World roundup: June 30 2023
Stories from Afghanistan, Mali, Ukraine, and elsewhere
TODAY IN HISTORY
June 30, 1520: During La Noche Triste (“the Night of Sorrows”), Hernán Cortés and his forces are driven out of Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs. He regrouped and returned the following year to besiege and ultimately capture the city.
June 30, 1934: In the “Night of the Long Knives,” Nazi leaders purge their party’s original paramilitary wing, the SA or Sturmabteilung, including its leader Ernst Röhm, and target party opponents like German Vice Chancellor Franz von Papen. Estimates of the death toll range from a low of 85 to a high of somewhere around 1000.
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
It’s probably not great news that Reuters published a piece today whose headline starts of “Climate nears point of no return.” What they mean is that the prospects of humanity limiting global temperature rise to at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels are all but kaput, which to be honest has been fairly clear for a while now. What’s been really fascinating of late has been watching temperatures (particularly and most distressingly ocean temperatures) spike all over the world, thanks to the heady blend of carbon emissions and El Niño, with little to no substantive government response among the world’s wealthiest nations. The US and China, the two wealthiest, haven’t even sat down to discuss this onrushing catastrophe because they’re still working out their grievances about the Chinese balloon that flew over the US for a few days five months ago. If they don’t really take the issue seriously, what chance does anybody else have?
Iraqis gathered for a second day at the Swedish embassy in Baghdad on Friday, again to protest Wednesday’s Quran-burning event in Stockholm. I apparently downplayed the severity of Thursday’s demonstration, which I’ve since learned involved an actual breach of the embassy by a group of protesters, who were removed from the premises after a few minutes. Muqtada al-Sadr, the Iraqi political leader who outsmarted himself into giving up his party’s controlling parliamentary position last year and who subsequently made another of his somewhat frequent retirements from politics, is organizing the protests. If he’s looking for a reason to un-retire, this could be it.
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