Russia and Ukraine press on
Russian forces are advancing in northeastern Ukraine, toward the battered city of Kupiansk, while Ukraine presses its offensive in the south.
Kupiansk has been under regular Russian artillery bombardment for months, and Russia hopes Ukraine will siphon soldiers away from its counteroffensive to come to the city’s defense. Early this month, Ukraine ordered a mandatory evacuation for 11,000 people remaining near the front lines, but many residents appear to have defied it.
Ukrainian commanders, in turn, are aiming to force the Russians to fight off its counteroffensive by redeploying troops from Kupiansk. One Ukrainian thrust is aimed at the city of Melitopol and another at the city of Berdiansk, both in the Zaporizhzhia region, but each has advanced only a few miles in the face of elaborate Russian defenses.
Yevgeny Prigozhin: Russia’s press service announced that the former Wagner leader was buried around 1 p.m. yesterday in eastern St. Petersburg. The ceremony was sealed off to all but a handful of people, to keep the crowds at bay.
Uganda arrests man on antigay charge
Ugandan prosecutors have lodged charges of “aggravated homosexuality” against a 20-year-old man — a crime punishable by death — in one of the country’s first applications of a provision included in one of the world’s harshest antigay laws.
Same-sex acts had long been considered illegal under Uganda’s penal code, but a law enacted this year introduced far harsher penalties and vastly extended the range of perceived offenses. The law calls for life in prison for anyone who engaged in gay sex and allows the death penalty under certain circumstances, including for having same-sex relations with disabled people.
Context: Many religious leaders and politicians in Uganda have painted same-sex relations as a Western import. “Africans are being used to accept this nonsense of the Western world, and homosexuality is on the agenda,” James Nsaba Buturo, a former minister of ethics and integrity in the Ugandan government, said in March.
A record-breaking wildfire in Greece
Nearly 200,000 acres have burned since Aug. 19 in a wildfire in the Evros region of Greece. The country is at the frontier of the continent’s climate crisis, and the combination of heat waves, gale-force winds and flammable vegetation have turned pine forests into tinder boxes, overwhelming local firefighters.
To bolster the response, Greece has turned to the E.U. for help, including aircraft, fire trucks and more than a hundred firefighters from a standing force sourced from Croatia, Germany, Romania, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Cyprus.
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Around the World
All year, officials work to protect New York City from a summertime West Nile virus outbreak. On the front line is Waheed Bajwa, an entomologist who counts sleeping mosquitoes and employs weapons such as dry ice and bacteria-impregnated corncob granules, fermented rabbit chow, copper BB pellets and a device called a Multi-Tube Vortexer.
His first insect loves were dragonflies and butterflies, but he has grown to admire mosquitoes, even though his job requires that he slaughter them by the millions. “If you look at them under the microscope, oh, they look beautiful — I will show you!” he said. “Their antennas. Their eyes, their compound eyes, their mouthparts.”
War in Ukraine: Russia’s invasion plunged professional tennis into a conflict of its own. Now players on both sides are facing off at the U.S. Open.
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Italy vs. England U16: The soccer game that drew 170 scouts.
The NATO alphabet
A for Alfa, B for Bravo, C for Charlie: The NATO Alphabet we know today was adopted officially in 1956 by the International Civil Aviation Organization. But while the system remains ubiquitous in ceremony, arising often in crossword entries, in practice it’s somewhat limited to aviation and the military.
“A lot of it is learned, to be honest,” Nell Avault, a speech and language pathologist, said. She gave the example of children defaulting to A for apple, adding: “They wouldn’t say ‘A is for aerodynamic,’ because that’s not a word they’re exposed to.”