Social Security to become unable to pay full benefits sooner than previously estimated – MarketWatch
Social Security’s trust funds will become unable to pay full benefits starting in 2034, one year earlier than estimated last year, its trustees projected Tuesday, as the COVID-19 pandemic forces a reassessment of the giant federal program’s finances.
The U.S. government also said Medicare’s hospital insurance fund will be depleted by 2026, or at the same time as predicted in 2020. It issued annual trustees reports on both programs Tuesday.
“The pandemic and its economic impact have had an effect on Social Security’s Trust Funds, and the future course of the pandemic is still uncertain,” said the Social Security Administration’s acting commissioner, Kilolo Kijakazi, in a statement.
Direct Hit to Key Export Elevators, 22 Barges on the Loose: Logistical Nightmare Unfolds from Hurricane Ida – AgWeb
Hurricane Ida’s destructive winds are wreaking havoc on a vital export shipping vein, as grain elevators and barge traffics continue to be tangled from the impacts of the hurricane this week.
Monday, reports surfaced that Hurricane Ida damaged a Louisiana grain export elevator owned by Cargill Inc. It was said to have “sustained significant damage.” Ken Erickson, senior vice president of agribusiness with IHS market, focuses on transportation and infrastructure. He says as the destruction continues to surface, it’s apparent that the U.S. export program could run into some serious delays as the area works to recovery from the impacts of Hurricane Ida.
In El Salvador, “chivo” is slang for “cool.” It’s also the name of a new bitcoin wallet app, which president Nayib Bukele plans to launch on Sept. 7, the day the nation becomes the first in the world to adopt bitcoin as one of its national currencies.
But Bukele, the tech-savvy 40-year-old who has made bitcoin adoption happen, ought to know that coolness can’t be forced. In recent days, some citizens and economists who question the wisdom of Bukele’s bold plan are making that much clear with street protests.
Leaded petrol has been eliminated after the world’s last remaining stocks were used up last month, the U.N.’s Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Monday, after heading a 19-year campaign to end use of the poisonous substance that poses major health and environment risks.
Algeria, the only country still pumping leaded petrol into vehicles, exhausted its final stocks in July, UNEP said.
The agency said the petrol contaminates air, soil and drinking water and can cause heart disease, stroke and cancer. Some studies have shown it harms brain development, especially in children.
Information about potential environmental threats caused by Hurricane Ida have been slow in coming, but initial reports to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center and the state Department of Environmental Quality confirm there were releases of crude oil, fuel oils and a variety of chemicals in numerous locations in southeastern Louisiana on the day before and the day of the storm.
The information that’s available is not complete or comprehensive, consisting of initial call-in or emailed reports by company officials or others to the two agencies. They include releases of different chemicals by refineries and chemical plants when flares were extinguished by Ida’s winds, as well as the possible release of sewage and wastewater in numerous locations in Jefferson Parish when power was lost, knocking out 95% of the parish pump stations that move waste through underground pipes.
A growing number of states are rolling out digital credentials commonly known as vaccine passports and taking on an initiative the Biden administration signaled this spring that it would own by issuing nationwide standards.
The rise of the Delta variant and a surge of counterfeit vaccination cards have added urgency to an effort that could speed the reopening of the country but has been a flashpoint for critics on the right, who view use of the credentials for certain activities as government overreach with possible privacy concerns.