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An endless sight of empty shelves to be stark reality for UK consumers

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Brexit, COVID-19 and labour shortfall are among many factors contributing to food shortages across the European nation.

A shortage of delivery drivers also contributing to scarce food supplies

Food and drink shortages in the United Kingdom (UK) caused by Brexit and the pandemic could become permanent as the British government moves to further delay the introduction of import checks.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was planning to introduce checks on European imports following the conclusion of the Brexit transition.

But Brexit Minister David Frost says checks on imported consumable products will be halted by another six months, and will now commence in July 2022.

There was also a requirement to notify border officials of any incoming food products arriving in the UK from Europe, which will also be delayed until January.

The new measures were initially postponed last year as the Covid pandemic took hold of the world, in a bid to avoid British citizens from going without food and other vital supplies.

A bid to fill empty shelves

This latest delay comes as shelves throughout the UK remain empty with supermarkets struggling to keep their shelves fully stocked.

A lack in delivery drivers is also a key contributor, with demand for products outweighing the number of lorry drivers available.

Henry Bloxham of Moors Covert Farm told the BBC that he was asked to dump his milk as it couldn’t be collected due to a shortage of drivers.

“Our costs are rising all the time and I’m just envisioning this winter is going to be very expensive,” Bloxham says.

“Unless we get more price increases going forward into the winter, there will not be milk on the shelves.”

The UK needs an extra 100,000 truck drivers to accomodate for the shortage of food transportation, according to the Road Haulage Association.

In addition, the industry is calling for the government to respond to labour shortages in order to boost their recovery.

“Labour shortages are biting right across the economy,” said CIB director-general Tony Danker.

“These shortages are already affecting business operations and will have a negative impact on the UK’s economic recovery.” 

Europe is the most important source of food for Britons, accounting for 30 percent of the country’s total supply.

World

Fears of a coup as military force arrests Sudanese leaders

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Unidentified Sudanese military forces have reportedly arrested four cabinet ministers and one civilian

There are also reports that the military have surrounded the house of the country’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, as the leader remains in house arrest.

It comes as the PM warns that Sudan is facing the “worst crisis” of its transition to civilian rule following the removal of its long-time ruler more than two years ago.

The remarks on Friday come as the country reels from deep divisions among the civilian and military political factions that have been leading its transition under an August 2019 power-sharing deal with the aim of leading the country towards free and fair elections.

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Sport

Michael Jordan’s sneakers sell for record $1.47m at auction

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A pair of basketball shoes worn by US basketball star Michael Jordan have sold for a record price at a Las Vegas auction

Jordan wore the pair of Nike Air Ships during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls in 1984.

The shoes were what founded the iconic partnership between Jordan and Nike – now a signature global brand.

The sale also marks the highest price ever paid for game-worn footwear of any sport, easily beating out the previous record of $615,000 paid for a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s in 2020.

The price still falls short of the most expensive sneakers ever sold.

Recent sales are just the beginning of rare shoe market that’s beginning to soar.

In April, rapper Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes sold for $1.8 million at a private sale.

The record price for sneakers has broken several times in recent years, and the market is now considered much more niche than ever before, attractive interest from leading collectors as well as the general public.

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World

Ship spews toxic gas off Canada’s coast

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Sixteen people have been evacuated as fire rages onboard the Zim Kingston container ship off the coast of Canada

The vessel was en route to Vancouver when it caught fire on Saturday, and has since been expelling toxic gas which officials say is not a risk to people on land.

The coast guard reported the ship was carrying more than 52,000 kg of chemicals located in two of the ten containers that caught fire.

“The ship is on fire and expelling toxic gas,” the Canadian coast guard said. It added that 10 containers had been affected by the fire.

“Currently there is no safety risk to people on shore, however the situation will continue to be monitored,” it said.

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