SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Millions of people across the country are feeling intense, excruciating heat right now. Daily temperatures in the high 90s and 100s have led 28 states to issue heat advisories. This, of course, comes as extreme heat continues to scald Western Europe and China, causing wildfires, melting roads and killing hundreds of people.
Marta Segura is the chief heat officer of Los Angeles and joins us now. Thanks so much for being with us.
MARTA SEGURA: Thank you for having me, Scott.
SIMON: You were appointed LA's first chief heat officer in June. Is it telling that so many cities now need a chief heat officer like a police chief or fire chief?
SEGURA: I think that it is, and we're definitely at a crossroads, Scott because extreme heat is our primary climate emergency. We have six times the number of heat waves in Los Angeles. They're more frequent. They last through mid-November. So our bodies don't have time to recover. And so this plays back to what we need to request from Washington, D.C., and the federal government so cities are prepared for the future and our people are protected.
SIMON: When you say prepared for the future, your best information is that this is our future, at least for a number of years?
SEGURA: This is our future, and if we don't modernize our infrastructure and create climate-adapted cities and revise our building codes, it's going to get worse, and it's going to get more uninhabitable. So it's bad now, but again, if we don't prepare and if we don't invest, particularly in the most vulnerable communities because they experience the pollution burden. They experience existing health conditions like kidney disease, diabetes, asthma. And the combination makes it worse for those vulnerable communities. So when we're thinking about these infrastructure investments, we definitely need to prioritize the most vulnerable areas to ensure that we prevent those preventable hospitalizations and deaths.
Our world is dying and we are dying with it. Don't say we weren't warned.
All that's left is for us to pick the music for the death march. One song I'll want to hear is Aretha Franklin's "Until You Say You Love Me."
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, July 22, 2022. The President of the United States has COVID, the Turkish government and Stephen King caught lying, and much more.
ADDED: I was asked in an e-mail Martha read why I hadn't commented on NYT's "I Was Wrong" series? Because it's garbage and nonsense. It's impossible to pick just one but I'll go with the ridiculous Gail Collins. She's apologizing for bringing up Mitt Romney's dog -- repeatedly -- in 2012 -- Bob Smmerby called her out for this nonsense in real time.
That's b.s. and crap. She's making a joke of the dog again.
Does Gail think she has nothing to apologize for? Nothing she was wrong about?
Because I am still in possession of the e-mail she wrote in 2003 where she attacked a NYT subscriber for stating that with Maureen Dowd -- the paper's sole female columnist -- on vacation, why didn't Gail -- then over the opinion and editorial section, hire a woman instead of offering more male voices. If Gail's forgotten the e-mail maybe this will help, "It is not important to have a woman represented on the pages, it is important to have a variety of opinions represented."
Okay. Help you any, Gail? Of course, you'd promoted your useless (and pathetic) book in 2003 and posed as a feminist.
I believe most feminists would feel that your inability to provide opportunities for women was very anti-woman.
I know all the feminists I've circulated the e-mail to over the years have agreed with me. And, as I've noted for years here, when that e-mail was forwarded to me, I immediately began sharing it.
Gail Collins is an ugly woman who cries 'feminist!' when she needs something. She does nothing to help other women. Maybe Gale might explain why she REFUSED columns on Coretta Scott King when Coretta passed? Maybe she might want to apologize for that and apologize for promoting her White friend (the minor playwright) who had died instead. Exactly how many mentions did that playwright get?
And Coretta? Gail turned down one column after another. When I raised the issue with Bob Herbert, he finally did a column that noted Coretta had passed -- that wasn't the focus of his column but he agreed Gail's behavior was outrageous.
A Civil Rights activist who was known around the world passed away and Gail refused to publish columns on the passing. MLK's widow.
But Gail's White friend (who wasn't a great playwright) got how much coverage on the op-ed pages?
It was ourtageous.
Gail Collins is both sexist and racist. I'd think she'd have quite a bit to cop to.
Is Kamala Harris in charge? If not, should she be? Those are the questions that people should be asking now that Joe Biden has COVID 19. While it can be mild, it can also be harsh and with Joe's advanced age and already questions about whether or not he's fit to be president, those are serious questions. The President of the United States has an illness that can be very debilitating.
The fact that Biden, who is surrounded by a level of security unknown to all but a handful of Americans, has contracted COVID-19 exposes the recklessness of his administration’s “living with COVID” policy. In recent weeks, Biden was made into the poster boy for this propaganda campaign, taking numerous maskless photo ops throughout the world.
Historically, an announcement that the president is ill, especially with a virus responsible for widespread death, would be taken with great seriousness, if for no other reason than it creates a political crisis. Instead, Biden’s bout with COVID-19 has been presented almost as a cause for celebration.
