The Russian Bridge to Nowhere – OZY



Troubled waters

Fighters Down Strategic Bridge as Zelenskyy gets to work

Ukrainian forces struck the Antonivskyi Bridge over the Dnieper, cutting off a major communication route for the Russian war effort in the south of the country. Previous efforts last week damaged the bridge, but Moscow officials said Tuesday’s bombardment all but demolished it. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has named his replacement as chief prosecutor after firing the previous one last month for failing to root out Russian spies in the ranks. Zelenskyy has offered Andriy Kostin, a lawmaker from his Servant of the People party, to take on the role, but it’s unclear when parliament will next meet to confirm it. (Source: AP, Reuters)

not a drop

European farmers are preparing for the driest conditions in decades

In parts of the UK, water levels have not been this low since 1976, and officials expect to officially declare a drought next month. The country’s National Drought Group met yesterday, three months ahead of schedule, and advised residents to reduce their water use – although many expect more serious restrictions on residential irrigation and agricultural soon. It’s a similar story in Spain, where global warming is hitting particularly hard. “We are used to the lack of water, but not to this extent,” said a farmer. This year’s olive harvest on non-irrigated land will likely be 20% of the usual haul. (Sources: France24, The Guardian)

Cross the roads

Recent Court Rulings Inspire Steps to Bring Prayer Back to Schools

Religious activists across the United States are mounting challenges to laws mandating the separation of church and state — and the tide may be with them. After the Supreme Court sided with a football coach who prayed on the field during games, schools in Illinois, Alabama and Oregon agreed to review employee rules praying at school. But Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says some districts have long ignored federal guidelines anyway. Meanwhile, parents of non-Christian students fear that in much of America “prayer” will be Christian by default, raising concerns about what the new school year will bring. (Source: WaPo)

ring of fire

Early morning earthquake rocks the Philippines, killing four people

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the northern part of Luzon, the country’s most populous island, damaging buildings and forcing thousands of people to flee to safety. “Despite the sad reports of earthquake damage, we are ensuring a rapid response to those in need and affected by this calamity,” incoming President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said in a statement. The landlocked province of Abra suffered severe damage and dozens of injuries reported near the epicenter, but officials warned that aftershocks could be felt across much of Luzon, including Manila, where trains from suburbs were briefly arrested. (Source: Reuters)


here are some things you should know today:

He goes back home. Ultimately. Sri Lanka’s ousted former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is back in Colombo, a lawmaker has said – although no date has been announced and he has been granted a 14-day extension on his Singapore visa. (Source: BBC) The story repeats itself. Nearly one million residents of suburban Wuhan will be locked down again after four cases of COVID-19 were detected in the city. (Source: Bloomberg) Authentic cosplay. The jacket Buzz Aldrin wore when he first walked on the moon fetched a record $2,772,500 at a Sotheby’s auction. It is the only private garment of the Apollo 11 mission: the jackets of the other astronauts are in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. (Source: CNN)

Kind (kicking)


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don’t monkey

Fauci tackles the homophobic stigma surrounding monkeypox

Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past, warn health experts as concerns about monkeypox grow. The specter of the battle against HIV/AIDS – and stigma – looms as researchers find that approximately 99% of US patients with the virus are men who have sex with men. White House medical adviser and AIDS veteran Dr. Anthony Fauci said community is strength. “You’re making it easier for them to access tests, treatments and vaccines, instead of making it a situation where people are afraid to come forward for this stuff.” (Source: NPR)

Relevant results

The next abortion rights battleground is your search bar

Is it public safety or market manipulation? That’s the question Google is facing after 17 Republican state attorneys general warned it about obscuring search results for “crisis pregnancy centers,” organizations known to impersonate for clinics and keeping pregnant women away from abortion services. The coalition wrote, “If you fail to resist this political pressure, we will act quickly to protect American consumers from this dangerous axis of corporate and government power,” threatening to launch an investigation into whether the change in search results violate antitrust or religious discrimination laws. This follows previous calls by Democrats to screen anti-abortion clinics from the results. (Source: Gizmodo)

Guardians of the Finders?

France rounds up other suspects in art trafficking scandal

Archaeologists Noëmi Daucé and Jean-François Charnier both previously worked in acquisitions at Agence France-Muséums, an agency confirming the provenance of artifacts for the opening of the Abu Dhabi arm of the Louvre in 2017. They have now been arrested by French police for allegedly ignoring worries about the origin of two stolen Egyptian artifacts and pushing the museum to acquire them. The AFM was blamed for “professional negligence”, while another ex-employee, former Louvre director Jean-Luc Martinez, was charged with “complicity in fraud and money laundering”. The artifacts in the high-profile trafficking case are thought to be worth around $50 million. (Source: ArtNews, Artnet)

walrus hot summer

Freya the walrus basks in the sun and destroys boats on a European tour

The 1,300-pound sea mammal has made herself at home sunbathing in an Oslo fjord, although Norwegian boat owners may not be thrilled to see her enjoying their craft. Freya left a trail of “not worthy of a walrus” boats in her wake during her tour of northern Europe. It was spotted in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden before arriving in Oslo and becoming a tourist attraction in its own right. Norwegian officials say she is healthy and doing well, adding: “It’s a shame about the property damage, but that’s how it is when you have wild animals.” (Source: The Guardian, HuffPost)

love your player

Pride-themed rugby shirts are on fire in Australian sport

Seven players from Sydney’s National Rugby League side Manly Sea Eagles will miss tomorrow night’s game after refusing to wear rainbow-trimmed shirts to celebrate the LGBT community. Players have cited religious and cultural objections to the uniform. Former Manly player Ian Roberts was the first – and so far only – player in league history to exit. He warned that for gamers who might hide their sexuality while playing, the consequences could be deadly. “It’s tough language to hear, but there are kids in the suburbs killing themselves.” (Source: FOX Sports, WWOS)

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