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TOPIC: heatwave

In The News

Israel Raids Gaza Hospital, Xi In The U.S., Bird Of The Century

👋 Aluu!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Israeli forces raid Gaza’s largest hospital, Chinese President Xi Jinping lands in the U.S. for his first visit in six years, and New Zealand’s Pūteketeke gets crowned “bird ot the century” — with a little help from John Oliver. Meanwhile, Turin-based daily La Stampa meets with Sara Barsotti, the Italian scientist leading the task force that monitors Iceland's major volcanic eruption threat.

[*Inuktitut - Canada, Alaska]

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Zelensky In NYC, India-Canada Diplomatic Spat, Paywall Time For X?

👋 Mari mari!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, Azerbaijan launches “anti-terrorist” operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Elon Musk has floated the idea of putting up a paywall to X to fight bots on the platform formerly known as Twitter. Meanwhile, Gianluca Nicoletti in Italian daily La Stampa uses AI to commune with the dead.

[*Mapuche, Chile and Argentina]

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Rolling Into Catenanuova, The Hottest Spot In Europe

The streets are deserted until 7 p.m., air conditioning for those lucky enough to have it blasts constantly, and locals dream of leaving the arid desert that has become of their hometown.

CATENANUOVA – No one would want to work as a baker in Catenanuova. Home to little more than 5,000 residents, the central Sicilian town is the hottest municipality in Europe. "Yet, you get used to it," says Salvatore Santoro, puffing clouds of flour. "There's nothing else to do."

The baker is putting pizza dough and snacks in the oven at noon sharp. The oven blasts hot gusts, the air conditioner tries to counter them with a creaking noise. Outside, it's the scorching summer of 2023. "Today, it's 42°C (107.6°F), so for us, it's a good day," Santoro quips.

Catenanuova is the town with the highest officially recorded temperature in the European Union: 48.5 °C (119.3°F) . But all its inhabitants claim that during this year's peak of heat, even that record was surpassed. "It was so hot that if you stepped outside for just five seconds, you felt like passing out. Forty degrees is almost autumn for us," baker Santoro jokes bitterly.

There are two sounds in Catenanuova. The hum of air conditioners all turned on at once, like a constant electronic buzz that permeates nearly every street streets. And then, the sound of cars left in neutral. No one turns off the engine during errands, thus transitioning from one air conditioning to another, from the baker's to the car's, and from the car's to home.

Aside from this, if you pay attention, in Catenanuova you can hear another undefinable sound. At first, it's hard to distinguish. It's the amplified noise of every tiny gesture, within a small lifeless town. Without humans. Without bars and without inhabitants. It's just like a lockdown or quarantine. In the square, all the tables of the outdoor seating areas are empty.

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Hot Summer Jobs: How Global Warming Weighs On The Workplace

As workers around the globe are faced with the mercury rising, jobs both inside and outside are becoming less and less bearable in the summer months.

PARIS — It’s August again, temperatures are topping 30 ℃ (86 ℉), and I work in an office in the center of France’s capital that dates back to the 19th century. Needless to say, it has not been equipped with air-conditioning nor built to shield against heat waves. We work with fans, and hide the sunlight with make-shift curtains.

Of course, I am among the lucky ones. On my way to and from the office, I can’t help but notice those who are obliged to work outside, under the scorching sun, often with heavy gear and extra clothing to protect themselves. How could they ever stay cool? Who’s looking out for their health and safety?

Over the past few years, our planet has been faced with steadily more severe heat waves. We have had to learn how to live with rising temperatures and adapt our daily lives to the on-the-ground reality of global warming. And for 40 or so hours a week, it is a decidedly work-related question.

The unbearable heat that has taken over some countries since the start of July has been fatal for some. According to French daily Les Echos, France registered 80 more workplace-related deaths than usual during the heatwave in July. Now, nations are taking new measures and re-evaluating working conditions to face this environmental phenomenon.

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Green Or Gone
Susanne Becken and Johanna Loehr

Goodbye, Greek Beach? Tourism In The Era Of "Global Boiling"

UN chief António Guterres has warned us, ominously suggesting that we update the phrase “global warming” to "global boiling" as July is on track to be the hottest month on record. Summer holidays to the beach may no longer be on the cards as countries around the globe grapple with scorching heat. Will climate change push us to drastically change the way we holiday?


Thousands of people on the beach. Children reportedly falling off evacuation boats. Panic. People fleeing with the clothes on their backs. It felt like “the end of the world”, according to one tourist.

The fires sweeping through the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu are showing us favorite holiday destinations are no longer safe as climate change intensifies.

For decades, tourists have flocked to the Mediterranean for the northern summer. Australians, Scandinavians, Brits, Russians all arrive seeking warmer weather. After COVID, many of us have been keen to travel once again.

