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Ontario to release ‘stark’ COVID-19 projections Friday

Ontario to release ‘stark’ COVID-19 projections Friday

Premier Doug Ford promising a ‘sobering discussion’ about the coronavirus

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is pictured during a press briefing at the Ontario Legislature. Ford promised Thursday to release his government’s projections on COVID-19 death rates. He said the data would be ‘sobering.’ (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Provincial health experts are expected to provide a briefing Friday on modelling projections for the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Premier Doug Ford promised health officials would explain “where this could go.” Ford said the people of the province “deserve to see” the same data about the pandemic that he sees.

“People are going to see some really stark figures,” Ford said.

“It’s going to be a real sobering discussion.”

Matthew Anderson, the head of Ontario Health, Adalsteinn Brown, dean of the University of Toronto’s public health department, and Dr. Peter Donnelly, who heads Public Health Ontario, will hold a news conference to explain the models. CBC news will stream that briefing live starting at around 12 p.m. E.T.

Most ICU beds full

The number of available intensive care beds in certain parts of the Greater Toronto Area is rapidly shrinking as the number of COVID-19 patients surges higher, according to data obtained by CBC News.

Just 13 critical care beds remain available among the 153 ICU beds in the hospitals of the Central Local Health Integration Network, which includes Mackenzie Richmond Hill, Markham Stouffville, Southlake, Humber River, and North York General hospitals. 

Those hospitals are caring for 28 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 — double the number they were four days earlier.  

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Texas Or Canada: Where Will Oil Hit $0 First

Texas Or Canada: Where Will Oil Hit $0 First

Looking at the future of oil prices, Goldman was downright apocalyptic in its short-term forecast, when in a note published this morning, the bank’s chief commodity strategist Jeffrey Currie speculated that as the current production glut “shock” cripples the crude transportation networks, “a producer would be willing to pay someone to dispose of a barrel, implying negative pricing in landlocked areas.” To wit:

The global economy is a complex physical system with physical frictions, and energy sits near the top of that complexity. It is impossible to shut down that much demand without large and persistent ramifications to supply. The one thing that separates energy from other commodities is that it must be contained within its production infrastructure, which for oil includes pipelines, ships, terminals, storage facilities, refineries, and distribution networks. All of which have relatively small and limited spare capacity. We estimate that the world has around a billion barrels of spare storage capacity, but much of that will never be accessed as the velocity of the current shock will breach crude transportation networks first, which we are already seeing evidence of around the world. Indeed, given the cost of shutting down a well, a producer would be willing to pay someone to dispose of a barrel, implying negative pricing in landlocked areas.

A quick look at two of the most popular landlocked oil producing areas demonstrate that Goldman is spot on, and as the following chart shows as of this moment Texas Midland WTI was trading at just baove $10/barrel, while the price of oil produced in the notoriously landlocked Western Canada, as represented by Canada Western Selected index, was just above $4 per barrel, or a little more than what a gallon of gas costs in California.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘This will not be contained’: Experts cast doubt that spread of COVID-19 can be stopped

‘This will not be contained’: Experts cast doubt that spread of COVID-19 can be stopped

Outside China, there have been more than 7,000 cases in 60 countries and more than 100 deaths

Amid fear and uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19, Iranians are taking extra caution to avoid getting infected. The World Health Organization says that 97 cases have been exported from Iran to 11 countries. Outside China, there have been 4,351 cases in 49 countries and 67 deaths. (Vahid Salemi/Associated Press)

While the World Health Organization has said the risk of COVID-19 spreading worldwide is now “very high”, officials have suggested that efforts to combat the coronavirus are still in the containment phase.

But some medical experts believe that the containment stage has long since passed, that the spread of the COVID-19 is inevitable, and that living with the coronavirus could become a reality. COVID-19 is the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus.

“This will not be contained, this has not been contained,” said Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician at Toronto General Hospital.

