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What's up? Inflation – again. Plus, the latest on President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East. And thousands of beagles will be rescued from a sketchy breeding facility.

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👋 Now, back to what you came for: I'm Laura Davis, and this is Wednesday's news.

But first, come on, Jane Goodall Barbie, let's go party! ♻️ The trailblazing nature science icon now has her own Barbie doll made from recycled, ocean-bound plastic. We stan a conservationist queen. Check out the Barbie here.

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Inflation hits 40-year-high

Inflation is jumping, and Americans are feeling the squeeze. In June, inflation jumped again on a persistent climb in gas, food and rent costs, notching another 40-year high and likely solidifying the Federal Reserve’s plans for another big rate hike this month. Prices increased 9.1% from a year earlier, up from an annual rate of 8.6% the previous month and the largest gain since November 1981, the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index showed Wednesday. "Ouch," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a research note of the latest surge in prices. He, along with other economists, noted June likely marked inflation's peak, though a similar pronouncement in the spring proved premature. What the experts are saying on inflation.

Inflation jumped in June – a new 40-year high. Here's what you should know.

Security is the top focus as Biden kicks off first visit to Middle East

President Joe Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday to kick off a four-day trip to the Middle East, his first to the region since taking office. The emphasis? Security. Biden opened the visit with a tour of Israel's "Iron Dome" and "Iron Beam" advanced missile defense systems, developed in partnership with the United States. The president offered anxious Israeli leaders strong reassurances of his determination to stop Iran’s growing nuclear program, saying he’d be willing to use force "as a last resort." In addition, Biden continues to look for ways to expand defense cooperation in the region. Catch up on the latest from Biden's trip to the Middle East.

President Joe Biden greets President Isaac Herzog, left, after arriving at Ben Gurion Airport, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in Tel Aviv, as Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, center, looks on.

What everyone's talking about

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July supermoon, comin' in hot

Eyes to the sky! It's time for another supermoon. And for avid sky watchers who love space but hate cold weather, July typically provides the warmest and best time of the year to gaze at a full moon. The "buck" or "thunder" moon will be the biggest supermoon of the year.

Things to know:

  • Is it 'buck' or 'thunder' moon? July's full moon is nicknamed the "buck" moon "because the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time," according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. It's also known as the "thunder" moon because of early summer's frequent thunderstorms, NASA said.
  • When can you see it? The moon will rise Wednesday evening in the southeastern sky, and reach peak illumination at 2:38 p.m. EDT, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. 
  • Why is it called a supermoon? When the moon’s orbit brings it closer to Earth than usual, the cosmic combo is called a supermoon. The moon can appear slightly bigger and brighter than normal, weather permitting.

Happy moon-gazing! 🌝

The waxing gibbous moon rises behind a cross  at a church in the old city of Jerusalem On July 12, 2022, a day ahead of the July "buck supermoon".

4,000 beagles getting busted out of breeding facility

Four thousand beagles from a breeding facility in Virginia that has been accused of animal welfare violations will be transferred to shelters nationwide for adoption in coming months, under a plan approved by a federal judge last week. Envigo RMS, which owns and operates the facility that breeds beagles for medical research, was accused of a chain of animal welfare violations at the facility – including inadequate food and medical care, filthy conditions and dogs being euthanized without anesthesia. Read more about the beagles here.

A federal judge approved a plan that calls for transferring 4,000 beagles housed at a troubled Virginia breeding facility to shelters where they can be adopted, according to court records.

Real quick

🌤 What's the weather up to in your neck of the woods? Check your local forecast here.

Your tax dollars paid a Peace Corps worker $258K after he killed a woman

After Peace Corps employee John Peterson's chaotic driving spree left a mother of three dead on the streets of Tanzania, the U.S. government whisked him back to America and put him on leave. Over the next year and a half, U.S. taxpayers paid Peterson more than $258,000. Meanwhile, the agency paid the family of the woman Peterson killed about $13,000, a USA TODAY investigation found. Here's what happened.

Family members of late Rabia Issa and a freelance Tanzanian reporter pray at the grave of the late Rabia at Msasani graveyard in Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

A break from the news

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Laura L. Davis is an Audience Editor at USA TODAY. Send her an email at or follow along with her adventures – and misadventures – on Twitter. Support quality journalism like this? Subscribe to USA TODAY here.