US farm group calls for probe of high egg prices

A farm group is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine the rise for signs of price gouging from top egg companies.

The latest concern is eggs, the price of which was up 138% in December from a year prior, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Various groups from regulators to farmers and industry officials have often argued in recent years about the power of top agriculture firms to set prices and drive up what consumers pay for groceries.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pointed to a record outbreak of avian flu as a reason for the high prices.

Nearly 58 million chickens and turkeys have been killed by avian flu or to control the spread of the virus since the beginning of 2022, mostly in March and April, according to the USDA.

U.S. egg production was about 5% lower in October compared to last year, and egg inventories were down 29% in December compared to the beginning of the year, a significant drop, but one that may not explain record-high prices, said Basel Musharbash, an attorney with Farm Action.

Source: US farm group calls for probe of high egg prices

U.S. air travel rumbles back to life after FAA computer outage

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, Jan 11 (Reuters) – U.S. flights were slowly resuming departures and a ground stop was lifted after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scrambled to fix a system outage overnight that had forced a halt to all U.S. departing flights.

More than 6,000 flights were delayed and nearly 1,000 canceled according to the FlightAware website as officials said it will take hours to recover from the halt. The numbers were still rising.

Source: U.S. air travel rumbles back to life after FAA computer outage

Stock Market Today: Dow Futures Fall in Year’s Last Trading Day

Follow The Wall Street Journal’s full markets coverage.

Today’s Coverage

Source: Stock Market Today: Dow Futures Fall in Year’s Last Trading Day

Exclusive: $4 gas could return as soon as May, GasBuddy projects | CNN Business

Gas prices will probably be significantly cheaper overall next year. Yet the national average could still climb back above the $4-a-gallon threshold as soon as May, according to GasBuddy projections shared exclusively with CNN.

Source: Exclusive: $4 gas could return as soon as May, GasBuddy projects | CNN Business

City school board narrowly approves nearly $680 million budget with no tax increase

Pittsburgh Public Schools Administration Building Oakland.jpgCity of Pittsburgh residents won’t see an increase in property taxes next year due to Pittsburgh Public Schools. The school board narrowly approved its nearly $680-million-dollar budget in a five-to-four vote. Two board members who voted against the budget said they didn’t support it because it carries a $9 million deficit.

Source: City school board narrowly approves nearly $680 million budget with no tax increase

Why egg prices are surging — but chicken prices are falling: It’s an ‘act of God’ event, says trade strategist

The price of eggs and chickens moved in opposite directions in October. Bird flu is a big reason why.

That opposite movement may seem counterintuitive. It’s largely attributable to one of the worst-ever outbreaks of bird flu in the U.S., which has killed a large share of egg-laying birds but not those raised for meat consumption.

Source: Why egg prices are surging — but chicken prices are falling: It’s an ‘act of God’ event, says trade strategist

Sheetz Offering $1.99 Per Gallon Gas For Thanksgiving Holiday

 

SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA — Sheetz is lowering the price of unleaded 88 gas to $1.99 per gallon for the next week, the convenience store chain announced Monday.

The price is only available at the 368 Sheetz stores that offer unleaded 88. Sheetz operates 642 stores in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland.

Only vehicles from 2001 and newer can use the blend.

Source: Sheetz Offering $1.99 Per Gallon Gas For Thanksgiving Holiday

King gives up to £600 to staff to help with cost of living crisis

The monarch will use part of his private income to fund the single payment on top of his staffs’ salaries.

The Sun newspaper reported that the bonuses – to be paid on top of this month’s salary to workers including cleaners – would amount to tens of thousands of pounds and would partially come from the King’s private income.

Staff earning less than £30,000 will receive a single payment of £600, with staff earning more getting less.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Source: King gives up to £600 to staff to help with cost of living crisis

2022 midterm elections: Balance of power at stake

The 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be some of the most consequential in the nation’s history, with control of Congress at stake.

All 435 seats in the House and 35 of 100 seats in the Senate are on the ballot, as well as several influential gubernatorial elections in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Democrats are defending their narrow majorities in both chambers. Republican control of either the House or Senate would be enough to curtail most of President Joe Biden’s agenda, and would likely result in investigations against his administration and even his family.

Source: 2022 midterm elections live updates: Balance of power at stake

Ford considering take over of Argo AI’s footprint in Pittsburgh following shutdown and layoff of 679 workers

Ford Motor Co. is considering the possibility of taking over at least some of the space in the Strip District headquarters of Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company Argo AI LLC following the announcement Wednesday that Argo would be shut down.

Ford (NYSE: F) and Volkswagen served as Argo’s largest backers, investing over $1 billion into the startup over the years that at one point put its valuation at more than $7 billion.

Source: https://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/inno/stories/news/2022/10/27/ford-considering-take-over-of-argo-ai-space.html

Rossen Reports: These groceries could disappear from shelves

Due to supply chain problems, bad weather, etc., grocery shoppers can expect looming shortages and gaps on store shelves.

Here are some tips to beat rising grocery prices and looming shortages:

  • Use your freezer: Buying in bulk doesn’t just have to be for nonperishable items. If you have freezer space; meat, bread and cheese can be bought and stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Best products to buy in bulk: Rice, dry beans, cereal, canned goods, household and cleaning supplies, toiletries, diapers and beverages stored at room temperature.
  • Just buy two: If you’re not ready to purchase things in bulk, just try buying two at a time to beat potential shortages.
  • Be organic smart: Not everything needs to be organic, especially because it’s more expensive. The Environmental Working Group has a Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Researchers measure the amount of pesticide residue left behind on conventionally grown produce. They say it isn’t necessary to buy the following things organic because they have low levels of pesticide residue; Avocados, sweet corn, onions, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, pineapple, kiwi, cauliflower, mushrooms, honeydew melon and cantaloupe.

Source: Rossen Reports: These groceries could disappear from shelves

Liz Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister after a month and a half in office

Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister after a month and a half office.

News of Liz Truss’s resignation has prompted quick reaction from political leaders and media commentators around the world, with many editorials focused on the brevity of Truss’s time in office and the ongoing political chaos in Britain.

Among foreign politicians, France’s President Emmanuel Macron said that on a personal level, he was always “sad to see a colleague go”, but that the most important thing was for Britain to find stability as soon as possible.

At the White House, reporters asked US President Joe Biden whether Ms Truss had made the right decision. He replied that it was her decision to make, adding that he wouldn’t “weigh in on her judgment”.

In an earlier statement, Mr Biden said close relations with the UK would continue, and thanked Ms Truss for her partnership “on a range of issues including holding Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine”.

One of Ukraine’s MPs – Oleksiy Goncharenko – also thanked Ms Truss for her support, saying that “Ukraine will never forget you!”

However, there was little sympathy for Liz Truss from Russia. Its foreign ministry spokeswoman welcomed her departure, saying Britain had “never known such a disgrace of a prime minister.”

Source: Why Liz Truss resigned as U.K. prime minister: A guide to the chaos

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-63333462

Embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned she has hours to save her job | CNN

LondonCNN — 

Liz Truss is fighting to save her job as Britain’s prime minister after more of her own lawmakers called for her to quit, incensed by a shambolic parliamentary vote and the resignation of her home secretary late on Wednesday.

Truss’s government has “12 hours” to “turn the ship around,” Conservative lawmaker Simon Hoare said on Thursday, after a vote on whether to ban controversial fracking for shale gas descended into chaos.

Lawmakers reported that aides for Truss manhandled MPs into the voting lobby to force them to vote against the ban. The government initially presented the vote as a confidence motion in Truss’s government, but confusion remains about whether it was. A Downing Street spokesperson said on Thursday that Conservative lawmakers who didn’t participate in Wednesday evening’s vote will face disciplinary action, PA Media said.

Source: Embattled British Prime Minister Liz Truss warned she has hours to save her job | CNN

Pittsburgh-based Driller Blames Government for Higher Natural Gas Prices – News-Talk 1480 WHBC

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Remember just a few years back when we believed concern about high natural gas bills was in the rear-view mirror?

Unless you’re locked into a decent fixed rate for your natural gas supply costs, you’re starting to see some of the highest gas bills you’ve seen in years.

And the CEO of the Pittsburgh-based EQT Corporation with wells in Belmont County and other Ohio counties says restrictive government policies are the only reason prices have jumped up.

Toby Rice says he’s willing to drill at supply prices two-thirds lower than present, but the pipeline infrastructure doesn’t support it.

Source: Pittsburgh-based Driller Blames Government for Higher Natural Gas Prices – News-Talk 1480 WHBC

Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will announce the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the U.S. strategic reserve Wednesday as part of a response to recent production cuts announced by OPEC+ nations, and he will say more drawdowns are possible this winter, as his administration rushes to be seen as pulling out all the stops ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday to announce the drawdown from the strategic reserve, senior administration officials said Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to outline Biden’s plans. It completes the release of 180 million barrels authorized by Biden in March that was initially supposed to occur over six months. That has sent the strategic reserve to its lowest level since 1984 in what the administration called a “bridge” until domestic production could be increased. The reserve now contains roughly 400 million barrels of oil.

Source: Biden to release 15M barrels from oil reserve, more possible

Hempfield Steak ’n Shake items go up for auction

Burgers and shakes are off the menu at the former Steak ’n Shake in Hempfield, as it is being emptied to make way for a new business. An auction is scheduled Monday, Oct. 17, at the Greengate Centre restaurant known for its black, white and red 1950s decor

The auction comes two years after the Hempfield restaurant closed its doors when it became one of more than 100 Steak ’n Shake locations — including those in Center Township, Frazer, Munhall, Pleasant Hills and Robinson — to temporarily shutter as the burger chain moved toward a franchise-based model.

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Source: Hempfield Steak ’n Shake items go up for auction

Gas prices continue to climb: Up 3 cents in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning

Prices are expected to continue to climb in the days ahead.

AAA said they expect the price of gas in Pittsburgh to average more than $4.00 per gallon again soon.

That news comes after oil-producing nations announced they’ll be slashing the amount of oil they deliver to the global economy.

Demand has also been increasing recently.

Source: Gas prices continue to climb: Up 3 cents in Pennsylvania on Tuesday morning

Bank of England intervenes in bond market after historic sell-off

The Bank of England will suspend the planned start of its gilt selling next week and begin temporarily buying long-dated bonds to calm recent market chaos.

KEY POINTS
  • U.K. gilt yields were on course for their sharpest monthly rise since at least 1957 as investors fled British fixed income markets following the new fiscal policy announcements.
  • The measures included large swathes of unfunded tax cuts that have drawn global criticism, including from the IMF.

Source: Bank of England intervenes in bond market after historic sell-off

Dow futures drop 300 points to start the week as Wall Street rally continues to fizzle

A summer rally was halted last week as fears of aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve resurfaced on Wall Street.

U.S. stock futures fell Monday following a halt in the summer rally last week, as fears of aggressive interest rate hikes returned to Wall Street.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 321 points, or by 0.95%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1.22% and 1.57%, respectively.

Those moves come as European markets experienced steep declines, driven in part by worries of rising inflation and higher interest rates around the world.

On Friday, the S&P 500 closed down 1.29%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 292 points, or 0.86%, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.01%. The major averages also posted weekly losses.

Source: Dow futures drop 300 points to start the week as Wall Street rally continues to fizzle

Citizens Bank replacing half of its Giant Eagle in-store branches in Pittsburgh with virtual assistant kiosks – Pittsburgh Business Times

Conversions starting in October,

Spokesman Rory Sheehan said the decision was part of a reimagination of the bank’s branch strategy across its network. Citizens has nearly 100 branches in this region.

“The site transitions are part of our ongoing effort to review customer patterns and optimize branch locations,” he said in an email Friday.

