Your April 20 news briefing

Your April 20 news briefing
FILE PHOTO: Travellers wearing face masks queue at the check-in counters of the Hong Kong International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, China, March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

India and the wheat shortage

FILE PHOTO: A driver unloads a truck at a grain store during barley harvesting in the village of Zhovtneve, Ukraine, July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Amid the war, vital food supplies from Ukraine (one of the world’s biggest wheat exporters) have been blocked from leaving seaports and the country’s fields bombed, which means fewer crops to harvest. Farms in Ukraine have harvested about 15 million tons of corn since autumn – most of which should have been sent out to buyers by now. But, rather than shipping out as usual, Ukraine’s blocked seaports mean that exports have to make their way by rail slowly. Russia and Ukraine together make up 25% of the global wheat market. So now, India, also a top producer, is preparing to bridge gaps in global stocks, planning to ship out around 12 million tons to the rest of the world this year.

UK’s Johnson says he won’t “lecture” India

Boris Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a news briefing with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine April 9, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is headed to India to strengthen security ties with the country. Some in the UK have been disappointed with India’s stance on Russia, but Johnson said he wasn’t looking to “lecture” his counterpart, Narendra Modi, about the country’s position. Instead, he said they’re going to look for ways to reduce Indian dependence on Russian oil and defense equipment.

Meanwhile, back home in the UK, Parliament will be holding a vote on whether or not Johnson lied about breaking COVID protocols during the pandemic to throw parties – so maybe it’s a good time to be out of town.

Hong Kong flight suspensions

Successful flight and hotel room bookings are only the beginning of inbound Hong Kong travelers’ worries. The next step is hoping their flight actually follows through. Airline routes may suddenly face a seven-day suspension if three or more passengers on the same flight are found to be infected with COVID or if some don’t have the required documents. And when that happens, inbound travelers have to scramble, often spending even more money on other travel options. But because of these restrictions, rival hubs like Singapore and Seoul have benefited in return.

Netflix sub drop

FILE PHOTO: The Netflix logo is pictured on a television in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

According to a statement Tuesday, Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter, and this is just the beginning. This is the first time the streaming giant has lost subscribers in around a decade, and it missed Wall Street expectations, which had the company with a sluggish gain of only 2.5 million subscribers in the first quarter.

If you share passwords with your friends and fam, Netflix is blaming you, by the way. You and Jeff Bezos, Disney, Warner Bros and all the other players saturating the space. The company also wants to manage expectations, saying that next quarter will probably be even worse, with around a loss of 2 million subscribers.

The end of Netflix account sharing?

Now the Netflix crew is especially motivated to get everyone using your Netflix account to pay up. Just read this ominous part of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ message to investors:

“We’re working on how to monetize sharing. You know, we’ve been thinking about that for a couple years. But you know, when we were growing fast, it wasn’t the high priority to work on. And now we’re working super hard on it. Remember, these are over 100 million households that already are choosing to view Netflix. They love the service. We’ve just gotta get paid in some degree for them.”

In other news…

🇭🇰Hong Kong saw 600 cases yesterday.

🇨🇳China saw over 21,500 cases and seven new deaths.

👨‍⚖️Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are in the middle of a defamation lawsuit. Tuesday, Depp spoke to the jury and said that he never hit her or any other woman in his life.

🏈After Ronaldo and Rodriguez announced the death of their baby boy yesterday, Liverpool fans sang the club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at the seventh minute, Ronaldo’s number at United, of the league’s match.

💸We mentioned how lowly Musk thinks of the Twitter board and what they do for the company. To make his point clearer, he tweeted that the board, which currently gets paid around US$3 million per year, will be paid nothing if he takes over.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Julianna Barcela, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai