Your Wednesday briefing: Extreme heat engulfs China

Good morning. We cover a dangerous heat wave in China, the sentencing of a longtime activist in Hong Kong, and President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to Iran.

Parts of China’s east and south have dried up due to extreme temperatures as dozens of cities issued a hot alert yesterday. Some temperature forecasts exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

heat waves melted roofs of buildings and bent roads in dozens of cities, as people sought cool air in bomb shelters underground.

China’s desire for eradicate Covid-19 outbreaks remained uncut. Medical workers in protective suits continued to conduct a series of mandatory tests for coronavirus, despite the invigorating heat. In one video, a health worker in Henan province died of heatstroke while being fanned by his colleagues with a test kit package.

What’s next: The heat wave is expected to last at least two weeks.

Data: Heat-related deaths rose 400 percent in China between 1990 and 2019, reaching 26,800 deaths in 2019.

Context: The scorching heat reflects a global trend of more frequent extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Hot weeks in June struck northern Chinasince the floods forced millions of people to leave the central and southwestern regions of the country.

Yesterday, a Hong Kong court found a longtime democracy activist guilty of attempted sedition. sentenced to nine months in prison for planning a solo protest.

Ku Sze-yu, 75, has terminal colon cancer. Many fear that he may die in prison. But in a pre-sentencing statement, he acknowledged political prisoners and human rights lawyers in mainland China who endure long terms of imprisonment or torture.

“I don’t mind being a martyr for democracy and human rights,” Koo said, adding, “Compared to human rights lawyers in China, what I have sacrificed is nothing.”

Analysis: Koo’s condemnation highlights the authorities’ desire to eradicate even the peaceful, petty dissent that was once commonplace in the city.

Biography: Ku, who became an activist after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were suppressed, became a prominent participant in the protests. For decades, he often carried handmade wooden coffins with him, embellishing them with messages denouncing the Chinese Communist Party.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Tehran next week to meet with the leaders of Iran and Turkey. The Kremlin announced yesterday.

This trip was the last in the history of Putin. recent diplomatic boom aims to build ties with non-Western countries. This will give him the opportunity to shore up military and economic support to counter Western military aid to Ukraine and its sanctions against Russia.

The move came after President Biden’s national security adviser said Russia search for surveillance drones from Iran, including those capable of launching missiles to make up for the shortage of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the most active intermediary between Putin and President Volodymyr Zelensky. Today in Turkey negotiations will be held between Ukraine, Russia and the UN on the resumption of exports of Ukrainian grain.

Iran: Russia sees Iran, a longtime ally, as a new important economic partneroffering a trade route and expertise to circumvent sanctions and export Russian oil.

Struggle: Ukraine declared its forces ended up in a Russian ammunition depot in the Kherson region, the last in the counteroffensive to recapture the territory in the south.

More than 40,000 pages from one of Timbuktu’s largest libraries, smuggled out of Mali after jihadists took over the city in 2012, have been digitized and are now available to everyone on Google Arts & Culture.

But they are mostly indecipherable to people unfamiliar with the West African Islamic tradition. Only a small part of the documents are translated, because there are not many scientists with the necessary skills for this.

My colleague Max Fischer, who wrote The Interpreter, solved the central question of our time: “The world has entered a time of unusual turbulence, or is it just that?”

Looking at the headlines, it’s easy to conclude that something is broken. But in many ways, people around the world are better off than ever.

By some standards, war less often as well as substantially less fatal. Lifespan, literacy rates and living standards have risen; hunger, infant mortality as well as extreme poverty refused.

The gap between our perception and data, writes Max, is complex. The Internet can amplify bad news, and many advances have been incremental or preventive, obscuring progress.

The feeling that the world is getting worse is also not universal. In low- and middle-income countries, which make up the majority of the world’s population, interview after interview found that people tend to express optimism about the future. Pessimism prevails only in rich countries, most of which boil down to a halt in economic mobility.

But despite all the indicators that show steady improvement, writes Max, democracy is in global decline. This dramatic and destabilizing erosion could have a profound effect on global sentiment and global perception for years to come.