He said the kiosks will include an ATM for routine transactions and video technology that will allow customers to connect live with a banker for more complex services. The virtual assistance will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m.. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

Citizens will convert 15 Giant Eagle branches to the new format in the fourth quarter and the remaining 13 in the first quarter of 2023.

The move will affect about 100 employees, who will be able to apply for open positions elsewhere in the company, Mr. Sheehan said.

Source: Citizens Bank replacing half of its Giant Eagle in-store branches in Pittsburgh with virtual assistant kiosks – Pittsburgh Business Times

Source: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2022/07/29/citizens-bank-branches-giant-eagle-rhode-island-kiosk-virtual/stories/202207290094

Gas prices hit new record high | The Hill

 

 

Gas prices hit a new record high on Sunday, climbing to a national average of $5.01 for a gallon of gas, according to AAA.

The average spiked about 16 cents from last week as summer rolled in and Americans started driving more for vacations, trips and outings.

Americans have watched prices at the pump soar since 2021 and then accelerate this year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Now, gas prices have shattered records. In California, the average for a gallon of gas climbed to $6.43 on Sunday, the highest in the country.

Even states with typically lower averages, such as Texas and Mississippi, are seeing gas prices inch past $4.50 per gallon.

The latest record comes after inflation hit a 40-year high in May, driven by increases in government spending during the pandemic, international turmoil, disrupted supply chains and increased consumer demand in a period of post-COVID-19 restrictions.

Source: Gas prices hit new record high | The Hill

How gas prices have changed in Pittsburgh in the last week | State | indianagazette.com

Gas prices leveled out this week well above the $4 mark as rideshare giants Uber and Lyft announced temporary fuel surcharges to offset record-high prices at pumps across the country. Drivers will receive 100% of those charges.

The price of oil also temporarily reversed its upward trajectory, dipping below $100 per barrel on Tuesday, March 15, according to Brent Crude. Crude oil prices fell by roughly 20% since last week, driven largely be fears of reduced demand amid China’s COVID-19 lockdowns in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Oil prices stayed below the $100 per barrel threshold until Thursday morning, when Russia again ramped up attacks against Ukraine. The International Energy Agency reported on Wednesday that, beginning in April, roughly 3 million barrels a day of Russian oil supply could be eliminated from global markets due to Western sanctions and other international players distancing themselves from Russia.

Stacker compiled statistics on gas prices in Pittsburgh, PA metro area using data from AAA. Gas prices are as of March 17. State gas tax data is from World Population Review.

Pittsburgh by the numbers

– Current price: $4.31

— Pennsylvania average: $4.37

— Pennsylvania gas tax: $0.59 per gallon (#1 highest among all states)

– Week change: -$0.04 (-0.9%)

– Year change: +$1.25 (+40.8%)

– Historical expensive gas price: $4.35 (3/10/22)

Metros with the most expensive gas

#1. San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, CA: $5.96

#2. Napa, CA: $5.93

#3. San Francisco, CA: $5.90

Metros with the least expensive gas

#1. Lawton, OK: $3.65

#2. Amarillo, TX: $3.67

#3. Joplin, MO: $3.69

States with the highest gas tax per gallon

#1. Pennsylvania: $0.59

#2. California: $0.53

#3. Washington: $0.52

States with the lowest gas tax per gallon

#1. Alaska: $0.0895

#2. Hawaii: $0.16

#3. Virginia: $0.162

Source: How gas prices have changed in Pittsburgh in the last week | State | indianagazette.com

Delivery drivers in Pittsburgh area feeling pain at the pump

Rising gas prices are having an immediate impact on the bottom line for businesses that rely on deliveries.

Tom Luscombe is the third-generation owner of Greensburg Floral. He told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that more than 90% of his business comes from deliveries throughout Westmoreland County.

“There is no budget for it,” Luscombe said. “As the prices go up daily, it affects the flowers coming in and the flowers going out.”

Luscombe said the shop changed its business model during the pandemic and now has less staff, which means more hours for everyone else. He said increased fuel costs will ultimately trickle down to customers, but he’s hoping better days are ahead.

