Nidal Hussain clutches a shopping bag as she crosses the four-lane street, weaving through cars and trucks that inch along a main thoroughfare in central Baghdad.
It's late morning under a sweltering sun, and Hussain has joined men, women and children walking to a market where canopied stalls line sidewalks and sometimes spill into the street. It's part of her near daily ritual of buying fresh bread, vegetables, fruits and fish to feed her family.
She steps over broken concrete and puddles of fetid water to get to the Karrada market, named for the central Baghdad neighborhood where it sits.
"Shetreed," a vegetable seller asks Hussain. What do you want?
She inspects a tomato from a green plastic crate, puts it back and chooses another.
Some of these are not that good, she says.
What do you expect with all the trouble? he says.
Hitting the grocery store is getting more costly.
Beef prices are at a record high, and the cost of other staples, such as milk, butter, eggs, fruit and vegetables are climbing. With a severe drought ravaging farms across most of California, prices are at risk of shooting significantly higher this year.
Like in a scene from an apocalyptic parable, dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota.
An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.
But ranchers say they are the real victims.
A massive molasses spill this week in Honolulu Harbor could lead to an increase in the number of sharks, barracuda and eels as well as bacteria in the area, the Hawaii Department of Health warned.
"While molasses is not harmful to the public directly, the substance is polluting the water, causing fish to die and could lead to an increase in predator species," the health department said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
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