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HeadlinesJune 26, 2023

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Wagner Group’s Prigozhin Exiled to Belarus After Calling Off Advance on Moscow

Jun 26, 2023

Russia’s military has withdrawn troops and tanks from the streets of Moscow, after the head of the Wagner mercenary group called off a short-lived armed mutiny he launched on Friday. Wagner fighters stopped their advance on the outskirts of Moscow late Saturday after officials reached a deal that guaranteed their safety. They also withdrew from the southern Russian city of Rostov, which they had seized, and returned to their bases. As part of the deal, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin agreed to go into exile in Belarus. The Kremlin also said he and his fighters would avoid criminal charges despite the revolt. On Saturday, Putin made a brief national address in which he refrained from mentioning Prigozhin by name, but denounced his actions as “treason.”

President Vladimir Putin: “We will protect both our people and our statehood from any threats, including internal betrayal. What we are facing is precisely betrayal. Excessive ambitions and vested interests have led to treason — betrayal of the country, its people and the cause for which the soldiers and commanders of the Wagner Group had fought and died for, side by side with our other units.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the revolt by Wagner mercenaries had exposed chaos in Russia. After headlines, we’ll go to Moscow and Kyiv for the latest.

Paramilitaries Seize Police HQ in Sudan’s Capital; U.N. Warns Fighting Has Displaced 2.5 Million

Jun 26, 2023

In Sudan, fighters with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces stormed the headquarters of a heavily armed police unit in Khartoum on Sunday, seizing stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. Since Saturday, there have been reports of intense airstrikes and artillery fire across Sudan’s capital. In the western Darfur region, witnesses say fighting killed at least a dozen civilians on Sunday. Witnesses say RSF fighters have joined Arab militias in a campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. UNICEF reports fighting in Sudan has now displaced 2.5 million people, with at least 330 children among the dead.

Russian Warplanes Bomb Syria’s Idlib, Killing at Least 9 Civilians

Jun 26, 2023

In Syria, at least nine people were killed and dozens more injured Sunday as Russian warplanes attacked rebel-held parts of the northwestern province of Idlib. In the bloodiest attack, a Russian fighter jet bombed a vegetable market crowded with shoppers.

Guatemalan Presidential Race Headed to Runoff After Weekend Election

Jun 26, 2023

Guatemala’s presidential election is headed to a runoff after no candidate received over 50% of votes needed to claim victory Sunday. Former vice president and first lady Sandra Torres of the centrist party National Unity of Hope appeared to be in the lead. Torres previously ran for president twice and has been accused of corruption and campaign finance violations. Congressmember Bernardo Arévalo of the progressive Movimiento Semilla party placed second, surprising many. He’s the son of former President Juan José Arévalo, who pushed for revolutionary social reforms when he was in office from 1945 to ’51. Semilla has promoted the protection of human and Indigenous rights, press freedom and policies combating the climate crisis, among other measures.

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Rival Candidates Claim Victory in Sierra Leone Election as Police Raid Opposition HQ

Jun 26, 2023

In Sierra Leone, voters took to the polls to choose a new president over the weekend amid a catastrophic economic crisis and spiraling living costs. Current President Julius Maada Bio and his main opponent, Samura Kamara, have both claimed victory, though official results have yet to be released. Violent clashes erupted following the election, with police firing tear gas at supporters of the All People’s Congress opposition party as they awaited election results outside the party’s headquarters in the capital Freetown. One woman was severely wounded by the crackdown. A party representative spoke to reporters as heavily armed soldiers forced people from the building.

Sidi Yaya Tunis: “We were just here on a press conference. And then, the next thing we knew, we started hearing firing, and our whole office is surrounded by police and army. All of the vehicles around have been damaged, including that belonging to our presidential candidate. He is also upstairs. We were all tear-gassed, live bullets shot.”

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis Reelected as Syriza Falls Short and Far-Right Makes Gains

Jun 26, 2023

In Greece, conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is celebrating reelection after his New Democracy party won over 40% of votes in Sunday’s runoff election. The leftist opposition party, Syriza, came in a distant second with just 20% of the vote. A newly created far-right party known as the Spartans took almost 5%, surpassing the 3% threshold to enter Parliament. Mitsotakis came to power in 2019 after an anti-immigrant hate campaign in which he pledged to block the arrival of asylum seekers on Greek shores.