Massive public health efforts have been helpful in slowing down the spread of the infection and reducing the pace and frequency of exported cases from China to the rest of the world, but containment has not worked, Bogoch said.

‘Will continue to spread’

“This is spreading throughout the world and it will continue to spread throughout the world,” he said.

On Friday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference that the Geneva-based health agency has “increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at a global level.” 

China has seen more than 80,000 confirmed cases and almost 3,000 deaths. Outside China, there have been more than 7,000 cases in 60 countries, with more than 100 deaths.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

RCMP Accused of Creating ‘Crisis of Press Freedom’ in Wet’suwet’en Raids

RCMP Accused of Creating ‘Crisis of Press Freedom’ in Wet’suwet’en Raids

Limits on reporters’ access, threats of arrest bring criticism from media, journalism groups.

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RCMP officers forced media back into confined area far from people being arrested at Unist’ot’en Healing Centre, says The Tyee’s Amanda Follett Hosgood. Photo by Amanda Follett Hosgood.

The RCMP’s handling of the enforcement of an injunction in Wet’suwet’en territory has generated accusations that police unnecessarily interfered with reporters doing their jobs. 

“This is them trying to control the media and block information getting out to the public, and that’s why it’s a misuse of police power,” said Karyn Pugliese, president of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

“Regardless of whether or not we get it perfect every time, we just can’t have a functioning democracy without media keeping an eye on the state and reporting back to the public on what they’re seeing so the public can make critical decisions about what kind of country they want to live in.”

An RCMP spokesperson says the police did what they needed to do to ensure safety as they enforced the injunction, and B.C. Premier John Horgan says anyone who feels their rights were infringed has recourse through law enforcement and the courts.

But Ethan Cox, an editor for Ricochet Media based in Montreal, said the police actions were an attack on journalists and the public’s right to know.

“This is a situation, a flash point, a very severe crisis of press freedom that’s happening in British Columbia,” he said. “This is a crisis, and we clearly have a police force that is not respecting the rights of the media and that’s a constitutional problem. That’s not some small potatoes issue.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canadian Scientist At Center Of Chinese Bio-Espionage Probe Found Dead In Africa?

Canadian Scientist At Center Of Chinese Bio-Espionage Probe Found Dead In Africa?

Update (1135ET): It seems that Mr. Plummer made a habit of getting the biological material he was working on “stolen,” as we found a report from 2009 in the Winnepeg Free Press that details the theft of 22 vials of biological material was “confirmed by scientific director Dr. Frank Plummer.”

Plummer, allegedly, alerted authorities to the missing material on the same day a former vaccine researcher was arrested by FBI special agents after U.S. Customs discovered the vials stuffed in a glove in the trunk of his car at the Manitoba-North Dakota border crossing.

Some of the vials included genes from the deadly Ebola virus, but local scientists say the material is not infectious.

But more than a week after the theft came to light, police said no one from the lab has reported the incident.

Plummer has said the researcher signed a form declaring he did not steal anything from the lab and understood he was not allowed to. The national lab does not conduct searches of staff when they exit the lab and does not routinely take inventory of the thousands of vials containing non-infectious biological substances.

However, court documents allege the former researcher stole the vials on his last day of work at the virology lab in January because “he did not want to start his research over from the beginning when he entered into his next fellowship” with the National Institutes of Health at the Biodefense Research Laboratory in Maryland.

All very curious.

*  *  *

As GreatGameIndia.com detailed earlier, in a very strange turn of events, renowned scientist Frank Plummer who received Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample and was working on Coronavirus (HIV) vaccine in the Winnipeg based Canadian lab from where the virus was smuggled by Chinese Biowarfare agents and weaponized as revealed in GreatGameIndia investigation, has died in mysterious conditions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Jason Kenney’s Other Pipeline War Is with Michigan

Jason Kenney’s Other Pipeline War Is with Michigan

Locals say Enbridge’s aging Line 5 is a disaster waiting to happen and Alberta’s premier should butt out.

