The FAO Food Price Index averaged 182.5 points during the month, up 0.7 percent from December and 11.3 percent higher than the same month a year earlier. Vegetable oils, sugar, and wheat were the chief drivers of the index, which tracks monthly changes in the international prices of commonly-traded food commodities.
Wall Street stocks finished at fresh records on Thursday, again shrugging off worries about the coronavirus outbreak and applauding China's move to cut tariffs on US goods. All three major indices ended at all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 88.92 points (0.30 per cent) to 29,379.77.
The official Chinese death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose on Friday to 636, with the government saying total infections had climbed past 30,000. The toll was raised by 73 new deaths from the epidemic, the National Health Commission said in its daily update.
The British ambassador to Brazil, Vijay Rangarajan, this week said the second flight will bring the Falkland Islands closer to Brazil, describing it as a potential engine to help drive links between the two countries.
Argentine president Alberto Fernandez should be back in Buenos Aires on Friday following a European weeklong tour where he met the Pope and several leaders as part of his strategy to address the rescheduling of the country's foreign debt, which has the Argentine economy prostrated and with minimum chances of recovery if it has to meet capital and interest commitments.
Argentina edged closer to legalizing abortion on Wednesday, as President Alberto Fernandez said he was preparing to send a Bill to Congress. In a speech to the Institute of Political Studies in France, the President said the measure would pay a “debt to democracy”.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro introduced a controversial Bill that opens up indigenous lands, many of them in the Amazon, to mining, agricultural activities and hydraulic energy production. The conservative president described the measure, which still needs approval in Congress, as a “dream” while indigenous leaders have labelled it a “genocide Bill.”
Over fifty delegates from British territories and dependencies participated in the Red Ensign Group annual conference in the Falklands this week. The Red Ensign Group (*) brings together 13 shipping registers whose vessels are entitled to fly British merchant navy flag or Red Ensign. The group aims to ensure that quality standards in shipping are upheld across the territories whose ships fly the Red Ensign.
China said on Thursday it will halve punitive tariffs on US$75 billion in US imports from Feb 14, a month after Beijing and Washington signed a truce in their long-running trade war.
The British government is hiring additional ships for the Royal Navy amid growing Brexit tensions - with reports as many as 24 extra boats could be drafted into service. The Times reports that “Ministers are getting ready to triple the number of boats in Britain’s fisheries protection squadron to police territorial waters in the event of a no-trade-deal Brexit”.