Some stories covered tonight:

  • Tanker attack: UK and US blame Iran for deadly ship attack
  • Turkey: Foreign tourists evacuated as wildfires threaten resorts
  • Tourists evacuated from Pescara as Italy records more than 800 wildfires
  • Floods block food from reaching thousands of refugees in Colombia
  • Western Wildfires May Take Weeks To Months To Contain
  • A New Tunnel Is Spotted At A Chinese Nuclear Test Site
  • N.Korean leader’s sister warns Seoul against military drill with Washington
  • Nearly 400 migrants rescued in Mediterranean Sea
  • Death toll in Afghanistan floods tops 100, dozens still missing
  • When will the summer coronavirus surge peak? It will get worse before it gets better, experts predict.

Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, Chitown Kev, eeff, Magnifico, annetteboardman, Besame, jck and Rise above the swamp. . Alumni editors include (but not limited to) Interceptor 7, Man Oh Man, wader, Neon Vincent, palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (RIP), ek hornbeck (RIP), rfall, ScottyUrb, Doctor RJ, BentLiberal, Oke (RIP) and jlms qkw.

Since 2007 the OND has been a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary. Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00 AM Eastern Time.


Tanker attack: UK and US blame Iran for deadly ship attack

The UK and US believe Iran was behind a tanker attack that killed two people, and have vowed to respond, calling it a violation of international law.

The MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked off Oman on Thursday.

A British national and a Romanian citizen were killed.

The statements came after Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said there was “evidence” that its longstanding foe Iran was responsible.

Mr Bennett warned that “we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way”, while Tehran rejected what it called the “baseless accusations”.

The attack on the MV Mercer Street appears to be the latest escalation in an undeclared “shadow war” between Israel and Iran.

Since March there have been several attacks on both Israeli and Iranian-operated vessels, which are seen as tit-for-tat incidents. Casualties are considered rare.


Turkey: Foreign tourists evacuated as wildfires threaten resorts 

Tourists have been evacuated from beaches in south-western Turkey, where raging wildfires are now threatening hotels and homes.

Turkish Coastguard vessels – assisted by private boats and yachts – were deployed to bring holidaymakers to safety, according to local media.

In the city of Bodrum, three five-star hotels were reportedly evacuated.

The fires, which have been burning since Wednesday, have left six people dead.

Two more fatalities were confirmed on Saturday. They were among the thousands of people who have been battling almost 100 separate blazes in resorts and villages on Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts – a major tourist region.

Officials say all but 10 of the fires have now been brought under control.

The Guardian

Tourists evacuated from Pescara as Italy records more than 800 wildfires

At least five people have been wounded and holidaymakers evacuated after wildfires devastated a pine wood near a beach in Pescara, Italy, as one of the worst heatwaves in decades swept across south-east Europe.

A five-year-old girl was taken to hospital but her condition is not believed to be life-threatening, according to reports.

About 800 people were evacuated from their homes, including a convent of nuns, after a fire broke out in the 53-hectare (131-acre) Pineta Dannunziana nature reserve, as the fires continue to be active on different fronts.

“We had to evacuate several homes and beach resorts due to the smoke,” said Carlo Masci, the mayor of Pescara. “The biggest problem is the hot wind. We are doing the best we can to limit the damage.”

More than 800 flare-ups were recorded this weekend, mainly in the south, Italy’s national fire service said.

“In the last 24 hours, firefighters have carried out more than 800 interventions: 250 in Sicily, 130 in Puglia and Calabria, 90 in Lazio and 70 in Campania,” the service tweeted.

Wildfires have also broken out across much of south-eastern Europe, including Spain, Greece and Turkey, who are dealing with one of the most severe heatwaves in decades.

The Guardian

Floods block food from reaching thousands of refugees in Colombia

Flooding and landslides have left thousands of refugees cut off from food supplies in Ituango, the conflict-strewn municipality in north-western Colombia.

Roads have been blocked by mud and debris after heavy rains, while helicopters have been unable to land. As a result, the delivery of food and medical supplies has been stymied, and communications cut off.

More than 4,000 people have fled the violence of militias operating in the resource-rich region in recent months. Bringing only what they could carry with them, entire families have fled from their homes in rural hamlets to the urban hub anchoring the region. According to the UN, 1,300 of those displaced are children. 

“This is a terrifying situation; we’re seeing that the government is completely incapable of protecting these people,” said Isabel Cristina Zuleta, an activist with Rios Vivos, a local environmental watchdog. “The government is not tending to the growing poverty there, nor to the cultural patrimony that is lost when peasant farmers have to abandon their homes, animals and livelihoods.”

The government in Bogotá have now dispatched military and police to the area, along with the interior minister.


Western Wildfires May Take Weeks To Months To Contain

Pockets of the American West continued to burn over the weekend, as another nine large fires were reported on Saturday in California, Idaho, Montana and Oregon.

The 87 fires still active in 13 states have consumed more than 1.7 million acres. Just shy of 3 million acres have been scorched since the start of 2021, with months left in what experts predict will be a devastating fire season.

In southern Oregon, the Bootleg Fire has become the largest active blaze in the country. The 413,000-acre inferno was contained at 56%, as of Saturday night. A fire line has been constructed around the entire perimeter, ranging from 100 to 150-feet wide between the burn and unburned areas. However, that fire line may have to double, up to 300 feet, to prevent the fire from spreading.

