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World’s biggest meat supplier allegedly receives ransom demand from Russia

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JBS Foods paid ransom to hackers.

The world’s largest meat processor JBS says they were asked to pay ransom in an alleged Russian cyber attack.

The hack forced JBS to close some plants. Experts worry this may put global food distribution at risk and wiping out nearly a fifth of America’s meat production.

JBS says it received the demand from “a criminal organisation likely based in Russia”.

The company added that the attack also affected its operations in Australia and North America. However, JBS said the attack didn’t impact its backup servers.

The attack on JBS forced the shutdown of some of the world’s largest slaughterhouses. And there are signs that closures are spreading.

The White House statement on JBS comes as yet another major US sector finds its operations under duress. This comes less than a month after a major cyber attack temporarily shut down the Colonial Pipeline network.

The FBI is now investigating the incident.

Majority of Plants Will Be Operational Wednesday

JBS says it’s made “significant progress” to resolve the cyber attack.

The owner of JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. said some of the company’s pork, poultry and prepared foods plants were operational. Furthermore, the company’s beef facility in Canada has resumed production.

“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat.”

JBS USA Chief Executive Officer Andre Nogueira in A statement TO BLOOMBERG

“We have cyber-security plans in place to address these types of issues and we are successfully executing those plans.”

How does this impact the global food supply chain?

The cyber attack on JBS comes as the latest threat to global food supply chains.

The attack focused on the Brazilian company’s computer networks, impacting the five biggest beef plants in the US, all up handling 22 thousand 500 cattle a day.

It shut JBS’ Australian and North American computer networks and sidelined two shifts. This further halted processing at one of Canada’s largest meatpacking plants, but that beef facility has since resumed production.

Australian Operations were also down, whereas operations in Mexico and the U.K. were not affected.

Australia’s federal government took action to minimise impact on supply chain, Federal Agriculture Minister David said the technology and “systems they [JBS] use, go to the heart of the quality assurance of the beef that they process.”

“So we need to make sure that we can get that up and going to give confidence, not just to consumers here in Australia, but also to our export markets,” he said on Tuesday.

Despite the impact, the company was able to ship product from nearly all of its facilities to its customers

Concerns after cyber attack on U.S pipeline impacted gas supply

JBS has 47 facilities across Australia and operates the largest network of production facilities and feedlots in the country.

Hackers have the commodities complex in their crosshairs, with the JBS attack coming just three weeks after Darkside targeted the biggest US gasoline pipeline.

The Colonial Pipeline experienced a cyberattack that shut down its nationwide network on 7 May. As such, millions of barrels of petrol, diesel and jet fuel stopped flowing.

The hackers are from Russia’s “DarkSide”, who allegedly steal from larger corporations and give the ransom funds to charity.

After the cyberattack, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to strengthen cybersecurity defences across the US.

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Business

Survival of the richest: Dubai Govt pumps more money into Emirates

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Emirates has received an additional $1.1 billion from the Dubai government

After recording a massive loss of $5.5 billion on Tuesday, the latest injection Emirates has received has risen to $3.1 billion, including $2 billion disclosed last year.

The airliner which made a $288 million profit the previous year saw saw revenue plunge 66% to $8.4 billion.

The international airline operates a fleet of 113 Airbus A380’s and 146 Boeing 777’s.

Emirates doesn’t fly or operate local/domestic routes and has been heavily impacted by international border closures in many countries such as Australia, which remains closed.

Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says the recovery from the pandemic would be ‘patchy’, cautioning that no one could predict when the industry’s worst crisis would end.

The airliner stated that it had filled just 44.3% of seats on flights in the past year, down from an average of 78.4% a year earlier.

EK carried 6.6 million passengers, its lowest in two decades.

The airline cut capacity by 82.6% compared with the previous year as it centred operations around its 146 Boeing 777s.

Emirates reverted 19 of its Boeing 777 aircraft, stripping the seats to carry more cargo.

Most of the airline’s Airbus A380s have been grounded. Four more have been removed from operation and are unlikely to return before their scheduled retirement, it said.

The biggest loss in 30 years

It was the airline’s biggest annual loss, and only its third-ever following losses in 1987-88 and 1985-86, its first year in operation.

Emirates stated that the government who is its sole shareholder, would continue to support the airline.

Emirates has transformed Dubai into a major international travel hub over the past three decades, bringing billions of dollars from tourists into the country.

Both Emirates and Qatar Airways have no domestic markets to cushion against border restrictions and closures.

Qatar and Etihad results

Fellow Gulf carrier Qatar Airways, which is due to report results for its fiscal year ending March 31, has also received $3 billion from its state owner.

Abu Dhabi government-owned Etihad, which posted a core operating loss of $1.7 billion in 2010, has also slashed jobs and retired aircraft such as the superjumbo A380.

The pandemic has seen passenger revenue continue to slump.

In 2019, revenue fell 74% to $1.2 billion from $4.8 billion in 2019, as passenger numbers dropped 76% to 4.2 million, down from 17.5 million in 2019.

Etihad has recorded losses for the past five years.

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U.S, EU end 17-year Airbus-Boeing conflict

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The US and Europe have ended an Airbus-Boeing dispute as they eye off threats from China.

The two sides will suspend tariffs imposed as part of a trade battle for the next five years.

The two sides have been battling since 2004 in parallel cases at the World Trade Organisation over subsidies for U.S. planemaker Boeing and European rival Airbus, which each argued exposed the other to unfair competition.

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A350 takes off at the aircraft builder’s headquarters in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

The move is set to improve trans-Atlantic relations between the US and Europe, as they seek to counter China’s rising economic influence.

The US says they struck the truce at a summit in Brussels to end ongoing disputes over government subsidies for the world’s leading commercial plane makers.

They agreed back in March to a four-month suspension of tariffs on $11.5 billion of goods from EU cheese and wine to U.S. tobacco and spirits, which the WTO had sanctioned. Businesses have so far paid more than $3.3 billion in duties.

“Grounding the Airbus-Boeing dispute delivers a major confidence boost for EU-U.S. relations,”

EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis told a news conference after an EU-U.S. summit with U.S. President Joe Biden.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai stated both nations agreed to clear statements on what support could be given to large civil aircraft producers.

They would also work to counter investments in aircraft by “non-market actors” – referring specifically to China.

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Jaguar Land Rover is developing a hydrogen-powered car

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Jaguar Land Rover will develop a new hydrogen-powered prototype of its iconic Defender SUV

The prototype program, known as Project Zeus, is part of JLR’s larger aim to only produce zero-tailpipe emissions vehicles by 2036.

Hydrogen only emits water making it ideal for larger vehicles with longer driving ranges, according to the car-maker.

It follows the company working towards cutting its tail-pipe emissions to zero by 2036.

The venture will be partly funded by the UK Government and will begin testing by the end of this year.

The UK plans to ban car sales that run entirely on combustion engines from 2030.

JLR has also made a commitment to have zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products, and operations by 2039.

The automaker has also tapped AVL, Delta Motorsport, Marelli Automotive Systems, and the UK Battery Industrialization Center to help develop the prototype.

The testing program is designed to help engineers understand how a hydrogen powertrain can be developed that would meet the performance and capability (like towing and off-roading) standards that Land Rover customers expect.

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