Pepper Shortage Sends Sriracha Prices Soaring

Pepper Shortage Sends Sriracha Prices Soaring

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The Supreme Court is set to decide any day on whether to block President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan for tens of millions of Americans. But for borrowers like 39-year-old Michael Kilman, a father of four, it’s the impending resumption of payments this fall that’s causing the most anxiety.

Kilman, an adjunct professor and freelance digital media creator, took out $88,000 in loans throughout his higher education journey. He’s not alone: 8.4 million people owe between $40,000 and $100,000, and 3.5 million have balances over $100,000 that they’ll have to restart payments on sometime in October.


Russia’s Federal Security Service said it closed its criminal investigation into the armed insurrection led by the Wagner mercenary group and its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin. The development comes just hours after a fiery speech by President Vladimir Putin accusing the mutiny leaders of betrayal.

The White House announced a new $42 billion investment in high-speed internet that will target underserved and often rural communities, with the goal of providing high-speed broadband access to all Americans by 2030. It’s part of a broader “Bidenomics” campaign to push the president’s economic policies.


Publishers Clearing House will refund customers $18.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging the company used deceptive website design to convince consumers that making purchases was required to either win a sweepstakes or increase their chances of winning, and tacked on surprise shipping fees to purchases. It’s not the first time the marketing and sweepstakes firm has been accused in lawsuits of misleading customers.

A shortage of a Mexican chili pepper used to make Huy Fong Foods’ popular sriracha continues to hamper production of the green-capped sriracha bottle, leading to a surge in prices. A crop failure caused by an ongoing drought exacerbated by climate change is to blame, researchers say.


Eric Schmidt, billionaire and former CEO of Google parent Alphabet, warned Monday that generative artificial intelligence will make the 2024 elections a “mess” and questioned social media’s ability to rein in false information on the burgeoning technology. Tech giants like Alphabet, Meta and Twitter cut thousands of content moderator roles as a cost-cutting measure over the last year, which Schmidt says is a “big issue.”

The International Monetary Fund warned crypto bans “may not be effective,” signaling a softening stance toward crypto bans. Previously, the IMF called for a “coordinated response” to the rise of crypto that it warned could undermine the global monetary system.


Fox News anchor Jesse Watters will take over Tucker Carlson’s 8 p.m. primetime slot, the right-wing network announced on Monday. Watters started at Fox as a correspondent for Bill O’Reilly and his show, Jesse Watters Primetime, has averaged 2.6 million viewers per episode so far this year in the 7 p.m. time slot.

In his first comments since the brief armed rebellion in Russia, Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the mercenary Wagner Group, says the march he led toward Moscow was a response to being attacked, not an attempt to overthrow Russian leadership. Prigozhin agreed to stop the revolt over the weekend in exchange for not being prosecuted, ending the biggest threat to Vladimir Putin’s rule in years.

MORE: The peace deal led Western officials to speculate that Putin’s grip on power in the country may have been significantly weakened, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning that the short-lived rebellion “shows real cracks” within Russia. President Joe Biden unequivocally said the West had nothing to do with it.


A group of U.S. investors including Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds, Michael B. Jordan and Rob McElhenney have agreed to acquire a 24% stake in the Renault-owned Alpine Formula 1 team, the company announced Monday, the latest sign of growing U.S. interest in the world’s premier motorsport event. The deal values Alpine, ranked fifth on the team standings for the 2023 F1 season, at $900 million.


Almost 2,000 flights were canceled by Monday afternoon, many due to storms on the East Coast, adding to a tough weekend for airlines as they try to handle increased travel demands and avoid critiques in recent summers of poor service. LaGuardia Airport in New York City saw the highest share of flights canceled among U.S. airports.

The Federal Aviation Administration “lacks a plan to address” an ongoing shortage of air traffic control personnel, an independent government audit found, as summer passenger volume increases to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently said it would take years for the FAA to hire and train the optimal number of air traffic controllers.


Everything You Need To Know About Lab-Grown Meat Now That It’s Here

TOPLINE The innovation that is lab-grown meat—or “cultivated meat” as industry insiders have decided to call it—is not the great entrepreneurial success story of the next generation.

Investors do have a right to feel giddy, as last week U.S.-based startups Good Meat and Upside Foods got the nod to go to market from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. But a variety of factors will hinder the adoption and growth of no-kill meat.

Not least of which is the cost: in the past five years, billions of dollars have been spent on developing the 100-plus startups in the industry. They will need billions more.

To produce lab-grown meat, manufacturers use what’s called a bioreactor—the same machinery drug companies use to make vaccines. They’re expensive and have long waitlists. Also costly is construction of the factories in which to put the bioreactors. Good Meat CEO Josh Tetrick says a facility able to produce 30 million pounds of cultivated meat would cost as much as $650 million.

As a result, prices will be high but not high enough to turn a profit. Brands have decided to take substantial losses so that the prices of cultivated-meat dishes are in line with what ordinary customers are used to. Lab-grown meat may never make money, and the cost structure is expected to be out of whack for years, if not decades, and many of the folks trying lab-grown meat now for the first time may never see a time when the products are profitable.

WHY IT MATTERS “Profitability is very much years off because the biggest challenge ahead of them is can we make it at millions of tons a year and ultimately remotely compete with conventional meat,” says investor Lisa Feria, who backs Upside Foods as well as a host of its competitors, and predicts that a lot of startups will eventually merge or be acquired by large meat companies like Tyson and JBS.

MORE Inside Costco’s Billion-Dollar Bet On $4.99 Rotisserie Chickens


About half of Americans were not born when the 1984 film “Footloose” was released. The median age of Americans increased by 0.2 years to a record-high of 38.9 years in 2022, per U.S. Census data. An aging population could contribute to workforce shortages and face health problems as rates of obesity and other conditions climb:

59%: The share of counties that saw their median ages go up from 2021 to 2022

44.8 years: The median age in Maine, the state with the highest median age

31.9 years: The median age in Utah, which had the youngest median age


When you aren’t selected for a job, you can ask the decision-makers what you could do differently in the future, but also collect feedback along the way. Confirm where you are in the process after a job interview, ask for clarification about any hesitations, tailor your closing pitch to the company’s priorities, but in the end, don’t read too much into any one decision.



State Sen. Sarah McBride announced her run for U.S. House Monday, hoping to be the first transgender person to serve in Congress, even as GOP-led states continue to pass laws restricting transgender rights. Which state is this candidate from?

A. Virginia

B. California

C. Delaware

D. Oregon

Check your answer.


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