TX Gov. Abbott worsens supply chain issues, drives up food prices – National & International News – MON 18Apr2022



TX Gov. Abbott worsens supply chain issues, drives up food prices. Israel says it intercepted rocket from Gaza amid rising tensions.




TX Gov. Abbott worsens supply chain issues, drives up food prices.

For the last two weeks, cross-border commerce between Mexico and Texas ground to a near standstill. Truckers waited for hours more to make their regular deliveries to distribution centers on the Texas side. As a result, produce has gone bad, and prices have gone up.

This is because Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered “enhanced” inspections of trucks crossing the border from Mexico. The order was in retaliation to Biden’s decision to lift Title 42 restrictions, enacted during the Trump administration, which made it possible to turn back asylum seekers coming over the border using a public health order from the CDC. In another grandstanding gesture, Abbott has been bussing migrants to Washington DC.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner and fellow Republican Sid Miller, while he nominally supports Abbott’s re-election this year, had many choice words for Abbott’s new policies. Miller says, “These two moves by our governor do nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigration or illegal drugs. I mean, absolutely zero”.

Customs and Border Patrol, the USDA, and officials with Miller’s own department already conduct thorough inspections of cross-border trucks. Among other things, they check for secret compartments, X-ray truck cargos, deploy drug sniffing dogs. Miller says, “the governor’s people have no authority to open the trucks. All they can do is check for faulty turn signals, brake lights, you know, brake linings, tire tread, that kind of stuff – just safety issues”. 

Hurting American truckers and consumers

Abbott’s inspections may do “absolutely zero” to stem the flow of illegal migrants or drug trafficking. But they are making life harder for truckers, many of them Americans, who use the crossings. Just in Laredo, Texas’ biggest inland port, “We’ve got 20,000 trucks or more backed up, waiting to get through. Some of these truckers, you know, there’s no restroom. They’re running out of diesel,” Miller says. “The only other option they have for the produce is to drive to Nogales, Ariz., which is 1,250 miles… And you have to drive another 1,250 back to Dallas, Houston or San Antonio to the distribution warehouses. So that’s a 2,500-mile detour”.

Abbott’s orders are also hitting Americans’ pocketbooks, the people of south Texas most of all. Global supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine have already caused food prices to rise. Now, delays and spoilage resulting from Abbott’s inspections are further driving up prices on produce items like bananas, avocados, lemons, limes, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens. Miller acknowledges that “We have a [migration] crisis on the border. But we also have a shipping and a delivery crisis. And this is compounding that. So you can’t fix one crisis by creating another one”.

Click here for the full interview (6-mins; opens in new tab).



Israel says it intercepted rocket from Gaza

Just over a year ago, an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza claimed the lives of about a dozen Israelis and more than 200 Palestinians. Now, Israel says it has intercepted a rocket fired into its territory from Gaza. This is a developing story and there will likely be further updates to come.

The news comes after weeks of rising ethnic tensions between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs and Palestinians. Since mid-march, 12 Israelis, 2 Ukrainians and more than 20 Palestinians have died in shootings and clashes with police. This past weekend, thousands of Muslim and Jewish pilgrims visited the disputed Al-Aqsa Mosque/Temple Mount site for Ramadan and Passover worship. This led to clashes between the two groups. Israeli riot police apparently stormed the mosque after some Palestinian kids threw rocks in the direction of Jewish worshippers at the Wailing Wall. More than 150 Palestinians were injured as well as two Israeli policemen. As yet, there are no reports of injuries among Israeli civilians from the Al Aqsa clash.

Hamas’ leadership called the Israeli police incursion into the mosque an “unacceptable violation”.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

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