From Ukraine’s stalled grain exports to China’s response to Blinken’s comments – Here is your May 30 news briefing

From Ukraine’s stalled grain exports to China’s response to Blinken’s comments – Here is your May 30 news briefing
Sergei Yarosh, head of Mlybor (flour mill) enterprise, passes a truck being loaded with grains at the facility after it was shelled repeatedly, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Chernihiv region, Ukraine May 24, 2022. REUTERS/Edgar Su

To start off, we’re looking into:

UK will work with G7 to resume Ukraine’s grain exports

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that he would work with G7 partners to find ways to resume grain exports from Ukraine as the global food crisis becomes a growing concern.

Amid the ongoing war, Ukrainian farmers currently have around 20 million tons of grain they can’t get to international markets because Russia continues to block Black Sea shipping ports. Not to mention, another harvest is supposed to begin soon.

So, unless Russia lifts its blockades, a massive amount of grain will go unsold, which experts worry might cause a global food shortage. Some people have called for an international convoy to break the blockade.

China’s new COVID rules

Shanghai COVID
Workers in protective suits rest on a street during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 28, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song

After about two months of lockdowns, Chinese authorities in Shanghai have decided to relax the COVID rules from June 1 as cases are on the decline. The city reported 122 new infections on Saturday, down from 170 on Friday. Only one positive case was found outside government quarantine.

So, starting from Wednesday, if Shanghai residents want to enter public areas and use public transportation, they will need to hold a negative nucleic acid test result taken within the past 72 hours. This is loosened from the previous 48-hour requirement.

For those who want to travel from Shanghai to other places, the travel requirements of having a negative test 48 hours before departing and a negative rapid antigen test 24 hours before departure will remain the same for now. Still, these rules may be upgraded as the situation develops, according to the local government.

On a similar note, Beijing is loosening its COVID curbs, as cases have fallen for seven consecutive days. The city has reopened parts of its public transport system as well as some malls and other venues.

China responds to Blinken’s comments

China US
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi shows the way to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, before their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit, in Rome, Italy October 31, 2021. Tiziana Fabi/Pool via REUTERS

China’s foreign minister said that Chinese-American relations have gone “seriously awry” after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China is the “most serious long-term challenge to the international order.”

This comes after tensions – and communications – between the two countries have been escalating. Experts say this combination means that the chances of an accidental conflict based on a misunderstanding between the two countries are higher than it has been in two decades.

China’s foreign minister also said that competition between the two countries was natural but that it shouldn’t be “destructive.”

To end, we’ll look into:

Feeling burned out? You’re not alone.

Have you ever found yourself in that headspace where you can’t manage to enjoy your work, you’re wondering what the point is anyways and the grind you once enjoyed is now just exhausting? Slightly soul-sucking? Well, you may be experiencing burnout, and you’re definitely not alone.

More and more young workers are saying they feel burned out at their jobs, with surveys showing that millennials and Gen Zers have the worst rates of burnout at almost 60%. And the pandemic hasn’t made it any better – 80% of all workers surveyed say that the pandemic has played a part in workplace burnout.

Part of the problem may be stress about money, too, with 41% of millennials and 46% of Gen Z saying they feel stressed all or most of the time about their financial situation. On top of that, these groups have the least “workplace capital,” meaning the ability to ask for time off, ask for favors or say no to projects.

The good news? Younger workers are more likely to be able to recognize symptoms of burnout, meaning they’re also more likely to do things to help manage the symptoms, like talk to their managers about it.

And some say that this awareness is the catalyst for change in a work culture that spurs burnout to begin with.

In other news …

🇵🇰Pakistan is in desperate need of cash. With soaring inflation and an unstable political environment, some have worried that the country could follow Sri Lanka into a default. Pakistan needs a bailout from the IMF, but the fund has told the country that in order to qualify for the loan help, they need to implement some key economic changes. Other countries are also telling Pakistan that they are ready to help, but it needs to go to the IMF first.

🇺🇦President Zelenskiy embarked on his first official trip outside the Kyiv region since the war began over three months ago to visit troops in the Kharkiv region.

🇺🇸The US has seen over 200 mass shootings this year, and Biden was in Uvalde over the weekend to meet with the victims’ families. Public anger is quickly growing, especially over the police response to the shooting.

🇷🇺Russia has come out to say that if the West wants to reestablish ties with it, it would “seriously consider whether we will need it or not.” But, the country will continue deepening its ties with China.

🥅Chaos ensued before the late kick-off during the match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France over the weekend, and the UK culture secretary has called the situation “deeply concerning.” French police are being criticized for firing tear gas and pepper spray at Liverpool fans who were waiting to get into the game. French opposition politicians have said the whole thing makes France look pretty bad.

💰Crypto giant FTX has been spending heaps of time with both investors and regulators in Washington. Now with new cash injections, the company is looking to spend billions buying other companies to expand client and product offerings.

🍼We bet you haven’t heard this much about baby formula for a while, but there’s still a mad shortage; out-of-stock rates spiked to 70% across the US for the week ending May 21, which is 45% higher than the previous week. More stock is arriving from overseas, and Biden has invoked emergency powers to speed up production.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Christine Dulion, Julianna Barcela and Krystal Lai