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Enbridge’s US underwater Line 5, built in 1953, carries mostly Alberta crude. Premier Jason Kenney has attacked Michigan’s governor for moving to decommission the pipeline for safety concerns. Photo via the National Wildlife Federation.

Locals urging the aging pipeline be closed down fear it could imperil drinking water for tens of millions of people. Some wonder why Kenney, who has claimed Alberta is bullied by foreign-backed environmental advocates, has no problem intervening in the decision-making of a jurisdiction beyond Canada’s borders.

“The premier ought to take care of things that are directly impacting the citizens of Canada and let the people of Michigan take care of things that directly impact the citizens of Michigan,” said David Holtz, a spokesperson for the environmental group Oil & Water Don’t Mix, based in northern Michigan’s Traverse City. 

Last June, Kenney notified his 173,000 Facebook followers that Michigan’s leaders are trying to decommission Enbridge’s Line 5, a nearly 70-year-old pipeline traversing the state. Line 5 serves as a shortcut for moving Alberta crude oil to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario, accounting for about 70 per cent of the oil it carries. 

The pipeline, which was built in 1953 and runs under the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, is losing its protective coating and was damaged by an anchor several years ago. In August, Enbridge revealed a 25-metre segment was unsupported due to erosion caused by strong currents, and said it was acting to re-anchor the section.

A worst-case-scenario spill would pollute 643 kilometres of Michigan coastline, a state-ordered risk analysis concluded.

Yet Kenney has said that Line 5 poses “no pressing or legitimate environmental concern.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Green Myths Canada’s LNG Sales Force Tells the World

Green Myths Canada’s LNG Sales Force Tells the World

No, methane’s no fix for global coal-fired energy. Here’s why.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan shake hands as LNG Canada CEO Andy Calitz, back right, watches during a news conference in October 2018. Photo by Darryl Dyck, the Canadian Press. 

Representatives of the British Columbia, Alberta and federal governments are making the global rounds these days to sell the notion that liquefied natural gas exports can help the climate crisis.

Dave Nikolejsin, deputy minister of the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, for example, flew to Japan last September along with members of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources.

There they tried to impress upon the Japanese attendees “the role of Canadian LNG in meeting global climate policy objectives and reducing emissions of carbon dioxide.” 

The pitch goes like this: According to LNG Canada, the big Shell project now under construction in northern B.C., could replace 20 to 40 coal-fired plants in countries like China and India with Canadian methane, and reduce their emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes.

That’s impressive, says LNG Canada, because 90 million tons equals about 80 per cent of Canada’s car pollution. Or all of B.C.’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The Tyee is supported by readers like you Join us and grow independent media in Canada

In fact, Darren Gee, president and CEO of Peyto Exploration, which fracks for gas in B.C., believes Canada has a “moral obligation to provide the rest of the world with the country’s clean, responsibly-developed energy to improve lives and preserve the environment.”

And so, while the blockaders of northern B.C.’s LNG Canada pipeline await police eviction while claiming to stand up for Indigenous sovereignty and climate protection, backers of the project lay claim to their own moral high ground.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trudeau and His North Van Climate Minister Are ‘Wrestling’ with a Massive Oilsands Decision

Trudeau and His North Van Climate Minister Are ‘Wrestling’ with a Massive Oilsands Decision

Teck’s Frontier mine would kill emissions targets, say analysts.

Jonathan-Wilkinson
Where will Minister for Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson, MP for North Vancouver, land on Frontier, possibly the biggest oilsands project ever? Photo by Mike Sudoma, the Canadian Press.

The Trudeau government is under intense scrutiny for a looming decision — one that will powerfully signal whether it favours oil patch growth over fighting the climate emergency. 

Will the Liberals approve a new bitumen mine twice the size of Vancouver that alone is expected to add 20 per cent of additional oilsands emissions over the next three decades? 

