Sanctions against Russia worsen global food crisis
As the US and Europe consider further sanctions to punish Russia for its war on Ukraine, concerns are growing that the consequences will fuel an alarming hunger problem that will not be easily reversed, amid a combination of rising energy costs and limited exports from Russia and Europe. Europe. Ukraine.
Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, has embraced and exacerbated the crisis by blocking exports of food and grain from the region and using the shortages as leverage to roll back Western sanctions. The region’s critical role in the food supply chain has led to a cascading effect, driving food prices up worldwide.
Even as the magnitude of the crisis became more apparent, G7 leaders yesterday came close to embracing an aggressive but untried plan to manipulate the price of oil, the world’s largest commodity market. The plan would allow Russia to continue selling oil to the world, but would severely limit its price.
By the numbers: Russia and Ukraine together export about 30 percent of the world’s wheat and 75 percent of sunflower oil. Cutting those stocks has prompted other governments to block exports as countries try to stockpile goods.
citable: Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in April that the US was preparing its sanctions over the global food supply. “We reiterate our commitment to adopt essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit people around the world,” she said, “ensuring the availability of staple foods and agricultural products.”
In other news from the war:
The trial of Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who is being held in Russia on suspicion of drugs, starts Friday.
Russia does not honor its foreign debt
Russia missed a bond payment deadline on Sunday, the first international debt default in more than a century, after Western sanctions thwarted the government’s efforts to pay foreign investors. About $100 million in dollar and euro interest payments failed to reach investors within a 30-day grace period after the May deadline.
The default was prompted by widespread Western sanctions that attempted to cut off Moscow from global capital markets after Ukraine’s invasion. Yesterday, Russia’s finance ministry said it made the payments in May but had been blocked from reaching bondholders by a Brussels-based financial clearinghouse.
News of the apparent default shows “how strong” international sanctions have been against Russia, a senior US administration official said, highlighting the “dramatic” effect on Russia’s economy.
Analysis: “We can expect Russia to stick with its alternative narrative: ‘The default is not a default, we tried and it’s not our fault,'” said Tim Samples, a sovereign debt expert, adding that Russia does too. hadn’t done. subject to jurisdiction in foreign courts.
What it means: The default will linger in investors’ minds and will likely drive up Russian borrowing costs in the future. But Moscow’s finances remain resilient even after months of war, and Russia continues to receive a steady influx of cash from oil and gas sales.
In conservative states that are trying to ban abortion as soon as possible, the legal battle is accelerating. Abortion rights advocates unite around a strategy of asking courts for temporary bans that allow for short-term abortion. Judges in Louisiana and Utah have temporarily suspended their states’ trigger laws, allowing abortion clinics to remain open for the time being.
States that support abortion rights moved yesterday to bolster their protections. In California, a vast majority of state lawmakers put a constitutional amendment in the November vote to explicitly protect the abortion rights of the state’s 40 million residents.
Analysis: “From now on, it’s all about the states,” said Jessie Hill, a law professor who has worked on abortion cases. “We can fantasize about federal solutions to this problem or state settlements to the abortion issue, but I don’t think I see much potential at the federal level after Dobbs.”
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Around the world
A renovation of the area around Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris after a devastating fire in 2019 will open it up to the River Seine and help millions of visitors flow more easily, while also mitigating the effects of global warming.
The cathedral “had to be left in its beauty and everything around it should be a showcase for that beauty,” said Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris. But, she added, “a city like ours can no longer think outside of climate change.”
ART AND IDEAS
The state of menswear
For a reader considering updating his wardrobe after 20 years, Vanessa Friedman, our chief fashion critic, enlists the help of Guy Trebay, The Times’ menswear critic.
The good news, Guy says, from the front lines of the menswear shows, is that the options are flexible, no matter your age. “The torn suit—or jacket worn with one of the many trousers—is now a universal designer favorite,” he says.
Jeans are as present as ever. “There are many choices, although a straight leg and dark indigo selvage denim is a classic,” says Guy, who is especially fond of the expensive but beautiful Los Angeles label Hiroshi Kato. Pair them with a decent jacket, a pressed Oxford or even a crisp T-shirt and a good pair of shoes.
In such an ensemble, Guy says, you’ll be well-dressed for just about any occasion. He adds: “If you really want to break with your personal tradition, take inspiration from one of the best shows I’ve seen in years and wear Issey Miyake from head to toe.” Pleasure please.
For more: Can an India-Made Shirt Beat Savile Row? 100Hands, a tailor from Punjab, bets the answer is yes.