Monday, May 23, 2022

Wake-Up Biden: Biden Unveils New Asian Trade Deal

While in Japan today for the second part of his two-nation Asian tour, President Biden said that 12 Indo-Pacific nations had joined a new trade deal aimed at strengthening their economies. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework was designed by Biden's administration to signal U.S. dedication to the economic region and address the need for stability in commerce after disruptions caused by the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As he met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Biden said the new trade deal would also increase. U.S. cooperation with other nations in the region, helping them work more closely on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy, worker protections and anticorruption efforts. The nations are: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

➤KEY EASTERN UKRAINIAN CITY UNDER RUSSIAN BOMBARDMENT: The key Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk has been under heavy bombardment by Russian forces who are fighting to try to take control of the eastern Donbas region, which includes the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. Sievierodonetsk is the main city under Ukrainian control in Luhansk, and the province's governor, Serhii Haidai, accused the Russians of, quote, "simply intentionally trying to destroy the city . . . engaging in a scorched-earth approach." Haidai said the Russians were concentrating on Luhansk, bringing in troops from other parts of Ukraine and from inside Russia, and had occupied several towns and cities there. There were also strong explosions heard early Monday in the western city of Korosten, which is about 100 miles west of Kyiv, with Urkainian news agencies saying it was the thrid straight day of apparent attacks in the Zhytomyr District.

Polish President Andrzej Duda addressed Ukraine's parliament in Kyiv on Sunday, where he said, "Only Ukraine has the right to decide about its future. Only Ukraine has the right to decide for itself." Duda was there in support of Ukraine's war effort and of its desire to join the European Union.

👶78,000 POUNDS OF BABY FORMULA ARRIVES IN U.S. ON MILITARY PLANE: A U.S. military plane carrying 78,000 pounds of baby formula arrived in Indianapolis Sunday from Europe, in the first of several planned flights aimed at relieving the formula shortage in the U.S. that has made it hard for many parents to find formula for their babies. President Biden authorized the use of Air Force planes for "Operation Fly Formula" because no commercial flights were available. The formula from this first shipment will be distributed to hospitals, pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Later yesterday, the White House announced the first two Defense Production Act authorizations for infant formula, which means manufacturers Abbott Nutrition and Reckitt can now get priority orders of products they need to make formula.

SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION STONEWALLED, DENIGRATED CLERGY SEX ABUSE SURVIVORS: An investigative report released Sunday found that leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades, while at the same time trying to protect their own reputations, AP reported. The report found that the survivors and others concerned about the issue repeatedly went to the SBC's Executive Committee with allegations, quote, "only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility from some within the EC." SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement yesterday that he is, quote, "grieved to my core," and called on Southern Baptists to prepare to change the denomination’s culture and implement reforms. The investigation was conducted by an independent firm contracted by the Executive Committee.

➤SOME YOUNG ADULTS CONSIDER MOVING BACK HOME WITH THEIR PARENTS AMID RISING RENTS:  Young adults in some major cities say they’re considering moving back in with their parents as rents rise. The Apartment List reports that rents in New York City have increased by nearly 32 percent since last year, while in Washington, D.C. rent has increased nearly 11 percent in the same time period. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in NYC is $4,761, while it’s $2,527 in D.C. Darnita, who lives in Washington, D.C., tells Fox News, “Rent is definitely going up. I did have to move back with my mom to save some money. So me and my daughter have a good place to stay.” Meanwhile, Connnor, who lives in New York says, “My rent is too high right now. Prior to me signing my lease, the rent for the apartment was like $3,000, and now it’s closer to $5,000.” He says he’d consider moving back in with his parents.

➤AN AB EXERCISE CALLED THE ‘STOMACH VACUUM’ IS ALL OVER THE INTERNET. IS IT SAFE?:  TikTok is known for producing all types of trends, including fitness trends. The latest is an isometric abdominal exercise called the “stomach vacuum.” If you search for the hashtag #stomachvacuum on TikTok you’ll see lots of people doing the movement which involves a drastic inhalation, sucking in the stomach and exposing the lower ribs. Dr. Joran Metzl, a Sports Medicine Physician at Hospital for Special Surgery calls the move “a biceps curl for your abs,” and compares the exercise to a plank. Kate Wang, a personal trainer, likens it to “doing an isometric squat hold, just for your core, like a hollow body hold. When you’re doing a holly body hold, you’re practicing a (different version) of that ‘stomach vacuum.’” She also says while the move is gaining traction on social media now, it’s nothing new. The experts say it's generally not a risky move, but that you should be careful doing it if you have high blood pressure, as it can increase blood pressure. They also say when first learning to do the movement you should not push your limits of how long you can hold your breath. In addition, they say claims on TikTok that doing the movement will result in a slimmer waistline and flatter stomach are false.

➤STUDY..INSOMNIA IS MIDLIFE MAY MANIFEST AS COGNITIVE PROBLEMS IN RETIREMENT AGE:  Suffering with insomnia is no joke. University of Helsinki researchers looked at the development of insomnia symptoms in midlife and their effects on memory, learning ability, and concentration after retirement. The study revealed that long-term insomnia symptoms and later poorer cognitive functioning have a clear connection. The study also found that memory problems, and problems in learning ability and concentration increased as the insomnia symptoms were prolonged. Researcher, professor Tea Lallukka says, “Based on our findings, early intervention tackling insomnia symptoms, or measures aimed at improving the quality of sleep would be justified. In subsequent studies, it would be interesting to shed further light on, for example, whether the treatment of insomnia can also slow down the development of memory disorders.”

🏀WARRIORS TOP MAVERICKS 109-100 TO TAKE 3-0 LEAD IN WESTERN CONF. FINALS: The Golden State Warriors topped the Dallas Mavericks 109-100 last night (May 22nd) in Texas to take a 3-0 lead in the NBA's Western Conference Finals. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 31 points and Andrew Wiggins added 27 points. Luka Doncic was Dallas' high scorer with 40 points. Golden State will have a chance to sweep in Game 4 Tuesday in Dallas. No team has ever rallied from being down 3-0 to win an NBA playoff series.

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Florida Panthers 1 - Tampa Bay leads series 3-0
  • New York Rangers 3, Carolina Hurricanes 1 - Carolina leads series 2-1
  • Edmonton Oilers 4, Calgary Flames 1 - Oilers' Evander Kane had a hat trick with three goals in six minutes in the second period. - Edmonton leads series 2-1

Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship at Sothern Hills in Oklahoma on Sunday, rallying from being seven shots back and then beating fellow American Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff for his second major, both of them PGA titles. Chile's Mito Pereira, who was playing in his first PGA Championship, never trailed all day, but made a double bogey on the 18th hole to finish one shot behind Thomas and Zalatoris, who both ended at 5-under 275.
🎾ZVEREV, GAUFF AMONG WINNERS ON FIRST DAY OF FRENCH OPEN: The French Open tennis tournament got underway yesterday in Paris, and third-seeded men's player Alexander Zverev and 18th-seeded Coco Gauff on the women's side were some of the first round winners. Some bigger names will be playing today, including Number 1 women's seed Iga Swiatek, defending champion Barbora Krejickova, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Naomi Osaka.

🏎DIXON HAS POLE-WINNING RECORD FOR INDY 500: Scott Dixon won the pole position for next weekend's Indianapolis 500 yesterday in a record run of more than 234 miles per hour. His four-lap average of 234.046 mph around Indianapolis Motor Speedway gave Dixon the fifth Indy 500 pole of his career, and broke Scott Brayton’s pole-winning record of 233.718 mph set in 1996. The Indy 500 will be held next Sunday.

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