“Hang in there and pray. That’s what we’re doing,” Luscombe said.

Gas prices in the Pittsburgh area went up nearly 50 cents per gallon for regular in the past week. For delivery drivers, it’s an added cost of doing business.

“It just cost me $96 to fill up and before it was in the $60-70 range,” delivery driver Rich O’Neal said.

O’Neal is a retired police officer who now delivers for apps such as Roadie and Shipt.

“The rate they are paying me isn’t going up, but the rate I’m paying to do this sure is,” O’Neal said. “It’s going to reach a point where it’s not cost-effective to do this anymore.”

Source: Delivery drivers in Pittsburgh area feeling pain at the pump

Oil giant BP reports highest profit in 8 years on soaring commodity prices

KEY POINTS
  • “It has been another good quarter for the company,” BP CEO Bernard Looney told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” on Tuesday.
  • A surge in global gas markets through the final months of 2021, coupled with an oil price rally to seven-year highs, has seen the world’s largest fossil fuel giants rake in bumper revenues.
  • It comes at a time when millions of U.K. households are facing a record-breaking increase in their energy bills amid a cost of living crisis.

Source: Oil giant BP reports highest profit in 8 years on soaring commodity prices

Grocery stores in Pittsburgh area struggling to keep shelves stocked

Food supply shortages impacted local businesses

The Charley family owns three Shop ‘n Save locations in Westmoreland County.

“It’s something that we’re fighting every day,” Tom Charley said. “We’re sourcing from multiple vendors. We’re using more vendors today than we ever have.”

Charley said his store only received half of their weekly order from their distributors this past week. It’s an issue stores have faced with various products throughout the pandemic.

“People have been very understanding and they know now what to expect at the store, but it’s very frustrating when you put in an order to fill up the store and you only get half the order,” Charley said.

National experts have cited staffing, rising COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant and winter weather across the country as the reasons behind the latest stretch of supply chain problems.

Those concerns, coupled with recent inflation trends have also caused the price of groceries to jump.

“All of the costs are going up and it’s hitting us with cost increases too,” Charley said. “We are being very deliberate in trying to find the best deals we can possibly find and it’s a challenge.”

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reached out to a spokesperson for U.S. Foods, one of the area’s largest suppliers, but did not hear back.

Source: Grocery stores in Pittsburgh area struggling to keep shelves stocked

Baristas say worker fired from Pittsburgh-area chain after publicly announcing union

Several state and local politicians have voiced their support for the workers.

PITTSBURGH — A group of baristas at a Pittsburgh-area coffee chain claim the company fired a worker after the group publicly announced its intent to form a union.

Several Coffee Tree baristas outlined their desire to form a union in videos posted online. A day later, Liam Tinker said he was let go.

Source: Baristas say worker fired from Pittsburgh-area chain after publicly announcing union

Churchill Borough set to vote on Amazon facility

UPDATE: Churchill Borough Council voted 5-2 to approve the proposed Amazon Warehouse during a special meeting Tuesday night.

Hillwood Development wants to create a $300 million Amazon warehouse at the former Westinghouse site. There will be more than 1,000 employees and nearly 700 truck trips per day.

For months, there has been a debate in the borough over it.

“Please do no harm,” said Sandy Fox, who said she lives less than 1,000 feet from the site. “Please protect our lives and protect our environment.”

Supporters said the facility will bring new jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues that would help Woodland Hills School District.

Others put signs in their yards and protested in front of the borough building,

Those in opposition said there are more than 400 homes surrounding the site and two nearby schools. Their top concerns are excessive pollution and traffic.

“This development will be harmful to people and that’s all they need,” Fox said.

On Tuesday, the Churchill Borough manager declined to talk on the record but said the special meeting was virtual. Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 reached out to the developer.

Fox said if the council votes to move forward with the plans for the Amazon site, she and a group of neighbors will appeal the decision.

“We’re not giving up because this is too important,” she said.

Source: Churchill Borough set to vote on Amazon facility

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