1. SIX MONTHS INTO UKRAINE WAR
The war in Ukraine has now been raging for six months, and the economic aftershocks continue to ripple across the globe. Europe is facing a potentially devastating energy crisis this winter, and food prices are up all over the world, as governments brace for recession. Meanwhile, on the ground, Ukraine is readying for intensified Russian attacks after the daughter of a key adviser to President Vladimir Putin, known as "Putin's brain," was killed in a car bombing in Moscow. Back in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for strength in a speech ahead of the country's Independence Day later this week.
The human toll continues to climb in Ukraine, too. A priest prays for unidentified civilians killed by Russian troops in Bucha near Kyiv [AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky]
2. UTAH ALLOWS TRANS GIRLS IN SPORTS
Transgender girls in Utah have been given the go-ahead to participate in girls' sports with the start of the new school year. The decision came after a judge reversed a ban on the practice amid a slew of legal challenges from parents. However, the state is still forcing the young athletes to jump through hoops. Transgender girls will have to appear before a commission that will determine on a case-by-case basis whether their inclusion is fair. State Republicans created the commission in case a full ban wasn't on the table.
3. CHILD COSTS SOAR TO $300K
With inflation at close to a four-decade high, it's becoming more expensive to do just about everything — including having kids. It will cost more than $300,000 to raise a child born in 2015 through to the end of high school, according to the Brookings Institution. Although many people don't think about the costs associated with raising a child, Brookings Institution senior fellow Isabel Sawhill told Cheddar News that the big price tag might make them think twice.
Child care costs the average family "around $12,000 a year." [AP Photo/Ted S. Warren]
4. FINNISH PM'S PARTY PROBLEM
Newly minted NATO member Finland has plenty on its plate, including hosting military exercises with U.S. troops, but that hasn't stopped citizens from asking the question: Do prime ministers have a right to party? Sanna Marin, the 36-year-old leader of the Nordic nation, has a reputation for letting loose when she's not leading the government, and voters aren't sure how they feel about it. Following the leak of a video showing the PM singing and dancing, she told reporters, “I hope that in the year 2022 it’s accepted that even decision-makers dance, sing and go to parties."
Finnish PM Sanna Marin sees nothing wrong with being a party animal. [AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File]
5. E. COLI OUTBREAK HITS WENDY'S
The fast-food chain Wendy's is pulling lettuce from its sandwiches following an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 37 people in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Friday that romaine lettuce was likely behind the outbreak, but that there is no evidence at this point that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores or other restaurants is unsafe.
6. WORLD COTTON SUPPLY SHRINKS
Cotton growers across the globe are getting pummeled by severe weather, and supplies of the crucial commodity are shrinking as a result. In the U.S., Brazil and China, heat waves and droughts are ravaging crops. In India, pests and heavy rain are to blame. This perfect storm of bad weather has already sent cotton prices soaring, and now inflation is trickling down to household goods such as diapers and clothing. While apparel has so far contributed significantly less to inflation than energy, food and automobiles, prices are still up 5% this year.
Drought and other severe weather have devastated cotton crops. [AP Photo/Felicia Fonseca]
7. MORE FLOODS AND SINKHOLES
Watch your step, New Yorkers. There's been a 38% rise in sinkhole sightings in the last fiscal year, and the city government says it's connected to climate change. That's because nearly all of the cave-ins are related to water leaks, and by extension the increasing number of severe storms that have drenched the city in recent years. Throughout the Southwest, meanwhile, widespread rainfall put nearly 10 million people in Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas under flood watches over the weekend.
8. SINGAPORE TO LEGALIZE HOMOSEXUALITY
In a long overdue win for global LGBTQ rights, Singapore plans to repeal a colonial-era law that criminalizes sex between men. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a speech Sunday that "private sexual behavior between consenting adults does not raise any law-and-order issue." At the same time, he stressed that the country will uphold its ban on gay marriage, and even amend the constitution to make sure same-sex marriage is not allowed.
Thousands gather annually at the Pink Dot gay pride event in Singapore. [AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File]
9. 'HOUSE OF THE DRAGON' PREMIERES
House of the Dragon, the long-awaited prequel show to Game of Thrones, premiered on HBO Sunday night to mixed reviews but plenty of buzz. The real contest for the throne, however, will come in 10 days, when the Lord of the Rings prequel show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, debuts on Amazon Prime Video. Which big-budget fantasy franchise will prevail? For the moment, House of the Dragon is beating out The Rings of Power in Google searches.
10. MULLET TUTLISTS
The USA Mullet Championships began as a local contest in Michigan, but now it's become a nationwide competition to determine who has the best version of this quintessentially American hairdo. Two mulleteers from Wisconsin were announced as winners yesterday: Emmitt Bailey from Menomonie in the kid's division and Cayden Kershaw from Wausau in the teen division. While the top contenders each put their own spin on the style, all of them stuck to mullet fundamentals: short in the front, long in the back.
[USA Mullet Championships]
PETS THAT NEED SOME LOVE
On Between Bells' first edition of “Pet of the Week,” we are introduced to Troy! Valeria Caceres-Gil, senior manager of admissions and matchmaking at the ASPCA Adoption Center, joins Cheddar News to talk all about the adorable pooch. If you are interested in adopting Troy, visit www.ASPCA.org/adopt.