Daily Digest 8/31 — Fertilizer Prices Hit Near Decade High; A Record-Breaking 44 Container Ships Stuck Off the Coast of California…

Daily Digest 8/31 — Fertilizer Prices Hit Near Decade High;
A Record-Breaking 44 Container Ships Stuck Off the Coast of
California… 1


Fertilizer Prices Hit Near Decade High As Farmers Struggle For Supply – ZeroHedge

North American fertilizer prices are nearing a decade high this week as soaring commodity prices allow farmers to expand crop production, boosting demand for nutrients essential to producing food. The fertilizer industry is experiencing supply-side constraints while demand is rising.

A record-breaking 44 container ships are stuck off the coast of California – Yahoo

Forty-four freight ships are stuck awaiting entry into California’s two largest ports, the highest number recorded since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Exchange of Southern California reported on Saturday.

The queue is a result of the labor shortage, COVID-19-related disruptions, and holiday-buying surges. Port of Los Angeles data indicated that the ships’ average wait time had increased to 7.6 days.

“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Kip Louttit, the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider in July.

California ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach account for about one-third of US imports. These ports operate as a primary source of imports from China and have experienced heavy congestion throughout the pandemic.

Global coffee supply dealt fresh blow by Vietnam’s virus curbs – The Straights Times

World coffee supplies are suffering a fresh setback from stringent travel curbs imposed in second-biggest grower Vietnam to control the worsening spread of the infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The government is keeping the city of Ho Chi Minh, the exporting hub, under lockdown because of a surge in virus infections, and has tight movement controls in place in some key producing areas of the Central Highlands.

Exporters are struggling to transport beans to the ports for shipment, according to traders and suppliers. That is adding to a raft of other logistical problems such as a dire shortage of containers and soaring freight rates.

Fed Chair Jay Powell’s real fear for the global economy is disinflation – Quartz

But the lawyer-turned-central banker reiterated that he sees inflation as limited to sectors affected by the pandemic. He also noted that wages are not increasing fast enough to generate inflation worries, and that long-term expectations for prices remain anchored. He got a boost from today’s release of US personal consumption expenditure data, which showed that rate of price increases slowed from June to July.

But his most notable comment about the rising rate of inflation was focused on its opposite trend: That disinflation—slowing price increases—is the real long-term threat to the global economy.

“Since the 1990s, inflation in many advanced economies has run somewhat below two percent even in good times,” Powell explained. “The pattern of low inflation likely reflects sustained disinflationary forces, including technology, globalization, and perhaps demographic factors, as well as a stronger and more successful commitment by central banks to maintain price stability. While the underlying global disinflationary factors are likely to evolve over time, there is little reason to think that they have suddenly reversed or abated. It seems more likely that they will continue to weigh on inflation as the pandemic passes into history.”


How water shortages are brewing wars – BBC

Around the world, stories like al Sadr’s are becoming far too common. As much as a quarter of the world’s population now faces severe water scarcity at least one month out of the year and – as in al-Sadr’s case – it is leading many to seek a more secure life in other countries. “If there is no water, people will start to move,” says Kitty van der Heijden, chief of international cooperation at the Netherlands’ foreign ministry and an expert in hydropolitics. Water scarcity affects roughly 40% of the world’s population and, according to predictions by the United Nations and the World Bank, drought could put up to 700 million people at risk of displacement by 2030. People like van der Heijden are concerned about what that could lead to.

“If there is no water, politicians are going to try and get their hands on it and they might start to fight over it,” she says.

A bad solar storm could cause an “Internet apocalypse” – Ars Technica

Scientists have known for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to Internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on Internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global Internet.


Covid: Arkansas jail dosing inmates with ivermectin in spite of FDA warnings – Guardian

Inmates at a north-west Arkansas jail have been prescribed a medicine for treating coronavirus that is normally used to deworm livestock, despite federal health warnings to the public in exasperated tones.

Washington county’s sheriff confirmed this week that the jail’s health provider had been prescribing the drug.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal drugs regulator, issued a warning via Twitter last weekend.

“You are not a horse,” it said. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

Sheriff Tim Helder did not say how many inmates at the 710-bed facility had been given ivermectin and defended the health provider that has been prescribing the medication.

Why medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines might be hard to obtain – Toronto Star

If you’re looking for the long list of conditions that might entitle you to a medical exemption from mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies, you can stop looking now. It turns out the list of conditions valid for a medical exemption from vaccines in Canada is extremely limited, and even narrower than for masks. The only valid exemptions are for people allergic to ingredients in the vaccine, or those who experienced severe allergic reactions or heart inflammation after their first dose.

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