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National and World News – Overview – Sunday 02 July 2023

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Hunter Biden and parent-child politics in the media spotlight

A four-year-old girl in rural Arkansas knows her father is Hunter Biden and her grandfather is the President of the United States. She talks about the two of them a lot, but she hasn’t met them. Her parents ended a year-long court battle over child support on Thursday, agreeing that Biden, who has started a second career as a painter, will hand over some of his paintings to his daughter in addition to monthly support payments. Still, some of the president’s allies fear the case could hurt his re-election prospects by giving some Democrats a view that his son is getting more attention.

Ability to pay tuition is often the first hurdle students face in the affirmative action debate

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action is likely to have a major impact on admissions at elite colleges, potentially limiting the number of black and Hispanic students at the most selective colleges and affecting the diversity of future leaders in business, government and beyond sex. But the impact of race-conscious admissions has always been limited to a relatively small number of students, since those schools are not an academic or financial option for the vast majority of students. For many students, the biggest hurdles are practical: applying, paying fees, and completing college.

Supreme Court ruling on education may offer Democrats an opening

In overturning race-conscious college admissions, the Supreme Court gave Democrats a way to move away from discussions of preference based on race to one more closely aligned with class. The court ruling could push for broader access to working-class voters who have turned away from the party because of what they perceive as elitism. The question is, will the party turn? Infrastructure spending, electric vehicle investment, broadband expansion and semiconductor manufacturing boost jobs across America “By next year, Democrats will be able to say we’ve invested in red states, blue states, urban areas, rural areas,” Simon Rosenberg said Grid, the Democratic strategist. “We’re not like Republicans. We’re for everybody.”

The early arrival of the heat wave disrupted the pace of life of southerners

The southern summer is hot and requires adaptation. Construction workers, landscapers and delivery drivers all wore cooling rags under their sombreros. Dog walkers, joggers, farm workers and pretty much everyone knows it’s best to go out early in the morning or in the evening. This long-standing combination of medical and homemade remedies is becoming increasingly important to preserve livelihoods and summer traditions, especially ahead of the upcoming National Day holiday, as stifling humidity along the Gulf Coast will persist, maintaining dangerous and sweltering conditions.

From the docks to Dodger Stadium, LA workers are flexing the power of unions

In the two months since the strike, writers have become regulars outside Southern California studios. At large ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach, operations were disrupted for weeks until preliminary contractual agreements were reached for West Coast dockers. Schools across the city were closed as bus drivers, canteen workers and teachers went on strike. Now, the union representing about 15,000 hotel workers in Los Angeles is threatening to go on strike this weekend as more than 160,000 actors prepare to shut down Hollywood productions if a new contract deal cannot be reached. Unions are in trouble across the country, but in California, they’re in trouble.

American cities have a retrofit problem, and it’s not just office buildings

Healthy cities must build new things and fix old things. But they also perform regular shape-shifting tricks, turning existing building blocks into something new. Factories turned into loft apartments. Industrial waterfronts turned into parks. But that flexibility has been eroded for decades. American cities already have switching problems. Zoning codes are getting bulkier and more prescriptive. Well-intentioned development speed bumps such as environmental reviews and public meetings are often used to protect narrow interests rather than social ones. Piles of regulations or a culture of “patchwork” and “no” now limit the ability to turn building blocks into something new.

Everyone knew the immigrant ship was doomed. No one helped.

Officials used radar, phone and radio to monitor from the air and sea as the migrant boat Adriana lost power and drifted aimlessly off the coast of Greece for 13 hours as the humanitarian catastrophe slowed. Slowly unfolded, killing more than 600 migrants. Satellite imagery, sealed court documents, more than 20 interviews with survivors and officials and a series of radio transmissions in the final hours suggest the scale of the deaths was avoidable. Dozens of officials and coast guard personnel were monitoring the boat, but the Greek government viewed the situation as a law enforcement operation, not a rescue.

Wagner Uprising Highlights China, Russia Risks

Three months ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping clinked glasses with Vladimir Putin in Moscow, expressing confidence in the “firm support” the Russian president enjoys among the Russian people. Putin’s image of invulnerability has been shaken by an insurgency in Russia by Wagner’s private military group, a confidence that is now being called into question. Close observers of China say the mutiny, though short-lived, could lead Xi to hedge against close ties with Russia that have exposed Beijing to global criticism and threatened some of its interests overseas. Putin’s risk appetite has forced Beijing to defend its relationship with Russia amid Western pressure.

Ukraine says ready for Wagner’s troops to arrive in Belarus

Belarus has stepped up plans to grant Wagner Group mercenaries safe haven after a failed Russian insurgency, and Ukrainian troops say they are ready to deal with any potential threat from their northern neighbor. In recent days, Ukrainian officials have sought to quell concerns about Wagner’s troops, which until recently fought for Russia in Ukraine, while also preparing for their possible arrival. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who hosted the Spanish prime minister on Saturday as part of his ongoing diplomatic efforts, nodded in favor of plans to strengthen the border in Friday night speeches, with top commanders emphasizing the current No threats have been identified.

Dutch king apologizes for country’s role in slave trade

Dutch King Willem-Alexander formally apologized Saturday for the Netherlands’ role in the slave trade, a rare direct apology by a sitting European monarch for a historic injustice. Willem-Alexander, who ascended the throne in 2013, made the apology at the annual commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean colonies in Amsterdam, which kicked off a year marking the 150th anniversary of slavery. Practice there is over. “We live with the horrors of slavery in the past,” William-Alexander said, adding that the consequences of the slave trade are still being felt today in the form of racism.

Macron cancels state visit to Germany due to domestic unrest

French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a planned state visit to Germany on Saturday as the government struggled to contain violent protests over last week’s police shooting death of a 17-year-old . More than 1,300 people were arrested as unrest continued to engulf major cities including Marseille and Lyon, although the interior ministry said Friday night’s violence was “less intense” than the night before. Hundreds of cars have been set on fire, buildings have been vandalized and shops in some cities have been looted since the protests sparked by the teen’s death on Tuesday.

Botswana and De Beers sign agreement to continue rich diamond partnership

Botswana government officials and the chief executive of international diamond group De Beers signed a tentative agreement on Saturday to continue a decades-long diamond mining partnership that has appeared to be breaking down in recent months. Minutes before the midnight deadline on Friday, the two parties announced that after years of negotiations they had agreed in principle to renew the partnership, which supplies most of the diamonds to De Beers and most of its revenue to the Botswana government. Details of the deal are still being worked out. The agreements were signed by Mines and Energy Minister Lefoko Fox Moagi and De Beers chief executive Al Cook.

via wired source

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