Prices for international food commodities dipped slightly in December but still ended 2021 at a 10-year high, according to the FAO Food Price Index. China’s recent push to reduce dependence on foreign suppliers and stockpile key food staples has been a major contributing factor to the price rises.
U.S. airport traffic is staying resilient in the face of rising COVID-19 cases, with last week’s TSA screenings more than double last year but still down roughly 25% from pre-pandemic levels:
The CEOs of the U.S.’s largest airlines warned Monday of a “catastrophic disruption” to operations if telecommunication companies roll out 5G technology without restrictions near airports.
About 5% of U.S. professionals surveyed were in video conferences for more than half their average workweek during the pandemic, led by marketing and advertising companies:
Germany’s total COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic surpassed 8 million as weekly transmission rates rose to a new-high. In a positive sign, virus ICU admissions are starting to decrease, officials said.
Austria’s government said it would issue fines of more than $4,000 this March to people unvaccinated against COVID-19. Greece is planning similar fees of just over $100 for unvaccinated people over age 60 this February.
New COVID-19 infections in the U.K. are down 38% week over week, with under 85,000 reported for the second straight day Monday.
The U.K. and Israel joined the growing list of nations shortening mandatory quarantine periods for cases of asymptomatic COVID-19.
Health officials in Poland expect its fifth COVID-19 wave to peak in mid-February with over 60,000 infections per day, nearly double its prior peak.
New COVID-19 infections in Russia more than doubled week over week to the highest daily totals in a month.
A fourth COVID-19 booster appears to be only moderately effective at increasing antibody levels, leaving recipients still vulnerable to breakthrough infections, Israeli health officials say.
With plastic production forecast to double within 20 years, major international consumer brands including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and IKEA are calling for a reduction in plastic pollution ahead of a United Nations summit on the issue later this year.
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