🌞 Pure Imagination – May 26 2022




Happy Thursday. Winnie the Pooh is now a horror villain. Isn’t the world scary enough? 

credit: bloody-disgusting

In Case You Missed It. 

🤦🏻‍♂️ Walmart will stop selling Juneteenth products after it was called out for being opportunistic. Any opportunity to sell $11 plastic water bottles though! 

🚀 South Korea says that North Korea has tested more intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

🐥 Jack Dorsey is stepping down from the board of Twitter. 

Coronavirus Update 😷:  

  • new study shows that vaccines only provide “modest protection” against long Covid. 
  • Chinese officials are meeting to save the economy while sticking to its zero-Covid policy.
  • Experts say that monkeypox is not related to the Covid vaccine. They also say that if you have monkeypox, you should stay away from your pets in order to avoid passing it to them. 















*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET. .


The Lead: Guns

credit: getty

The National Rifle Association will host its annual meeting in Texas starting tomorrow, despite the collective agony over one of the most deadly school shootings in American history.  

At this meeting, former President Trump will speak, although guns will not be allowed into his speech. 

The United States has an undeniable gun problem and the rest of the world cannot comprehend it. In Spain, the El Pais newspaper put it this way: “Mass shootings are such an essential part of US life they have their own rules.” Tears, political theater, and “an artificial reopening of the debate on gun control.”

The political theater is nearly as loud as the heartbreak for two teachers and a fourth grade classroom that was terrorized by an 18-year-old man who legally purchased two assault rifles three years before he could legally purchase a beer. Just ten days prior in Buffalo, the same story. Teenage man. Legal gun.

Gun violence is the leading cause of death of U.S. children. The U.S. has nearly 50% of the world’s guns yet just 4% of the world’s population. In other countries, people do not hear loud bangs and immediately think “shooting!” Believe me, I am an American ex-pat and that has become the hardest habit to break when others around me do not react that way to, say, a truck backfiring! 

I appreciate Russell Brand’s take on this as an indication that “we are living in a culture in decline.” 

Will lawmakers save us? Will the courts? Maybe. A judge on Wednesday threw out a lawsuit by gunmakers that were trying to prevent people who were harmed by guns from suing them. That law in New York will remain in place so that victims of gun violence can sue gunmakers. There are a fresh round of victims in Buffalo to try it out. 

The Economics of War

credit: getty

The United States will no longer allow Russia to pay its debts to foreign investors using U.S. banks. This means that Russia could default on payments for the first time since 1998. 

But the Russian ruble is up! It is trading at its highest level since 2015 and experts say that it is up 25% since before the Ukraine-related sanctions began. Russia says that it doesn’t need the U.S. to pay its debts and will instead pay them with rubles on schedule. 

Why is the ruble doing so well? 

You might recall that when the West started putting sanctions on Russia, Russia started demanding that it be paid in rubles for gas. That especially puts Europe in a bind since Europe is highly dependent on Russian oil. But European leaders had no choice so they are in fact paying in rubles. Technically. 

European countries are using a bank called Gazprombank, which does the currency exchange for them. So Europe can “say” that they are paying in Euros but Russia receives its money in Rubles. Gazprombank is a private Russian-owned bank and European countries had to open an account with the bank to comply with these demands. 

An Italian economist told The Washington Post that this is “a transaction where everybody saves face.”

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Starvation in Afghanistan

credit: ebrahim noroozi

Children are starving in Afghanistan. The United Nations says that more than 1.1 million children under the age of 5 will face “the most severe form of malnutrition this year.” 

Western forces left Afghanistan last year and the government immediately fell into the hands of the Taliban. Aid programs have been able to keep people alive up until now but barely. 

Draught has plagued Afghanistan so food imports are crucial. There is also a lack of access to clean water and medical care. Mothers cannot breastfeed when they themselves are malnourished. Baby formula? Well you know the story there. 

Children are being diagnosed with what is called “severe wasting.” According to UNICEF, it is the “most lethal type of malnutrition, in which food is so lacking that a child’s immune system is compromised.” 

Yet according to the United Nations, industrialized nations waste 670 million tons of food per year. This is not a supply problem. It’s a distribution problem. Meanwhile, the Western world is doling out the cash for weapons galore. And children are literally wasting. It makes the chocolate story below seem quite irrelevant, doesn’t it? 

What's Trending?

credit: Hollywood reporter

Jimmy Kimmel is trending for this emotional appeal for gun control in the wake of this week’s horrific school shooting.

James Corden is trending for the same reason. Watch his appeal here

Blue Beetle is trending because of a first look at the costume for the upcoming DC movie. 

Krispy Kreme is trending because they are giving away free donuts to the class of 2022. 

News By The Numbers

12 minutes. That was how long the audience gave a standing ovation to the film “Elvis” at the Cannes Film Festival. Elvis Presley’s widow Priscilla Presley was on there to give the film her approval.

$5.2 million. That is the asking price for a yacht that was once owned by David Bowie. 

12. That is how many years Josh Duggar was sentenced to federal prison on a conviction related to child pornography. 

50%. That is how much mango production in Pakistan is expected to fall this year due to a heat wave. 

Putting Down The Chocolate

People are eating less chocolate because prices are going up. 

Chocolate trading dropped 6.3% and prices are up 11%. The buying slowdown is happening in the U.S. and Europe but, according to Bloomberg, “Asia’s chocolate eating has increased the swiftest in recent years.” Could it be related to the Asian countries that are still in lockdowns, therefore still NEED the chocolate? 

Experts say that the chocolate market will be sluggish for the next year. Well, allow me to help revive the market! Since giving up drinking, dark chocolate has become my daily companion. If you’re with me in this save-the-chocolate crusade, please consider sticking to Fair Trade!

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