Or will Justin Trudeau’s government make good on its promise to set Canada on the path to having “net-zero” emissions by 2050 by rejecting the Frontier mine being proposed by Vancouver-based Teck Resources?

Federal Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, who represents the riding of North Vancouver, is reportedly “wrestling” with the decision, which is expected sometime next month. The Prime Minister’s Office didn’t respond to The Tyee’s interview request.

Wilkinson has said that achieving Canada’s aggressive net-zero target, which would result in the country effectively ceasing to contribute to global temperature rise within three decades, is not open to negotiation: “That is a target that is not informed by politics. It’s informed by science.” 

If that’s the case, then the Liberals need to forcefully reject what is one of the biggest oilsands mining projects ever proposed, says Eriel Deranger, executive director of the Edmonton-based group Indigenous Climate Action. “We cannot afford more destabilization of critical ecosystems and the creation of massive amounts of carbon emissions,” she told The Tyee.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

One Year after RCMP Raid, Tensions Rise as Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Company

One Year after RCMP Raid, Tensions Rise as Wet’suwet’en Evict Pipeline Company

‘It’s unnerving that might be our reality again.’

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The Gidimt’en camp is located south of Smithers in northern British Columbia. Photo by Michael Toledano.

One year after a police raid in northern British Columbia attracted international attention, tensions between Wet’suwet’en land defenders and Coastal GasLink are rising once again.

The company’s recent victory in winning a court decision granting it a permanent injunction against Indigenous protest camps was short-lived.

On Saturday, Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs evicted the company from their territory.

“Coastal GasLink [CGL] has violated the Wet’suwet’en law of trespass, and has bulldozed through our territories, destroyed our archaeological sites, and occupied our land with industrial man-camps,” a statementfrom the chiefs said. “Private security firms and RCMP have continually interfered with the constitutionally protected rights of Wet’suwet’en people to access our lands for hunting, trapping, and ceremony.”

The company confirmed Sunday that it had received the eviction notice.

“We have reached out to better understand their reasons and are hopeful we can find a mutually agreeable path forward,” it said in a statement. 

The company said trees had been felled across a road, making it impassable. “While it is unclear who felled these trees, this action is a clear violation of the Interlocutory Injunction as it prevents our crews from accessing work areas.”

Molly Wickham (Sledyo’), one of the land defenders, said last month she feared the then-impending court decision would bring more conflict.

As Wickham stirred a simmering moose stew on a wood stove in the cook tent at Gidimt’en camp, she worried the judgement might bring a repeat of last year’s RCMP raid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

At the TMX Pipeline Hearing, the Sham of ‘Consultation’ Laid Bare

At the TMX Pipeline Hearing, the Sham of ‘Consultation’ Laid Bare

Canada ‘barged ahead’ with what ‘cannot be in the public interest,’ argue First Nations.

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Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation at rally against the Trans Mountain pipeline project in Vancouver in 2018. This week his nation’s lawyers accused the Trudeau government of taking ‘positions contrary to those of its own scientists.’

Those nations oppose the approval of TMX, as do several others, including the Coldwater Indian Band, located inland just south of the town of Merritt. The Coldwater’s opposition stems from a threat to an aquifer which is the main source of its members’ drinking water. (The band’s complaints were documented extensively by The Tyee in October.)

In Courtroom 601 of Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal in downtown Vancouver this week, three judges presided over a judicial review of the decision by the Trudeau government in June to approve the pipeline. 

Before them were 27 black-robed lawyers (and a few more in civilian clothing) who outnumbered the peasantry in the packed courtroom (an overflow crowd watched a patchy video stream in a room two floors above).

The lawyers lined up on either side of a chasm that continues to exist between a national government that is impossibly conflicted by its position as both owner and regulator of the pipeline, and Indigenous peoples for whom that same government has fiduciary and constitutional obligations.

It is a chasm made wider by the fact that many First Nations simply don’t agree with Canada’s interpretation of what constitutes the “national interest” — TMX being Exhibit A.

