Guardian Weekly 25th June 2021

The Guardian Weekly magazine is a round-up of the world news, opinion and long reads that have shaped the week. Inside, the past seven days' most memorable stories are reframed with striking photography and insightful companion pieces, all handpicked from The Guardian and The Observer.

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Guardian News & Media Limited
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1 min
eyewitness united states

Eye of the storm Bridget Casey sits outside her severely damaged home with her teenage son and daughter after a tornado swept through the south-west Chicago suburb of Woodridge last Sunday night. Around 130 homes were damaged and at least five people were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition. The Guardian Weekly Founded in Manchester, England 4 July 1919 Guardian Weekly is an edited selection of some of the best journalism found in the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the UK and the Guardian’s digital editions in the UK, US and Australia. The weekly magazine has an international focus and three editions: global, Australia and North America. The Guardian was founded in 1821, and Guardian Weekly in 1919. We exist to hold power to account in the name of the public interest, to…

1 min
back to the origins of covid; the new face of iran; investors beware

As global eff orts to contain emerging Covid variants continue to present steep challenges, the debate about how the virus emerged has become increasingly politicised. Most scientists still believe a natural spillover event was the most likely cause, but the Wuhan “lab leak” theory refuses to go away entirely – and other hypotheses cannot be discounted. Laura Spinney brings us up to speed on the latest thinking and why it has proved so difficult to pinpoint the origins of Sars-CoV-2. From South America, we look at the continuing tragedy gripping a continent largely bereft of leadership. And there’s better news from the EU, where the vaccine programme is now catching up fast after a faltering start. The big story Page 10 → Iran has a new president-elect, Ebrahim Raisi, and while talks resumed…

11 min
headlines from the last seven days

1 UNITED STATES Supreme court upholds provisions of Obamacare The supreme court upheld the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, after Republicans attempted to gut an important provision of the law during the Trump era. In a 7-2 decision, the court ruled Republican states did not have “standing” or the right to sue. The ruling avoided the issue of whether the tax provision of the law called the “individual mandate”, and therefore the entire law, was unconstitutional. The ACA was the most important health reform law in generations and was Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement during his time in the White House. However, the provision over which Republican states sued, the individual mandate, has long been a sore spot for many Americans. It required tax authorities to penalise Americans with a $695…

1 min

Kenneth Kaunda Founding president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991, who was at the heart of the fight for African independence. He died on 17 June, aged 97. Janet Malcolm Author of The Journalist and the Murderer and a New Yorker writer, whose scepticism about her trade brought her both praise and criticism. Malcolm was also famed for studies of psychoanalysis and Sylvia Plath. She died on 16 June, aged 86. Milkha Singh Athlete known as the Flying Sikh, who won India’s first Commonwealth gold in 1958. He died on 18 June, aged 91.…

2 min
science and environment

ENVIRONMENT Enzymes turn plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring Plastic bottles have been converted into vanilla flavouring using genetically engineered bacteria, the first time a valuable chemical has been brewed from waste plastic. Researchers have already developed mutant enzymes to break down the polyethylene terephthalate polymer used for drinks bottles into its basic units, terephthalic acid (TA). Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have now used bugs to convert TA into vanillin, which is used widely in the food and cosmetics industries and is an important bulk chemical used to make pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and herbicides. Global demand is growing and in 2018 was 37,000 tonnes, far exceeding the supply from natural vanilla beans. About 85% of vanillin is currently synthesised from chemicals derived from fossil fuels. AGEING Quest for immortality likely to be fruitless research Immortality…

3 min
global report united kingdom

POLITICS Tory heartlands at risk after shock byelection defeat Senior Conservatives have told Boris Johnson a swathe of seats in the “blue wall” across the south of England could be at risk, as his party was gripped by recriminations after the Liberal Democrats’ shock victory in the Chesham and Amersham byelection last week. Downing Street came under pressure to ditch Johnson’s controversial planning reforms, which many backbenchers blamed for the humiliating loss of the Buckinghamshire seat. The byelection result represented a 25% swing to Ed Davey’s Liberal Democrats, enabling their newest MP Sarah Green to overturn a 16,000-majority in a constituency that had been Conservative since it was created in 1974. A Tory MP representing a south-eastern seat said the upset was worrying, and that the Lib Dems had shown they could successfully rally…