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Hard Numbers: Canadian wildfires bury NYC in smog, Ukrainian Nord Stream plot revealed, China digs itself into a hole, peacekeepers found dead in Somalia, Apple “ducks” another market record

New York City's Statue of Liberty is covered in haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada.

New York City's Statue of Liberty is covered in haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada.

REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
218: Millions of people across the US Northeast have been affected by hazy skies and air pollution caused by multiple Canadian wildfires. On Tuesday night, the air quality in New York City reached the "very unhealthy” level of 218 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s index. Mayor Eric Adams recommended staying indoors as much as possible, especially for those with pre-existing respiratory problems.

6: Remember the last time a piece of critical infrastructure was blown up and everyone argued about whether it was Russia or not? We still don’t know who blew up the Nord Stream pipeline last September, but as early as last June the US apparently learned of a plot by six Ukrainian special forces operatives to attack the underwater line. Was Ukraine always the most likely culprit? Sorry Seymour Hersh, some of us thought so.

11,100: If you’re in this hole, keep digging! A Chinese oil company is set to dig the world’s deepest hole – 11,100 meters down into the oil-rich Tarim Basin in Northwest China. The aim is to study the evolution and internal structure of the Earth, but also, of course, to potentially boost China’s access to much-needed energy resources.

54: At least 54 Ugandan peacekeepers were found dead at an African Union base after an attack there by al-Shabaab jihadists. Al-Shabaab has been waging an insurgency against Somalia’s central government for more than a decade, but today’s death toll is one of the highest since the African Union force joined a Somali government offensive against Al-Shabaab last August.

3 trillion: Apple, formerly known as the world’s first $2 trillion dollar company, has now become the world’s first to reach a market value of $3 trillion. The milestone coincided with its announcement that Apple devices will no longer correct one of the most common swear words to “ducking,” a feature that has long irritated iPhone users and caused some ducking hilarious typos.

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