US Grocery stores are struggling to stock their empty shelves
Sen. Jon Ossoff set to introduce bill barring members of Congress from trading individual stocks: report
The proposed bill would present a huge contrast to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, who last month publicly defended the practice.The ethics bill — which the 34-year-old freshman Democratic senator reportedly hopes to file once he has a Republican cosponsor — would tackle legislative conflicts of interest by banning members and their families from trading stocks, according to a source in Washington DC with knowledge of the matter.
Grocery store shelves across America are wiped clean, and they're staying empty as stores struggle to quickly restock everyday necessities such as milk, bread, meat, canned soups and cleaning products.
Disgruntled shoppers have unleashed their frustration on social media over the last several days, posting photos on Twitter of bare shelves at Trader Joe's locations, Giant Foods and Publix stores, among many others.
After contending with two years of a, grocery stores still aren't getting the break they had hoped for. Rather, they are now confronting a host of other setbacks.
Senators Jon Ossoff, Mark Kelly Introduce Bill to Ban Stock Trading by Congress Members
The legislation comes as Congress faces scrutiny for members buying and selling stock while in office.The Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act would require every member of Congress—as well as their spouses and dependent children—to place their stock portfolios into a blind trust. The arrangement is meant to prevent members of Congress from using insider information to profit off their investments.
Omicron's devastating blow
As the highly contagious variant of the Covid-19 virus continues to sicken workers, it's creating staffing shortages for critical functions like transportation and logistics, which in turn are affecting delivery of products and restocking of store shelves across the country.
Albertsons' CEO Vivek Sankaran acknowledged that products are in tight supply during the company's earnings call with analysts Tuesday.
"I think as a business, we've all learned to manage it. We've all learned to make sure that the stores are still very presentable, give the consumers as much choice as we can get," Sankaran said during the call.
Even so, he added, Omicron has put "a bit of a dent" on efforts to improve supply chain gaps. "We would expect more supply challenges over the next four to six weeks," Sankaran said.
Cost of masks and tests deepens a pandemic wedge between the haves and the have-nots
In recent weeks, Americans have discovered that the financial costs of the pandemic — masks, rapid tests and more — are increasingly falling on their shoulders. As Covid-19 cases have climbed, public health experts have urged people to dump their cloth masks in favor of higher-quality options and to test more frequently to curb the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its mask guidance to note that the disposable N95 or KN95 masks offer the "highest level of protection" against the virus.For some, the added financial burden is an irritation — but still affordable.
Grocery stores are operating with less than their normal workforces, according to the National Grocers Association, and many of its members have less than 50% of their normal workforce.
"While there is plenty of food in the supply chain, we anticipate consumers will continue to experience sporadic disruptions in certain product categories as we have seen over the past year and half due to the continued supply and labor challenges," said Greg Ferrara, the group's president and CEO.
In fact, labor shortages continue to pressure all areas of the, said Phil Lempert, an industry analyst and editor of SuperMarketGuru.com.
"From farms to food makers to grocery stores, it's across the board," said Lempert. "During the pandemic, these operations have had to implement social distancing protocols and they're not really built for that and it has impacted production."
Man Punched in the Face So Hard Doctors Have To Remove His Eye
Michael Weathersby was brutally attacked while shopping for groceries in Houston. Two suspects are at large.Michael Weathersby was the victim of a brutal robbery on January 12, when he was punched with such force that doctors had to remove his right eye.
And as the pandemic continues, many food industry workers areto their low-wage jobs at all.
Ancontinues to slow down the supply chain and the ability of grocery stores to replenish their shelves quickly.
"The trucking industry has an aging workforce on top of a shortage," Lempert said. "It's really been a problem for the last several years."
Layered atop widespread domestic transportation issues is the. "Both of these challenges are working in tandem to create shortages," he said
At Trader Joe's stores, shoppers over the weekend saw messages attached to empty shelves blaming weather emergencies for delivery delays.
Much of the Midwest and Northeast has recently been grappling withand hazardous commuting conditions. Not only are people stocking up on more groceries, that level of high demand coupled with transportation challenges is making it more difficult to transport goods in inclement weather, thus resulting in more shortages, said Lempert.
14-Year-Old Charged With Killing 54-Year-Old, Also Suspected in Separate Slaying
The teen also will be charged in a fatal shooting at a Safeway on October 29, police said in a Facebook post.Officers were dispatched to a Renton grocery store parking lot just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Officers found the victim lying on the sidewalk with multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics and officers attended to the man, but he was later pronounced dead at the scene, the Seattle Times reported.
Not to mention climate change, which is an ongoing serious and longer term threat to food supply. "Fires and droughts are damaging crops such as wheat, corn and soybean in the US and coffee crops in Brazil," he said. "We can't ignore it."
Pandemic changed our eating habits
More and more of us have taken to cooking and eating at home through the pandemic that's contributing to the grocery supply crunch, too, said Lempert.
"We don't want to keep eating the same thing and are trying to vary home cooking. As we do that, we're buying even more food products," he said. The shortages have also made buying foodgoing into 2022.
Grocery stores certainly are aware of the empty shelves, Lempert said, and they are trying to mitigate panic buying, which only worsens it the situation.
One strategy: Fanning out products. They're doing this by putting out both limited varieties and limited quantities of each product in an attempt to prevent hoarding and stretch out their supplies between deliveries.
Pre-pandemic you might have seen five different varieties of milk across the front row and 10 cartons deep. Now it will be five across and maybe two rows deep," said Lempert.
-- CNN's Nathaniel Meyersohn and Danielle Weiner-Bronner contributed to this story
Arizona Republican Slams Cyber Ninjas After It Shuts Down, Refuses to Release Documents .
Stephen Richter called the controversial company behind the Arizona election audit a "disgrace."Republican leaders of Maricopa County—the most populous in Arizona—have long rejected baseless allegations that President Joe Biden's victory over former President Donald Trump there was fraudulent. They repeatedly criticized Cyber Ninjas, which was hired by Arizona Senate Republicans in late March 2021 to conduct the controversial audit.