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Stories the Week brought to you from 2022 May 19 – May 25

Safe to Sleep logoAfter last week’s widely shared on social media, article claiming that researchers had pinpointed why infants die from SIDS and a new study found a link between a particular enzyme and SIDS, media coverage of the findings implied that precautions parents have traditionally undertaken to prevent SIDS, such as laying babies on their backs, not letting them overheat, and keeping all toys and blankets out of the crib, are no longer necessary.

“This is definitely false,”

writes Oster. There is high-quality evidence to back up many of these safety measures — and the new study’s findings, though interesting, don’t change that.

“Back sleeping. Pacifier use, if that works for you. No soft stuff in the crib. No sofa sleeping. These are the key interventions to keep your baby as safe as possible.” [ParentData]

How to kick the intensive parenting habit
“Intensive parenting — the dominant model of modern American child-rearing — is a bit like smoking: The evidence shows that it’s unhealthy, yet the addiction can be hard to kick,” writes Elliot Haspel in The Atlantic. To embrace a healthier strategy, parents should

“start thinking of parenting not as a set of instructions but as several dials,”

writes Haspel. The dials that display love, validate children’s feelings, and set aside regular quality time, should be turned up to 10. Others, like solving all of your child’s non-serious problems should be turned down pretty low. In order to calibrate the dials properly, parents will have to stop overestimating the impact of everyday parenting choices on child development, the dangers that children face outside, or the value of an elite college degree, and stop underestimating the value of parent well-being. And of course, public policies that alleviate parents’ anxieties about their children’s prospects would help, too. [The Atlantic]

May 19

N.Y. investigates social media platforms after Buffalo massacre
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced Wednesday it is investigating social media platforms used by the suspect in the deadly Buffalo mass shooting, which authorities have called an act of domestic terrorism by an admitted white supremacist. The investigation will focus on the messaging service Discord, the 4chan and 8chan websites, and Twitch, the platform the killer used to livestream the attack. Before allegedly murdering 10 people at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood, the suspect reportedly dropped hints about his plans on 4chan and created a private chat in Discord.

“These social media platforms have to take responsibility,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said. [CNN]

Biden invokes Defense Production Act to speed baby formula to stores
President Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to accelerate infant formula production as part of an effort to ease a shortage worsened by the shutdown of the largest U.S. formula factory. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers to fulfill orders from baby formula producers before other customers. Biden also authorized the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly formula from other countries into the U.S. The White House is calling the effort “Operation Fly Formula.” Formula supplies were already tight due to global supply-chain disruptions, but the crisis deepened when Abbott Nutrition had to shut down its factory in February and recalled formula produced there over safety concerns. [The Associated Press]
Dow, S&P 500 plunge in worst day since 2020
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,165 points, or 3.6 percent, on Wednesday in its worst day since June 2020. A disappointing quarterly earnings report from retail giant Target fueled fears that inflation will tip the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 fell just over 4 percent, also its worst single-day decline since 2020. The tech-heavy Nasdaq plummeted 4.7 percent, its worst drop since May 5. Stock futures fell sharply early Thursday. Target is one of many retailers and other large companies seeing their profits eroded by high transport and inventory costs.

“It’s clear that transportation costs matter and they’re impacting [some of] the largest companies,”

said Kim Forrest, founder of Bokeh Capital.

“So I think investors are scratching our heads going, ‘So, who’s next?” [NBC News, CNBC]

AuthorPeter Weber
Russian military analyst slams Ukraine invasion on state TV
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AuthorHarold Maass
Why do mass shootings keep happening?
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Passenger with no flight experience safely lands plane
Darren Harrison had no flight experience, but when the pilot of the single-engine plane he was riding in had a sudden medical emergency, he jumped out of his seat and took over the controls. Last Tuesday, Harrison was flying back to Florida on a Cessna 208, after a fishing trip to the Bahamas. The pilot said he wasn’t feeling well and slumped over, and the plane went into a nosedive. Harrison moved the pilot out of the way and contacted air traffic control to explain the situation. The controllers guided Harrison into a gradual descent to Palm Beach International Airport.

