Good morning. We’re covering a heat record in Britain and Iran’s support of Russia’s invasion.
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.
Our Coverage of the Russia-Ukraine War
- Grain Blockade: A breakthrough deal aims to lift a Russian blockade on Ukrainian grain shipments, easing a global food crisis. But in the fields of Ukraine, farmers are skeptical.
- An Ambitious Counterattack: Ukraine has been laying the groundwork to retake Kherson from Russia. But the endeavor would require huge resources, and could come at a heavy toll.
- Economic Havoc: As food, energy and commodity prices continue to climb around the world, few countries are feeling the bite as much as Ukraine.
- Inside a Siege: For 80 days, at the Avtostal steelworks, a relentless Russian assault met unyielding Ukrainian resistance. This is how it was for those who were there.
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.
October date for Musk-Twitter trial
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.
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.
ARTS AND IDEAS
A longtime leader’s lonely death
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
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, READ
What to Cook
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.