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pink light on clouds at nght in Mildura, Australia

The sky of Mildura, an Australian town in the state of Victoria shining with a pink glow from the lights at a local medicinal cannabis facility

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

👋 A jaaraama!*

Welcome to Thursday, where Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigns, the race for Britain’s leadership narrows down to two, and Australia’s sky turns pink. Meanwhile, Fiore Longo in Spanish magazine La Marea reports on the fate of the Maasai ethnic group in eastern Africa, let down by ineffective conservationist movements.

[*Fula, West and Central Africa]

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🌎  7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

• Russian pipeline resumes pumping gas to Europe: Russia has resumed the pumping of gas to Europe via its biggest pipeline, Nord Stream 1, after a 10-day outage which was due to maintenance. Flows have been cut to 40% of the pipeline’s capacity since mid-June following tensions over the war in Ukraine, prompting fears over European countries’ winter supply.

• Russia’s expanded territorial goals in Ukraine: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with state media that Russia’s territorial ambitions in Ukraine now go further than the Donbas region. Lavrov expressed interest in gaining military control over the “Kherson region, the Zaporizhia region and a number of other territories.”

• Mario Draghi resigns: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has confirmed his resignation after the three parties composing his coalition did not participate in a vote of confidence in the Senate on Thursday. Draghi’s resignation will likely lead to snap elections after the summer.

• Next British prime minister will be her or him: The British Conservative party chose Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as the two candidates in the runoff vote to replace Boris Johnson as party leader and Prime Minister. The winner will be announced on Sept. 5.

• Iraq-Turkey clash after deadly shelling in Kurdish village: Nine travelers were killed and 23 people wounded in a shelling on the mountainous village of Parakh in the Kurdish north of Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi has blamed the bombardment on Turkey and warned that retaliations could ensue. The government also demanded an official apology from Turkey and "the withdrawal of its armed forces from all Iraqi territory."

• Ivana Trump’s funeral: Former U.S. President Donald Trump attended the funeral of Ivana Trump, his first wife and mother of his three oldest children, in New York on Wednesday. He described the socialite and businesswoman, who died at 73, as having had a “beautiful life.”

• California beach returned to Black family: Authorities have returned property of a beach in the city of Manhattan Beach, California, to the grandsons of its Black owners after it was seized by local officials in 1924. It is believed the confiscation had been motivated by racism during the segregation era.

🗞️  FRONT PAGE

Milan-based daily Corriere della Sera says “farewell to the Draghi government” after Italy’s Prime Minister failed to unite his fragile coalition government, leading him to tender his resignation today. The resignation means a new general election — the second in four years — is likely to take place this autumn.

💬  LEXICON

Quadball

In an effort to distance themselves from British author J.K. Rowling and her controversial comments on transgender issues, leading Quidditch organizations have renamed the sport quadball. The real-life sport, a ball game inspired by Rowling’s Harry Potter series, pits two teams of seven players mounted on a broomstick.

📰  STORY OF THE DAY

Plight of Maasai reveals racism of Africa's conservation policy

Thousands of Maasai people in Tanzania met brutal police repression when they demonstrated against being expelled from their land, laying bare both how ineffective and inhumane the conservationist movement can be, reports Fiore Longo in Spanish independent magazine La Marea.

💥 The Maasai, an ethnic group inhabiting Kenya and northern Tanzania, have always known what war is. They generally live close to the many game parks around the African Great Lakes, and as they put it to me: "Your conservation areas are a war zone for us." The government has tried to confiscate 1,500 km2 of their ancestral land for years in order to use the land for trophy hunting, elite tourism and conservation. Behind these attempts has always been the Otterlo Business Company (OBC), a company based in the United Arab Emirates that organizes hunting expeditions for the royal family and their guests.

📸 Just as dangerous for the Maasai are the tourists, who feed upon media images, documentaries and textbooks that sell the idea of "nature without people" and who expect to find only wild animals on their safaris. Indeed, the Maasai not only face the myth of wildlife without humans, but also a deeply entrenched racism. In April, a famous U.S. journalist, Peter Greenberg of CBS News, called the Maasai "primitive" when he was taking a walk with the Tanzanian president.

❌ The Loliondo events should be a lesson to everyone. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the most biodiverse places on the planet for generations: these territories are now considered important nature conservation areas precisely because the original inhabitants have cared for their land and wild flora and fauna. We cannot continue to tolerate human rights abuses committed in the name of conservation. This conservationist model is profoundly inhumane and ineffective and needs to change now.

➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com

#️⃣  BY THE NUMBERS

6 billion

Scientists reported alarming warmth as six billion tons of water per day melted off the ice sheet in northern Greenland last weekend between July 15 and July 17, as temperatures have risen to above 10 degrees hotter than usual at this time of the year.

📣 VERBATIM

Hasta la vista, baby.

— Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson exited his final session of Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday by quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Johnson has been forced out as Conservative Party leader, which will lead to his coming resignation as prime minister, in the wake of a string of scandals and loss of confidence among his party allies. Johnson gave advice to his yet-to-be-appointed successor, saying, "Remember, above all, it's not Twitter that counts, it's the people that sent us here." The two candidates in the running to replace Johnson are former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak and current Foreign Minister Liz Truss.

✍️ 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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