Hard Numbers: Lebanon’s bread crisis, US prices soar, Boris Johnson fined, Koreans start from zero

Workers carry boxes of bread loaves at a bakery in Beirut, Lebanon.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
15.3: The Lebanese government will give about $15.3 million in assistance to importers to help assuage a growing bread crisis. As elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, rising costs for grains and fertilizer as a result of the war in Ukraine are straining the country’s already-battered economy.

8.5: Prices for goods and services in the US have grown 8.5% over the past year, the largest annual increase since the early 1980s. Rising costs for food, housing, and fuel drove the increase, which is taxing households and shaping up to be a major problem for President Joe Biden and the Democrats as they head into midterm elections this fall.

50: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other top officials will be fined for breaking pandemic lockdown laws by holding parties at government buildings while ordinary Brits were prohibited even from visiting dying relatives in hospital. British authorities say more than 50 violations of the rules were confirmed.

1: Everyone in South Korea is about to get one year younger – on paper at least. To harmonize his country’s records with those in the rest of the world, president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol wants to do away with the current system in which South Koreans are aged “1” when they are born.

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