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Putin In Tehran, Record Heat Across Europe, Dinosaurs In The City

The interior of this house destroyed by Russian shelling in Bucha, Ukraine, sheds light on the hardships suffered by this town as a new documentary reveals that more than 400 bodies were uncovered in the aftermath of its occupation by Russian forces.

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

👋 Demat!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Vladimir Putin heads to Tehran to meet with the Iranian and Turkish leaders for his first trip abroad since the start of the Ukraine war, the UK records all-time-high temperatures and dinosaur footprints are found in a Chinese restaurant courtyard. Meanwhile, a Japanese ice-skating legend retires and a new Australian report quantifies the dire state of the environment.

[*Breton, France]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Putin meeting leaders in Tehran: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin heads to Iran to meet the Iranian and Turkish leaders — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Recep Tayyip Erdogan — for his first trip outside his home region since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. They will discuss diplomatic issues such as the conflict in Syria and Ukrainian grain.

• European heatwave: As Europe is being hit with a record heatwave that causes massive wildfires in France and Spain, record-high temperatures are expected today in the UK with temperatures reaching up to 42 °C. The heatwave is heading to the north of Europe, to Belgium and the Netherlands.

• Ecuador prison riot kills 13: Ecuador's prison authorities report that at least 13 inmates died after a riot erupted in a prison in the city of Santo Domingo in the north of the country. In May, the same prison had already been the scene of a deadly fight between rival gangs which saw the death of 43 people.

• WHO official urges measures amid COVID outbreak: Top World Health Organization official Hans Kluge called on European nations to implement new measures and accelerate vaccination to fight the COVID-19 outbreak as nearly 3 million cases were reported last week.

• UK’s next PM field narrows: Four contenders (Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordaunt, Liz Truss, and Kemi Badenoch) are still in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, after Conservative Party leadership voting Monday. It will be down to two candidates today.

• South Korea's very own fighter jet takes off: South Korea’s first domestically developed KF-21 fighter jet successfully completed its first flight on Tuesday. The country has reportedly been working on this next-generation prototype in the case of case of nuclear or missile threats from neighboring North Korea.

• Dinosaur footprints discovered in China: Dinosaur footprints have been discovered in the courtyard of a restaurant in the city of Leshan, in southwestern China. Paleontologists have confirmed that these are the footprints of two sauropods and the fossils are 100 million years old. A rare find in a city “covered by buildings,” according to a paleontologist.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Japanese sports daily Sponichi pays homage to Japan’s “Ice Prince” on its front page, after two-time Olympic champion and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu, 27, announced his retirement during a press conference in Tokyo. Hanyu shared his decision to be “no longer confined to the realm of competitions anymore.” He is the first ice skater in history to have executed a quadruple axel on the international stage.

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

$17.9 million

In a major bust, Malaysian authorities have seized $17.9 million-worth of trafficked animal parts, including elephant tusks, rhino horns, pangolin scales and tiger bones. The trafficked goods are thought to have been shipped from Africa. Conservationists identify Malaysia as one of several Southeast Asian countries that are major transit points for illegally trafficked endangered wildlife en route to other Asian countries, such as China.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Tehran's power delusions may be the biggest obstacle to a nuclear deal

Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have laid out tough conditions for a nuclear deal. They apparently live in a parallel world, oblivious to the reality of Iran's weakness after years of international economic isolation, writes Hamed Mohammadi in the Persian-language, London-based Iranian daily Kayhan London.

🇮🇷 ☢️ The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, observed in a television interview in October 2021 that negotiating wasn't simply "sipping coffee" with the other side, apparently taking a jab at the last set of regime diplomats negotiating over Iran's nuclear dossier in Vienna. He also told the United States it should unblock U.S. $10 billion in frozen Iranian assets to show its goodwill in currently stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.

🇺🇸 While both Iranians and Americans blame each other for blocking progress, it seems both sides in fact have further expectations usually not mentioned in public. Each side, more importantly, wants to use a nuclear accord to damage the other side's interests. Some of these expectations have been made public, like Iran demanding assurances for the future, or the West wanting Iran to simply stop uranium enrichment. But there must be more. The West wants Tehran to stop developing ballistic missiles and its meddling in the Middle East.

💥 The West knows the Iranian regime is quietly advancing toward obtaining weapons-grade uranium. But, perhaps for diplomacy's sake, both sides like to give the impression of normality. Yet, Iran has been purging and reshuffling officials after the seemingly targeted killings of senior soldiers and scientists in Iran. One reformist journalist, Abbas Abdi, has said the regime seems to be at war again, as it was in the 1980s against Iraq.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

📣 VERBATIM

It tells a story of crisis and decline in Australia’s environment, and of a decade of government inaction and wilful ignorance.

— Australian Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a statement after a 2,000-page report, commissioned by the Australian government, found that the country’s environment is in “shocking” decline. Among the results, the report shows that Australia has lost more species to extinction than any other continent.

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


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Geopolitics

Why Iran Is Pushing So Hard For A Russian Victory

The Supreme Leader's advisers in Tehran argue the Islamic Republic must back Russia in Ukraine because Russia is fighting a common enemy: the Western alliance.

Russia President Vladimir Putin meeting with Iran's leader Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran

-Analysis-

When he welcomed visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reassured his guest that Moscow rightfully defended itself when invading Ukraine. Speaking in Tehran, Khamenei declared: "Westerners are entirely opposed to a strong and independent Russia," and termed the NATO alliance "a dangerous creature."

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His rambling speech continued, filled with baseless claims about NATO, saying the Western military alliance "knows no limits" and "would have provoked this same war, with Crimea as its excuse," if Putin hadn't acted first.

Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the conservative Tehran paper Kayhan, which reputedly reflects the Supreme Leader's thinking, wrote in an editorial a week after Putin's visit and evoked a "celestial perspective" that could see the realities behind "the curtain" of the war. Khamenei, the editor wrote, knows that if America were to win this war, Iran would become its next target, which is why he considers the Russian "resistance" in Ukraine as tied to the Iranian regime's own security.

Thus, he concluded of Khamenei: "logically and naturally, he backs it."

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