Ukraine Aid, Australia Elections, and a Pricey Benz 1440 Weekend Edition

Good morning. It's Saturday, May 21, and in this weekend edition, we're covering billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine, Australia's federal elections, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

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Economic Aid to Ukraine

The Group of Seven countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US—agreed Friday to send $19.8B in economic aid to Ukraine. The funds, a combination of loans and grants, are meant to help Ukraine bolster its short-term finances so the country doesn't run out of money as it defends itself against Russia's invasion. The International Monetary Fund in April estimated Ukraine needs at least $5B per month, or $15B through June, for its economy to stay afloat. See the support Ukraine has received so far here.


In related news, inflation is hitting Russia and Ukraine roughly twice as hard as the West with Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupting supply chains and driving up prices. The annual inflation rate hit 16.4% in April in Ukraine, the highest since September 2017. In Russia, annual inflation rose to a two-decade high of 17.8% in April. In contrast, annual inflation in the US is at 8.3%, while in the UK, it's at 9%. 


Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the eastern Donbas region has undergone intense fighting between forces, including shelling in the city of Severodonetsk. Meanwhile, Russia said it is halting gas supplies to Finland. 


See map updates on the war here.



Australia braces for federal election results.

Australians cast their ballots Saturday for the country's federal elections, including for a new prime minister, all of the seats in the House of Representatives, and about half of the seats in the Senate. See results here.


Federal judge temporarily blocks planned end to Title 42 restrictions. 

The Louisiana judge concluded the CDC should have allowed a public commenting period before it issued an order to lift the pandemic-era border policy Monday. Title 42 allows US Customs and Border Protection agents to rapidly expel migrants at the US-Mexico border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 


Boeing launches spacecraft to International Space Station.

After years of unsuccessful test flights, an uncrewed Boeing Starliner capsule docked to the International Space Station Friday, where it will spend a few days attached to the orbiting lab before returning to Earth. The spacecraft's success will inform whether NASA is ready to send astronauts on Boeing's Starliner.


S&P 500 falls briefly into bear market territory.

US stocks fell into a bear market at one point Friday when the S&P 500 declined 20% from its all-time high in January, before reversing course. The index was up 0.01% at close, about 19% below its record. The Dow was up 0.03%; Nasdaq was down 0.3%. 


Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to run for US Congress.

De Blasio said Friday he will run for a seat in the House of Representatives for a newly drawn district that includes parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. He will be entering a crowded field of Democratic contenders for the Aug. 23 primary.


A heat wave is headed to the East Coast this weekend.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s, marking the first major heat wave in the US this year. Nineteen states and Washington, DC, could set or tie existing high temperature records.

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World's only nonuplets celebrate their first birthday. (More)


Eleven staff members at a Missouri hospital are pregnant at the same time. (More)


Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and supermodel Miranda Kerr to pay off student loans for graduating class. (More


Teeanna Brisco was 4 years old when her father went to prison; 20 years later, he's out and she's a law school graduate. (More)


A soldier returns from deployment to surprise his sister at graduation. (More)


Hot Wheels debuts first remote-controlled wheelchair action figure. (More


An 83-year-old becomes oldest person to compete in 5K Tough Mudder. (More)

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Today, we're sharing a story from reader Molly R. in Newman, California.


"It was late at night, and after we had dinner at a pizza place, my son who was about 7 years old at the time, and who has a debilitating illness and falls on the autism spectrum, saw a homeless man curled up in the parking lot of the Walgreens pharmacy we drove into. Since he still wasn't able to read, he asked me, 'Mom, what does that man's sign say?'..."


Read the rest of the story here


Share your story of kindness here.




> A 1955 Mercedes-Benz sells for a $142M—likely the most expensive car sale ever

> 55% of Americans live within an hour of extended family.



> Bill Gates talks Bitcoin, misinformation, and more in Reddit's Ask Me Anything.

> The coolest hotel in every state.

> Close-up shots of 100 baby crocodiles on their father's back.



What Windows startup sounds reveal about Microsoft's evolving tech.


> An animation illustrating the enormity of the universe.
How five of the world's most expensive salt and spices are made.

> A cat is startled by a camera filter


Long Read 

> How a tweet led to the downfall of a $1B drug cartel.
The search for carbon-neutral protein.

> Why do people say "like" so much?

> The colorful history of the world's first gummy bears.


Best of the Week: Spectacular shots of the super flower blood moon.

Historybook: American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton (1881); Jazz musician Fats Waller born (1904);  FIFA, world governing body of association football, founded (1904); Amelia Earhart becomes first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (1932); RIP Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams (1935); Rapper Notorious B.I.G. born (1972).


"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship."

- Amelia Earhart

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