Chewing gum in Russia is the hardest-hit commodity with a price increase of 22% over the last year. This is because gum is not something Russia makes a lot of and suppliers have scaled back imports due to sanctions.
🇵🇪 The U.S. extradited former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo to Peru to face bribery charges on Sunday.
🇧🇷 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made a four-day trip to Portugal, where the two Portuguese-speaking countries agreed to many bilateral agreements and began plans for a cooperative space agency.
🇸🇩 The U.S., U.K., Germany and France have evacuated staff from embassies in Sudan due to deadly fighting between groups.
💊 The Supreme Court has decided to keep the abortion pill on the market while considering a case about its regulatory approval.
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*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm AM.
After the U.S. waged war in Iraq, U.S. oil companies swooped in to control oil fields that had been previously denied to them. That history seems to be repeating itself in Ukraine.
The Financial Times reports that U.S. oil giants ExxonMobil, Halliburton and Chevron have met with Ukrainian state-run gas producer Naftogaz to “increase output in war-torn country.” How nice of them.
Oleksiy Chernyshov, chief executive of Naftogaz, said that he was having a hard time convincing private companies to invest in Ukraine. The nation says that it has offshore natural gas in the Black Sea off Crimea but those are under Russian control.
Ukraine does have oil and gas reserves but is also rich in natural resources such as lithium. Many natural resource mines are in the Donbas region, which voted to join Russia last year.
Last week, journalist Seymour Hersh reported that Ukraine had been using U.S. money to buy Russian gas at inflated prices. Interesting that U.S. private oil and gas companies are willing to help put a stop to that. Recall that Halliburton was headed by former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and profited greatly from the war in Iraq.
It used to be that a good credit score would score you the cheapest mortgage but the Biden administration is about to turn that on its head. A new rule from the Federal Housing Finance Agency will force the borrowers with the best credit scores to pay more in order to subsidize borrowers with lower credit scores.
Mortgage industry specialists say homebuyers with credit scores of 680 or higher will pay, for example, about $40 per month more on a home loan of $400,000. Homebuyers who make down payments of 15% to 20% will get socked with the largest fees.”
Meanwhile, borrowers who are less financially fit will qualify for better mortgages with lower down payments, lower interest rates and fewer fees. It is interesting that the federal government can only afford to do this for riskier borrowers by charging it to financially fit borrowers.
Time To Move Into Precious Metals
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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen just admitted that sanctions against Russia have crushed the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency. Wow! Welcome to reality. We've been saying that for a year now. So the U.S. dollar continues to collapse and Gold and Silver just hit a nine-month high as investors started pouring back into precious metals. If you have your retirement in a dollar format, then it will continue to lose value every day that it's there in a bank. It's time to move some of your retirement into gold and silver and away from government currencies.
Gold and Silver have sustained for over 4,000 years while every government currency in world history has collapsed. Every one of them. Will this time be any different? Of course not.
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The National Guard has been called into San Francisco to crack down on the drug crises and bust up open-air drug markets.
The National Guard will work with the California Highway Patrol, the district attorney’s office and the local police department to crack down on drug dealers and suppliers who have operated with impunity in San Francisco.
California Governor Gavin Newsom did not say how extensive this operation would be but it is a first step towards admitting that the fentanyl crisis is beyond the pale in San Francisco. Newsom and his progressive allies have been hesitant to target those with addiction but leaving them to their addiction is costing lives.
“We’re taking action,” Newsom said in a statement. “Through this new collaborative partnership, we are providing more law enforcement resources and personnel to crack down on crime linked to the fentanyl crisis, holding the poison peddlers accountable, and increasing law enforcement presence to improve public safety and public confidence in San Francisco.”
Journalist Michael Shellenberger chronicled the drug crises in his book San Fransicko. He applauded this move but suggested that Governor Newsom also deploy FEMA.
This statue of a man breastfeeding a baby is trending because it has been moved to a museum in Denmark that used to be called the Woman’s Museum. It has been renamed the Gender Museum.
Ray Epps is trending because of this 60 Minutes piece that aims to address the January 6 lingering questions regarding the participation of Ray Epps.
Bed Bath and Beyond is trending because the home store has filed for bankruptcy. The company will close all 360 stores across the U.S.
News By The Numbers
23. That is how many powerlifting records Dale Shepherd holds in New Zealand. He has applied to compete as a woman for his next competition in June to protest men who self-declare themselves as female and compete against women. The Global Powerlifting Committee appears to have changed the rules after Shepherd’s application to deny his place but he will contest their decision.
$80. That is how much a membership to Strava now costs, up from $59 per year. Most subscription services have become more expensive this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be in the U.S. today to meet with the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. He will also take the lead in Russia’s new chairmanship of the U.N. Security Council.
While it New York, Lavrov could meet with the Biden administration to discuss peace in Ukraine but no such invitation has been extended. In fact, the U.S. State Department denied entry visas to Russian journalists who wanted to cover the Foreign Minister’s trip. Lavrov did not take that well.
“A country that calls itself the strongest, smartest, free and fair country has chickened out and done something stupid by showing what its sworn assurances about protecting freedom of speech and access to information are really worth,” Lavrov said before leaving Moscow on Sunday. "Be sure that we will not forget and will not forgive.”
Meanwhile, Russian citizens in the Donetsk region came under heavy fire from Ukrainian forces. People in this region have been targeted by attacks from Ukrainian forces since 2014 but this weekend’s attacks were worse than normal. They targeted residential areas with no military targets anywhere nearby.
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This newsletter is written and researched by Natali Morris.
Please feel free to reach Natali at [email protected]
for any editorial feedback.