US EMPLOYERS INCREASING WAGES TO ATTRACT WORKERS
- Employers in the US are increasing wages to attract workers:
- McDonalds announced that it will increase hourly wages in the US by 10%, bringing the average wage to more than $13/hour
- Chipotle Mexican Grill increased wages to $18/hour from $11
- Target raised wages to $15/hour
- Costco increased wages to $16/hour
- Amazon increased wages in Canada and the US to $17/hour
CRYPTOCURRENCY AND HACKING
- Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid a ransom in bitcoin of $5,000,000 after a cyberattack shut down the pipeline for most of this week.
- The ‘dark’ website which received the payment is no longer accessible
- Ireland’s Health Service shut down their computer systems amid a “significant” cyberattack.
- Caused cancellation of appointments at various facilities including a maternity hospital
- Elon Musk announced that Tesla will NOT be accepting bitcoin as a method of payment for its’ vehicles.
- Reason provided was the environmental impact of bitcoin mining
- Speculation is that there are accounting and SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) questions regarding the booking of sales and profits in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency
- A traffic jam on the Mississippi River near Memphis, TN swelled to 771 barges on Thursday due to a significant crack in a 48-year-old bridge which closed the waterway. Expected to reopen next week.
- Both the bridge and Mississippi river are crucial for crop exports
- Every river-barge taken out of the supply chain adds 70 tractor-trailers to roadways.
- 1/3 of all US bridges require major repair work or replacement with more than 46,000 rated in poor condition (American Road and Transportation Builders Association).
COVID VACCINATION PROGRESS
- Centre for Disease Control says that ‘fully vaccinated’ Americans no longer need to wear masks in most settings, even indoors or in large groups.
- Guidance is designed to encourage Americans to get vaccinated
- 1/3 of Americans are now fully vaccinated
- Ohio Governor offered a $1,000,000 prize draw for citizens who get fully vaccinated.
- Over 25% of EU adults would be unlikely to take a COVID vaccine when it is offered.