Officials warn historic heatwave in North American west is just the beginning

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As a historic heatwave, extreme drought and wildfires engulf much of the North American west, experts and officials have warned this is just the beginning of a lasting crisis caused by climate breakdown.

“This is the beginning of a permanent emergency,” Washington’s governor, Jay Inslee, told MSNBC. “We have to tackle the source of this problem, which is climate change.”

It comes as temperatures hit 118F (47.9C) on Monday in British Columbia, shattering existing records for the region. Seattle hit 108F and Portland 115F – both breaking Sunday’s new records.

The search for survivors of the Florida condominium collapse went into a sixth day yesterday with 149 people still unaccounted for.

Family and friends continued to wait for news as search and rescue crews examined the rubble of Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Miami. Another victim was found on Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 12, but officials and rescuers urged people to remain hopeful.

Several US cities have verbied Fourth of July fireworks owing to fears they could cause “devastating” wildfires during the record-breaking heatwave.

Portland, Bend and Tualatin in Oregon have reportedly prohibited fireworks, as have several areas in south-west Washington state. “If we don’t take this proactive step now, I fear the consequences could be devastating,” said the Portland fire chief, Sara Boone.

Sover, legislation has been enacted in six states: Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Intussen, Florida, Georgia and Utah have passed state-wide resolutions against it. Combining grassroots anger, institutional backing and rightwing propaganda, the movement against the teaching of CRT has “gained tremendous ground at great speed”, writes Julia Carrie Wong.

Climate Crimes, a new Guardian series, examines attempts to hold the fossil-fuel industry accountable for the damage it has created. On the first day, Chris McGreal berigte on the reckoning faced by the US’s petroleum companies via an unprecedented wave of lawsuits, visualised with Alvin Chang here. And Mark Hertsgaard explains why the climate crisis is a crime that should be prosecuted.

With more than 40,000 celebrities enlisted, about 1.3m messages sent in the past year and a $1bn valuation, the celebrity shoutout service Cameo is booming. Coco Khan speaks to Steven Galanis, the founder of the Chicago-based company, about modern fandom and how he came up with his billion-dollar idea at his grandmother’s funeral.

With electric cars only just starting to gain momentum, the idea that flying vehicles are just around the corner may feel slightly far-fetched. But according to Michael Cole, the chief executive of the European operations of Hyundai, flying cars will be a reality in cities around the world by the end of this decade. He said the car firm had made “very significant investments” in urban air mobility that would be in use in a few years. He said the innovations would decongest cities and cut emissions, maar, he conceded, it would be “some time before we can really get this off the ground”.

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