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Thousands in Haiti march to demand safety from violent gangs as killings and kidnappings soar

El Roi Academy students march down on the street after a press conference to demand the freedom of New Hampshire nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter, who have been reported kidnapped, in the Cite Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph) Best CCTV Security Camera in Brampton PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Several thousand people — their faces covered to conceal their identities — marched through Haiti’s capital demanding protection from violent gangs who are pillaging neighborhoods in the capital Port-au-Prince and beyond. Haitians’ daily lives have been disrupted by incessant gang violence that has worsened poverty across the country as it awaits a decision from the U.N. Security Council over a potential deployment of an international armed force. The crowd chanted, “We want security!” as it marched for two hours on Monday from the troubled community of Carrefour-Feuilles to Champ de Mars in the downtown area and then to the prime minister’s official residence. The lives of tens of thousands of Haitians have been disrupted by incessant gang violence. Best CCTV Security Camera in Brampton A police officer pats down a motorcyclist at a checkpoint in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, July 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph) Home CCTV Camera in Brampton A leading human rights group in Haiti warned about an upsurge in killings and kidnappings as the U.N. Security Council met Friday to discuss the country’s worsening violence. In a report issued Thursday, the National Human Rights Defense Network also condemned what it called the government’s inaction. It noted that from May 1 to July 12, at least 75 people were killed and another 40 abducted. Among those killed are an attorney, a schoolboy, two morticians and at least six police officers. Those kidnapped include a female journalist from Radio Vision 2000 who was later released. Her husband, the former president of Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council, was abducted in mid-June and is still being held by gang members. Gangs are also accused of breaking into a hospital in the community of Canaan in the northern part of the capital, Port-au-Prince, stealing medical supplies and abducting at least six security guards. In addition, armed criminals last month set fire to the building that housed the Jamaican consulate in Haiti. The violence recently forced Doctors Without Borders to suspend treatment at one of their hospitals in Port-au-Prince after the group said some 20 armed men burst into an operating room and abducted a patient. Earlier this year, the human rights group said that kidnappings and killings had diminished amid a violent uprising targeting suspected gang members, but noted that gangs have since resumed their attacks. The group urged authorities to disband all armed gangs and restore order and security. Haiti’s National Police is under-funded, under-resourced and largely overpowered by gangs, who have grown more powerful since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise and are now estimated to control up to 80% of Port-au-Prince. The department has only some 9,000 active duty officers for a country of more than 11 million people. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has insisted on an international force to help Haiti’s National Police, with one U.N. expert estimating that Haiti needs up to 2,000 additional anti-gang police officers. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry requested the urgent deployment of such a force in October, but the U.N. Security Council so far has opted to impose sanctions on gang members and others. On Friday, it gave the secretary-general 30 days to report back on options to fight Haiti’s gangs, including a possible U.N. peacekeeping force and a non-U.N. multinational force. Cheap CCTV Camera in Brampton A girl carries a sign that reads in Creole, “Free school is broken. Release the nurse,” during a march to demand the freedom of New Hampshire nurse Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter, who have been reported kidnapped, in the Cite Soleil neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph) Best CCTV Security Services in Brampton Chants of “freedom” echoed through the streets outside an aid facility in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on Monday where just days earlier an American nurse and her daughter were kidnapped by armed men. Hundreds of Haitians marched through the gang-ravaged zone, bursting with anger at the abduction, which has become a symbol of the worsening violence plaguing the Caribbean nation. New Hampshire woman Alix Dorsainvil had been working as a community nurse for the religious and humanitarian aid group El Roi Haiti when she and her daughter were taken from its campus on Thursday, the organization said. She is the wife of its founder, Sandro Dorsainvil. Witnesses told the Associated Press that Dorsainvil was working in her organization’s small brick clinic when a group of armed men burst in and seized her. Lormina Louima, a patient waiting for a check-up, said one man pulled out his gun and told her to relax. “When I saw the gun, I was so scared,” Louima said. “I said, ‘I don’t want to see this, let me go.”