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Hurricane Beryl makes its way to the Caribbean's Windward Islands, in a composite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GOES-East weather satellite June 30, 2024.

NOAA/Handout REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Beryl barrels toward land, Deadly bombings hit Nigeria, Incumbent leads in Mauritania, India beats South Africa at cricket

1st: Hurricane season’s first big storm has a name: Beryl. Strengthening into a Category 4 storm on Sunday, Beryl is rolling into the Caribbean with 130-mph winds and is expected to reach the Windward Islands in the West Indies early Monday.

18: Suicide bombings have killed at least 18, and possibly as many as 30, people in northeastern Nigeria. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but police say that female bombers struck a wedding and a funeral in Gwoza, in Borno State on Saturday. The region is home to Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency, which has displaced more than two million people, and Islamic State West Africa Province has carried out similar bombings in Borno state.

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Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) protest against the high cost of living and massive suffering following a hike in petrol and devaluation of the Naira in Lagos, Nigeria.

REUTERS/Marvellous Durowaiye

Hard Numbers: Blackouts in Nigeria, Turkey’s soaring inflation, Deadly flooding in Central Europe, A new (but familiar) face in UK election, Murdoch ties the knot (again)

4: Millions have taken to the streets in Nigeria as unions began their fourth (and indefinite) strike against President BolaTinubu’s wage policies. Nigeria unions have shut down six power grids, leading to a national blackout at 2am on Monday that halted much of the country’s aviation activity. Unions assert the strike will not end until the government agrees to raise the monthly minimum wage, over tenfold from 30,000 Naira ($20 USD) to 500,000 Naira ($336 USD).

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60-year-old Alejandra Rodriguez represented the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires in the Miss Argentina 2024 beauty pageant.

DPA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Argentina’s best face, Deadly US storms, Terror in Nigeria, Monarchy defamation in Thailand, Social media scrub in China

60: Age before beauty? Not anymore – now the two go hand in hand. Alejandra Rodriguez, a 60-year-old Argentine beauty queen, became the first sexagenarian to win the title of Miss Buenos Aires. Although she didn’t snag the crown of Miss Argentina – that went to Magalí Benejam – Rodriguez won the “best face” category. “This is the first step of a change that is coming,” she declared, celebrating the Miss Universe rule change that allowed women of any age to compete.

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Members of civilian joint task force patrol in Maiduguri May 22, 2014. Civilian joint task force are government-sponsored civilian self-defence and community-policing groups within Borno state that some locals said have brought security to Maiduguri, according to local government officials.

REUTERS/Joe Penney

Hard Numbers: Nigerian troops killed by gangs, Americans set to leave Niger and Chad, Russia arrests journalists, Zelensky appeals for aid

23: At least 23 members of Nigeria's civilian joint task force were killed Saturday in attacks by militants and an armed kidnapping gang in the northern part of the country. Suspected Islamic State West Africa Province fighters targeted a vehicle with an improvised explosive device in Borno state, killing nine, and another 14 members were ambushed and killed in Sokoto state by gunmen.

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A Russian Soyuz rocket is carried to the launching pad at Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome on the territory of the former Soviet Kazakhstan on December 18.

STR New via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Russia shoots down space resolution, US economy sputters, Nigerian prisoners make slippery escape, Ecuador gets lifeline

13: A UN Security Council resolution reaffirming a long-standing prohibition on arms races in outer space got 13 votes in favor this week, but it was shot down by a single veto from UNSC permanent member Russia. Moscow says it wasn’t necessary to support a resolution that merely reaffirmed a 1967 treaty that Russia is already part of, but the US ambassador to the UN asked, “What could you possibly be hiding?” In recent months, the US has said it believes Russia is developing a new space-based, anti-satellite weapon.

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US House Speaker Mike Johnson is speaking about the DHS deal and the plan to avert a shutdown during a press conference in Washington DC, USA, on March 20, 2024.

(Photo by Lenin Nolly/NurPhoto)

Hard Numbers: US government shutdown averted, Nigerian schoolkids rescued, Israel’s hospital raid proves deadly, Search for Mexican kidnap victims continues

1.2 trillion: The Senate passed the $1.2 trillion spending bill on Saturday in a 74-24 vote, enabling President Joe Biden to sign it into law and avert a partial government shutdown. This will keep the lights on for roughly three-quarters of the federal government until October, raising military pay and increasing funds for US-Mexico border patrol.

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A boy holds a sign to protest against, what a teacher, local councilor and parents said, the kidnapping of hundreds school pupils by gunmen after the Friday prayer, in Kaduna, Nigeria March 8, 2024.

REUTERS/Stringer

Hundreds of children kidnapped by extremists in Nigeria

Over 300 children have been abducted at gunpoint in northern Nigeria in recent days. On Thursday, gunmen kidnapped at least 287 children from a school in Kaduna state, and another 15 pupils were taken on Saturday. Militants are suspected of kidnapping around 200 women and children from Borno state as well. No group has claimed responsibility, but the region is plagued by Islamic extremism.

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2023 game changers that weren’t

What we thought would stir up the political landscape in 2023… but didn’t.

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