Up First briefing: smoke and heat waves; French protests; gravitational waves

Major U.S headlines consist of worsening heatwaves and smoke conditions caused by Canadian wildfires, French protests over police shooting a teenager, new evidence of gravitational waves, and growing concerns around Chinese-owned land in the U.S.

Heatwaves and wildfires: Heatwaves and smoke from wildfires in Canada are triggering respiratory problems in the U.S Midwest and East Coast.
* NPR’s health correspondent Allison Aubrey explains that the particulates in wildfire smoke irritate the lungs, and the heatwave can trigger harmful ground-level ozone.

Protests in France: Protests have risen in France after police fatally shot a 17-year-old of North African descent over a traffic violation
* Reports indicate a history of police brutality and discrimination in the suburbs where the incident occurred.
* French President Emmanuel Macron called the incident “unexplainable and inexcusable.”

Gravitational waves: After 15 years, scientists found evidence of a rare type of gravitational wave which could provide insight into the nature of black holes.
* These waves are especially prevalent in the formation of supermassive black holes.

Chinese land ownership: Over the past 40 years Chinese corporations have been acquiring U.S land, raising concerns around potential government control.
* Data gaps exist in which U.S locations house Chinese-owned lands and if they are near military installations.
* Despite the growing concerns, Chinese-owned land is much less in comparison to the likes of Italy, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands. Even skeptics of Chinese investment warn that policies addressing this issue shouldn’t promote xenophobia or anti-Asian sentiment.

View original article on NPR

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