First Thing: Biden tours Maui and vows support as 114 confirmed dead | [wafact]

Good morning.

Eight hundred and fifty people are still missing after the devastating wildfires earlier this month, the Maui county mayor has announced.

Richard Bissen said in an update on Facebook that 114 people had been confirmed dead, 27 had been identified and 11 families notified. The 850 names of missing people came from the FBI, which combined lists from different agencies, he said, adding that 1,285 people originally reported as missing had been found safe.

The release of new death toll came as Joe Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, traveled to Maui on Monday to comfort survivors of the wildfires that burned the western part of the Hawaiian island.

The president spoke from Lahaina, near the banyan tree that has come to symbolise the devastation wrought by the wildfires and the steadfastness and resilience of the community. “Today it’s burned, but it’s still standing,” Biden said of the tree.

  • What else did he say? Biden stressed the federally sponsored recovery efforts that are currently under way. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) has given out tens of thousands of blankets and meals to displaced people and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development is working with Lahaina residents to move them from temporary shelters into temporary housing.

Ukrainian drone strike reportedly destroys Russian supersonic bomber

A Tupolev Tu-22 supersonic bomber
A Tupolev Tu-22 supersonic bomber. Photograph: Stocktrek Images, Inc./Alamy

Ukraine has destroyed a supersonic Russian bomber in a drone strike, according to reports from the BBC and Ukrainian media.

The reports were based on images posted on social media which appear to show the long-range aircraft, a Tupolev Tu-22, on fire. The BBC analysed the images but the Guardian has not independently verified them.

The burning plane appeared to be located south of St Petersburg, the BBC reported, using visual clues and historical satellite images of the airbase.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that a Ukrainian drone had targeted a military airfield in Novgorod region, causing a fire and damaging one warplane. Ukraine has not acknowledged the strike and rarely comments on attacks on Russian territory.

  • Was anyone hurt? The Russian ministry said no one had been hurt in the attack and the fire had been quickly extinguished. The Novgorod region lies north-west of Moscow, hundreds of kilometres from Russia’s border with Ukraine.

Donald Trump says he will surrender to Fulton county authorities on Thursday

Donald Trump at the Iowa state fair on 12 August
Donald Trump at the Iowa state fair on 12 August. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP

Donald Trump says he will surrender to authorities in Georgia on Thursday to face charges of illegally scheming to overturn his 2020 election loss.

“Can you believe it? I’ll be going to Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday to be ARRESTED,” the former president wrote on his social media network on Monday night, hours after court papers said his bond had been set at $200,000.

The Fulton county sheriff’s office said in a news release on Monday afternoon that when Trump surrendered there would be a “hard lockdown” of the area surrounding the main county jail.

In a court document posted online on Monday, bond amounts for the 13 charges against the former president ranged from $10,000 for counts including criminal conspiracy and filing false documents to $80,000 for a violation of the Georgia Rico Act, often used against organised crime.

  • When does Trump have to turn himself in by? The Fulton county district attorney Fani Willis has set a deadline of midday on Friday for Trump and his 18 co-defendants to turn themselves in to be booked. The prosecutor has proposed that arraignments for the defendants follow during the week of 5 September. She has said she wants to try the defendants collectively, and bring the case to trial in March next year, which would put it in the heat of the presidential nominating season.

In other news …

Thaksin Shinawatra
Thaksin Shinawatra. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters
  • Thailand’s former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been escorted to prison shortly after he flew into Bangkok by private jet, ending more than 15 years in exile. Crowds of jubilant supporters, many dressed in red and carrying welcome signs, gathered at the airport to greet him.

  • US regulators approved the first RSV vaccine for pregnant women on Monday so their babies will be born with protection against the respiratory infection. RSV is a cold-like nuisance for most healthy people, but it can be life-threatening for the very young. It is notorious for filling hospitals with wheezing babies every fall and winter.

