WORLD: All eyes are still on Israel-Palestine. Reminder: earlier this week, far-right Israeli Jews marched through Palestinian areas of Jerusalem. Some chanted “Death to Arabs.” Later, Hamas launched incendiary balloons into Israel, causing at least 10 fires in the country’s south. The Israeli gov responded by firing rockets into Gaza. There were hopes that the violence had come to an end...until militants in Gaza sent even more incendiary balloons into southern Israel and the Israeli gov carried out airstrikes in the Palestinian territory. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, today, Iran heads to the polls in its presidential election. It’s already controversial. See: some people are calling for a boycott of the election after multiple contenders were barred from running. As of now, conservative Ebrahim Raisi is expected to win.
USA: Yesterday, Prez Biden signed a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Yes, really. FYI, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. This comes after the House of Reps overwhelmingly passed the bill, with just 14 Republicans opposing it. In other news, that St. Louis couple who aimed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters last summer just pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. They’ll be forced to pay nearly $3,000 in fines and give up those guns. Meanwhile, recently, the House of Reps voted to repeal the 2002 war powers measure that gave Prez George W. Bush the authority to invade Iraq. The vote was 268-161. Now, it’s off to the Senate.
CLIMATE: The National Aeronautics and Space Admin (aka NASA) has some bad news. Spoiler alert: the Earth is trapping nearly twice as much heat as it did in 2005 - an “unprecedented” and “alarming” increase. The doubling is apparently due, at least in part, to an uptick in greenhouse gases and water vapor. In other news, the American West is currently facing a brutal heat wave. Arizona and Montana are dealing with wildfires. Temps are surpassing 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors are warning people that they could get third-degree burns from the asphalt. All this comes as the region is experiencing the worst drought in two decades.