WORLD: Ukraine’s ports typically export millions upon millions of tonnes of grain. But since the war began in February, Russia has essentially blocked these ports. Whiiiich has reduced the global supply and caused the price of alternatives to rise - raising fears about a potential global food crisis. Fast forward to this week, and it looks like Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations reached a deal to let Ukraine start grain exports back up. Stay tuned. In other news, the European Central Bank (aka ECB) just raised interest rates for the first time in 11 years. Not a typo. The ECB upped its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points - and reportedly plans further hikes this year. Because, inflation.
POLITICS: All eyes are on Italy. Reminder: last week, the Five Star Movement (as in a populist political party) walked out of a confidence vote, bringing the Italian gov to the brink of collapse. Not long after, Prime Minister Mario Draghi declared that “the majority of national unity, which supported this government since its inception, no longer exists” - and tendered his resignation. Now, a week later, it looks like Italy’s prez is accepting Draghi’s resignation, dissolving Parliament, and calling for new elections. Big deal, since this pretty much means the end of Italy’s era of political stability. In other news, recently, Sri Lankan armed forces raided a camp set up by anti-gov protesters in the capital Colombo. This comes just one day after Sri Lanka’s new prez, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was sworn in.
HEALTH: Yesterday, Prez Joe Biden announced that he has tested positive for covid. You read that right. In a video posted to Twitter, Biden said that his symptoms are mild and he’ll continue to work while in isolation at the White House. Also making headlines: the US just recorded its first polio case in nearly a decade. The patient, an unvaccinated adult man, is no longer contagious. In other news, the House of Reps just passed a bill to ensure access to contraception nationwide. Just 8 Republicans joined Dems in support - meaning the bill is basically guaranteed to fail in the Senate. And last but not least, the Miami-Dade School Board just shook its head to new textbooks with sex education curriculum. This comes after public backlash from parents who cited Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.