The U.S. Forest Service is predicting critical fire weather over the weekend in the Bootleg Fire area. Drought conditions, combined with low humidity and strong winds, could increase fire activity, potentially carrying embers and creating nearby spot fires. Residents in neighboring Lake County have been advised to be prepared to evacuate should things take a turn for the worst. Officials don’t anticipate the fire to be entirely contained until the beginning of October.


A New Tunnel Is Spotted At A Chinese Nuclear Test Site 

China appears to be expanding its sprawling nuclear weapons testing complex in the nation’s western desert. Satellite imagery shared exclusively with NPR shows a possible new tunnel being dug and fresh roads added at the site, known as Lop Nur, where China has tested its nuclear weapons in the past.

“This is new construction linked to areas that have in the past supported nuclear test activities,” says Renny Babiarz, vice president for analysis and operations at AllSource Analysis, a private geospatial analysis firm that spotted the tunnel using satellite imagery from the commercial company Planet.

But Babiarz adds that it remains far from clear what the tunnel will be used for. China has not conducted full-scale nuclear testing since the 1990s, when it and the world’s other major nuclear powers entered into a voluntary moratorium on testing. The Chinese government, and other nations including the U.S., have continued to test the nonnuclear components of nuclear weapons — sometimes underground.


N.Korean leader’s sister warns Seoul against military drill with Washington

SEOUL, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said on Sunday that if South Korea carries out a planned joint military exercise with the United States it will damage the resolve of the two Koreas to rebuild relations, state media KCNA reported.

Kim Yo Jong also said a recent decision to restore hotlines between the two Koreas should not be seen as anything more than reconnecting “physical” ties, and that it would be “thoughtless” to assume that summits are around the corner. read more

Her comments come at a time when North and South Korea are in talks to hold a summit as part of efforts to restore relations. Washington and Seoul are due to hold a joint military drill later in August. read more

“Our government and military will keep a close eye on whether the South Koreans go ahead with the aggressive war exercises, or make a big decision. Hope or despair? That’s not up to us,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by KCNA.

Al Jazeera

Nearly 400 migrants rescued in Mediterranean Sea

Two humanitarian rescue ships have pulled 394 migrants from a dangerously overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean in an operation lasting about six hours, Reuters news agency reported.

The German and French NGO ships Sea-Watch 3 and Ocean Viking overnight on Sunday rescued the migrants in Tunisian waters 68km (42 miles) from the North African coast, near oil facilities and other ships. 

Sea-Watch 3, which assumed command of the operation, took 141 of the survivors while Ocean Viking took the rest. The yacht Nadir, from the German NGO ResQ Ship, later gave support.

It was not clear if there were any deaths or injuries among the migrants who were in the wooden boat, which was crammed with migrants on deck and inside the hull.

The craft was taking in water and its engine was not working, a Reuters witness said.

The NGO ships had already rescued people from distress at sea earlier this week. After earlier rescue operations over the weekend, the Ocean Viking alone had about 555 people on board by Sunday evening.

Al Jazeera

Death toll in Afghanistan floods tops 100, dozens still missing    (like they don’t have enough problems)

Abdul Samai Zarbi, spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), told dpa news agency more than 170 houses had been either “partially or completely” destroyed, affecting about 300 families.

While he gave an injury toll of 34, Zarbi noted figures were preliminary and subject to change.

Locals search for victims of a mudslide in Nuristan [Ubidullah Abid/AP Photo]

The flooding has also destroyed a major bridge in the district, according to the disaster authority, which said it was not able to provide essential support such as food, temporary shelter and medical support to the victims.

“Unfortunately [since] the area is under the control of the Taliban, we were unable to send our provincial teams to the area,” Tamim Azimi, spokesman for Afghanistan’s state ministry for disaster management, told the AFP news agency.

However, survey teams from the Afghan Red Crescent Society have travelled to the area to assess the damage and the support needed.

Reporting from Kabul, Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis said the United Nations was also trying to access the district to provide assistance, including clean drinking water.

The Taliban has seized large tracts of rural territory and captured key border crossings since early May when US-led foreign forces began a final withdrawal from Afghanistan that is now almost complete.

Washington Post

When will the summer coronavirus surge peak? It will get worse before it gets better, experts predict.

The newly resurgent coronavirus could spark 140,000 to 300,000 cases a day in the United States come August, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant and the widespread resumption of normal activities, disease trackers predict.

The nation is already reporting more than 70,000 cases a day, according to The Washington Post’s rolling seven-day average — an increase of nearly 60,000 in the daily average in less than six weeks. Cases, measured as that rolling average, have risen to levels last seen in February.

Justin Lessler, a University of North Carolina epidemiology professor who assisted in coordinating pandemic forecasts through the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, said he was “quite concerned. … It worries me that we may have been too optimistic” in projecting lower caseloads into the fall. 

The seven-day average of cases nationwide has risen by about 60 percent in the past week alone. Daily hospitalizations rose by roughly 40 percent and deaths rose almost 30 percent, now averaging more than 300 each day.

“It is getting worse, and at least as of right now, it is not really slowing down in the U.S.,” said David W. Dowdy, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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