WORLD: Ukraine’s ports typically export millions upon millions of tonnes of grain. But since the war began in February, Russia has blocked these ports - reducing the global supply and causing the price of alternatives to rise. Then, last month, Ukraine and Russia struck a deal to allow Ukraine to restart grain exports. Now, it looks like the first grain ship has passed Russia’s blockade, raising hopes that food will soon reach nations suffering from shortages and price hikes. Meanwhile, the United Nations secretary general has warned that humanity is “just one misunderstanding, one misculation away from nuclear annihilation,” especially amid Russia’s war on Ukraine. And in other news, US officials say China could respond to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rumored visit to Taiwan with a show of force. Stay tuned.
DISASTERS: Last week, heavy rains across parts of Kentucky triggered “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events” in state history. Now, even more rain is complicating the recovery, with flooded roads making it difficult for emergency workers to search for the hundreds of people who remain missing. This comes as the death toll from last week’s floods rose to 37. Meanwhile, Oregon authorities are investigating 4 additional deaths potentially linked to a scorching heat wave last week that was suspected to have killed at least 10 people. Over in California, the McKinney Fire has now burned more than 55,000 acres. Two people were found dead and thousands of people have been forced from their homes.
USA: Recently, Guy Reffitt - an associate of the far-right Three Percenters militia group who stormed the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 - was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison after being convicted by a jury. It’s the longest prison sentence yet among hundreds of cases related to the Capitol attack. Reffitt, who was armed with a pistol and carried zip-tie handcuffs, reportedly told fellow members of the Three Percenters militia group that he planned to drag Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of the House by her ankles. In other news, Senate Republicans just walked back their support of a bill that would expand certain benefits for veterans due to toxic exposure they experienced while deployed. Because, spending concerns.