“I was pretty calm and collected the whole time because I knew it was a life or death situation,”

Harrison told Today. To the relief of everyone, Harrison safely landed the plane, and controllers instructed him on how to use the brakes. Grateful to be back on land, Harrison said he thanked everyone for helping him and then

“said the biggest prayer I’ve ever said in my life.” [Today, NBC News]

Turkey blocks talks on Finland, Sweden NATO membership
Turkey on Wednesday blocked NATO from starting talks on admitting Finland and Sweden hours after the two Nordic nations formally applied to join the Western military alliance. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan objects to what he calls Sweden’s sheltering of Kurdistan Workers’ Party members, considered terrorists by Turkey. “So you won’t give us back terrorists but you ask us for NATO membership?” Erdogan said in a speech. Turkey is seeking concessions before going along with the NATO expansion, which requires agreement by all 30 NATO members and ratification by their parliaments. Sweden and Finland have long held proudly to their nonaligned military status, but both decided to join NATO after nearby Russia invaded Ukraine. [The Washington Post, Reuters]

May 20

Biden hosts Finland, Sweden leaders to boost NATO bids
President Biden met with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House on Thursday to discuss their applications to join NATO following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden and the leaders of the long-neutral Baltic nations called for NATO’s 30 members to quickly welcome Sweden and Finland into the Western military alliance.

“Finland and Sweden make NATO stronger,”

Biden said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Thursday that his country will oppose the NATO expansion. He says Finland and Sweden have supported groups Turkey considers to be terrorists, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. NATO said it is working to address Erdogan’s stated concerns. [ABC News]

Senate approves bill to help low-income families get scarce baby formula
The Senate on Thursday approved a bill by unanimous consent that aims to boost low-income families’ access to baby formula amid a nationwide shortage caused by supply-chain disruptions and the safety-related shutdown of the biggest U.S. formula plant. The House approved the bill, the Access to Baby Formula Act, on Wednesday, so it now goes to President Biden for his signature. The legislation authorizes the Agriculture Department to waive certain requirements to allow families to buy a wider array of baby formula with Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits during a public health emergency, product recalls, and other supply-chain issues. [The Hill, CNN]

The strategic reserve

AuthorCatherine Garcia
The global movement to give nature ‘rights’
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AuthorJoel Mathis
Monkeypox comes to America
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AuthorBrendan Morrow
Report: Abortion talk banned on Meta’s internal Facebook
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AuthorCatherine Garcia
Oklahoma legislature passes ban on abortion after fertilization
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Oklahoma legislature passes bill banning most abortions after fertilization
Oklahoma state lawmakers on Thursday approved an anti-abortion bill that would prohibit all abortions after “fertilization,” allowing individuals to sue providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion except when necessary to save the life of a pregnant person, or in cases of rape or incest. Abortion providers say the bill, the latest passed in Republican-controlled states, will be the most restrictive ban in the nation once Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signs it, as he has indicated he will. The 73-16 vote came after the leak earlier this month of a draft decision suggesting the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is poised to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that established abortion rights nationwide. [The Associated Press]
More experts warn U.S. economy on brink of recession
A growing number of banks and economists are warning that the U.S. economy could be heading toward a recession in the next year, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Early this week, an ex-Goldman Sachs chief executive warned of the

“very, very high risk of recession,”

and Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said there was “no question” a downturn is coming. Former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke warned of possible stagflation, combining a slowing economy and high inflation.

“Recession risks are high — uncomfortably high — and rising,”

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the Post.

“For the economy to navigate through without suffering a downturn, we need some very deft policymaking from the Fed and a bit of luck.” [The Washington Post]

Sri Lanka defaults on its debts
Sri Lanka has defaulted on its debts for the first time in its history as it faces economic and political troubles exacerbated by COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, The Guardian reported Thursday.

The governor of Sri Lanka’s central bank said it was in a “preemptive default” after the deadline passed for making $78 million worth of payments to international creditors. A default, which occurs when a government is unable to repay some or all of its debt payments, can have a damaging effect on a country’s reputation, currency, and economy.