‘ Other members of the community said the unidentified men asked for US$1 million in ransom, something that’s become standard as Haiti’s gangs turn to slews of kidnappings to line their pockets and bleed the country dry. Hundreds have been kidnapping in Haiti this year alone, figures from the local non-profit Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights show. Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, gangs have taken over much of Port-au-Prince, killing, raping and sowing terror in communities already suffering endemic poverty. The same day that Dorsainvil and her daughter were taken, the U.S. State Department issued a “do not travel advisory” for Haiti and ordered non-emergency personnel to leave amid growing security concerns. In its advisory, the State Department said that “kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include U.S. citizens.” The violence has stirred anger among Haitians, who say they simply just want to live in peace. Protesters, largely from the area around El Roi Haiti’s campus, which includes a medical clinic, a school and

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Ex-Minneapolis officer sentenced to nearly 5 years for role in George Floyd’s death

Best CCTV Security Camera in Brampton Former officer Tou Thao listens as prosecutor Erin Eldridge speaks during his sentencing hearing in Hennepin County District Court on Monday in Minneapolis. (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune/The Associated Press) Best CCTV Camera in Brampton Tou Thao, the last former Minneapolis police officer convicted in state court for his role in the killing of George Floyd, was sentenced Monday to four years and nine months — even as he denied wrongdoing. Thao had testified he merely served as a “human traffic cone” when he held back concerned bystanders who gathered as former officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine-and-a-half minutes while the Black man pleaded for his life on May 25, 2020. A bystander video captured Floyd’s fading cries of “I can’t breathe.” At the sentencing hearing, Thao spoke at length about his growth as a Christian during his 340 days behind bars. He said he was “distressed” by Floyd’s death but denied any role in it. “I did not commit these crimes,” Thao said. “My conscience is clear. I will not be a Judas nor join a mob in self-preservation or betray my God.” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill responded that he was hoping “for more than preaching” from Thao. “After three years of reflection, I was hoping for a little more remorse,” the judge said. Thao’s lawyer, Robert Paule, said afterward that they will appeal. He declined further comment. Home CCTV Camera in Brmapton Tou Thao, who was a nine-year veteran of the Minneapolis police force, leaves the courtroom after his sentencing hearing on Monday in the death of George Floyd in May 2020. (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune/The Associated Press ) Cheap CCTV Camera in Brampton Assistant Attorney General Erin Eldridge said during the hearing that Floyd’s final words “reverberated across the globe.” Floyd, she said, “narrated his own death over the course of a restraint that lasted more than nine long minutes until he lost consciousness, stopped breathing and his heart stopped beating.” Thao, she said, “stood by and allowed it to happen” and stopped others from moving in to help the dying man. “He knew better, and he was trained to do better,” Eldridge said. Floyd’s killing touched off protests worldwide and forced a national reckoning of police brutality and racism. Cahill found Thao guilty in May of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. In his 177-page ruling, Cahill said Thao’s actions separated Chauvin and two other former officers from the crowd, including an emergency medical technician, allowing his colleagues to continue restraining Floyd and preventing bystanders from providing medical aid. “There is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Thao’s actions were objectively unreasonable from the perspective of a reasonable police officer, when viewed under the totality of the circumstances,” Cahill wrote. He concluded: “Thao’s actions were even more unreasonable in light of the fact that he was under a duty to intervene to stop the other officers’ excessive use of force and was trained to render medical aid.” Thao had rejected a plea bargain on the state charge, saying “it would be lying” to plead guilty when he didn’t think he was in the wrong. He instead agreed to let Cahill decide the case based on evidence from Chauvin’s 2021 murder trial and the federal civil rights trial in 2022 of Thao and former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. That trial in federal court ended in convictions for all three. Chauvin pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges instead of going to trial a second time, while Lane and Kueng pleaded guilty to state charges of aiding and abetting manslaughter. The sentence Cahill handed down Monday will run concurrently with Thao’s three-and-a-half-year sentence on his separate conviction on a federal civil rights charge, which an appeals court upheld on Friday. His state sentence was more than the four years recommended under Minnesota state guidelines. The sentence will be served at federal prison with credit for time served before Thao is transferred to a Minnesota prison to serve out the remainder. Lane and Kueng received three and three-and-a-half-year state sentences respectively, which they are serving concurrently with their federal sentences of 2 1/2 years and 3 years. Thao is Hmong American, while Kueng is Black and Lane is white. Minnesota inmates generally serve two-thirds of their sentences in prison and one-third on parole. There is no parole in the federal system but inmates can shave time off their sentences with good behavior. Best CCTV Security Services in Brampton Former Minnesota police officer J. Alexander Kueng is seen in a booking photograph at Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis, Minn., on June 3, 2020. Kueng, who is already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on a state charge of aiding second-degree manslaughter. