Got all that corn coming out of our ears
World stockpiles of corn and wheat are at record highs. From Iowa to China, years of bumper crops and low prices have overwhelmed storage capacity for basic foodstuffs. Global stocks of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans combined will hit a record number of 671.1 million tonnes going into the next harvest. That number is enough to cover demand from China for about a year. Reuters’ P.J. Huffstutter and Karl Plume report on the phenomenon, including an interview with an Iowa farmer who would rather leave corn on the ground and cover it with a tarp rather than pay for the exorbitant cost of storage elsewhere.
Tillerson’s Russia itinerary: tension and trouble
Even before the Syria nerve gas attack and the United States’ retaliatory missile strike, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Russia was certain to be dominated by thorny issues, including Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, an apparent violation of an important arms control treaty, and seeing what cooperation, if any, is possible in the fight against Islamic State. Now, Tillerson, a former oil executive with no diplomatic experience, is charged with avoiding a major U.S. confrontation with Russia while exacting some concessions from Moscow. Those include getting rid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s remaining chemical weapons and pressing Assad to negotiate Syria’s future. Reuters’ Lesley Wroughton and Yeganeh Torbati report.
Exclusive: Saudis, oil companies discuss gas investments ahead of giant IPO
The investments would happen inside the kingdom and abroad as part of the top crude-exporting country’s drive to diversify investments before the listing of Saudi Aramco. Saudi officials explored opportunities with firms including BP and Chevron to help develop its gas reserves, the world’s sixth largest, at a time of booming energy demand at home, four industry sources told Reuters.
Paris when it gets on the ‘gig economy’
It’s lunchtime and Parisians are lining up for baguettes at a bakery on the Rue Montmartre. But three cyclists clad in neon-blue outfits chat outside and check the phones strapped to their wrists, waiting for orders to whisk meals to people in their homes or offices. They work for the Deliveroo firm, and have become a familiar sight pedaling up and down the city’s boulevards. These recent scenes in the Montorgueil district offer two opposing visions for large parts of France’s services economy – protecting traditional merchants from unfair competition, or encouraging job creation through the “gig economy.” Each is championed by one of the candidates likely to contest the run-off vote for the French presidency next month. Reuters’ Michel Rose reports.
Reuters’ Pulitzer Prize finalists
See the unforgettable photo here that Jonathan Bachman shot in Baton Rouge of riot gear-clad police officers moving in to arrest a protester, and read the story of how he got the shot. Bachman was a finalist, as were Reuters reporters Renee Dudley, Steve Stecklow, Alexandra Harney, Irene Jay Liu, Koh Gui Qing, James Pomfret and Ju-min Park for their "Cheat Sheet" series here on corruption in the business of college admissions and standardized testing.
Reuters photo of the day
How they do it in Malaga