First Thing: unprecedented wildfires hit Alaska and Europe suffers record heat | US news

Good morning.

Alaska has experienced more than 500 wildfires since early April, forcing the evacuation of mining camps, villages and remote cabins.

By June 15, more than 1 million hectares (405,000 acres) of the state had already been engulfed in flames, an area that typically burns during fire season. By mid-July, more than 3 million acres of land had burned, threatening to break the state’s record of 6.5 million acres (2.6 million hectares) set in 2004.

Today, 264 individual fires are burning in the state. “It’s unprecedented,” said Rick Toman, a climatologist at the World Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks. This year’s fires.

Meanwhile, firefighters continued to tackle blazes in southern Europe as temperatures moved north and Britain braced itself for what could be its hottest day on record, blaming the climate crisis and predicting more severe weather to come.

  • Is it really all down? Climate crisis? Thoman says warming is playing a big role. “It’s not just Alaska,” he said. “Across the Arctic and sub-Arctic, you’re seeing this increase in fires. Considering the lightning, the drought, the melting of the snow – there is no doubt that the warm planet plays a big role in this.

  • What is happening in France? Meteorologists have warned of a “heat apocalypse” in western France, as more than 8,500 people have been forced to flee their homes as a powerful heatwave ravaged southern Europe has left hundreds dead.

Steve Bannon appeared in court when the congressional contempt trial began

Steve Bannon leaves court after being charged with contempt of Congress.
Steve Bannon leaves court after being charged with contempt of Congress. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

With jury selection nearing completion, opening arguments against Steve Bannon, a top former Trump strategist charged with contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a January 6 subpoena from the House, are expected to take place on Tuesday.

Bannon appeared in federal court on Monday when the trial officially opened in Washington. The far-right activist — one of the main architects of Trump’s 2020 reelection bid — is trying to argue that he willfully disobeyed subpoenas seeking documents and testimony.

D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols is expected to proceed to opening arguments in the contempt hearing after seating the final 12-person jury with two alternates from a panel of 22 reserve judges. DC residents.

  • What was he accused of? Bannon is charged with two counts of criminal contempt of Congress. At the end of last year, they were referred to the Justice Department by the House of Representatives without testifying or providing documents as requested by the subpoena from the selection committee.

  • Why did the panel want Bannon to testify? The panel said it spoke to Trump the day before the Capitol attack and helped Trump’s “war room” at the Willard Hotel strategize on how to stop congressional certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.

Israel supporters spend millions to change Democratic primaries.

Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland.
Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland. Hardline groups have spent millions to oppose her primary bid. Photo: Jay Scott Applewhite/AP

Pro-Israel lobby groups have poured millions of dollars into the Democratic primary for a Maryland congressional seat, in a last-ditch attempt to block an establishment candidate who has expressed support for the Palestinians.

An increase in political spending by staunch pro-Israel organizations led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) has changed Democratic primaries in recent months, even though the debate about the country has not been a major issue in the polls.

Critics charge that AIPAC and its allies have skewed Democratic politics in part because most of the money used to influence primary races comes from billionaire Republicans.

AIPAC spent $6 million in Maryland’s race Tuesday to challenge Donna Edwards, who served eight years in Congress from Maryland before losing a Senate bid in 2016.

  • Why do you want Edwards to lose? In the year In 2011, she angered some pro-Israel groups when she failed to support resolutions passed in support of Israel on Gaza and other positions. She also supported the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran when the Israeli government and, as a result, vehemently opposed AIPAC.

In other news…

Waves crash over two-story buildings in Hawaii.
‘Historic’ waves hit two-story buildings in Hawaii. Composition: Isabella Sloan full of stories
  • On Hawaii’s southern shores, high tides toppled homes and businesses, spilled onto highways and boosted wedding receptions over the weekend. Large waves over 20ft (6m) in height come from strong southerly swells, particularly high tides and rising sea levels.

  • Thieves in California made off with millions of dollars worth of jewelry and gemstones after breaking into an unguarded security vehicle on the way back from a jewelry show, police said. The robbery took place last week after the vehicle’s two armed guards left at a remote resort in Southern California.

  • Vladimir Putin arrived in Tehran on his second visit outside Russia since the start of the war in Ukraine.They will hold talks on lifting the Ukraine grain embargo, the future of Syria and renewing the Iran nuclear deal with their Turkish and Iranian counterparts.

  • Japanese police are searching for a wild monkey that attacked 10 people in two weeks. The attacks began in July 8 is in the Ogori district of Yamaguchi Prefecture in the south-west. In the most serious incident, he badly scratched the baby after invading the family home.

Current situation: £187m of the British royal family’s fortune is hidden in a secret will

From left to right;  King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, Alexander William George Duff, Duke of Fife, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret
From left to right; King Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor; Alexander William George Duff, Duke of Fife; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; and Princess Margaret. Credit: Hulton Archive/W&D Downey/Tim Graham Photo Library/Cyprus/Getty ImagesGetty Images

Generations of the royal family have hidden details of their assets worth more than £180m in a series of top secret legal applications. The properties are listed in 33 wills drawn up by members of the Windsor family over a century. The family managed to keep the contents of the will secret by making a special exception to the law that normally requires the publication of British wills, which also prevents the public from seeing what assets – such as property, jewelery and the like – are held. Cash – stored.

Don’t miss this: 50 years later, the truth behind American Pie

Don McLean in 1974
This film was a concerted effort to raise the curtain on… Don McLean in 1974. Photograph: Michael Putland/Getty Images

Over the years, while journalists have subjected American Pie to a talmudic level of scrutiny, songwriter Don McLean has released digressions and insights into its purpose. In contrast, a new documentary offers a more detailed analysis of the original line-by-line lyrical dynamics, as well as musical evolution. “I said to Don, ‘It’s time for you to report what 50 years of journalists want to know,'” says Spencer Proffer, who produced a new documentary about the song. “This film was a concerted effort to raise the curtain.”

climate control; This heat wave has dispelled the idea that small changes can withstand severe weather.

Firefighters try to control a forest fire in Louchat, southwest France.
Firefighters try to control a forest fire in Louchat, southwest France. Photograph: Thibaud Moritz/AFP/Getty Images

“Can we talk about it now? I mean, it’s a subject that most of the media and most of the political class have been avoiding for a long time. You know, the only subject that counts in the end – the survival of life on Earth,” wrote Georges Monbiot. , and in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia where heat is a constant threat to life, the warmest days count among the coldest days. Systems must change urgently—and the silence must be broken.

Last thing: Standing up for asylum seekers: Refugees learn the art of comedy.

Microphone on stage
‘Comedy is a way of sending strong messages without boring people.’ Photo: Edward Herdwick/Alami

In Athens, a handful of startups are at the microphone after attending a series of comedy workshops. As part of Refugee Week, migration is an unusually funny topic in this comedy show by refugees and asylum seekers. One of the organizers, Vassilia Vaksevani, made this appeal: “The conversation is always, ‘Oh, that poor refugee or refugee, poor Afghan, poor Syrian.’ But these amateur comedians are “real people, with funny stories. They lived full, funny lives,” he said.

open up

Subscribe to America’s Morning Brief

For one thing, it reaches thousands of inboxes every weekday. If you haven’t already registered, register now.


If you have any questions or comments about any of our newsletters, please email

Articles You Might Like

Share This Article

More Stories

Get Your Forest Fire Alerts

We track wildfires and news from satellites, newsbots and Tweets