This June was the hottest on record

Meteorologists say Earth sizzled to its hottest June on record this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that June averaged 60.6 degrees, about 1.7 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average. It beat out 2016 for the hottest June with records going back to 1880. Scientists say the record heat is what is expected with man-made climate change.


Man sentenced to life for scholar’s slaying

A former University of Illinois doctoral student was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2017 rape and murder of Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old scholar from China. The jurors returned their decision against Brendt Christensen, 30, on their second day of deliberations. Prosecutors and Zhang’s family had pushed for the death penalty. Prosecutors said Christensen raped, choked and stabbed Zhang before beating her to death with a baseball bat and decapitating her. Christensen has never revealed what he did with Zhang’s remains.


At least 10 people killed in land dispute

A village chief and a gang of higher-caste men opened fire on poor farmers in northern India and killed at least 10 of them in a land dispute, police officials said. Experts said it was one of the deadliest such episodes in India in years. The case exemplifies the pressures on land in India, where 1.3 billion people are crowded into a space about the size of a third of the United States, experts said. The violence may also reflect harsh caste dynamics in rural India, even today, many years after government policies were introduced to protect historically marginalized people.


Woman fined $106K for outburst on plane

Jet2, a British budget airline and tour operator, said it fined a passenger about $106,000 after her behavior aboard a flight to Turkey last month prompted military jets to escort the plane back to an airport near London. The flight was cut short June 22 after a 25-year-old passenger, Chloe Haines of Maidenhead, England, “displayed a catalog of aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior,” the airline said. Her erratic conduct included attempting to open the plane doors during the flight. Haines has also been banned for life from the airline.


Ex-prime minister is arrested in sweep

A former prime minister of Pakistan was arrested as the government escalated what it describes as an anti-corruption campaign and opposition parties have denounced as a political vendetta. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who remains a senior figure in the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, was arrested at a highway toll plaza while on his way to a party news conference in the city of Lahore and presented with a warrant accusing him of involvement in “corruption and corrupt practices.” Authorities did not immediately offer more details.


Death sentences for men in hiker killings

Three men accused of the murder of two hikers in the Atlas Mountains last year have been sentenced to death. Maren Ueland, 28, of Norway and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, of Denmark, were discovered dead at their campsite in the Atlas Mountains in December with wounds to their necks. The incident was labeled by Moroccan authorities as a terror attack after some of the men involved pledged allegiance to ISIS.

News services