“Our position is very clear,”

central bank governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said Thursday:

“Until there is a debt restructure, we cannot repay.” [The Guardian, BBC News]

May 21

San Francisco archbishop denies Pelosi communion over support for abortion rights
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic Democrat from California, can no longer receive communion in San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s archdiocese due to her support for abortion rights, Cordileone announced Friday. In a public notification, Cordileone said he’d warned Pelosi in April that she must drop her support of abortion rights or cease referring to her faith to justify them. He also said Pelosi declined to meet with him.

“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, [and] the danger to her own soul she is risking, “

Cordileone wrote on Twitter,

“I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” [The San Francisco Chronicle]

Weekend heat wave heads to East Coast
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. could set or tie existing temperature records this weekend, as one of the first major heat waves of 2022 swallows up the East Coast. Millions are expected to see temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the Northeast, the heat is expected to peak on Saturday and Sunday. To keep both safe and cool, experts suggest those in impacted areas reschedule any strenuous activities to early morning or evening, drink plenty of water, and seek shade from the sun. [The Washington Post, CNN]
AuthorBrigid Kennedy
Tornado in Michigan kills at least 2, injures more than 40
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AuthorBrigid Kennedy
The deadly heat wave frying India and Pakistan
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AuthorPeter Weber
A timeline of how the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol fell
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AuthorBrigid Kennedy
Russia claims to have captured Mariupol
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Russia claims to have taken Mariupol
Russia on Saturday claimed to have taken complete control of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, potentially notching a huge victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing offensive. There was no immediate confirmation of the news from Ukraine. Russia’s Defense Ministry said that a final 532 Ukrainian soldiers had been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant and taken to Russian-controlled territory, rounding out a weeks-long attack that killed thousands. At this point, the supposed capture is mostly symbolic, considering Moscow already effectively controlled the area, military analysts said. [The Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press]
Russia cuts off gas supply to Finland
Russia on Saturday cut off national gas supplies to Finland after the latter reportedly refused to pay for the fuel in rubles, as Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered; Poland and Bulgaria last month lost access to Russian supplies for the same reason. Gasum, Finland’s state-owned gas wholesaler, shared news of the decision on Friday morning, noting the company has been prepared for this to happen and that there will be “no disruptions in the gas transmission network.” The dispute also happens to coincide with Finland’s decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alongside neighboring Sweden, much to Russia’s dismay. [Bloomberg]

May 22

AuthorBrigid Kennedy
What’s up with the COVID lockdowns in China?
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The Week Staff
Crypto: A sell-off hits digital currencies
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Mitt Romney: ‘We must prepare for Putin’s worst weapons’
In an op-ed for The New York Times published Saturday, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) ruminated on the possibility of Russia resorting to nuclear warfare, and urged the U.S. to take President Vladimir Putin’s threats seriously.

“We should imagine the unimaginable,”

Romney wrote,

“specifically how we would respond militarily and economically to such a seismic shift in the global geopolitical terrain.”

The senator went on to align himself with much of President Biden’s decision-making thus far, while also offering up a few possible ways to respond to Putin, including NATO engagement in Ukraine. [The New York Times]

Zelensky: War will end in ‘diplomacy’
The end of the war in Ukraine will come about through diplomacy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, speaking on Ukrainian TV.

“We did not start this war. But we have to finish it,”

he told viewers.

“Victory will be bloody in battle. But the end will be in diplomacy. We want everything back. Russia does not want to give anything away.”

Zelensky also in his remarks praised the performance of Ukrainian forces, commending how well they’ve fought against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military, which he said is

“one of the strongest armies in the world.” [The Independent, The Washington Post]

U.S. looking into monkeypox vaccines, Biden says
President Biden on Sunday said the U.S. is investigating what vaccines are available to protect against monkeypox, a relatively rare, smallpox-like virus.

“We’re working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine if any might be available for it,”

Biden said. Advisers

“haven’t told me the level of exposure yet, but it is something that everybody should be concerned about,”

he went on.

“It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential.”