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office/Reuters) Best CCTV Camera in Brampton J. Alexander Kueng sentenced on state charge of aiding 2nd-degree manslaughter The former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s back while another officer kneeled on the Black man’s neck was sentenced Friday to three-and-a-half years in prison. J. Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty in October to a state count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. In exchange, a charge of aiding and abetting murder was dropped. Kueng is already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, and the state and federal sentence will be served at the same time. Kueng appeared at his sentencing hearing via video from a federal prison in Ohio. When given the chance to address the court, he declined. Floyd’s family members had the right to make victim impact statements, but none did.  Attorney Ben Crump, who has represented the family, said in a statement before the hearing that Kueng’s sentencing “delivers yet another piece of justice for the Floyd family.” “While the family faces yet another holiday season without George, we hope that moments like these continue to bring them a measure of peace, knowing that George’s death was not in vain,” he said. Floyd died on May

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At least 20 dead and 27 missing in floods surrounding China’s capital Beijing, thousands evacuated

Best CCTV Security Camera in Brampton A resident looks out over an area inundated by flood waters in the Miaofengshan region on the outskirts of Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Best CCTV Camera in Brampton BEIJING – At least 20 people were killed and 27 are missing in floods surrounding China’s capital Beijing, with thousands of others evacuated to safety, state media reported Tuesday. Days of heavy rains have prompted authorities to close train stations and evacuate people in vulnerable areas to school gyms. Homes have been flooded, roads torn apart and cars piled into stacks by the rushing waters. The level of rainfall is rarely seen in Beijing, which generally enjoys moderate, dry summers but has experienced record-breaking extended days of high temperatures this summer. Flooding in other parts of northern China that rarely see such large amounts of rain have led to scores of deaths. Seasonal flooding hits large parts of China every summer, particularly in the semitropical south, while some northern regions this year have reported the worst floods in 50 years. Indicating the level of urgency, President Xi Jinping issued an order for local governments to go “all out” to rescue those trapped and minimize the loss of life and damage to property. State media reported that 11 people died and 27 are missing in floods in the  mountains to the west of Beijing’s city center. Nine other deaths were reported in Hebei province, just outside the metropolis and the source of much of its food and labour. More than 500,000 people have been impacted by the floods, state broadcaster CCTV said, without saying how many had been moved to other locations. In early July, at least 15 people were killed and missing in floods in the southwestern region of Chongqing, and about 5,590 people in the far northwestern province of Liaoning had to be evacuated. In the central province of Hubei, rainstorms trapped residents in their vehicles and homes. Cheap CCTV Camera in Brampton Home CCTV Camera in Brampton A traditional gate is seen inundated by flood waters in the Miaofengshan area on the outskirts of Beijing, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) China’s deadliest and most destructive floods in recent history were in 1998, when 4,150 people died, most of them along the Yangtze River. In 2021, more than 300 people died in flooding in the central province of Henan. Record rainfall inundated the provincial capital of Zhengzhou on July 20 that year, turning streets into rushing rivers and flooding at least part of a subway line. Employers across much of China were ordered Monday to limit outdoor work due to scorching temperatures, while the east and southwest were warned to prepare for torrential rain as the country struggled with heat, flooding and drought. Temperatures as high as 40 C (104 F) were reported in cities including Shijiazhuang, southwest of Beijing, the capital. Highs of 35 C (95 F) to 38 C (100 F) were reported in Beijing, Guangzhou in the south, Chongqing in the southwest and Shenyang in the northeast. The weather agency issued an orange alert, its second-highest warning, for heat across southern China and much of the north and northeast. That requires employers to limit outdoor work, though delivery workers for restaurants and online retailers still were working. The agriculture ministry warned Sunday that persistent hot weather could damage rice harvests and told local authorities to ensure adequate water supplies to prevent premature ripening of the crop. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Water Resources warned the provinces of Shandong on the east coast and Sichuan in the southwest to prepare for heavy rain from Tuesday to Friday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. It said multiple rivers were likely to rise above safe levels. Heavy rain triggered a landslide Saturday in the central city of Yichang in Hubei province that buried a highway construction site and killed one person. Authorities were searching Monday for seven missing construction workers, Xinhua reported. Business and schools in Heilongjiang province in the northeast were ordered Monday to close and shut down outdoor electrical equipment after 84 millimetres (3.3 inches) of rain fell in one hour, according to state TV. It said traffic police were ordered to close dangerous road sections. Tens of thousands of people who were driven out of their homes by earlier flooding moved to shelters in northern, central and southeastern China. Residents of some cities have moved into underground air raid shelters to escape the heat. Earth’s average temperature set a new unofficial record high last Thursday, the third such milestone in the hottest week on record. Heavy flooding has displaced thousands of people around China as the capital had a relative respite from sweltering heat. Beijing reported 9.8 straight days when the temperature exceeded 35 C (95 F), the National Climate Center said Monday. Such a streak was last recorded in 1961 — decades before most Beijing residents had air conditioning or even fans. A lack of rainfall may be contributing to the heat, with the typically dry capital receiving even less than usual this year. While temperatures have since moderated — Monday’s temperature at midday was 33 C (91 F) — they are expected to rise again this week to as high as 39.6 Celsius (103 Fahrenheit) in Beijing and other parts of the country, authorities said. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 people were urgently moved to safety due to flooding in the central province of Hunan, the Xiang’xi Emergency Management Bureau on Sunday. Around 70 houses collapsed, 2,283 were damaged and farm fields were flooded. Losses so far have been estimated at least 575 million yuan (US$79 million). To the north in Shaanxi province’s Zhenba county, authorities reported the worst flooding in 50 years had washed out roads and damaged homes. No deaths have been reported from the floods thus far but several are missing in floods. The heat this year has been unusual, although China has regular summer flooding. Eleven provinces — around

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Moscow office tower hit again with drone, Ukraine hospital suffers deadly attack

Investigators are shown at a damaged office building in Moscow on Tuesday, the second time the area has come under attack in three days. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters) A high-rise building in Moscow’s business district that houses three Russian government ministries was struck by a drone for the second time in three days on Tuesday, in what Russia called an attempted Ukrainian “terrorist attack.” The building that was struck is known as the “IQ quarter,” which houses the Ministry of Economic Development, the the Ministry of Digital Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Video obtained by Reuters showed a section of its glass facade, high above the ground, had been destroyed by the impact. “At the moment, experts are assessing the damage and the state of the infrastructure for the safety of people in the building. This will take some time,” Darya Levchenko, an adviser to the economic development minister, said on the Telegram messaging service. She said staff were working by video-conference. Moscow has come under repeated drone attacks since early May, when two drones were fired at the roof of a building in the Kremlin complex. Emergency personnel work outside a damaged office block in the Moskva-Citi business district following a reported drone attack in Moscow on Tuesday, the second drone strike since Sunday. (Alexander Memenov/AFP/Getty Images) While the incidents have not caused casualties or major damage, they have provoked widespread unease amid the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine is proceeding according to plan. Ukraine hasn’t directly claimed responsibility for the attacks, although Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia should expect “more unidentified drones, more collapse, more civil conflicts, more war.” “Moscow is rapidly getting used to a full-fledged war,” Podolyak wrote on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter. In a statement, the Russian Defence Ministry said it had thwarted the “attempted terrorist attack” and downed two drones west of the Moscow city centre. It said another one was foiled by jamming equipment and went “out of control” before crashing into buildings in the Moskva-Citi business district. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said it hit the same tower that had been struck on Sunday. “The facade has been damaged on the 21st floor. Glazing was destroyed over 150 square metres,” he said. A witness told Reuters: “We were going to see the tower where the explosion happened the day before yesterday. Suddenly there was this explosion, and we immediately ran. There were shards of glass and then smoke rising. Then the security services starting running that way. The shards were really big.” Vnukovo airport, one of three major airports serving the capital, briefly shut down but later resumed full operations. After the first drone hit the business district on Sunday, tech company Yandex sent a memo to staff instructing them not to be in the office at night and urging them to “take care.” Many companies in Russia continue to allow employees to work in hybrid mode, split between home and the office, following the lockdowns imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Ukrainian attacks on Moscow and other targets inside Russia were “acts of desperation” and that Russia was taking all measures possible to protect against strikes. Kyiv typically does not claim responsibility for specific incidents on Russian territory, and it did not claim Sunday’s attack, though President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the war was “gradually returning to Russia’s territory — to its symbolic centres.” Two drones reached the Kremlin in May, the most high-profile incident, but other attacks have targeted buildings near the Defence Ministry’s headquarters on the Moscow River and the capital’s exclusive Rublyovka suburb, home to much of Russia’s political, business and cultural elite. Inside Ukraine on Tuesday, a doctor was killed and five medical workers were wounded in Russian shelling of a hospital in the southern city of Kherson, regional officials said. “Today at 11:10 a.m., the enemy launched another attack on the peaceful residents of our community,” military administration head Roman Mrochko wrote on Telegram. Photos posted by officials showed the bloodied floor of a balcony and a gaping hole in a roof with debris strewn over the floor. Regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said four medical workers had been wounded, in addition to a badly wounded nurse whose injuries were reported earlier. Mrochko said the young doctor had only worked in his job for a few days and that doctors were fighting for the life of the nurse. The facility’s surgery department was also damaged in the shelling, Prokudin said. Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said it had been working at the hospital supplying medical equipment and providing mental health consultations to people displaced by the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam in June. “We unequivocally condemn this disgraceful attack on a medical facility and extend our condolences to the family of the doctor who died,” the group said in a social media post. In a separate incident in the northeastern village of Pershotravneve, an elderly woman was killed and a man was wounded in midday Russian shelling, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov wrote on Telegram. Reuters could not immediately verify the details of the reports. Investigators examine a damaged skyscraper in the ‘Moscow City’ business district after a reported drone attack in Moscow early Sunday. (The Associated Press) Three Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow in the early hours on Sunday, Russian authorities said, injuring one person and prompting a temporary closure of traffic in and out of one of four airports around the Russian capital. It was the fourth such attempt at a strike on the capital region this month and the third this week, fuelling concerns about Moscow’s vulnerability to attacks as Russia’s war in Ukraine drags into its 18th month. The Russian Defence Ministry referred to the incident as an “attempted terrorist attack by the Kyiv regime” and said three drones targeted the city. One was shot down in the surrounding Moscow region by air defence systems and two others were jammed. Those two crashed

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“This weekend’s scorching weather around the world”

A pedestrian cools off in water misters along the sidewalk during a heat wave in Las Vegas on Friday. Climate scientists say 2023 is on track to be the hottest year since records began. (Ronda Churchill/AFP/Getty Images) Excessive heat warnings remained in effect on Sunday for people around the world, from the United States, to Europe, and Japan. The heat wave that’s spreading across a swath of the U.S. from Oregon, down the West Coast, and into the Southwest including Texas through Alabama, is unusual, said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md. There’s a mass of high pressure air sitting like a dome “parked” over the affected areas and it’s deflecting any rain and storm systems that could provide relief to more than 100 million Americans under heat warnings and cautions, said Taylor. Phoenix, Ariz., is centred squarely under the heat dome, and the temperature was expected to climb to 47 C on Sunday, matching the high on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures in Arizona’s capital have been at or above 43 C every day for 16 consecutive days, nearing the 1974 record of 18 days in a row for that level of heat. Some of the estimated 200 cooling centres in metro Phoenix planned to extend their weekend hours, and emergency rooms were ready to treat people with heat-related illnesses. In Nevada, an intense heat wave threatens to break Las Vegas’s all-time record high of 47.2 C this weekend. Misters have been set up along the Las Vegas Strip to provide some relief. A man cools off in misters along the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday. (John Locher/The Associated Press) The National Weather Service says the extreme heat will continue through the middle of this week. Forecasters have warned people to take precautions to protect themselves from the heat, such as cancelling outdoor activities during the day. High temperatures that have already sparked wildfires in Spain and Croatia were also being felt in central parts of Europe, including Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic — and with another heat wave in the forecast, more high temperatures were expected across the continent in the coming days. On Spain’s La Palma Canary Island, officials ordered more than 4,000 people to evacuate their homes on Saturday because of a raging wildfire. The fire, which has destroyed at least 20 homes, coincides with a heat wave that has persisted for nearly a week in southern and central Europe. Italy issued hot weather red alerts for 16 cities on Sunday, with meteorologists warning that temperatures will hit record highs across southern Europe in the coming days. Spain, Italy and Greece have been experiencing scorching temperatures for several days already, damaging agriculture and leaving tourists scurrying for shade. Forecasters say a new weather system with extreme heat pushed into southern Europe from North Africa on Sunday and could lift temperatures above 45 C in parts of Italy early this week. “We need to prepare for a severe heat storm that, day after day, will blanket the whole country,” Italian weather news service Meteo reported on Sunday. “In some places ancient heat records will be broken.”  In parts of eastern Japan, highs of 38 and 39 C were expected on Sunday and Monday, with forecasters warning temperatures could break records. A traffic worker stands guard on Sunday at the entrance to a flooded underpass in Akita, Japan. (STR/JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images) Japan issued heat alerts on Sunday to tens of millions of people in 20 of the country’s 47 prefectures due to high temperatures, while torrential rain pummelled other regions, the AFP news agency reported. Flash flooding hit the city of Akita in northern Japan on Sunday, leaving one person dead and four injured. In South Korea, days of heavy rain have triggered flash floods and landslides. Rescuers on Sunday pulled nine bodies from a flooded tunnel where around 15 vehicles were trapped in muddy water, officials said. A total of 37 people have died and thousands have been evacuated since July 9, when heavy rain started pounding South Korea’s central regions. After Earth’s hottest week on record, extreme weather surprises everyone — even climate scientists The heat has been unprecedented, and extreme weather, from wildfires to floods, are ravaging various corners of the world. Data suggests last week was the hottest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Temperatures have soared across much of southern Europe and the southern United States, while powerful rain storms led to flooding in Vermont, India, Japan — and Montreal on Thursday. At the same time, Canada has already surpassed the record for the total area burned in a wildfire season. This follows the hottest June on record, with unprecedented sea surface temperatures and record low Antarctic sea ice coverage. “There’s a lot of concern from the scientific community and a lot of catch up in the scientific community trying to understand these incredible changes we’re seeing at the moment,” said Michael Sparrow, head of the WMO’s world climate research program. All this comes at the onset of El Niño, which is expected to further fuel the heat both on land and in the oceans, according to Prof. Christopher Hewitt, WMO’s director of climate services. “We are in uncharted territory and we can expect more records to fall as El Niño develops further,” he said. “These impacts will extend into 2024.” Global sea surface temperatures hit new records for the time of the year both in May and June, according to the WMO. In Florida, for instance, the water temperature near Johnson Key was 36 Celsius, about 5 degrees warmer than normal this time of year, meteorologists said. “As we go forward, we will see more extreme weather,” said Altaf Arain, a professor in the school of earth, environment and society at McMaster University and director of McMaster’s Centre for Climate Change. While Arain isn’t entirely surprised by the surging temperatures, he said the idea of a “new normal” should be thrown out the window. “It may not be fair to use that term because when you talk about the new normal, then you have to look at the time scale,” he said. “We will have a new normal

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“Drone hits Crimean ammunition depot as strikes kill, wound civilians and journalists in Ukraine”

A plume of smoke rises over an ammunition depot where explosions occurred at the facility in Kirovsky district in Crimea, July 19, 2023. (Viktor Korotayev/Kommersant Publishing House via AP) KYIV, UKRAINE –  A Ukrainian drone strike Saturday caused a massive explosion at an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea, forcing the evacuation of nearby homes in the latest attack since Moscow cancelled a landmark grain deal amid Kyiv’s grinding efforts to retake its occupied territories. The attack on the depot in central Crimea sent huge plumes of black smoke skyward and came five days after Ukraine struck a key bridge that links Russia to the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014 and after Moscow suspended a wartime deal that allowed Ukraine to safely export its grain through the Black Sea. Sergey Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed head of Crimea, said in a Telegram post that there were no immediate reports of casualties from the strike, but that authorities