News roundup for Tue, Apr 05, 2022

Ukraine war

Ukrainians took back Kiyv and surrounding towns such as Bucha and Irpin. The mayor of Kyiv has told the residents who fled the conflict in the city not to return for “at least another week”. Putin is likely shifting focus to the east (separatist territories) and south (strategically-located port cities such as Odesa or Mariupol). The new phase of the war could last months:

New evidence of war crimes appears in Bucha. The Kremlin denies the allegations and blames the Ukrainians for staging the deaths, but satellite images show dead bodies laying on the streets before the Russians left. Biden calls for war crime trials and weighs tougher sanctions. The US ambassador to the UN wants to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. More are condemning Putin:

Latest map of the conflict.

Economy and supply chain

The US economy has recovered more than 90% of the 22 million jobs lost at the peak of lockdowns — a far swifter rebound than forecasters initially expected. The leisure and hospitality sectors are seeing the largest gains:

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has agreed to release tens of millions of additional barrels of oil onto the market and published a 10-point plan to cut oil use. The announcement to release oil caused oil prices to drop 7%.

JPMorgan Chase’s CEO published its annual letter to shareholders. Key takeaways: the US economy is strong, but the war in Ukraine and inflation will be some of the big challenges the world will face.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) cut its global growth forecast from 4.7% to only 2.5% citing the war in Ukraine. Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala warns that many countries in Africa could suffer hunger due to the high cost of wheat, corn, and fertilizers, while the EU is already experiencing sunflower oil shortages. In the short term, she forecasts that countries would be forced to change dietary habits and eat more homegrown products, and in the longer term, Africa is investing in heat-tolerant varieties of wheat and other crops in order to adapt to climate change.

More ways you can save on gas: drive the smallest car ever, or don’t drive at all and work remotely.

The UK will pay its farmers to use green fertilizer.

Climate and energy

The IPCC’s third report shows that we have the technical tools to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees, but we need to act fast and policies are getting in the way. Here are five ways energy innovations could mitigate climate change while saving us money in the process.

A new federal rule required that new cars will need to average at least 40 miles per gallon in 2026. The rules will help reduce gas consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also strengthen national security by making the country less dependent on foreign oil.

The federal Weatherization Assistance Program will distribute $3 billion to low-income families to help them retrofit their homes, and lower utility bills while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions:

Intensifying drought and declining reservoir levels across the West prompted the first-ever cuts to Arizona farmers’ water supply from the Colorado River.


A new variant XE has emerged in the UK, but experts say right now there is no cause for concern.

Medicare enrollees can get up to eight at-home tests per month for free.

The UK has expanded its official list of Covid symptoms to include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling sick or being sick.

A new simulation predicts that when all restrictions are lifted, Covid deaths will eventually rebound. The one intervention that can mitigate the choice between death and the return to a seemingly normal economy is “ongoing COVID-19 vaccination with boosters.”

Denmark and Britain are cutting back their surveillance system. The future lack of data could leave the world less prepared to spot future variants.

The latest data.

The rest

A labor crisis is creating a month-long wait for Medicaid and the situation could get worse.

A first-of-its-kind map tracks rainwater pollution in Puget Sound. The map will allow to pinpoint where to build rain gardens and other stormwater solutions.

Seed banks aren’t just for doomsday, but they can be genetic repositories for scientists working on climate-resilient crops.

For no other reason apart from the fact that anything nuclear has been on people’s minds recently: a map of US nuclear reactors, what countries have nuclear weapons and where are they, and a brief history of tactical nuclear weapons.


    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      Good luck this week.

      15 |
      • Cia brownfox-ff

        I wanted to look at the games again, but it said it couldn’t be loaded. 

        1 |
      • Fiction books: Octavia Butler, Discworld series, Wheel of Time series, Remembrance of Earth’s Past series AKA Three Body Problem

        Mostly family-friendly games on Xbox Game Pass: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (no fighting or sex, quick playtime if you can’t play games for hours), Myst 2021 remake (no fighting or sex, about 5-6 hours), Humankind (mild violence), Monster Train (mild violence, quick playtime), Solasta: Crown of the Magister (Dungeons & Dragons combat, people drink beer but nothing is that bad or inappropriate), Pillars of Eternity 1 & 2 (not family-friendly but interesting)

        Keep hanging in there.

        3 |
    • Karl Winterling

      Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer negotiated $10 billion in funding for domestic COVID programs (especially vaccines and tests for uninsured people). The bill is expected to pass. Senators will negotiate funding for international vaccination programs over the next few weeks and the main impasse is over the funding source rather than the programs themselves.

      4 |
    • Bill Masen

      On Nuclear issues UK is going to build more nuclear plants to cut its reliance on fossil fuels, trouble is it can take 15 years in the UK to build and commission plants in the UK.

      4 |
    • Hardened

      World’s smallest car, LOL.

      3 |