350 million are ‘marching toward hunger,’ says outgoing U.N. food chief

350 million are ‘marching toward hunger,’ says outgoing U.N. food chief


David Beasley, the head of the U.N.’s World Food Program, took off his mask to offer a broad smile as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of his agency in 2020. At the time, he said that more than 270 million people were “marching toward starvation.”

That figure is now up to 350 million people, Beasley has said in media interviews this week as he prepares to step down from the position on April 4 — a number larger than the population of the United States. “I thought we could put the World Food Program out of business” when he took the job in 2017, he said in an interview with the BBC broadcast Friday.

The food crisis “is going to get worse,” he added. Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine are all to blame, he said.

Among those 350 million — those the United Nations considers to have acute food insecurity, who must sell essential possessions to obtain food — 50 million people are “knocking on famine’s door,” Beasley said. That latter group refers to those who have access to three or fewer food groups and take in 2,100 calories or less per day.

“That 50 million has got to get food, or otherwise they clearly will die,” he said.

WFP needs to raise $23 billion to help those 350 million people, he told the Associated Press. “Right at this stage, I’ll be surprised if we get 40 percent of it, quite frankly,” he said.

Cindy McCain to lead U.N.’s World Food Program

The best thing that could happen would be for Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war, and to let Ukraine and Russia resume their roles as the breadbaskets of the world, he told the BBC.

Ukraine was the world’s third and fifth biggest seller of corn and wheat, respectively, before the war, while Russia was the world’s largest exporter of wheat and fertilizers, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a data website. The war has depressed the production and export of those products, Beasely has said.

Beasley declined to say whether he agreed with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s assertion that Moscow had weaponized food.

China, the Gulf nations and billionaires must also “step up big time,” he told the Associated Press.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, contributed $12 million to WFP last year. That was less than provided by the likes of New Zealand and Ukraine, which have gross domestic products that were less than 2 percent of China’s in 2021. The United States was, by far, the largest donor, giving $7.2 billion.

Beasley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, did not say whether he would return to U.S. politics after leaving WFP. “Last week, my daughter had our third grandchild, a little girl,” he told the BBC. “And I’m looking forward to going home, and relaxing for at least a few weeks or a couple months, and we’ll see.”

Cindy McCain, who is serving as Washington’s representative to the U.N. Agencies in Rome and is the widow of former senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), will replace Beasley next week.

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Tesla Model 3 pickup “Truckla” gets updates and a perfectly wholesome robot charger

Tesla Model 3 pickup “Truckla” gets updates and a perfectly wholesome robot charger

Back in 2019, YouTuber Simone Giertz, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Sh*tty Robots,” created a one-off Tesla Model 3 build that took the automotive world by storm. Fondly dubbed as “Truckla,” Giertz noted that the vehicle was actually her dream car — as crazy as that may sound. 

Now almost four years later, the YouTuber posted an update on Truckla. And just like every other big project that one probably started, Giertz stated that she actually stopped working on Truckla when the vehicle was about 80% complete. The car is driving though, but a lot of stuff was not really working very well. 

Thus, for her Truckla update, Giertz shared how most of her Model 3 pickup truck conversion was essentially completed. Truckla got a lot of detailing done, she got a slight lift, and she now has a functional tailgate. One has to admit, Truckla’s tailgate is pretty darn cool. 

The “Queen of Sh*tty Robots” also opted to give Truckla a friend in the form of an automatic robot charger. Unlike Tesla’s rather interesting snake charger from years past, Truckla’s charger would come in the form of a rover, thanks to her friends at robotics platform Viam. Giertz aptly named Truckla’s robot charger friend “Chargela,” which is an appropriate name for such an invention. 

Also true to form for Giertz, Chargela’s first encounter with Truckla was just a tiny bit awkward. One could say that Chargela may have just been a little bit nervous on his first try without human hands helping him. Most importantly, the system did work, so Giertz would likely keep using Chargela for her Model 3 pickup. 

Teslas are very tech-heavy vehicles, so projects like Giertz’s Truckla are always remarkable. The fact that the Model 3 works perfectly fine despite having a good chunk of it cut off and turned into a pickup truck bed is mighty impressive any way one looks at it. Overall, Truckla will always be one of the coolest Tesla DIY projects to date, so any updates about the vehicle are always appreciated.  

Truckla’s nearly four-year update can be viewed below.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to simon@teslarati.com to give us a heads up.

Tesla Model 3 pickup “Truckla” gets updates and a perfectly wholesome robot charger

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Real Housewives of Art Basel in Miami Beach: reality tv hits the art world

Real Housewives of Art Basel in Miami Beach: reality tv hits the art world

Bravo is set to launch new reality TV show called The Bachelor’s Apprentice: Artist Edition, where the winner gets to date a high-profile art dealer and get gallery representation.

