News roundup for Fri, Jul 23, 2021

China is purchasing swathes of American farmland. The US is planning on intervening. Former VP Mike Pence warned, rightly, that the American food supply should not be controlled by foreign nationals because it poses a national security risk. Some states already have such restrictions on the purchase of farmland.

A quick-thinking NYPD officer asked a bystander to grab a bag of potato chips from a nearby store and used the empty bag and tape to cover a victim’s chest wound. The officer’s actions helped save his life.

There has been extreme flooding in China in the past few days. One region received a year’s worth of rain in one day:

The UK has been experiencing multiple days of crippling heat. The demand for water has increased in some regions and is being met with tanker shipments.

A grain that grows in seawater? If tenable to grow at scale, the small sea gran could be a useful staple crop during a time of increasing fresh water scarcity. I’m interested to know how contaminated the sea grass gets (whether there’s dioxin or mercury in it, for example).

Taco Bell and Popeyes are struggling to source ingredients for their food. There’s been a nation-wide ingredients shortage. Fresh food ingredients were the hardest hit.

200 people in 27 US states have potential exposure to monkeypox and are being monitored for symptoms. The Index case is a person who caught the illness in Nigeria before traveling to the US. The last outbreak of monkeypox in the US occurred in 2003 in similar circumstances.

Canada is struggling with over 1,000 simultaneous wildfires right now:

Air quality in New York has plummeted as smoke from the wildfires out West has blanketed the East.

The International Council on Clean Transportation says a recent study debunks the notion that the sourcing of materials for electric cars is just as polluting as non-electric cars.

SOS signals save a man after days of bear attacks in Alaska.

Over 28,000 websites went down today in the wake of a huge DNS outage. The outage was fixed relatively quickly. Akami denies the outage was a result of cyberattacks.

The world has over 193.3 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3.6 million cases in a week. Global case gain continues to rise. There have been nearly 4.2 million deaths in total. The US has had over 35.2 million cases. Over 626,000 Americans have died. There have been 344 deaths in the last 24 hours in the US. The US gained over 51,700 new cases in the last day. The US is once again leading the world in daily case gain. A 4th wave is underway.

The Delta variant now accounts for over 80% of COVID cases in the US:

There have been breakthrough COVID infections among White House aides. The White House also plans to restrict announcements of positive cases unless those cases are close to key figures:

The number of pandemic deaths in India is heavily undercounted as excess death counts pass four million. Four million deaths is 10 times the officially reported death toll.

China is not cooperating with the WHO on pandemic tracing studies:

The pandemic is fueling hunger in Brazil:


    • Karl Winterling

      It’s unlikely masking will make much of a difference once exponential growth is in full swing, but it can make a big difference if R0 is above 1 but close to 1 when people start wearing masks and people consistently wear masks over time. Rapid vaccination can shut down a wave, though. Fewer people will have an appetite for more restrictions after restrictions have been loosened for months, unfortunately.

      2 |