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UK cost of living crisis

The British media say the skyrocketing cost of living is pushing people in some regions to eat pet food while others try to heat food on a radiator. A charity based in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, says struggling households do not just appear in areas long associated with poverty. It advised the government that its policy should focus on people not places. The charity officials say people are not being paid enough to afford the essentials as the cost of living crisis is pushing prices way up. This comes as official data show the UK inflation has already risen to a 41-year high of above eleven percent. The government continues to blame the war in Ukraine and the COVID pandemic as the main culprits in the economic downturn.

EU Russia oil price cap

European Union governments have agreed on a tentative price cap on Russian seaborne oil in an effort to limit Moscow’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine. The price cap is set at 60 dollars a barrel and includes a mechanism to keep the cap at 5 percent below the market price. The decision will come into effect on December 5 if it gets approval from all EU governments on Friday. The price cap would be reviewed in mid-January and every two months after that to assess how it is functioning. The idea was initially promoted by the Group of Seven nations, also known as the G-7. The price cap is to replace a harsher EU outright ban on buying Russian seaborne crude. Russia has already warned that it would stop oil supply to any country applying a price cap on its oil exports.

US sanctions on N Korea

The US has imposed fresh sanctions on three senior North Korean officials following Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test last month. The new sanctions, which appear largely symbolic, freeze any US-based assets of those individuals and bar trading with them. The European Union had already blacklisted the three North Korea officials in April. Washington says the restrictive measures are aimed at slowing down the development of Pyongyang’s weapons program. However, despite decades of US-led sanctions, Pyongyang has managed to advance its missile and nuclear programs. Pyongyang has fired over 60 missiles, including eight ICBMs, this year in response to US hostilities. The North says its missile program is for self-defense and a deterrence against possible invasion of the country by the US and its allies.

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