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Grain from Ukraine is ready to go. But ships are not. Why? Risk

Shipping companies are not rushing to export millions of tonnes of trapped grain out of Ukraine, despite a groundbreaking deal to provide safe corridors across the Black Sea. Indeed, explosive mines are drifting in the waters amid war in Russia, shipowners are assessing the risks and many are still wondering how the deal will pan out. The aim is to get some 20 million tonnes of grain out of three Ukrainian ports and pave the way for Russian food and fertilizers hampered by wider sanctions. But the deal collides with the reality of how difficult and risky it will be to achieve, and time has started to turn.

US basketball star Griner testifies in Russian drug trial

KHIMKI, Russia (AP) — The drug trial of American basketball star Brittney Griner has resumed in a Russian court. Griner testified Wednesday that a language interpreter translated only a fraction of what was said during his initial questioning. Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February. She admitted that she had vaping cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage when she arrived in Russia, but claims she inadvertently packed them. In her first appearance as a trial witness, the Phoenix Mercury star described taking a 13-hour flight to Moscow while recovering from COVID-19 and being ruled out after inspectors found the canisters. Griner says he was asked to sign documents without being given an explanation of what they entailed.

The U.S. Economy Sends Mixed Signals: Here’s What It All Means

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy is caught in a delicate and painful place. Confusing, too. Growth seems to be stalling, home sales are collapsing and economists are warning of a possible recession to come. But consumers continue to spend, businesses continue to post profits, and the economy continues to create hundreds of thousands of jobs each month. Amid all this, prices have accelerated to four-decade highs, and the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to put out the inflationary flames with higher interest rates. This makes borrowing more expensive for households and businesses. The Fed hopes to achieve the central bank’s triple axis: slow the economy just enough to curb inflation without causing a recession.

Inflation hits NYC’s favorite bodega: bacon, egg and cheese

NEW YORK (AP) — The bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is a staple in the diet of many New Yorkers. It’s easy to make, easy to eat on the go, and inexpensive, just not as cheap as it used to be. To keep up with current levels of inflation due to the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, bodega owners have no choice but to raise the prices of their famous breakfast sandwiches. at low price. Last month, the US Department of Labor reported that inflation had climbed 11.3% and producer prices had jumped nearly 18% for goods compared to June 2021.

US military makes plans in case Pelosi goes to Taiwan

SYDNEY (AP) — U.S. officials say they don’t fear China will attack Nancy Pelosi’s plane if she flies to Taiwan. But the Speaker of the United States House would walk into one of the hottest places on earth, where an accident, misstep or misunderstanding could put her safety at risk. The Pentagon is therefore developing plans for any eventuality. Officials told The Associated Press that if Pelosi travels to Taiwan, the military will increase its movement of forces and assets in the Indo-Pacific region. Officials say fighter jets, ships, surveillance assets and other military systems would likely be used to provide rings of protection. China regards self-governing Taiwan as its own territory and has raised the possibility of annexing it by force.

Cameroon becomes a country of choice for foreign fishing vessels

DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) — Cameroon has become one of many benchmark countries for the widely criticized “flags of convenience” system, under which companies can – for a fee – register their vessels in a foreign country even if there is no connection between the vessel and the nation whose flag it flies. Vessels are expected to respect that country’s fishing agreements with other countries. But experts say weak monitoring and enforcement of fishing fleets by counties with open registries like Cameroon provide shipping companies with a veil of secrecy that allows them to hide their operations. Regulators in Europe recently warned the country that its failure to monitor its fishing fleet could lead to a ban on fish from the country.

Climate change and endangered islands threaten brown pelicans

CHAUVIN, La. (AP) – Raccoon Island, a barrier island an hour by boat off the coast of Louisiana, is one of the few remaining breeding refuges for the iconic brown pelicans. A dozen years ago, there were 15 low islands with nesting colonies of the Louisiana state bird. But today, only six islands in the state are home to brown pelican nests – the others have disappeared underwater due to subsidence and rising seas due to climate change. The endangered islands threaten one of the most famous conservation success stories of the past century – the decades-long effort to bring pelicans back from the brink of extinction using the pesticide DDT.

Violent earthquake kills 5, injures dozens in northern Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A strong earthquake has killed at least five people, injured dozens and damaged buildings in the northern Philippines. Patients were briefly evacuated from two hospitals in the capital. Scientists say the magnitude 7 quake on Wednesday morning was centered around Abra province in a mountainous region, where one person was killed and dozens more injured. Three villagers died and several others injured in two other provinces near Abra. A security official in a town near the epicenter told The Associated Press: “The ground shook like I was on a swing.” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who took office less than a month ago, said the chandeliers were swaying and clattering in He planned to visit the hardest-hit areas on Thursday.

Hawley and Cruz escape Jan. 6 investigation, have no regrets over role

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas led the Senate challenge on January 6, 2021 to victory over Joe Biden. But the senators largely escaped the House panel’s investigation into the attack on the Capitol. In all, a dozen GOP senators had originally planned to contest the defeat of Donald Trump. But unlike their House GOP counterparts, Republican senators were not called to testify. This left senators to explain themselves on their own terms. Hawley, for his part, says he doesn’t regret his actions. Neither Hawley nor Cruz will say if he will appear before the committee if called.

No one wins US Mega Millions, jackpot now exceeds $1 billion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot has soared to $1.02 billion after no one matched all six numbers and won the top prize. After no winners on Tuesday, the estimated jackpot for Friday’s draw will be the fourth-largest lottery prize in the country. The jackpot has become so big because there have been 29 consecutive draws without anyone winning the top prize. Tuesday’s numbers were: 07-29-60-63-66, with a Mega Ball of 15. The $1.02 billion prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 30 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for the next draw is estimated at $602.5 million.

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