Beijing Suffers Record-Breaking Heat Wave with More Dangerous Temperatures Forecast

Jun 26, 2023

Northern China suffered a weekend of record temperatures, with highs in the capital Beijing topping 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, for three consecutive days. Authorities are warning of more dangerous heat in the forecast and recommend people limit their time outdoors. This is a 28-year-old Beijing resident.

Mr. Zhang: “I’m definitely worried, but I think I’m still young and can handle it. But I hope the older people will go out as little as possible these days and just stay at home. The temperature outside is just too hot. If your physical strength is not good or you have high blood pressure, it is easy to get heat stroke.”

“A Marine Wildfire”: Record North Atlantic Heat Threatens Ocean Life

Jun 26, 2023

Scientists are sounding the alarm over an extreme ocean heat wave in the North Atlantic, where surface temperatures are as much as 5 degrees Celsius, or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, above normal. Marine biologists have described the unprecedented warming as a “marine wildfire” that threatens a mass die-off of fish, oysters and other wildlife.

In Panama, authorities are preparing to reduce the number of ships allowed through the Panama Canal and are considering new weight restrictions on vessels making the transit. A severe drought has led to a shortage of water needed for locks that help move container ships across the canal.

Here in the United States, high humidity and extreme temperatures above 100 degrees are forecast to continue in Texas for much of the week. Parts of Southwest Texas hit 119 degrees Fahrenheit Friday, just one degree shy of Texas’s all-time highest temperature recorded three decades ago.

Paris Climate Finance Summit Wraps Without Agreement on Shipping Tax

Jun 26, 2023

In Paris, dozens of heads of state wrapped up a two-day summit on climate finance Friday without an agreement to tax greenhouse gas emissions produced from international shipping. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the Biden administration would consider the proposal, which was advanced by French President Emmanuel Macron. The climate action group Oil Change International noted leaders of wealthy nations were largely absent from the meeting, saying they missed a critical opportunity to redirect billions of dollars from fossil fuels, debt and the ultra-rich to address the climate crisis. This is Mitzi Tan, a climate activist from the Philippines who joined protests on the sidelines of the talks.

Mitzi Tan: “We are all in this crisis together. We are not equally impacted. Countries like the Philippines will experience it a lot worse. But we all have to band together to demand for justice, to demand for no more fossil fuel finance and to demand for debt cancellation, because that is what we need to ensure that communities and marginalized people across the world are able to access this finance and actually adapt, mitigate and live in this climate crisis.”

Supporters and Opponents of Abortion Rights Hold Competing Rallies on Anniversary of Dobbs Ruling

Jun 26, 2023

Hundreds of abortion rights supporters rallied in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, marking the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights under the 1973 ruling, Roe v. Wade. This is one of the protesters, Nadine Seiler.

Nadine Seiler: “We need to be engaged. If we don’t show up and if we don’t participate, we get what we get. And what we get is our rights taken away.”

The protests came as anti-choice activists also rallied in the capital. Former vice president and 2024 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Pence told a gathering of Christian conservatives the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe was “a historic victory,” but said it didn’t go far enough — and called for a nationwide 15-week ban on abortions.

Mike Pence: “Because of your work and because of your prayers, the Supreme Court of the United States sent Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history, where it belongs, and gave America a new beginning for life.”

We’ll have more on the fight over reproductive rights in the U.S. later in the broadcast with Amy Littlefield, abortion access correspondent at The Nation.

Turkish Police Attack Pride Marchers; Hundreds Marry in Mexico City LGBTQIA Celebration

Jun 26, 2023

Millions of LGBTQIA people and supporters took to the streets around the world to celebrate Pride over the weekend. In Turkey, advocates led rallies in Istanbul, defying a ban by the conservative government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who’s been condemned by human rights groups for violently targeting LGBTQIA people with hate speech and discriminatory policies. Last Sunday, a Trans Pride march was also attacked by Turkish police, after activists gathered across Istanbul despite a ban, facing repression from security forces that fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators.

In Mexico City, dozens of LGBTQIA couples held mass wedding ceremonies Friday to kick off Pride celebrations. This is Edgar Mendoza, who married his partner of a decade.

Edgar Mendoza: “I feel very happy, because we have been together for 10 years, and with this marriage, we got to take another step that we wanted, which is to become a more stable family. I think this document is very important. Beyond being a paper or a marriage symbol, it’s the security I can bring to my family.”

And in the U.S., millions participated in Pride marches across hundreds of cities, including New York, Chicago, Houston and San Francisco, yesterday, urging supporters to unite and continue fighting in the face of intensifying attacks against LGBTQIA rights.

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