So far, the World Health Organization says it has been notified of 92 lab-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and some European countries. Studies have indicated the smallpox vaccine to be at last 85 percent effective against monkeypox. [The Washington Post]

May 23

Worried rats

AuthorPeter Weber
What political price will Democrats pay for high inflation?
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AuthorPeter Weber
Southern Baptists covered up sexual abuse for decades: report
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Report says Southern Baptists mishandled sex-abuse allegations 
The Southern Baptist Convention on Sunday released a report concluding that top officials often ignored survivors of sexual abuse by Southern Baptist ministers and other church employees. The third-party investigation, conducted by an organization called Guidepost Solutions for the SBC, found that for nearly two decades, victims and other church members reported abuse “only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility” by Southern Baptist leaders more focused on protecting the institution, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Leaders also allegedly lied about whether church administration could keep a database of abusers to help prevent future crimes, when they had kept a secret list for years. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]
AuthorPeter Weber
Australia swears in new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
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Biden unveils Indo-Pacific trade deal
President Biden on Monday announced a trade deal with 12 Asia-Pacific nations to counter China and boost economic engagement in the region five years after then-President Donald Trump withdrew from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership. Biden, making his first trip to Asia as president, announced the new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity in Tokyo after meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

“Biden hopes IPEF will blunt criticism that he had not included a trade component in his security-heavy Indo-Pacific strategy,”

the Financial Times reports. Biden also emphasized the U.S. security commitment in the region, though, indicating during a joint press conference with Kishida that the U.S. would use military force to defend Taiwan if China ever attacked. [The New York Times, Financial Times]

Biden says U.S. would defend Taiwan against China
President Biden said Monday the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if China ever invaded.

That‘s the commitment we made,”

Biden said. The statement veered from the traditional U.S. “strategic ambiguity” on how far the U.S. would go to protect Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.

“We agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it,”

Biden said,

“but the idea that [Taiwan] can be taken by force is just not appropriate.”

He said the need to stand up for Taiwan was “even stronger” following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act calls for the U.S. to make sure Taiwan has the means to defend itself, but doesn’t require U.S. intervention. A White House official insisted Biden was merely reemphasizing the 1979 pledge to help Taiwan defend itself. [The Associated Press, The Washington Post]

Russian soldier sentenced to life in 1st Ukraine war crimes trial
A Ukrainian court on Monday sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison for killing a Ukrainian civilian, in the first war crimes trial since Russia invaded Feb. 24. Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the civilian, 62-year-old Oleksandr Shelipov, as he was pushing his bicycle in a northeastern Ukraine village near the Russian border early in the invasion. Shishimarin testified that an officer ordered him to fire, saying the civilian might have been using his cellphone to tell Ukrainian forces where the Russians were. Shelipov “died on the spot,” yards from his home, said Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova. During the trial, Shishimarin asked the victim’s widow to forgive him. [The Associated Press, The Washington Post]
Polish leader visits Kyiv as Ukraine rules out ceding land to Russia 
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Sunday made his second visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv since April. Duda said Ukraine does not have to make concessions to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian officials ruled out ceding territory in any ceasefire deal, and Duda expressed support, saying,

“Only Ukraine has the right to decide about its future.”

Duda’s visit came as Russia pushed to expand the territory Russia-backed separatists have held in the Donbas region since 2014. Russia has declared full control over the strategically important port city of Mariupol, where the last Ukrainian defenders surrendered at a steel plant last week. [CNBC, The Associated Press]

May 24

Toddler vaccines revisited (again)
Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that three doses of their coronavirus vaccine produce a strong immune response in children under 5, reports Sharon LaFraniere in The New York Times. While previous trials of a two-dose regime produced lackluster results, the three-dose regimen was 80 percent effective in preventing symptomatic infection. Too few children fell ill to definitively assess vaccine efficacy,

“but Pfizer said that the new results showed that three doses, with the third given at least two months after the second, stimulated the immune system to strongly protect against the virus, with no safety concerns,”

writes LaFraniere. [The New York Times]

How to think about fevers
Fevers can be scary for parents and uncomfortable for kids, but they don’t necessarily require medication, writes Ada Fenick in Parents.

“Fever has a bad reputation, but it is typically good for us when we are sick.”

It’s a sign that a child’s immune system is revving up to fight off an infection.

That‘s because our immune cells work better at a higher temperature, but the pathogens don’t,”

writes Fenick. And while fevers can be uncomfortable and cause kids to lose fluids more quickly, they don’t typically cause children any direct harm. This isn’t to say that fevers aren’t a cause for concern, only that the fever itself isn’t the problem.

