Hard Numbers: China lockdowns expand, US gas prices to fall (until fall), UN seeks longer Yemen truce, cars-for-kids in Russia
18.7: Cities and regions of China that produce 18.7% of the country’s GDP are currently under COVID-related lockdowns as the BA.5 variant spreads. That’s up from 17.5% a week ago. China’s recent economic slowdown has already fanned fears of a global recession.
15: The average cost of a gallon of gasoline in the US fell 15 cents this week to $4.52. Prices have been easing for a couple of reasons in recent weeks: sticker shock has scared off some consumers, while recession fears have driven down oil prices. But supply remains tight, and analysts warn that fresh oil sanctions on Russia could set prices soaring again this fall.
6: The UN is pushing the warring parties in Yemen to extend their ceasefire for six months. The current shaky truce, the longest since the war started in 2014, was inked in April and has been extended once since then. It expires on Aug. 2.5 million: Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed that the families of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine would get a lump sum of 5 million rubles (about $70,000.) On Sunday, Russian state TV highlighted the upside of that benefit by profiling a man who spent the money on a white Lada sedan. “Alexei always dreamed of a white car,” the man says of his deceased son. Guess where the car’s first trip was …