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Amazon Bans Sale of Foreign Seeds in US After Households Send Mysterious Parcels



Amazon Bans Sale of Foreign Seeds in US After Households Send Mysterious Parcels

The retailer’s plant and seed policy, updated on September 2, prohibits the sale of seeds imported from outside the US or sold by non-US residents. The new policy applies to both plants and plant products.

“Going forward, we only allow US sellers to sell seeds,” Amazon said in a statement.

Sellers who do not comply with Amazon’s policies may take action against their account, including canceling a listing, suspending or confiscating payments, or banning a sale on the site. It is unclear if the seed ban will extend to other countries.

Amazon’s new rule comes after all 50 states issued warnings USDA in July, after mysterious packages of postage stamped seeds from China were sent to households in the United States. Some of the packages were mislabeled, stating that they contained jewelry or beads, even though they only contained clear plastic seed packaging.

While it is still unclear who ships the seed packages and why, the USDA says it considers the unsolicited packages to be part of a “cleaning scam.”

“We currently have no evidence that this is anything other than a ‘cleaning scam’ where people receive unwanted items from a seller who then publishes false customer reviews to boost sales,” USDA said in a statement. in July. …

The federal agency says it is also stepping up engagement with e-commerce companies to ensure they comply with USDA regulations.

Since then, several agencies have been investigating the situation, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Postal Service, and the state departments of agriculture.

Agriculture officials warned the recipients of the parcel not to plant themas unknown seeds can be invasive species that “wreak havoc” in the environment.

As of Aug.11, USDA announces it is working with China to investigate the bulk shipment of seed parcels and how to prevent unwanted imports in the future. According to the agency, the USDA has collected more than 8,507 packages from 50 states and conducted 2,410 studies of these packages. A total of 321 species of seeds have been identified.

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So far, experts examining some seeds from China have found no major problems, according to the USDA.

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The UK is preparing for electricity and gas to run out next winter. Worst-case scenario points to 4-day blackouts



The UK is preparing for electricity and gas to run out next winter.  Worst-case scenario points to 4-day blackouts

Summer is still on, but winter is fast approaching, and European countries are making contingency plans to avoid running out of energy while Russia cuts back on the amount of gas it sends to Europe.

Based on a “reasonable worst-case scenario”, the British government is already gearing up for several days of the winter months when the cold could combine with gas shortages, causing “power outages” across the country, reaching industry and homes. .

Unidentified sources tell Bloomberg that London’s forecast is that the electricity grid will only be able to guarantee a sixth of the power during peak demand, after the government presented contingency plans to reopen coal-fired power plants. .

The worst-case scenario assumes that the United Kingdom will suffer blackouts for four days in January 2023 and that it will have to activate measures to reduce gas consumption at a time when gas supplies from Norway and France are also reduced. , while every country tries to secure its supplies for the coldest months of the year.

However, the British government believes that the worst scenario may not materialize, but does not rule out the possibility that, in the end, it will come true.

Bloomberg notes that this problem should be dealt with by whoever succeeds outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson next September. In a worst-case scenario, Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will have an energy and social crisis on their hands, as the British public has expressed great dissatisfaction with a significant increase in the cost of energy, which could double in the face of rising inflation. and reduced purchasing power.

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In Russia began to dismantle aircraft for spare parts – Aviation



In Russia began to dismantle aircraft for spare parts - Aviation

Russian airlines, including state-owned Aeroflot, are stripping planes to secure spare parts they can’t buy abroad due to Western sanctions, Reuters reported, citing four industry sources.

The companies are following Moscow’s guidance in June and are reaching out to some aircraft to get the parts they need to keep the rest of the fleet operational until at least 2025.

A source told Reuters that at least one Sukhoi Superjet 100 and one Aeroflot Airbus A350 are being dismantled, with the Airbus jet being “almost new”.

But the state-owned company has also stripped parts from some Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s to keep other planes of the same model flying.

Almost 80% of Aeroflot’s fleet is owned by the two largest aircraft manufacturers – 134 Boeing and 146 Airbus aircraft, and about 80 aircraft – Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet-100, which, according to the latest data, use many foreign-made parts, Reuters notes.

It will also be difficult for Moscow to buy parts from countries that have not imposed sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine. Asian and Middle Eastern airlines fear “secondary sanctions” from the West if they supply equipment, a source told the agency.

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After all, how much lower fuel prices? See accounts here



After all, how much lower fuel prices?  See accounts here

Ethis week started with lower fuel prices, which was found for both diesel and gasoline. The fall averaged seven cents, slightly below forecast.

Average price for simple diesel fuel fell in price to 1746 euros per liter (€/litre) on Monday, August 8, compared to 1816 euro/litre on Sunday. it discount seven cents.

Me and simple gasoline 95 cost, on average, €1805/liter on Monday, minus 7.3 cents than the 1,878 euros per liter registered the day before, according to data released by the Directorate General for Energy and Geology (DGEG).

With proven descent on plain petrol 95the price of this component returns to pre-war levels in Ukraine. Let me remind you that on February 23, the average price of regular gasoline 95 was 1816 euros / liter. On the same day of the invasion, plain gasoline 95 also cost €1,816 per litre, compared to the current €1,805 per litre..

Dynamics of fuel prices since the beginning of the war© DGEG website reproduction

The average price at gas stations for the week from 1 to 7 August in the case of gasoline was 0.9 cents higher than the ERSE weekly average price and 0.1 cents lower for diesel.. The information is contained in the Weekly Report on Supervision of Sales Prices to the Public, posted on Monday Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE).

“Regarding the previous week, it was found that the average selling price for the public, announced on the porticos and published in the Balcão Único da Energia, was 0.9 cents per litre. [cêntimos/litro] higher than this week’s effective price for plain gasoline 95 and 0.1 cents/liter lower for plain diesel.”

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Thus, according to ERSE, “in percentage terms, plain 95 gasoline was declared on taps 0.5% above the effective price, and ordinary diesel fuel was declared 0.1% below the effective price.”

Read also: Fuel is cheaper today (and could return to pre-war prices)

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