Torrential rains in southern China have killed at least 25 people, impacted millions of residents and caused billions of yuan in economic losses, as the country grapples with increasingly devastating flood seasons fueled by climate change.
The United Nations is pursuing a deal that would allow grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea and unimpeded access to world markets for Russian food and fertilizers.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told U.N. correspondents on Wednesday that without the deal hundreds of millions of people in developing countries face the threat of an unprecedented wave of hunger, three months after Russia invaded its smaller neighbor.
Guterres said, “Ukraine’s food production and the food and fertilizer produced by Russia must be brought into world markets, despite the war.”
Senior officials have been working closely with contacts in Moscow, Kyiv, Ankara, Brussels and Washington for the past 10 days, Guterres said. He said he didn’t want to jeopardize the chances of success by revealing details.
“This is one of those moments when silent diplomacy is necessary, and the welfare of millions of people around the world could depend on it,” he said
Meanwhile, fears of a global food crisis escalated over Ukraine’s inability to export millions of tons of grain through its blockaded ports.
At the same time, Ukrainian and Russian forces battled fiercely Wednesday for control of Sievierodonestk, a city that has emerged as central to Moscow’s grinding campaign to capture Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, known as the Donbas.
Petro Andryushchenko said on the Telegram app that the bodies are being taken in an “endless caravan of death” to a morgue, landfills and other places. At least 21,000 Mariupol civilians were killed during the weeks-long Russian siege, Ukrainian
Ukraine, long known as the “bread basket of Europe,” is one of the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but much of that flow has been halted by the war and a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast. An estimated 22 million tons of grain remains in Ukraine. The failure to ship it out is endangering the food supply in many developing countries, especially in Africa.
Russia expressed support Wednesday for a U.N. plan to create a safe corridor at sea that would allow Ukraine to resume grain shipments. The plan, among other things, calls for Ukraine to remove mines from the waters near the Black Sea port of Odesa.
But Russia is insisting that it be allowed to check incoming vessels for weapons. And Ukraine has expressed fear that clearing the mines could enable Russia to attack the coast. Ukrainian officials said the Kremlin’s assurances that it wouldn’t do that cannot be trusted.
The 46th President blamed the lack of any progress on gun safety on intimidation by the gun lobby, as he called on voters to make it a deciding issue come November during his first in-person appearance on a late-night talk show.
Mr Biden, who is a Democrat, told Kimmel that the National Rifle Association has bullied Republicans into thinking that if they vote for the rational gun policy, they are going to be primaried.
He added that he is considering additional executive orders related to the issue but doesn’t want to emulate his predecessor’s (Donald Trump) use of the non-legislative strategy, calling it an “abuse of the Constitution”.
Mr Biden explained to Kimmel that he has issued executive orders “within the power of the presidency” regarding guns.
“But what I don’t want to do, and I’m not being facetious, I don’t want to emulate Trump’s abuse of the constitution,” the President told Kimmel. “I often get asked, ‘look the Republicans don’t play it square, why do you play it square?’ Well, guess what? If we do the same thing they do, our democracy will literally be in jeopardy.”
Shares were mostly lower in Asia on Thursday as investors watched for fresh signs of inflation and crude oil prices hovered above $122 a barrel, adding to price pressures.
Benchmarks declined across the region, except in Tokyo, where a weakening yen sent issues of some Japanese exporters higher. Nintendo Co. issues surged 1.9% in afternoon trading, while Honda Motor Co. stocks gained more than 0.9%.