April 14, 2023

Week ending Friday April 14th

From Bloomberg:
Global food supply risks rise as key traders leave Russia

“Russia’s grip on global food supply is tightening after two of the biggest international traders said they would halt grain purchases for export from the country.

The exit of Cargill Inc. and Viterra means Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, will have more control over its food shipments and reap more of the revenues.
Russia’s dominance in the global grain market was laid bare by the war in Ukraine, with prices surging last year amid supply disruptions.

…and a limit on foreigners’ influence in Russia’s food market.  Russia has been making it increasingly difficult for foreign traders to obtain the paperwork necessary to export their grain. “

“The departure of Cargill and Viterra leaves Russian grain supplies largely in the hands of domestic and government-funded companies, meaning Russia will control more of the much-needed revenue as war decimates its budget.

This means it could be easier for Russia to use food exports as a tool of geopolitical influence.

Among the main buyers of Russian grain are countries in the Middle East and Africa, that have avoided strong criticism of the invasion of Ukraine.”

From TRTWorld:

Lack of grain imports for these vulnerable countries can further exacerbate the already strained conditions, such as in Somalia where an estimated 4.1 million people are currently in need of food assistance due to droughts, insecurity, conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Egypt imports more than 70 to 80 percent of its grain…

From Forbes:
Why Egypt May Have Sought Arms-For-Food Deal With Russia

“Egypt’s purported plan to covertly supply Russia with rockets could have been motivated by Cairo’s need for a steady food supply, for the millions of Egyptian citizens relying on heavily subsidized bread.

Egypt may have hoped to secure a similar deal to the one Russia recently offered North Korea. In March, U.S. national security spokesperson John Kirby disclosed that “Russia is offering North Korea food in exchange for munitions.”

From NPR:
The impact of the Ukraine war on food supplies: ‘It could have been so much worse’

“the biggest bumper crop by far was in Russia … and while many nations have imposed sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, they have chosen to exempt Russia’s export of food products.

“It means that Russia is profiting, in fact, from a war that they’re largely responsible for,

By contrast Ukraine’s crops have taken a big hit.”

From Consilium Europa:
How the Russian invasion of Ukraine has further aggravated the global food crisis

From CSIS:
Russia, Ukraine, and Global Food Security: A One-Year Assessment


From The Conversation:

Anthony Albanese should attend the NATO summit if he can. Here’s why

“Over the past two days there’s been controversy over whether Prime Minister Anthony Albanese should accept an invitation to attend the NATO summit in Lithuania in July, with reports suggesting he will not.

But the debate is a reminder that politicians and the public must recognise the value of such opportunities.

NATO – the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (or whito)– is a 31-nation collective defence pact that includes most members of the European Union as well as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Turkey.

Under treaty, an invasion of any NATO member is treated as an invasion of all. This is of great comfort, especially for smaller countries with a threatening neighbour.
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Finland has become a member and Sweden has applied to join.”

While Australia isn’t a member of NATO, it has a good relationship with the organisation.
 Australia is one of NATO’s “partners across the globe”, with permanent observer status.”

The person who authored this article is extremely accomplished and an expert in their field but she’s white so will always be on the side of NATO, which is a bastion of the cold Euro war.

Desperately seeking relevance: NATO in the 21st century

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in 2023.

Ep 25: Why do you want to be famous?

Walk of Fame info

Ugly duckling suburbs emerging as swans – capital city neighbourhoods in transformation

“In the current perfect property storm of sky-high rents, surging interest rates, and a shortage of stock, countless investors and wannabe homeowners are now asking the literal million-dollar question: where’s next?

While there’s no crystal ball or time machine when it comes to buying and investing, a brand-new AI prototype may just provide the next best thing.
…the artificial intelligence tool has been created to better equip policymakers with knowledge and data about predicted neighbourhood changes.

The technology aims to identify an effect the researchers call ‘spill over’ as an across-the-board indicator of predicted gentrification…”

A history of Eastwood, NSW.

