NASA Launches a UFO Study as UN Warns of Global Food Shortage
This week, NASA launched a team to study UFOs. The United Nations warns of an upcoming food shortage. Apple unveils new hardware and software at its conference. Inflation and gas prices hit record highs. Here are this week’s stories.
NASA Launches UFO Study
Last year, Congress and the Pentagon released an official report on UFOs, and they concluded that these objects could be natural phenomena misinterpreted by the pilots and their equipment, a new technology developed by Russia, China, or extraterrestrials. Now, NASA is launching a team to study unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), or “events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena.” NASA will attempt to identify what these UAPs are from a scientific perspective. The agency will first try to collect a robust set of data and analyze it to determine whether there is any connection between the sightings and if it is a naturally occurring phenomenon. NASA has long been looking for signs of alien life, but there are serious national security and air safety risks this time. UAP sightings often include extremely fast speeds and unpredictable paths and could be hypersonic technology. Russia has been heavily investing in hypersonic weaponry, which could give the ability to evade American missile-defense technology. China has also been working on the same technology and displayed it in its military parades. The US has fallen behind on hypersonics, and it will likely take years to catch up to China and Russia. If the UAP sightings are hypersonic technology developed by Russia or China, then this would be very dangerous for the US and the Whole World as no other country could counter this technology.
UN Warns of a Food Shortage
There are growing fears of a global food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, climate change, supply chain issues, and rising inflation. Experts from the United Nations warn of a worldwide food shortage coming in the following months and urge international action. According to the United Nations, global food costs have increased by almost one-third, fertilizer prices have increased by more than half, and oil prices have increased by two-thirds. The number of individuals who are extremely food insecure has doubled in the last two years, from 135 million to 276 million now, and more than half a million people are currently suffering from hunger, an increase of more than 500% since 2016. Ukraine and Russia are wheat producers that contribute over 25% of the global supply, and a large proportion of that will be unavailable this year because of the war and sanctions. Recently, India banned wheat exports after a devastating heatwave distorted the wheat harvest. India is the world’s second biggest wheat producer but accounts for less than 1% of the global wheat trade. Still, the ban caused prices to break records. Climate change has impacted wheat production worldwide, including in the US, Canada, France, and China. This year’s global wheat production will be the lowest in four years, and global wheat stocks have been down to their lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis. The UN has created an international plan to reduce the chances of famine, including raising fertilizer supply, social protection systems within countries, and more funding to relieve famine.
Every year, Apple hosts its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) and announces new software and products at the event. On the software side, Apple unveiled iOS 16 for iPhones, which brought more customization for the Lock Screen and the ability to edit and unsend iMessages, and made minor improvements to the software for iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Apple also teased the next generation of CarPlay, the company’s iPhone-powered automotive interface. Currently, CarPlay switches the built-in infotainment system to an Apple interface, but in the future, CarPlay will take over the instrument cluster, A/C, and seat controls. Google is also working on a similar feature with its Android Auto. For hardware, Apple announced the M2 chipset, the second generation of its silicon chips, and two new MacBooks. They first announced the redesigned MacBook Air M2, which is thinner, lighter, and faster than the last generation and will start at $1,199. Apple also announced the MacBook Air M2, which is the same as the previous generation but with the M2 chip and starts at $1,299.
Inflation and Gas Prices Continue to Rise
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that inflation surged in May, with prices climbing 8.6% from a year earlier, the highest rate since December 1981. The core consumer price index, which tracks the cost of most goods and services but excludes volatile food and energy prices, increased 6% year over year. In May, food prices rose by 1.2%, the cost of housing increased by 0.6%, and Energy costs rose by 3.9%. Last month, fuel prices increased 16.9%, bringing the 12-month increase to 106.7%. The national average for gas prices in the US hit $5 for the first time, and it is expected to go higher. Several factors are driving this abnormally high price, impacting the pockets of millions of Americans. People are driving more often than during the pandemic, increasing demand and supply is low because production is lagging and recovering, causing the price to skyrocket. The most significant factor currently is Russia’s war on Ukraine. The invasion prompted global sanctions against Russia, including on oil and gas. Even though the US imports less than 10% of its oil and gas from Russia, the sanctions have impacted the whole global oil market, causing price hikes everywhere.No one is sure when prices will go back down, but there are several things the federal government can do to lower costs. To prevent gas evaporation, refineries in the United States are mandated to convert to higher-grade summer gas blends during the summer months, but by removing this rule, customers might save up to 15 cents per gallon. The US Renewable Fuel Standard could also remove the ethanol mandate, which requires refiners to blend corn ethanol with gasoline. Ethanol is more expensive and less efficient than gas, so adding biofuel artificially drives up the cost at the pump. The government can also lower or remove federal taxes at the pump, saving Americans 18.4 cents per gallon.
Above were my top stories for the week of June 12th, 2022. I hope you enjoyed them. Thank you, and see you next week!