were evacuating civilians within a 5-kilometre radius of the blast site. The Ukrainian military took credit for the strike, saying it destroyed an oil depot and Russian military warehouses in Oktyabrske, in the Krasnohvardiiske region of Crimea, though without specifying which weapons it used. A Crimean news channel posted videos Saturday showing plumes of smoke billowing above rooftops and fields near Oktyabrske, a small settlement next to an oil depot and a small military airport, as loud explosions rumbled in the background. In one video, a man can be heard saying the smoke and blast noises seemed to be coming from the direction of the airport. The strike came during a week in which Ukraine attacked the Kerch Bridge and Russia, in what it described as “retribution” for the bridge attack, bombarded southern Ukrainian port cities, damaging critical infrastructure including grain and oil terminals. Ukraine also attacked the bridge in October, when a truck bomb blew up two of its sections, which took months to repair. Moscow decried that assault as an act of terrorism and retaliated by bombarding Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, targeting the country’s power grid over the winter. The Kerch Bridge is a conspicuous symbol of Moscow’s claims on Crimea and an essential land link to the peninsula. The US$3.6 billion, 19-kilometre (nearly 12-mile) bridge is the longest in Europe and is crucial for Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine. Speaking at the Aspen security forum via video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the bridge a legitimate target for Ukraine, noting that Russia has used it to ferry military supplies and it must be “neutralized.” In a video address to the nation later Saturday, Zelenskyy said he had a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss “our steps to unblock and ensure the stable operation of the grain corridor” following Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal. Zelenskyy said they agreed to hold a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council in the nearest days for consultations on the issue. “We can overcome the security crisis in the Black Sea,” he said. As fierce fighting continues in Ukraine’s bid to retake territory from Russia, Russian shelling killed at least two civilians and wounded four others on Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported. A 52-year-old woman died in Kupiansk, a town in the northeastern Kharkiv region, while another person was killed in a cross-border Russian attack on a village in the neighbouring Sumy province. Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported that Russian attacks on 11 regions across the country on Friday and overnight had killed at least eight civilians and wounded others. A DW cameraman was injured Saturday by shrapnel from Russian cluster munitions that also killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded several others near the town of Druzhkivka, in the eastern Donetsk region, the German broadcaster said in a statement. Cameraman Ievgen Shylko was part of a team sent to report from the Ukrainian army training ground about 23 kilometres (14 miles) away from the frontline, it said. “We were filming the Ukrainian army during target practice when suddenly we heard several explosions,” DW correspondent Mathias Bölinger said. “We lay down, more explosions followed, we saw people were wounded. Later, the Ukrainian army confirmed that we had been fired at with cluster munitions.” Cluster munitions, which open in the air and release multiple small bomblets, are banned by more than 100 countries because of their threat to civilians, but they have been used extensively by both sides in the war. The Pentagon has said the cluster munitions the U.S. recently gave to Ukraine will give Kyiv critically needed ammunition to help bolster its counteroffensive. The Russian Defence Ministry announced that a group of Russian journalists came under artillery fire in the southern Zaporizhzhia region. In an online statement, it said four correspondents for pro-Kremlin media had been struck by cluster munitions and that one of them, Rostislav Zhuravlev of the state RIA Novosti news agency, later died from his injuries. The Kremlin-installed head of the Russia-occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevhen Balitsky, claimed in a Telegram post that the journalists were travelling in a civilian vehicle that was hit by shelling. The claims couldn’t be independently verified. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the attack on journalists as a “heinous crime” in which the U.S. and its allies were complicit. The Ukrainian air force on Saturday morning said that overnight, it had brought down 14 Russian drones, including five Iranian-made ones, over the country’s southeast, where battles are raging. In a regular social media update, the air force said that all Iranian-made Shahed exploding drones launched by Russian troops during the night were brought down, pointing to Ukraine’s increasing success rate in neutralizing them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0fP6B7nT-4 KYIV, UKRAINE –  Russia pounded Ukraine’s southern cities with drones and missiles for a third consecutive night Thursday, keeping Odessa in the Kremlin’s crosshairs after a bitter dispute over the end of a wartime deal that allowed Ukraine to send grain through the key Black Sea port. The strikes killed at least two people in Odessa. In Mykolaiv,

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