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UN Food Official Warns Fertilizer Affordability Crisis Could Slash Global Grain Production By 40%

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Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

More than six months into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the global fertilizer crunch threatens to starve a planet as prices are too high for some farmers ahead of the next planting season. 

That’s the view of Maximo Torero, chief economist from the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), who told Bloomberg TV that elevated fertilizer prices could decrease global grain production by upwards of 40% in the next planting season. 

Combine food supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine and crop failures worldwide due to extreme weather — ramping up food production with reduced fertilizer next planting season via key exporting countries could be challenging. 

High fertilizer prices are expected to shrink the world’s rice production. The grain feeds half of humanity and is vital for political and economic stability across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Supply disruptions could spark social instabilities in those areas of the world. We outlined the risk of unrest is high over the next six months. 

Other UN officials in recent weeks have stepped up warnings about the affordability crisis of fertilizer. Prices in North America have come off the highs but remain 220% above levels in early 2020. 

The African Development Bank warned the continent lacks 2 million metric tons of fertilizer. 

“We are really starting to yell from every tower that there’s a fertilizer crisis … and the fertilizer crisis is enormous,” one UN official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Politico

Artificial fertilizers contain three primary ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Farmers use the final product to boost crop yields — if prices remain elevated because of shortages, fewer fertilizers will be used, and harvests next season will shrink, continuing a multi-year food crisis that might only worsen. 

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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Dem. Intel Chairman: Biden Won’t Openly Support Chinese Anti-Lockdown Protesters To Avoid “Western Plot” Charges

Exiled Chinese dissident urges that the uprising is a “watershed moment” in fight against Communism

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Steve Watson

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The Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee claimed Wednesday that Joe Biden and his administration are trying not to openly support anti-lockdown protesters in China too much in order to avoid the Communist government claiming that it’s all a “western plot”.

Appearing on CNN, Mark Warner stated that if the CCP is “able to portray this as kind of an anti-Chinese or western plot, that undermines the very protesters that we’re trying to stand with.”

Warner continued with a word salad, stating “I think there are things that those of us leaders in the Senate and the House have a little bit more flexibility, frankly, than the administration. This — the administration, particularly after the most recent meeting between Xi and Biden, to try to have lower some of the tensions…. we don’t want an active conflict to erupt.”

“I think those of us in the Congress have a little more freedom. And I think we can push the administration, but as you said, we don’t want to feed the propaganda machine that turns these protesters driven by Chinese people into what the overall message would be of the Chinese people,” the Democrat further claimed.

Watch:

Warner’s comments come as the Biden White House says it “isn’t taking a side” on the cause of anti-lockdown protests in China, a ‘walking on eggshells’ remark seemingly designed to protect the administration from charges of hypocrisy.

Republicans, including Senator Tom Cotton are pushing for Biden to more strongly support the anti-lockdown protests.

“This is not just some protest on a college campus in America or a European capital,” Cotton noted, adding “These Chinese are protesting the world’s most powerful, dangerous, techno-totalitarian government.”

The Senator further urged that “One reason President Biden should speak in his own voice on camera in support of these brave Chinese protesting their communist government is to prevent another Tiananmen Square Massacre. But also by saying if there is another Tiananmen Square Massacre, if the Chinese communists use force against their own people, there would be massive consequences.”

“China unleashed this plague on the world, including its own people. They have had the counterproductive ‘Zero Covid’ policy for a long time and now they have a dilemma,” Cotton asserted.

Watch:

Meanwhile, exiled Chinese dissident Xi Van Fleet told FOX News that the uprising is not only about lockdowns, but about the people finally opposing Communism on the whole.

“This is extraordinary. We’re witnessing a watershed moment,” Van Fleet explained, adding “During the past 75 years, Chinese people put up so much abuse from the totalitarian communist government. But it was the past three years, Xi Jinping’s ‘Zero Covid’ policy that brought people to the breaking point.”

Watch:

As we highlighted yesterday, fears of a new Tiananmen Square style crackdown in China have been heightened by footage of tanks being deployed to the streets of major cities as the Communist Party faces massive unrest.

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    Videos: Tanks Deployed On Streets In China Amid Massive Protests

    “Somehow nobody in any newsroom in America noticed when Xi Jinping decided to replay Tiananmen Square”

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    Steve Watson

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    Fears of a new Tiananmen Square style crackdown in China have been heightened by footage of tanks being deployed to the streets of major cities as the Communist Party faces massive unrest.

    Video of tanks was captured in the eastern city of Xuzhou on Monday night:

    Tucker Carlson pondered why the western media on the whole is ignoring the huge protests, and the tanks.

    “Unless you read the Daily Mail, which is an English paper published online, you probably didn’t know that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent tanks into a major city last night to put down protests against his rule,” Carlson noted.

    The host added “Virtually no American media outlets acknowledged that that happened and that’s pretty weird if you think about it. Imagine, for example, that Hungarian leader Viktor Orban put tanks into Budapest to crush his political opponents. Would our media notice? Oh yeah, they would. It would be on the front page of ‘The New York Times.’ Morning Joe would lead with it.”

    Carlson continued, “China is our main global rival, it’s a highly significant place. Yet somehow nobody in any newsroom in America noticed when Xi Jinping decided to replay Tiananmen Square. Didn’t see it even though the pictures were on the internet. How is that possible? Could it be the American news media is covering for the government of China? Can’t say. We’ll let you make the call on that.”

    When asked by a reporter about what the potential consequences for China of a brutal crackdown on protesters would be, the White House Press Secretary responded “I don’t have anything to preview for you at this time.”

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    Beijing Police Checking People’s Phones For Social Media Apps Amid Mass Protests: Report

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    Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

    Mass protests against China’s ‘zero-covid’ policy have spread to Hong Kong, after demonstrators on the mainland began demanding that President Xi Jinping resign.

    Around 50 students at the Chinese University of Hong Kong were pictured chanting “No PCR tests but freedom!” and “Opposed dictatorship, don’t be slaves!” while holding up blank pieces of paper – which have become a symbol of protest against China’s clampdown on freedom of expression, according to Axios. The blank paper protests were previously seen during the Hong Kong protests in 2020, and earlier this year during demonstrations against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    Anti-lockdown protests spread throughout several cities over the weekend, including Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan – which were largely muted on Monday after police moved out in force.

    Meanwhile, police in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou have reportedly been checking the phones of random citizens to look for unapproved social media apps. If they found Twitter or Telegram, the personal information would be taken down and the person would receive a warning. Any resistance would be met with a report, according to DW News correspondent William Yang.

    On Monday, a BBC reporter who was arrested over the weekend while covering the protests reported that police were checking people’s phones for photos, and forcing people to delete them (or have them deleted).

    In response to the protests, China’s Foreign Ministry says that the country has been “making adjustments” to Covid protocols “based on realities on the ground.” This follows a statement out of Beijing earlier in the month in which the CCP said they would “unswervingly adhere” to their zero-Covid policy, but would make it less disruptive.

    “We will protect people’s lives and health to the greatest extent and minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development,” said CCP officials, adding “But recent spikes in Covid cases have prompted cities to tighten protocols.”

    On Monday Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China is actively implementing the 9th version of the pandemic protocols.

    “We believe that, with the leadership of China’s Communist Party and the cooperation and support of all Chinese people, our fight against COVID-19 will be successful,” he told reporters.

    Meanwhile, Apple is helping the CCP:

    This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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