Typical of this trend is an op-ed in the Washington Post by Leana Wen, one of the chief minimizers of the Omicron variant who has supported all of the Biden administration’s unscientific policies. Wen writes, “President Biden’s covid-19 diagnosis is an opportunity for his administration to demonstrate the success of his leadership on the pandemic and what living with the coronavirus looks like.” She adds, “Biden should use his illness as an opportunity to inform the public that covid-19 is a manageable disease for almost everyone, so long as they use the tools available to them.”
Instead of reflecting on their disastrous mishandling of the pandemic—which has now killed over 600,000 Americans in just the first 18 months of his administration—the Biden White House is promoting this same line and stressing that he will continue working while sick with COVID-19, with the implication that all Americans should do the same when infected.
On the topic of viruses, Jeffrey St. Clair (COUNTERPUNCH) points out:
Ronald Reagan didn’t so much ignore AIDS as actively encourage and facilitate its spread. Reagan’s Surgeon General, C. Everett Coop, said that the view in the Reagan White House as that ‘they (homosexuals) are only getting what they justly deserve.” Biden seems to be taking the same tact for monkeypox, which is being written off as a homosexual disease spread by promiscuous gay sex. (It’s not.)
Meanwhile, at NEWSWEEK, Tom O'Connor observes:
Recent attacks in northern Iraq and Syria have sparked outrage in both countries as well as neighboring nations and have raised concerns for the United States, whose NATO ally, Turkey, has been named as a culprit by the targeted states.
Funerals were held across Iraq on Thursday after nine tourists were killed a day earlier in what Iraqi officials have described as a Turkish artillery attack on a resort in the northern village of Zakho, located in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who received the bodies of the dead in a ceremony, announced a national day of mourning as hundreds took to the street in protest.
In a statement released shortly after the attack, Kadhimi condemned the "brutal attack," which he said "underscores the fact that Turkey ignored Iraq's continuous demands to refrain from military violations against Iraqi territory and the lives of its people."
The attack in Iraq killed 9 people -- three of which were were children. IRAQI NEWS notes:
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) publish a press statement on Thursday condemning the use of explosive weapons in populated areas as three Iraqi children, among nine civilians, were killed on Wednesday in a Turkish bombardment targeting a summer resort in a hill village in Zakho district of Duhok governorate in Kurdistan region.
“UNICEF is deeply troubled by the killing of three girls, a 1-year-old, a 12-year-old and a 16-year-old, in the attack in Dohuk governorate in Iraq,” the UNICEF statement mentioned.
“UNICEF condemns all acts of violence against children and joins the families in mourning the killing of their children and wishes those wounded a fast recovery. Being a victim of, witnessing or fearing violence should never be part of any child’s experience,” the statement added.
All children in Iraq deserve to live their lives without the constant threat of violence exacerbated by the use of explosive weapons. UNICEF calls on all parties to fulfil their obligations, under international law, to protect children at all times and without delay, according to the UNICEF statement.
Ali Jassim Tweets:
REUTERS offers this video report.
Iraq said it would be taking its case to the UN Security Council, even as Turkey denied involvement in the artillery attack on a tourist resort in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Dahuk region and called for a joint investigation. Victims included a 1-year-old girl and a newly married man who had traveled there with his bride for their honeymoon.
The Council on National Security told the Foreign Ministry to recall its charge d’affaires in Ankara for consultations and to hold off sending a new ambassador.
Several Iraqi tourism companies said they were launching a boycott on Turkey, while the Iraqi government advised its citizens not to travel there. Protests continued outside the Turkish visa center in Baghdad today following demonstrations in the Shiite holy cities of Najaf and Karbala and in the southern city of Nasiriyah the night before.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu kept up the denials today, saying that Iraqi authorities must not fall for “this trap.”
Meanwhile, mourners carried the coffin of Abbas Abdul Hussein, a 30-year-old Iraqi killed in Zakho. Hussein had just been married five days earlier, his cousin Said Alawadi said, demanding the government “initiate deterrent measures against Turkey," even cut all political and economic ties.
The attack catapulted into the spotlight Turkey's ongoing military operations against Turkey's Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq, an issue that has long divided Iraqi officials. With deep economic ties between the two countries, many hesitate to damage relations with Ankara.
Baghdad and Ankara are also divided on other issues, including the Kurdish region's independent oil sector and water-sharing. But in the aftermath of the attack, anger against Turkey is mounting on the Iraqi street.
In April, Turkey launched its latest offensive in northern Iraq, part of a series of cross-border operations that started in 2019 to combat the PKK.
The Iraqi government condemned Wednesday's attack as a “flagrant violation of Iraq's sovereignty,” convened an emergency national security meeting and ordered a pause in dispatching Iraq's new ambassador to Ankara.
We'll wind down with this:
The following sites updated: