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World News Today - Could US baby formula shortage hit South Africa?

Mead Johnson Nutrition (L) and Biostime milk powder products are displayed on shelves at a supermarket. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Mead Johnson Nutrition (L) and Biostime milk powder products are displayed on shelves at a supermarket. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Published May 19, 2022


Could US baby formula shortage hit South Africa?

The Biden administration on Wednesday invoked a wartime tool, the Defense Production Act, in an effort to address the nationwide shortage of baby formula. Its use of the law, which Congress passed in the early days of the Korean War, reflects the magnitude of the supply crunch that has left many parents scrambling for formula.

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Supply chain disruptions tied to the coronavirus pandemic have fueled shortages of a wide range of consumer goods, but a recall on formula produced at an Abbott plant in Michigan exacerbated the shortfall. A majority of American parents and caregivers rely, at least partially, on formula to feed their babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Source: The Washington Post)

Earlier this year, Abbott Nutrition recalled infant formula produced at its facility which impacted South Africa after reports of babies falling ill from bacterial infections.

Meanwhile, the Business Insider reported that South Africans don’t need to fear as production is said to be stable.

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“In South Africa, we currently have enough stock to meet the current demand. We do not anticipate risks in supply in the near future,” Saint-Francis Tohlang, Nestlé's corporate communications director for the East and Southern Africa region, told Business Insider SA.

WATCH: George W Bush mistakenly condemns Putin's invasion of Iraq instead of Ukraine

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Former US president George W Bush accidentally condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “brutal, unjustified” invasion of Iraq, during his speech for the George W Bush Presidential Centre, in Dallas.

Bush, who was the president at the time of the US-led invasion of Iraq, back in 2003, swiftly corrected himself after saying the “decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq ... I mean of Ukraine.”

Read more here.

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WATCH: US warns North Korea could greet Biden with nuclear missile tests

With United States President Joe Biden set to visit South Korea and Japan this week, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned there could be nuclear missile tests performed by North Korea.

According to Al Jazeera news publication, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol promised to create an open dialogue with US President Joe Biden in order to balance the country’s relations with both China and the US.

Yoon added it would he would further expand the US missile defence system in South Korea. However, this forced China officials to initiate unofficial sanctions on South Korean goods.

Seoul relies heavily on China as its largest trading partner in key industries such as tech, chips and autos.

Read more here.

Portugal and Spain detect new cases of monkeypox infection

Health authorities in Portugal identified nine new cases of the monkeypox viral infection, taking the total to 14, while in Spain authorities on Thursday reported the first seven cases.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection similar to human smallpox, though milder. Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes.

The outbreaks in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States have raised alarm because the viral disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in West and Central Africa, and only very occasionally elsewhere.

Most cases in Portugal were reported in and around the capital Lisbon, DGS said.

Spain reported its first seven confirmed cases and 22 possible cases, all in the central region of Madrid, local health authorities said.

"It's possible we will have more cases in the coming days," Madrid regional public health chief, Antonio Zapatero, told Onda Cero radio station.

(Source: Reuters News)

Ukraine war could soon cause global food crisis that may last for years

Russia's invasion of Ukraine could soon cause a global food crisis that may last for years, the UN has warned, BBC reported.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the war had worsened food insecurity in poorer nations due to rising prices.

Some countries could face long-term famines if Ukraine's exports are not restored to pre-war levels, he added, BBC reported.

The conflict has cut-off supplies from Ukraine's ports, which once exported vast amounts of cooking oil as well as cereals such as maize and wheat.

This has reduced the global supply and caused the price of alternatives to soar. Global food prices are almost 30 per cent higher than the same time last year, according to the UN.

Guterres said the conflict — combined with the effects of climate change and the pandemic — “threatens to tip tens of millions of people over the edge into food insecurity followed by malnutrition, mass hunger and famine”.

Turkey informs Nato that it says no to membership of Sweden, Finland in Alliance

Turkey has informed its Nato allies that it will say no to the membership of Sweden and Finland in the alliance, and will not change its position, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“We do not want to make the same mistake twice. Therefore, we will continue our policy in this regard decisively. We told our partners that we would say no to Sweden and Finland's Nato membership. We will continue our path in the same direction,” Erdogan said in his address to youth.

Erdogan referred to Turkey’s discontent with Greece’s participation in Nato military activities starting in 1980, which he called a mistake that should not be allowed to be repeated.

(Source: Sputnik News)

President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)

Biden to meet leaders of Finland, Sweden on Nato expansion

US President Joe Biden meets the leaders of Sweden and Finland on Thursday after the nations set aside their long-standing neutrality and moved to join the Nato alliance in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Hours before his first trip to Asia as president, Biden will sit down with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the White House to discuss their Nato applications.

"This is a historic event, a watershed moment in European security. Two nations with a long tradition of neutrality will be joining the world's most powerful defensive alliance," said White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

(Source: Reuters News)

Taiwan says WHO ignoring requests for observer status at assembly

Taiwan expressed "dissatisfaction and regret" over the World Health Organization's failure to invite it to attend an upcoming annual assembly in Geneva, amid diplomatic pressure from China to isolate the island.

The WHO had ignored Taiwan's repeated requests to be allowed to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA), scheduled for May 22-28, as an observer, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Taiwan is excluded from most global groups due to Beijing's objections. China insists that Taiwan should not be treated as an independent country as it considers the island to be one of its own provinces.

Taiwan has complained that its exclusion from the WHO has hampered efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The WHO failed to stay neutral and professional, repeatedly ignoring the necessity and urgency for Taiwan's participation in the WHO and WHA,” the ministry's statement said.

(Source: Reuters News)

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a news conference following a meeting. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Turkey cannot abandon relations with Russia, Russian Gas - Erdogan

Turkey cannot abandon relations with Russia or Russian gas, this is a strategic issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

“We have ties with both sides [Russia and Ukraine]. We have the Akkuyu NPP project with Russia. Next year we will complete this project, open it.

“This is a very serious source for us. We receive 50% of the consumed us gas from Russia. This is a strategic issue for us, strategic relations. We cannot abandon them, break them,” Erdogan said in an interview with young people, his speech was published on his Twitter.

(Source: Sputnik News)

Former Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, right and Finland's new Prime Minister Sanna Marin take part in a press conference, at the Harpsund government's representation residence, in Harpsund, Sweden. (Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency via AP)

No nuclear arms or Nato bases on Finland's soil

Finland does not want Nato to deploy nuclear weapons or set up military bases on its territory even if Finland becomes a member, the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin told an Italian newspaper in an interview published on Thursday.

Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the Nato alliance on Wednesday, a decision spurred by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but face objections from Turkey to an accession process that was originally expected to be relatively rapid.

Marin, on a visit in Rome to meet with her Italian counterpart Mario Draghi, said she believed the matter could be solved through dialogue.

"I think at this stage it is important to stay calm, to have discussions with Turkey and all other member countries, answering questions that may exist and correcting any misunderstandings,' Marin told Italian daily Corriere della Sera.