state.

​Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling on a soccer pitch

Screenshot of a video showing Chinese students crawling

Shuyue Chen

Since last Friday, the world has watched a wave of street protests have taken place across China as frustration against extended lockdowns reached a boiling point. But even before protesters took to the streets, Chinese university students had begun a public demonstration that challenges and shames the state's zero-COVID rules in a different way: public displays of crawling, as a kind of absurdist expression of their repressed anger under three years of strict pandemic control.

Xin’s heart was beating fast as her knees reached the ground. It was her first time joining the strange scene at the university sports field, so she put on her hat and face mask to cover her identity.

Kneeling down, with her forearms supporting her body from the ground, Xin started crawling with three other girls as a group, within a larger demonstration of other small groups. As they crawled on, she felt the sense of fear and embarrassment start to disappear. It was replaced by a liberating sense of joy, which had been absent in her life as a university student in lockdown for so long.

Yes, crawling in public has become a popular activity among Chinese university students recently. There have been posters and videos of "volunteer crawling" across universities in China. At first, it was for the sake of "fun." Xin, like many who participated, thought it was a "cult-like ritual" in the beginning, but she changed her mind. "You don't care about anything when crawling, not thinking about the reason why, what the consequences are. You just enjoy it."

The reality out there for Chinese university students has been grim. For Xin, her university started daily COVID-19 testing in November, and deliveries, including food, are banned. Apart from the school gate, all exits have been padlock sealed.

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