The Wider World

Pain at the pump is rising

GASOLINE PRICES are up all across California and the U.S. (Pexels/Gustavo Fring).

Electric cars may soon be looking more attractive, and that’s not because of styling changes. Oil prices are rising, and that means that the price of a gallon of gasoline is heading up.

According to The New York Times, the price of a gallon of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil hit $76.98 on Tuesday, the highest-ever. The cause? Economists blame Russia and OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which include many Arab states) for cutting production. They decreased drilling during the coronavirus pandemic, but have not yet reversed those reductions.

In California, motorists have also been hit by a state tax increase that went into effect on July 1. According to the Sacramento Bee, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is now at $4.22, highest in the nation. State gasoline taxes go, in part, to road construction and repair.

Of that amount, 51.1 cents is state tax; the increase from 50.5 percent is sparked by inflation.

Other factors influencing gas prices include the easing of travel restrictions and the impact of vaccination in reducing the risk of coronavirus infection, according to the American Automobile Association.

Condo collapse death toll is now at 36

The bodies of four more victims of the collapsed condominium tower in Surfside, Florida were found on Tuesday, bringing the total number of known fatalities to 36.

According to USA Today, another 109 people are unaccounted for, although only “about 70 of them” were confirmed to be in the structure when it collapsed on June 24.

Rescuers have found no one alive since the day after the fall.

The process of trying to find some life under the rubble is complicated by the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa, which is bringing in showers and possibly thunderstorms or a tornado by Wednesday.

Dodgers and Angels cooled off on Monday

Monday wasn’t a fun day for the Dodgers and Angels, two hot teams who cooled off with losses.

The Dodgers lost 5-4 to the Marlins in Miami and the Angels fell 5-4 to the Boston Red Sox in Anaheim. For the Chavez Ravine boys, it broke a nine-game winning streak. However, the San Francisco Giants lost as well, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3. That kept the Dodgers (53-31) still a half-game back in the NL West.

For the Angels, the loss drops them back to .500 at 42-42 and snapped a four-game win string. Today (Tuesday) the Dodgers will play the Marlins again, while the Angels will host the Red Sox.

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