  • The Anti-Defamation League has defended Bradley Cooper’s decision to wear a prosthetic nose to play Leonard Bernstein in his biopic about the composer, after the actor was accused of performing in “Jewface”. The organisation said the use of prosthetics was not inherently antisemitic.

  • The biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, was condemned for conspiracy-tinged remarks about the events of 9/11. Ramaswamy, Ron DeSantis and other candidates are expected to appear in the first debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday. His remarks about 9/11 seem likely to be raised.

Stat of the day: Spotless giraffe, thought to be only one in world, born at Tennessee zoo

One of the rarest sights in the animal kingdom has appeared in the unlikely setting of a Tennessee zoo, which has hosted the birth of what is thought to be the world’s only single-colored giraffe. The female, born on 31 July, is a uniform brown color, lacking the distinctive patched pattern that giraffes are known for. Brights zoo said the giraffe is already 6ft tall and is under the care of her mother and zoo staff.

It believes the giraffe is one of a kind, given that the animals are very rarely born without their mottled appearance, which serves as a form of camouflage in the wild. “The international coverage of our patternless baby giraffe has created a much-needed spotlight on giraffe conservation,” the founder of Brights zoo, Tony Bright, said.

Don’t miss this: Our secret superpower! 16 amazing facts about sweat, from armpit transplants to artificial BO

Women tend to have more sweat glands than men, but they don’t sweat more.
Women tend to have more sweat glands than men, but they don’t sweat more. Photograph: Paula Winkler/Getty Images/fStop

It’s getting hot again, and that means sweat. With the possible exception of Prince Andrew, humans are constantly producing “insensible perspiration” – the baseline level of sweat – to some degree. Despite that, we know surprisingly little about it. According to Sarah Everts, the author of The Joy of Sweat, which explores the science, culture and history of sweat and our attempts to fight it, there is “a dearth of sweat research; there’s so much more fundamental research on every other body fluid”.

So what do and don’t we know? We may find sweating embarrassing, but there are worse cooling strategies: storks defecate on their legs – it’s more palatably called urohidrosis – fur seals urinate on rocks to wet their bellies and flippers, then hold up their flippers to cool, and honeybees essentially vomit on themselves.

Climate check: Anger is most powerful emotion by far for spurring climate action, study finds

A protester at an Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London in 2019
A protester at an Extinction Rebellion demonstration in London in 2019. Photograph: SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Anger is by far the most powerful emotional predictor of whether somebody plans to take part in a climate protest, research suggests. The study, which asked 2,000 Norwegian adults how they felt about the climate crisis, found the link to activism was seven times stronger for anger than it was for hope. The effects were smaller for other actions, but fear and guilt were the best predictors of policy support, while sadness, fear and hope were the best predictors of behavioural change. On average, people reported having fairly mild feelings about the planet heating.

Scientists are also working to understand the role that hope plays. A review study published last week found “partial yet inconclusive evidence” that increasing hope makes people engage more with climate issues. It found people whose hope was rooted in complacency were less likely to engage than those whose hope was linked to action.

Last Thing: Game over – voice of Mario retiring after three decades, Nintendo announces

Charles Martinet was the original voice of the Italian plumber, but he is ‘stepping back’ from voicing characters for the Japanese game giant
Charles Martinet was the original voice of the Italian plumber, but he is ‘stepping back’ from voicing characters for the Japanese game giant. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

The voice of Mario is “stepping back” from the role after 27 years as the Nintendo character, the Japanese game company has announced. Charles Martinet, 67, was the original voice of the Italian plumber, starting with the 1996 instalment Super Mario 64. He also provided other voices in the game series including Mario’s twin brother Luigi and the villainous Wario and Waluigi. Nintendo said in a statement that Martinet would be taking on a new role as Mario ambassador.

The announcement came after fans began to speculate online that the US actor had been replaced as Mario for the upcoming game Super Mario Bros Wonder. Some had noticed that the character’s voice sounded different in promotional videos. Nintendo has confirmed that Martinet did not voice Mario in the new game, but is yet to reveal who the new voice is.

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