That‘s why you typically don’t need to rush to get fever-reducing medications — unless there is a fear of a child getting dehydrated or they are feeling pain,”

writes Fenick. [Parents]

The difference between temper tantrums and autism meltdowns
Temper tantrums and autism meltdowns often look similar, “but the causes and strategies to manage them are vastly different,” writes Suzie Glassman in Fatherly. Tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development, usually triggered by a child not getting what they want, and kids eventually outgrow them.

“Autism meltdowns, however, have no age limit,”

Glassman writes,

“They result from a buildup of sensory or emotional stimulation that chips away at a child’s ability to control their behavior.”

And while the remedy for tantrums is to ignore them, autism meltdowns require a game-plan for managing sensory overload, which

“will be different for everyone,”

says Noor Pervez, the community engagement manager for the Autism Self Advocacy Network.

“One child might want a weighted blanket, their choice of music, or to be left alone. Another might prefer physical contact, like the pressure from a service animal or a tight hug.” [Fatherly]

The bottle-raising

Is it safe to share breastmilk?
As the formula shortage drags on, many American parents are understandably turning to informal breastmilk sharing networks to feed their babies, but doing so comes with risks, writes Catherine Pearson in The New York Times. While formal milk sharing is done through milk banks that screen donors for health problems, medication, and substance use, casual sharing networks lack those measures.
Because parents cannot know for sure whether breast milk they get from a friend or an online group is safe, the A.A.P. recommends turning to an accredited milk bank if possible. If you do choose the informal route, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends screening potential donors.

“Discuss whether the donor is taking any medications or herbs; whether they have been screened for conditions like H.I.V. and hepatitis B (which can be transmitted via breast milk); and whether they engage in activities like drinking alcohol or using marijuana,”

writes Pearson. [The New York Times]

AuthorGrayson Quay
What to watch for in the Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas primaries
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AuthorDamon Linker
Trump loses his grip on a Trumpified GOP
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AuthorPeter Weber
Russia is seeing ‘localized successes’ in eastern Ukraine
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AuthorPeter Weber
U.S., 19 other nations sending Ukraine more high-tech weapons
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Zelensky calls for ‘maximum’ Russia sanctions in Davos address
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday delivered a virtual speech to world leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, urging them to impose “maximum” sanctions on Russia for invading his country. Zelensky said more nations should embargo Russian oil and block its banks, and foreign companies should pull out of Russia. He added that Ukraine needs at least $5 billion per month in aid.

“We need to rebuild entire cities and industries,”

Zelensky said. He added that if other nations had provided all the weapons and other aid Ukraine needed in February, when Russia invaded,

the result would be tens of thousands of lives saved.” [The Associated Press]

Biden tells Indo-Pacific leaders Ukraine war is a shared challenge
President Biden on Tuesday told fellow Indo-Pacific leaders in Tokyo that they are all

“navigating a dark hour in our shared history”

as they respond to Russia’s “brutal and unprovoked” invasion of Ukraine.

This is more than just a European issue. It’s a global issue,”

Biden said at a summit of the “Quad” countries — the United States, Japan, Australia, and India. Biden’s remarks

“appeared to be pointed, at least in part, at Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi,”

leader of the only Quad country that

“has not imposed sanctions or even condemned Russia, its biggest supplier of military hardware,”

The Associated Press reports. In his comments, Modi mentioned several trade programs but didn’t bring up the war in Ukraine. [The Associated Press]

Russian diplomat resigns over Ukraine war
Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev resigned Monday from his post in the United Nations office in Geneva to protest the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on Feb. 24 of this year,”

Bondarev wrote in his resignation message, which was also posted on LinkedIn. He called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “aggressive war” a crime against both the Ukrainian and the Russian people. Bondarev’s “scathing letter is one of the most high-profile critiques of the war” from within the Russian government, The Washington Post reports. The Kremlin didn’t immediately comment, but Putin previously dismissed fellow Russians expressing dissent as “scum and traitors.” [The Washington Post]

Report: Climate change made India, Pakistan heat wave more likely
Human-caused climate change made the record heat wave India and Pakistan suffered through in March and April at least 30 times more likely, according to a study released Monday. The researchers found that climate change raised temperatures by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in India’s highest March temperatures in 122 years. Pakistan and northwestern and central India had their hottest April, too.

