Jul 7, 2019

In oil-rich Venezuela, fuel shortages spark man-made famines

Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

Fuel shortages amid Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis are threatening what's left of the country's agriculture industry, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: "Venezuela is an oil-rich nation. But years of mismanagement and corruption in the oil industry, worsened by American sanctions, have dried up gasoline pumps at a crucial moment. First, the shortage prevented farmers ... from getting their produce to markets. Now, it is making it hard for them to sow new crops," the Times writes.

Why it matters: Venezuelans are already suffering widely from hunger and malnutrition as the mismanagement of its oil industry created difficult financial conditions for citizens. A thinning agriculture industry further threatens the population.

By the numbers:

  • Fedeagro, the nation's main agricultural association, is estimating that total area planted with corn and rice this year will shrink by approximately 50%.
  • According to a sugar cane association, the sugar output in regional-stronghold Portuguesa has fallen from 12 million tons in 2018 to 5 million tons this year.
  • Maduro promised $35 million in new farming credits in May, which Fedeagro has criticized as being too small.
  • As of December, only 55% of Venezuelans were eating three meals a day, according to Delphos.

Go deeper: Trump wants increased protections for Venezuelans fleeing to U.S.

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health