Put simply, Canada chose in June to give regulatory approvals to a project it owns, having satisfied itself that its consultation with First Nations was good enough — even though several of them claim the government flat out ignored their issues, again, and even tampered with peer-reviewed science that supported their concerns about the environmental risks posed by TMX.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books

Canada’s “Enron-style” Economics: Most Wealth Redistribution Occurs Off the Books - Peter Diekmeyer (25/11/2019)

The Trudeau Administration’s reappointment of Bill Morneau as the country’s Finance Minister last week was by far its most important. 

During his first term, Morneau managed to hold together a shaky Canadian economy, which for the past three decades has relied on driving borrowing and spending increases at a pace faster than economic growth just to keep the system afloat. 

It’s a Ponzi scheme, and insiders know it.

The question is whether Morneau—whose education, financial background, and previous work at the C.D. Howe Institute position him as one of the brightest lights in a weak Trudeau cabinet—can keep the game going. 

Morneau’s biggest challenge will be operating in an environment in which estimated off-the-books annual wealth transfers* caused by the federal government’s suppressed interest rate policies are twice the size of his official budgets. 

“Taxes on idiots” 

The challenge is that it is hard to manage off-book wealth distribution, because so few people know that it exists. 

That’s no accident. Economists figured out long ago that voters would never pay for bloated public spending if they knew its true cost. 

Over the years, governments have thus developed a variety of revenue sources that voters can’t see. Corporate and payroll taxes are one example. Lotteries and casinos, which have been described as “taxes on idiots”, are another.

Supressed interest rates, which rob pensioners and retirees of the benefits of a lifetime of thrift, act much the same way. 

Yet while economists distinguish between fiscal (overt) and monetary (off the books) policy, few have ever tried to quantify the difference. 

In truth, as we noted last week , the process is complicated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Smart city surveillance, is much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Two years ago, I revealed how a CIA “signature school” was installing thousands of CCTV cameras and microphones in smart cities, but Sidewalk Labs wants to take public surveillance to a whole new level.

The Globe And Mailrevealed that Sidewalk Labs “Yellow Book,” a guidebook designed to help Google employees build a smart city from the ground up, would give their employees control of public services.

Yellow Book describes how Google plans to turn at least four major cities in North America into Sidewalk Labs smart cities.   

“The book proposed a community that could house 100,000 people on a site of up to 1,000 acres, and contains case studies for three potential sites in the United States: Detroit, Denver, and Alameda, Calif. It also includes a map with dots detailing many other potential sites for Sidewalk’s first project, including a dot placed on the shores of Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan.”

The fourth area, Toronto’s waterfront, has received lots of criticism from privacy experts. With some going so far as to call it “surveillance capitalism.” 

“The smart city project on the Toronto waterfront is the most highly evolved version to date of … surveillance capitalism” US venture capitalist Roger McNamee wrote to the city council, suggesting Google will use “algorithms to nudge human behavior” in ways to “favor its business.” (To join the campaign against Sidewalk Toronto click here.)  

The Yellow Book allegedly reveals how Google wants to control city services like Disney World does in Florida.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Politicians Offered a Choice between Climate Fantasies as Our Future Grows Bleaker

Politicians Offered a Choice between Climate Fantasies as Our Future Grows Bleaker

Greta Thunberg is right — across Canada we are acting like ‘spoiled irresponsible children.’

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Greta Thunberg took her climate campaign to Edmonton this week, and is in Vancouver today. Our politicians should listen. CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley.

Now that we can open the windows again and clear the air of political flatulence, perhaps we can acknowledge the realities that remain like ghosts in our troubled house.

Once again we have been reminded that Canada’s political parties behave like organizations “publicly and officially designed for the purpose of killing in all souls the sense of truth and of justice,” as Simone Weil characterized parties seven decades ago. 

What they have left us are political divisions that have now painted the face of Canada red or blue.