“What was particularly exceptional and particularly unusual was how early it started,”

co-author Friederike Otto said in a Monday news conference. Such a heat blast would be “highly, highly unlikely” without climate change, said co-author Arpita Mondal of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. The heat was tied to at least 90 deaths, and reduced crop yields by up to 35 percent. [The Washington Post]

Starbucks announces it’s leaving Russia
Starbucks announced Monday that it is leaving Russia after operating in the country for 15 years. The coffee giant joins a rising number of companies from the United States and other countries that have decided to exit the Russian market over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. McDonald’s, Exxon Mobil, and British American Tobacco have already announced they are ending operations in Russia. Starbucks said it would pay its nearly 2,000 Russian employees for another six months and help them find other jobs. Starbucks had already suspended its Russia business activities on March 8, closing cafes and halting shipments of Starbucks products. [CNBC]

May 25

Pfizer to offer 23 drugs, vaccines at low cost in poorer countries
Pfizer said Wednesday it will sell 23 products, including its COVID-19 vaccine, at not-for-profit prices to some of the world’s poorest countries. The drugmaker said it will charge only enough to cover manufacturing and “minimal” distribution costs for the drugs, which will also include its COVID treatment Paxlovid. Pfizer — which announced the program at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland — said the other drugs would include medicines and vaccines to treat infectious diseases, cancers, and other conditions. The initiative is part of an effort to increase health equity in 45 countries, mostly in Africa but also including Haiti, Syria, Cambodia, and North Korea. [The Wall Street Journal, ABC News]
FTC examines industry role in baby formula shortage
The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it is investigating industry’s role in the shortage of baby formula in the United States.

The FTC is launching a public inquiry to identify the factors that contributed to the shortage or hampered our ability to respond to it,”

FTC chairwoman Lina M. Khan said in a statement.

“Learning from this experience can help determine how we can minimize the risk of similar shortages in the markets for other life-sustaining products.”

The agency said it would examine how industry consolidation affected supply, and whether online resellers had taken advantage of the crisis to unfairly profit at the expense of families desperately searching for enough formula to feed their infants. [The New York Times]

Gunman kills 19 students, 2 adults at Texas elementary school
A gunman killed at least 19 students and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, in the deadliest elementary-school shooting in Texas history. Police identified the attacker, who was killed in a shootout with law enforcement officers, as Salvador Ramos, 18. Investigators said Ramos shot and wounded his grandmother and fled in a car that crashed outside the school. Armed with two rifles, he allegedly entered the school of about 600 2nd- to 4th-graders and opened fire. Ambulances rushed several wounded people to hospitals. President Biden offered assistance to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and renewed a call for gun reform.

“Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

Biden asked. [San Antonio Express-News, The Texas Tribune]

NATO calls Russia’s Ukraine invasion a ‘big strategic mistake’
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had

“made a big strategic mistake”

by ordering his military to invade Ukraine. Tuesday marked three months of fighting, with no immediate hope for peace. Russia has suffered huge losses and abandoned an attempt to seize the capital, Kyiv. It is now focusing on expanding areas in eastern Ukraine that pro-Russian separatists controlled before the war. Russia intensified its offensive in the Donbas region, and tried to surround Ukrainian fighters in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Rubizhne. Russian forces are bombarding Severodonetsk mercilessly, local commanders report. If Russia captures the city, it will control the Luhansk region, Britain’s Foreign Ministry said. [The Washington Post]

U.S. births edge higher after pandemic plummet
U.S. births increased by 1 percent last year compared with 2020, although there were still fewer births than in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, according to a government report released Tuesday. There were nearly 3.7 million births reported in the U.S. last year, up from 3.6 million the year before but 86,000 fewer than in 2019. U.S. births were falling for more than a decade before the coronavirus crisis started. Officials speculated that last year’s rise was partly due to couples who had delayed trying to get pregnant early in the pandemic. Deliveries were extremely low in January but picked up later in the year, said Brady Hamilton of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [The Associated Press]

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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