Welcome to Tuesday, where Russia strikes Ukraine's ports of Odessa and Mykolaiv day after pulling out of a grain export deal, a new drug is shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%, and record temperatures hit Europe as typhoon rains strike Asia. Meanwhile, we look at Poland’s rising far-right party Konfederacja and its recent attempts to rewrite Holocaust history.
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• Russian airstrikes on Odessa port, Crimea bridge reopens: Russia launched missile and drone strikes that damaged infrastructure in the Odessa port during the night. Ukrainian authorities also reported an attack on the port of Mykolaiv. The attacks come after a blast on a bridge linking Russia and Crimea on Monday, that Moscow is blaming on Ukraine. The bridge has partially reopened, with a single lane of vehicles able to cross it again, as Russian officials showed on video.
• Extreme heat wave nears as fires rage in Europe: The “Charon” heatwave is set to hit the South of Europe this week, with temperatures expected to peak at 46 °C (115°F) in southern Italy. Spain, Greece and Italy have faced blistering heat for days, and local authorities have advised people to stay indoors, drink plenty of water and, for tourists, reconsider their summer plans.
• Typhoon forces thousands to flee in China:Typhoon Talim made landfall in southern China and Vietnam, prompting flood warnings and the cancellation of hundreds of flights and trains. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes and many coastal tourist destinations have closed in China. The first damages and victims were being assessed this morning, with videos showing trees fallen on vehicles, flooded streets and ongoing rescue operations.
• Embattled French prime minister survives reshuffle: French President Emmanuel Macron has decided to keep Elisabeth Borne as his Prime Minister, rejecting pressure from the opposition. Political opponents had called for a reshuffle of the government after months of protests against the pension reform and riots following the killing of 17-year-old Nahel by a police officer three weeks ago.
• Israel says Western Sahara belongs to Morocco: In a joint statement from the Moroccan government and Israeli Prime Minister’s office, Israel has recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara territory. Morocco has had control over it since 1975, after Spanish colonial rule ended, but the Algerian-backed Polisario Front demands an independent state. Twenty-eight countries, mostly African and Arab, have opened consulates in the region, showing their support to Morocco’s Western Sahara rule, and other Western capitals have expressed their support.
• New Alzheimer's drug shows “breakthrough” results: The donanemab drug has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by 60%, if started in the earliest stage, a new study reports. The breakthrough drug’s effects were also reported to last over the course of the 18-month trial, even for participants who stopped taking it for several months. Eli Lilly, the American company behind the study, expects a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of the year on approval to go to market.
• Military typo leak: Millions of emails intended for Pentagon employees have been misdirected to Mali, a Kremlin ally, in a “typo leak” that exposed highly sensitive information over the last decade. The mistake was caused by the similarity of the U.S. military’s email (.MIL) address and the country identifier (.ML). The issue was identified ten years ago by Johannes Zuurbier, a Dutch internet entrepreneur, who says he has repeatedly tried to raise the issue with various U.S. officials. Zuurbier’s contract to manage the .ML domain expired last week, prompting him to raise the issue in the media.
German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung dedicates its front page to new accusations against the metal band Rammstein, with keyboardist Christian Flake Lorenz charged with sexual assault by two women aged 17 and 22. This comes after singer Till Lindemann was charged with drugging and sexually abusing several women.
Chinese property giant Evergrande is in crisis and has revealed that it lost 581.9 billion yuan ($81.1 billion) in 2021 and 2022. Weakened by the property market crisis in the world's second-largest economy, the company is also facing huge debts valued at $300 billion. Among the reasons for these losses, the company claims that revenues have more than halved over the two-year period. The company's shares have been suspended since last March.
Poland's rising far-right party is trying to rewrite Holocaust history
In a deep-rooted divide that has plagued Poland for years, the role of non-Jewish citizens in the Holocaust remains a much debated issue. But now the increasingly popular far-right party Konfederacja is toeing the line of blatant Holocaust denial.
🇵🇱➗ For years, Poland has been divided on the place of its non-Jewish citizens in the Holocaust: both as victims themselves, and would-be perpetrators. Politicians, mainly from the ruling Catholic-Right party, have put forward the theory that Poles were the main target of the genocide, rather than Jews specifically. Meanwhile, decades of scholars, including those from Poland, have pointed to evidence of Polish complicity in the Nazi's so-called Final Solution aimed at the Jews.
🗯️ Statements referring to Poland's role in the Holocaust tend to spark harsh criticism, state pressure and, in some cases, attempts to silence the researchers entirely. But now, much of the reactionary criticism is coming from a new, more virulent source: the burgeoning far-right Konfederacja party. The latest episode features the party's parliamentary candidate Ryszard Zajączkowski, who is also a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin, who said that Poles were the victims of multiple "genocides."
⚖️ The Polish right-wing has a long history of challenging the consensus of Holocaust historians. In 2016, then-Education Minister Anna Zalewska referred to two Jewish massacres that took place in Poland as “a matter of opinion” — including one where Poles murdered about 300 Polish Jews. In 2018, the ruling government passed a controversial law that outlawed blaming Poland in any way for the crimes that occurred during the Nazi occupation of the country during World War II.
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“Frankly, $6 to $7 billion for a 12-day sporting event. We are not doing that.”
— Australian Premier Daniel Andrews announced to reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday that the Australian state of Victoria would be pulling out of hosting the upcoming 2026 Commonwealth Games due to cost overruns. Revised estimates put the cost of the Games at around 7 billion Australian dollars ($4.77 billion), up from an initial 2.6 billion Australian dollars ($1.7 billion). Victoria was announced as 2026 host last March after organizers had struggled to find an appropriate location due to lack of interest and COVID-19 disruptions. The Commonwealth Games, which take place every four years, sees a total of 72 countries and territories compete. For now, the Games are still set to be held in 2026, with the Commonwealth Games Federation saying it was “taking advice on the options available”.
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✍️ Newsletter by Chloé Touchard, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Marine Béguin and Katarzyna Skiba
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