And just as in the excited United States, the conservative blue largely spreads across oil-producing regions suffering from low prices, while the red occupies oil-importing provinces.  

We are now living the storm before the storm and don’t even know it.

The energy divisions in both countries tell a story of appalling leadership, the strength of propaganda and political inertia.

One-third of the blue nation not only doesn’t believe that climate change is an emergency, but remains in denial about the increasing volatility of oil and gas prices.

Low prices and overproduction of high cost bitumen and fracked oil and gas have eroded the economics of the fossil fuel industry, throwing some people in Alberta and Saskatchewan into cauldrons of resentment, stoked by the propaganda manufactured by “wildcat Christians” and the oil industry. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Ghost Election Issue We Need to Get Real about: Personal Debt

The Ghost Election Issue We Need to Get Real about: Personal Debt

Canadians are so deep in the red it colours how we see vital issues.

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‘Owing vast amounts of money seems now a defining Canadian characteristic and is increasingly enabled by indulgent political leaders.’ Photo via Shutterstock.

Today we manufacture armored vehicles for the brutal regime in Saudi Arabia while fretting about domestic job losses if we don’t. 

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer pledges to slash Canada’s already paltry foreign aid budget by 25 per cent in favour of consumer tax cuts. 

Climate change is the defining issue of this century, yet Canada has the highest per capita carbon emissions in the G20 and is far from a global leader in fighting fossil fuels. 

What happened to the storied Canadian character?

The reason Canada cannot act in a more moral manner might lie in ballooning amounts of household debt. Canadians now owe an eye-watering $2.2 trillion or 178 per cent of disposable income — a measure that has doubled in the last 20 years. Personal bills now amount to more than our entire GDP, making us the most indebted citizenry in the G20 and fourth highest in the world. 

Over half of Canadians report they are only $200 per month away from insolvency. 

How can you care about climate change or global stability when your credit cards are maxed out or you are dodging debt collectors? Owing vast amounts of money seems now a defining Canadian characteristic and is increasingly enabled by indulgent political leaders. Andrew Scheer and Canada’s conservatives are unapologetic in pandering to those who gorged on cheap credit. 

The belated Conservative campaign platform pledges to cut infrastructure investment by $18 billion in favour of reduced taxes. Scheer’s simple message is parsed for those most myopically interested in their pocketbook: “If you pay income tax, you will pay less under my government.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

Frost-Apocalypse Set To Sweep Across US, Could Mark End Of Growing Season

We are tracking frost and freeze potential US temperature weather maps this weekend that indicate a strong possibility frost-apocalypse is headed for the Pacific, Rocky Mountains, and Midwest regions over the next ten days. This could mean the end of the growing season for many agriculture producing states.

As shown in the EC Operational maps below, a 32°F contour line in the 5-10 day forecast indicates US frost risks could shift from the Northwest too much of the North Central states, which would officially mark the end of the growing season in those areas if confirmed by mid-month.

* * * 

Andrei Evbuoma, a meteorologist for NOAA National Weather Service, provides further insight into the frost situation in the US, and what he thinks this could mean for grain prices. 

Frost and freeze watches/warnings hoisted for portions of the north-central and Northeast U.S.; weather outlook turns colder across the northern and central U.S. raising risks for frost/freeze and thus upside potential of prices.

On the weather front, frost and freeze watches/warnings are in effect for much of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, northeastern Nebraska, western Minnesota, northwestern Iowa, a large portion of Upstate New York and Vermont, extreme western Massachusetts, and extreme northern Pennsylvania. The frost and freeze warnings are in effect tonight through Friday morning. The freeze watch is in effect for late Friday night through early Saturday morning. The freeze and frost warnings over North Dakota and Minnesota cover a good portion of spring wheat. However, with much of the crop harvested, the impacts should be minimum. The northwestern portions of the corn and soybean belt will be impacted by the frost and freeze Thursday night/Friday morning.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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