But this year, the intense heatwaves have claimed hundreds of lives in Spain alone. Major tourist drawcards such as the Acropolis in Athens have been closed. Climate scientists are “stunned by the ferocity” of the heat.

This year is likely to force a rethink for tourists and for tourism operators. Expect to see more trips taken during shoulder seasons, avoiding the increasingly intense July to August summer. And expect temperate countries to become more popular tourist destinations. Warm-weather tourist destinations will have to radically change.

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Stefania Auci*

Sicily, My Sicily — A Lament From Inside The Inferno

Segesta, Sicily is in flames, with fires spreading throughout the region. A local author describes scenes of apocalypse, which although not unusual on the wildfire-prone island, grow worse every year — and nothing is done about it.

SEGESTA — It's very early in the morning, 7 a.m., when I receive a frantic phone call from my sister in San Vito Lo Capo, in the northwestern part of Sicily, near Trapani. She tells me that a part of her house and all the surrounding land are on fire. She’s been there since four in the morning, she said, and has been helping the firefighters keep the fire under control.

I'm in my car and on the way to help her before she can finish speaking. On the way, the lady that helps me keep my house in Palermo calls me. She tells me that nobody can hang laundry on the balconies because they are covered in ash. Everything is covered with a thick black veil that dirties everything — cars, houses, people. What she describes is something that I imagine people must have experienced during major volcanic eruptions.

The whole of Sicily is burning. Segesta and the archeological park area are on fire. The woods around the ancient abbey of San Martino Delle Scale, Monreale and the Ficuzza forest nature reserve — they’re all burning.

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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin and Katarzyna Skiba

Mediterranean Fires Kill 40, Cambodia PM Steps Down, One Year Until Paris Olympics

👋 Héébee!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where over 40 people have died and thousands have been forced to evacuate as wildfires rage across the Mediterranean, Cambodia’s prime minister steps down after 38 years in power and the Olympics countdown starts for Paris. Meanwhile, Alexis Gaçon, for business daily Les Echos, tours North America’s largest graphite mine project, amid growing global demand for battery materials.

[*Arapaho, Wyoming, U.S.]

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In The News
Emma Albright, Yannick Champion-Osselin, Michal Kubala and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Fresh Israel Protests, China Removes “Missing” Foreign Minister, Youngest World Cup Player

👋 Rimaykullayki!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Israel’s adoption of a controversial law to limit the Supreme Court’s powers sparks fresh protests, China officially removes Qin Gang (who hasn’t been seen in public since late June) as foreign minister, and scientists confirm that yes, extreme heat waves are linked to human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, Russian independent news outlet Vazhnyye Istorii/Important Stories shares tales of disappointment from Russian soldiers coaxed into joining the frontline in Ukraine.


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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin and Chloé Touchard

U.S. Soldier Crosses DMZ, Taj Mahal Flooding, Latvian Sand Castles

👋 Bonghjornu !*

Welcome to Wednesday, where tensions run high after a U.S. soldier reportedly crossed the DMZ into North Korea, countrywide protests reignite in Israel amid judicial reform, and Latvian sand castle artists are having a whale of a good time. Meanwhile, Yuri Fedorov in Russian independent news outlet Important Stories looks at why Washington may be pushing a “Korea solution” to the war in Ukraine.


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In The News
Chloé Touchard, Anne-Sophie Goninet, Marine Béguin and Katarzyna Skiba

Russia Strikes Ukraine Ports, Alzheimer’s Drug, Heat & Floods

👋 Elo!*

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.

[*Tetum, Timor-Leste]

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In The News
Yannick Champion-Osselin, Michal Kubala, Laure Gautherin and Chloé Touchard

Russian General Dissent, Kenya Protests, Golden Roots Retrieval

👋 Haia!*

Welcome to Thursday, where a Russian general is dismissed after speaking out, Kenyan protests kill at least six and the Scottish Highlands welcome some old best friends. Meanwhile, independent Russian-language outlet Proekt media reports on the chilling findings from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s house in St. Petersburg after it was raided by Russian police.


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In The News
Michal Kubala, Chloé Touchard, Michelle Courtois and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Turkey’s NATO Green Light For Sweden, Israel Protests Reignite, Hottest Week Ever

👋 Lumela!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where the NATO summit kicks off in Vilnius after Turkey OKs Sweden's bid to join, Israel’s controversial judicial reforms spark fresh protests and after the official hottest month and day ever, meteorologists register a record-breaking week. Meanwhile, Portuguese digital magazine Mensagem looks at how global warming, with its heat waves, could also incite violence in cities.

[*Sesotho, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe]

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