Your Wednesday Briefing

Your Wednesday Briefing

Britain sets a heat record.

Good morning. We’re covering a heat record in Britain and Iran’s support of Russia’s invasion.

Residents Cooling Off In Leeds, England.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Britain made meteorological history yesterday when temperatures in some places topped 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time on record.

As a second straight day of record-setting heat gripped parts of Europe, firefighters were battling wildfires in France and Spain, as well as in Greece. The blazes have gobbled up forest and brush and, in some places, have forced evacuations. Here’s a map of the highest temperatures across Europe.

Fires even burned in areas of London. Mayor Sadiq Khan said the fire services were “under immense pressure” and urged residents to call only if there was “an emergency or an immediate risk to life.”

Normalcy may soon return: Thunderstorms in the evening offered a respite to Britons, and temperatures were expected to fall to the high 20s Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit) today. Cooler weather is also expected to return to Belgium and the Netherlands soon.

Infrastructure: London lacks cooling centers, a common feature in other major cities. And funding cuts and a lack of shelters have left homeless people in the British capital vulnerable to dangerous temperatures.

Global climate: Parts of the U.S. continued to face their hottest days in an already scorching year. And a new report painted a bleak assessment of Australia’s growing environmental crisis.

Future: Spain is set to approve a wind farm off the coast where Salvador Dalí once painted. The fight over the renewable energy project is emblematic of the choices Europe faces in trying to quit fossil fuels.

Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave President Vladimir Putin a full-throated endorsement yesterday of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The ayatollah met with Putin in Iran during a rare international trip by the Russian leader, a meeting that Tehran viewed as an honor. There, Khamenei repeated Putin’s argument that the U.S. and Europe had left the Kremlin no choice.

“In the case of Ukraine, if you had not taken the helm, the other side would have done so and initiated a war,” Khamenei told Putin, according to his office, though he expressed distaste for war. Here areupdates.

Analysis: Khamenei’s public proclamation on war appeared to go beyond the much more cautious support offered by another ally, China. It also signaled that the long-tense relationship between Moscow and Tehran was strengthening into a true partnership, cemented partly by the Western sanctions both countries face.

Region: In Iran, the leaders also met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, who has become a middleman in negotiations. They discussed Syria, where Turkey has been threatening a new military incursion. Khamenei appeared to discourage Turkey’s plans.

Fighting: Long-range artillery from the U.S. is helping Ukraine on the battlefield. But Russia continues to advance in the east. And Kharkiv residents fear that a new offensive is imminent.

Mike Blake/Reuters

Twitter and Elon Musk will go to trial for five days in October over whether the billionaire must complete his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company, a judge in Delaware ruled yesterday.

The ruling was the first decision in a lawsuit that Twitter filed this month to force Musk to go through with the blockbuster deal.

It was a win for Twitter, which had sought to expedite the case by requesting a trial in September. Musk had countered by asking for a trial in February, which Twitter argued would give him more time to back out of the deal.

Quotable: “The longer the merger transaction remains in limbo, the larger a cloud of uncertainty is cast over the company,” the judge said.

Background: After agreeing to buy Twitter in April, Musk indicated this month that he wanted to terminate the purchase. He said the company had not shared relevant information and had stymied his attempts to count bots and fake accounts.

Javier Bernardo/Associated Press
Aly Song/Reuters
  • Covid outbreaks across China have prompted widespread lockdowns and mass quarantines, which could worsen the country’s economic slump.

  • A banking scandal is testing public confidence in China’s government, which appears indifferent to the disappearance of people’s life savings.

  • Sri Lankans are lining up for basic goods. But people are orderly and patient with each other despite the deepening crisis.

  • Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, assembled foreign diplomats to cast doubt on Brazil’s elections, raising fears that he could dispute the coming vote. He trails badly in the polls.

Mark Peterson/Redux, for The New York Times

The “Stop the Steal” movement to reinstate Donald Trump as president has gone far beyond him. It precedes his rise to power, too.

Now, the growing right-wing movement threatens the future of American elections.

AFP via Getty Images

For nearly four decades, José Eduardo dos Santos dominated Angola’s political landscape. Yet when dos Santos died on July 8 at 79, he was far from the country he had tried to shape in his omnipresent image.

Alongside Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, he was part of the despised club of “leaders for life.”

Dos Santos voluntarily stepped down in 2017, after his own party turned against him. But in the final years of his presidency, he had tried to shore up his legacy by personalizing state-owned companies, putting his children in charge of them. It was an early sign of dos Santos’s shrinking circle of trust, said Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, a professor at Oxford University. Dos Santos’s son ran the country’s sovereign fund, while his daughter, who became Africa’s richest woman, ran the state oil company. All the while, most Angolans lived on $2 a day.

It’s a familiar strategy among longstanding leaders. In Equatorial Guinea, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in power since 1979, appointed his scandal-plagued son as vice president. In Zimbabwe, former President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, was seen as the power behind the throne. But the strategy has backfired. Dos Santos’s handpicked successor, President Joao Lourenço, prosecuted dos Santos’s son, and the former leader’s daughter fled amid corruption allegations.

Dos Santos, still a political symbol as Angola’s independence leader, escaped legal consequences but left for Spain, alienated and bitter. His burial has become a political battle. — Lynsey Chutel, Briefings writer

Bryan Gardner for The New York Times

J. Kenji López-Alt tried to improve a Depression-era burger recipe from Oklahoma. He couldn’t. Try the onion-rich sandwich for yourself.

A Factotum in the Book Trade” is a grouchy, funny memoir about life in a bookstore.

Here are five excellent restaurants to try if you happen to find yourself in Basque Country.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: “Tip off” (four letters).

And here’s today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Amelia

P.S. Watch the trailer for “She Said,” a movie based on The Times’s Harvey Weinstein investigation.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Europe’s heat wave.

Lynsey Chutel wrote the Arts and Ideas section. You can reach Amelia and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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