Russia and Ukraine continue
Russian forces advance in northeastern Ukraine, towards the battered city of Kupyansk, while Ukraine continues its offensive in the south.
Kupyansk has been regularly bombarded by Russian artillery for months, and Russia hopes that Ukraine will divert its soldiers from its counter-offensive to come to the defense of the city. Earlier this month, Ukraine ordered the mandatory evacuation of 11,000 people who remained near the front lines, but many residents appear to have defied it.
The Ukrainian commanders, in turn, aimed to force the Russians to repel their counteroffensive by redeploying their troops from Kupyansk. One Ukrainian push targeted the town of Melitopol and another the town of Berdyansk, both located in the Zaporizhzhia region, but each advanced only a few kilometers against elaborate Russian defences.
Eugene Prigojine: The Russian press service reported that the former Wagner executive was buried around 1 p.m. yesterday in eastern St Petersburg. The ceremony was closed to all but a handful of people to keep the crowds at bay.
Uganda arrests man accused of homosexuality
Ugandan prosecutors have filed charges of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ against a 20-year-old man – a crime that carries the death penalty – in one of the first applications in the country of a provision included in one of the toughest anti-gay laws in the world.
Homosexual acts have long been considered illegal under Uganda’s penal code, but a law passed this year has introduced much stiffer penalties and greatly expanded the range of perceived offences. The law provides for life imprisonment for anyone who has same-sex sexual relations and authorizes the death penalty in certain circumstances, including for having same-sex relations with people with disabilities.
Context: Many Ugandan religious leaders and politicians have portrayed same-sex relationships as a Western import. “Africans are used to accepting this nonsense from the Western world, and homosexuality is the order of the day,” James Nsaba Buturo, a former Ugandan government minister for ethics and integrity, said in March.
A record forest fire in Greece
Nearly 200,000 acres have burned since August 19 in a wildfire in the Evros region of Greece. The country is on the frontier of the continent’s climate crisis, and the combination of heat waves, high winds and flammable vegetation has turned pine forests into powder kegs, overwhelming local firefighters.
To bolster its response, Greece has turned to the EU for help, including planes, fire trucks and more than 100 firefighters from a standing force drawn from Croatia, Germany, Romania, Sweden, Czech Republic and Cyprus.
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Around the world
Year-round, authorities work to protect New York City from a summer outbreak of West Nile virus. On the front line is Waheed Bajwa, an entomologist who counts sleeping mosquitoes and uses weapons such as dry ice and bacteria-soaked corncob pellets, fermented rabbit food, BB copper balls and a device called a multitube vortex.
His early favorite insects were dragonflies and butterflies, but he came to admire mosquitoes, even though his job requires him to slaughter millions of them. “If you look at them under the microscope, oh, they’re beautiful, I’ll show you!” he said. “Their antennae. Their eyes, their compound eyes, their mouthparts.
War in Ukraine: The Russian invasion plunged professional tennis into a full-fledged conflict. Now players from both sides face off at the US Open.
Winners and losers of the Dutch Grand Prix: Who performed well in Zandvoort?
Italy v England U16: The football match that attracted 170 scouts.
Mounting pressure: The Spanish football federation demands the resignation of Luis Rubiales, its president, after a non-consensual kiss. (Here is what happened.)
The NATO Alphabet
A for Alfa, B for Bravo, C for Charlie: the NATO alphabet we know today was officially adopted in 1956 by the International Civil Aviation Organization. But while the system remains ubiquitous in ceremonies, often appearing in crossword puzzles, in practice it is somewhat restricted to the air force and the military.
“To be honest, a lot of this is learned,” said speech-language pathologist Nell Avault. She gave the example of kids defaulting to A for apple, adding, “They wouldn’t say ‘A is for aerodynamics’, because that’s not a word they’re exposed to.”