From SMH:
They have money and love fashion. So, why do so many brands ignore these women?

“In Australia, the average woman wears a standard size 14 to 16 (although there is variation between brands), but many labels still only make up to a size 12.
“Curvy” or “plus size” is typically defined as size 18 and up, but with 60 percent of women classed as overweight or obese, it is a lot closer to the median than even 30 years ago.
And yet, the fashion industry largely still treats it as a niche market.”

From RNZ:
Fiji nightclub hours under scrutiny due to increase in ‘brawls, robberies, attacks’

“Announcing the review of nightclub opening hours at a post-Cabinet press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said the under the current laws nightclubs were were authorised to operate from 5pm to 5am (Fiji Time) for designated zones.

“In recent years, there have been numerous reports of brawls, robberies and attacks in areas around nightclubs in designated zones in the early hours,” Rabuka said.

“This has also resulted in loss of lives,” he said.

He said the Fiji Police had made submissions for the review “given ongoing assaults, violence and robberies are cause for concern and pose a risk to the safety of citizens.”

Still from RNZ:
Fiji’s top prosecutor suspended for alleged misconduct

“Fiji’s chief prosecutor has been suspended for “allegations of misbehaviour” by the country’s head of state.

Pryde, who has held the position of chief prosecutor since November 2011, has been told to hand over all official property, including laptop and mobile phone to the Chief Registrar of the High Court.”
Earlier on Thursday, Pryde’s office released an update on the progress of police complaints involving high-profile individuals, who included Rabuka, former prime minister Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum.

Others on the list were the suspended police commissioner, former CID director, former elections supervisor, Rural and Maritime Development Minister, and the Methodist Church of Fiji president.”

“…while Pryde awaits his pending investigation, Attorney-General Siromi Turaga has alleged he met with the country’s former chief law officer.

…supposedly Pryde had met with the former AG and “spent about 30 to 45 minutes conversing alone” with him at a public event hosted by the Japanese Embassy in Suva.

“He says this is an alleged act of misconduct or misbehaviour.”

From Grubsheet:

Facebook post filled with interesting info.

1800 marijuana plants found

From The Economic Times India:
Sugar rally pauses after hitting decade high on shortage fears

“The market has been driven higher by a lack of deliverable sugar ahead of the expiry of the May white-sugar contract on Friday.”

“The recent rally (a period of continuous increase in the prices), which threatens to add to costs for manufacturers of everything from fizzy drinks to baked goods and maintain pressure on global food inflation, has also pushed futures markets into overbought territory.

 From SPACE.com
Does the sun really belong in its family? Astronomers get to the bottom of stellar identity crisis

“The sun is having an identity crisis: Because it shows different magnetic activity and rotation rates than other stars in its current classification, scientists have debated whether the sun is really like the other stars in its family.

hello? They’re calling the sun a nepo baby.

Now, the debate may finally be settled, as an investigation has found that the sun does indeed belong in this group.”

If the SUN is having an identity crisis, we’re doomed. “dear solar system, I’m outta here, you’re the lunar system now”.

I’m outta here too.  Thanks for joining me.

It’s Pedro Pascal’s world now

Star Wars new Ahsoka trailer confirms 2023 release date

From The Stylander:

The Video They Wish Xxxisted

“For the last few decades I have had to contend with all sorts of lies and gossip about me, some may even be true. [insert nonchalance here]

Saints are a human construct, they don’t exist, people learn from the mistakes they make, at least the good ones do, I did… regardless, it hurts to be gossiped about even if it is true.
(I look thick skinned, but I’m ‘thin skinned’ because I feel things. I’m not a reptilian smiling aunty with a heart of cold. MY core is strong, which is what counts)
One of the ones MOST DEFINITELY NOT TRUE is this persistent story about there being a sex tape (“blue movie”* it was called back then) featuring me.
What prompted this impromptu episode for Radio Fly was receiving yet another set of spam messages via my photography page’s Messenger.”

*DEEP DIVE VISION (DDV) coming up.
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