Good morning. We’re covering extreme heat in Britain and accusations of sabotage in Ukraine.
Britain sizzles under a heat wave
Temperatures in Britain neared a record high yesterday as blistering heat swept the country. By midafternoon, Wales had recorded its highest-ever temperature: The thermometer hit 37.1 degrees Celsius, almost 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
Infrastructure is under strain. Some train services were canceled, while others were running at reduced speeds in case the tracks buckled. Flights at Britain’s largest air base were halted over fears that the tar could melt. And the chains of a Victorian-era bridge were wrapped in foil to keep cracks from expanding and threatening the bridge’s stability.
Global warming has exacerbated Europe’s heat waves, which scientists say are increasing in frequency and intensity at a faster rate than in almost any other part of the planet. So have changes in the jet stream, scientists say.
Yesterday, the U.N. secretary general warned that humanity faced a “collective suicide” over the climate crisis. But the top candidates to be Britain’s next prime minister appear to be more focused on the cost-of-living crisis than on the government’s ambitious targets to reach “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.
Ukraine seeks to root out collaborators
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said the country had opened 651 treason investigations into employees of the country’s law enforcement agencies and others who were suspected of working with Russia.
Russian sympathizers are reporting the locations of Ukrainian targets like garrisons or ammunition depots, officials say. Priests have sheltered Russian officers and informed on Ukrainian activists in Russian-occupied areas. One official said collaborators had even removed explosives from bridges, allowing Russian troops to cross.
Ukraine’s shadow war against Russian collaborators came into sharp relief on Sunday, when Zelensky dismissed two senior law enforcement officials. He did not accuse them of betrayal, but suggested that they had turned a blind eye to traitors in sensitive positions.
Zelensky specifically cited Ukraine’s security service, an unwieldy force of 27,000 personnel, the largest in Europe. Many intelligence chiefs graduated from K.G.B. schools, and Western allies say that the service has too many areas of operation, leaving it open to corruption and prone to straying from its spy-hunting role.
Better Understand the Russia-Ukraine War
Context: In Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, and in Ukraine’s east, where fighting has recently intensified, deep cultural and historical ties with Russia have translated to pockets of support for Moscow. The threat has plagued Ukraine for years but has become more acute during the war.
The E.U.: Foreign ministers added gold to the list of banned Russian imports and approved 500 million euros to reimburse member states for weapons sent to Ukraine. That brings the bloc’s total spending on Ukrainian military aid to 2.5 billion euros.
Covid cases rise in the U.S.
Covid-19 is surging again across the U.S. as BA.5 — the most transmissible coronavirus variant yet — drives a wave of new cases.
But many public health doctors say the wave is cause for caution, not alarm: Hospitalizations have climbed 20 percent in the past two weeks, but deaths are rising only modestly. One expert said the nation had entered a newer and less lethal stage, in which vaccines and treatments have significantly improved chances of survival.
The public health authorities are also hesitating to impose new restrictions, noting that most Americans are meeting the new wave with a collective shrug. Even residents of what were once among the most cautious places in the country are shunning masks, socializing indoors and moving on from an endless barrage of warnings.
Retirements: Dr. Anthony Fauci, who saw the U.S. through the worst of the pandemic, said he would “almost certainly” retire by January 2025, the end of President Biden’s current term.
Monkeypox: Patients in New York City, the center of U.S. cases, described excruciating pain and a struggle to find care.
THE LATEST NEWS
David Treuer’s father, an Austrian Jewish immigrant, loved the U.S. His Native mother, born on a reservation, could never forgive it.
“What to do about this country that saved my father’s life and tried to destroy my mother’s?” David writes in a new, moving essay for the Times Magazine. “What to do about myself?”
Lives Lived: Claes Oldenburg, a Swedish American pop artist known for his “Colossal Monuments,” transformed household objects into imposing, enormous abstractions. He died yesterday at 93.
ARTS AND IDEAS
In its first exhibit, Museo dell’Arte Salvata — the Museum of Rescued Art — pays tribute to Italy’s art theft police squad, which it says has returned thousands of pieces to Italy.
It also highlights the ways pieces can lose their way. Some works were stolen; others were damaged in earthquakes or other natural disasters. Many pieces need restoration: They’ve been pulled from ancient shipwrecks or ravaged by time.
The exhibition runs through mid-October. Then, the pieces will move on, often away from Rome. Italy will try to return many works to institutions near their likely places of origin, a longstanding effort from its culture ministry.
“I think of this as a museum of wounded art, because the works exhibited here have been deprived of their contexts of discovery and belonging,” a museum official said.
He described the exhibit as a kind of “parenthesis in the life of the object” and said that “a phase of illegality is over, and now a new life begins.”