Our global food supply is at risk when high gas prices limit the creation of fertiliser | Andrew Whitelaw

If water is the source of life, fertiliser is the source of scaleable food production. The increasing cost of fertiliser is one of the largest contributors to a “cost-price” squeeze affecting the farmers of major agricultural products in Australia and globally. The cost of food is increasing in step with the cost of producing that food and, in the past quarter in Australia, we have seen food inflation increase by 2.8% – the fourth-highest quarter since the turn of the century. The price of wheat, the main staple for much…

China funnels its overseas aid money into political leaders’ home provinces

China’s financing of overseas projects has disproportionately benefited the core political supporters of incumbent presidents or prime ministers of those countries that receive the funds, according to a new book. During the 20th century, China was mostly known as a recipient of international development finance. Its overseas development programme was modest – roughly on a par with that of Denmark. But over the course of one generation, as Beijing emerged as the world’s second-largest economy, its footprint began to extend far beyond its borders – often in the form of…

Your Tuesday Briefing: A Marcos Victory?

Good morning. We’re covering the Philippines presidential election, the resignation of Sri Lanka’s prime minister and a pandemic pivot in Taiwan. Another Marcos for president? With more than 90 percent of election returns counted in a preliminary tally, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appeared sure to win the country’s presidential election early Tuesday morning. He has a huge lead over Leni Robredo in the Philippines’ most consequential vote in recent history. Here are live updates. Marcos, the son of the former dictator who was ousted 36 years ago, appealed to a public…

Your Wednesday Briefing: Putin’s defiance

your wednesday briefing putins defiance

Good morning. We’re covering Vladimir Putin’s defiant remarks, Sri Lanka’s default and China’s economic pivot. Putin’s defiance President Vladimir Putin of Russia said that peace talks with Ukraine had reached a “dead end.” He also said there was “no doubt” that Russia would achieve its goals in a campaign that has left cities in ruins, forced millions to flee their homes and raised disturbing accounts of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Here are the latest updates. “What we are doing is helping people and saving people, on the one hand,…

Your Tuesday Briefing: The Fallout from Bucha

your tuesday briefing the fallout from bucha

Good morning. We’re covering the fallout from Russian atrocities in Bucha, the end of Carrie Lam’s tenure as Hong Kong’s leader and Pakistan’s political crisis. Rising calls to punish Russia President Biden called the indiscriminate civilian deaths in Bucha a “war crime” and said the U.S. would impose additional sanctions on Russia. Some European leaders also demanded tougher sanctions, including a total ban on Russian fuel imports. Here are the latest updates. Moscow has denied that its soldiers had anything to do with the atrocities, which have come to light…