‘I’m looking for the next hot artist—and love, of course,’ says the Blue Chip dealer who is set to star in the show.

The high-profile art dealer has been confirmed as the leading man for a special art mash-up of two of the most popular reality TV programmes: The Batchelor and The Apprentice.

In the new show, 12 young unknown artists will battle it out for the love of a high-profile art dealer, as well as a two-year contract with the blue chip gallery.

The identity of the dealer is being kept tightly under wraps by TV executives and will be revealed next month ahead of the programme’s first episode. However, the dealer spoke to The Art Newspaper on condition of anonymity. He says: “I’m looking forward to discovering the next hot thing, the next art star—and finding love, of course”.

The lucky winner will get to jet off with the bachelor to the world’s major art fairs—in cities such as London, Los Angeles and Basel—as well as joining the art dealer’s roster of high profile artists.

“In my opinion, being an artist is more than just a career choice, it’s a true calling, a way of life. So I can offer both love and a career boost with my galleries on three continents,” says the veteran dealer.

Insiders at Bravo have also exclusively told The Art Newspaper they are working on further art-themed reality TV shows. “The art world is hot hot hot right now, it has glamour and it has passion,” says an insider. The other shows that are in the works include: Real Housewives of Art Basel in Miami Beach, Below Deck: Collector’s Yacht Special and I’m An Curator… Get Me Away from the Needy Artists.

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Pete Davidson Joins 90 Day Fiance, Document Quest for International Love

Pete Davidson Joins 90 Day Fiance, Document Quest for International Love

Pete Davidson is no stranger to fame, to love, or to TV.

In fact, he recently dipped his toes into the very specific world of love-on-reality-TV when he appeared on The Kardashians.

So perhaps this was inevitable. Perhaps we all should have seen this coming.

The actor, comedian, and status (sex) symbol is returning to reality television to look for love … on 90 Day Fiance.

The 90 Day Fiance franchise is a sprawling, catastrophic success. The show’s popularity may have given Discovery Inc the capital to buy Warner Bros and dismantle it for parts, destroying a century of art on the whims of David Zaslav.

For years, the franchise has enjoyed numerous celebrity viewers. If you watch it, you can find other viewers almost anywhere — at weddings, at jury duty, in line at a packed restaurant.

Of course famous people watch it. And some cast members have become viral memes and household names. But, until now, the actual cast did not include people who were already famous before signing on.

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Comedian Pete Davidson attends the American Museum of Natural History’s 2018 Museum Gala on November 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pete Davidson has spent the past few years as something of a status symbol. He’s a comedian, an actor, and a hottie. Rumor has it that he is packing one serious dong.

But a running joke has been “X is now dating Pete Davidson” about almost anyone or anything, from a newly divorced actress to an intangible concept.

He has dated Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Kate Beckinsale, Emily Ratajkowski, Kaia Gerber, and other women. The age ranges vary, but they are all famous and among the most gorgeous women on the planet.

Before he rose to fame on SNL, Pete dated fellow comic Carly Aquilino. Insiders say the two have remained friends. (Instagram)

According to 90 Day Fiance insiders, Pete Davidson is currently filming for an upcoming season of the 90 Day Fiance franchise.

We do not know which spinoff, though some suspect that it could be the original 90 Day Fiance. Others suspect that a more reasonable assumption would be 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days.

Meanwhile, there are rumors of a celebrity edition of 90 Day Fiance … but we feel like that’s probably just a rumor. Pete is adventurous, but how would they fill out the cast each year? A celebrity spinoff of Pillow Talk would make more sense, but it’s unlikely that Discovery Plus would fork over enough cash for the commentary-based spinoff.

Pete Peaces Out
Pete Davidson peaces out at the Met Gala. (Photo via Getty)

For that reason, we suspect that Pete is not in it for the money.

Generally, new stars to the franchise can expect to, at most, make a couple thousand dollars per episode.

Despite the tremendous ratings that this reality series rakes in, and despite the fortunes that other reality shows pay to stars, a 90 Day Fiance star will usually only make enough on a season to perhaps buy a car. There are exceptions, but those are usually longtime cast members.

Pete likely doesn’t need the money and he certainly doesn’t need the exposure, so perhaps he is doing this for an almost unthinkable reason:

His actual quest for love. No agenda, no desire to become an influencer or launch a modeling career. Just sharing his love story with the world, in a new way.

We do not know who the lucky lady is. And we do not even know her country of origin. There are nearly 200 possibilities, even if there are a dozen or so prime suspects.

Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian Together
Insiders say Kim and Pete parted ways on good terms and plan to remain friends. And it probably won’t be very long before Pete moves on with a new A-list companion! (Photo via Instagram)

We do know one additional piece of info about this 90 Davidson Fiance situation.

We made it up entirely. It’s pretend.

Happy April Fools day!!

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Russia-Ukraine war: Will there be a spring counteroffensive?

Russia-Ukraine war: Will there be a spring counteroffensive?

Europe’s biggest armed conflict since World War II is poised to enter a new phase in the coming weeks. With…

Europe’s biggest armed conflict since World War II is poised to enter a new phase in the coming weeks.

With no suggestion of a negotiated end to the 13 months of fighting between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian defense minister said last week that a spring counteroffensive could begin as soon as April.

Kyiv faces a key tactical question: How can the Ukrainian military dislodge Kremlin forces from land they are occupying? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is working hard to keep his troops, and the general public, motivated for a long fight.

Here’s a look at how the fighting has evolved and how the spring campaign might unfold:


Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 2022, but its attacks fell short of some main targets and lost momentum by July. Ukrainian counteroffensives took back large areas from August through November.

Then the fighting got bogged down in attritional warfare during the bitter winter and into the muddy, early spring thaw.

Now, Kyiv can take advantage of improved weather to seize the battlefield initiative with new batches of Western weapons, including scores of tanks, and fresh troops trained in the West.

But Russian forces are dug in deep, lying in wait behind minefields and along kilometers (miles) of trenches.


The war has exposed embarrassing shortcomings in the Kremlin’s military prowess.

The battlefield setbacks include Russia’s failure to reach Kyiv in the early days of the invasion, its inability to hold some areas and its failure to take the devastated eastern city of Bakhmut despite seven months of fighting. Attempts to break the Ukrainian will to fight, such as relentlessly striking the country’s power grid, have failed too.

Moscow’s intelligence services badly misjudged Ukraine’s resolve and the West’s response. The invasion also depleted Russian military resources, triggering difficulties with ammunition supplies, morale and troop numbers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently concerned that the war could erode public support for his government, has avoided an all-out push for victory through a mandatory mass mobilization.

“The Russians have no end of problems,” said James Nixey, director of the Russia and Eurasia program at Chatham House, a think tank in London.

Realizing he cannot win the war any time soon, Putin aims to hunker down and drag out the fighting in the hope that Western support for Kyiv eventually frays, Nixey said.

Russia’s strategy is designed around “getting the West to crumble,” he said.


The Ukrainian military starts the season with an influx of powerful weapons.

Germany said this week that it had delivered the 18 Leopard 2 tanks it promised to Ukraine. Poland, Canada and Norway have also handed over their pledged Leopard tanks. British Challenger tanks have arrived too.

Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, has said he’s hopeful Western partners will supply at least two battalions of the German-made Leopard 2s by April. He also expects six or seven battalions of Leopard 1 tanks, with ammunition, from a coalition of countries.

Also pledged are U.S. Abrams tanks and French light tanks, along with Ukraine soldiers recently trained in their use.

The Western help has been vital in strengthening Ukraine’s dogged resistance and shaping the course of the war. Zelenskyy recognizes that without U.S. help, his country has no chance to prevail.

The new supplies, including howitzers, anti-tank weapons and 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition, will add more muscle to the Ukraine military and give it a bigger punch.

“Sheer numbers of tanks can drive a deeper wedge into Russian holding positions,” Nixey said.

In their counteroffensive, Ukrainian forces will look to break through the land corridor between Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula, moving from Zaporizhzhia toward Melitopol and the Azov Sea, according to Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.

If successful, the Ukrainians “will split the Russian troops into two halves and cut off supply lines to the units that are located further to the west, in the direction of Crimea,” Zhdanov said.


The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, reckons that Ukraine will need to launch a series of counteroffensives, not just one, to get the upper hand.

The operations would have “the twin aims of persuading Putin to accept a negotiated compromise or of creating military realities sufficiently favorable to Ukraine that Kyiv and its Western allies can then effectively freeze the conflict on their own regardless of Putin’s decisions,” the institute said in an assessment published this week.

Nixey has no doubt that each side will keep “tearing chunks out of each other” over the coming months in the hope of gaining an advantage at the negotiating table.

A make-or-break period may lie ahead: If Kyiv fails to make progress on the battlefield with its Western-supplied weapons, allies may become reluctant to send it more of the expensive hardware.

The stakes are high: Defeat for Ukraine would “have global ramifications, and there will be no such thing as European security as we (currently) understand it,” Nixey said.


Associated Press Writer Yuras Karmanau in Tallinn, Estonia, contributed to this report.


Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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