After almost a week of dredging, digging and towing – and with the help of the moon – rescue teams yesterday freed the giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
As a result, traffic has resumed for the hundreds of ships waiting at both ends of the canal. And while the estimates have varied enormously, the delay is also costly. “The disruption caused the canal authorities in Egypt to lose $ 95 million in revenue,” Peter Goodman of The Times told me.
And even if the boat is free, the disturbance is not over.
“It’s not just like flipping a switch,” Vivian Yee, Times bureau chief in Cairo, told me. Now that the ship is out of range, the backlog will take at least a few days, if not weeks, to resolve.
Strong winds from a sandstorm caused the ship, the Ever Given, to turn sideways into the channel and get stuck, its operators said. But shipping experts have suggested that while the wind likely played a role in the crisis, human error could also have.
Last year, nearly 19,000 ships crossed the canal without accident, according to the head of the Suez Canal Authority, the Egyptian agency that operates the waterway. And high winds are not unusual in the area. “We have seen worse winds,” Ahmad al-Sayed, a security guard, told The Times, “but nothing like this has ever happened before.
The crews who worked to unearth the ship depended largely on forces beyond their control: the moon and the tides. Sunday’s full moon offered a a few extra inches of tidal flow and gave the workers the boost they needed to free the ship.
Not a normal ship
It is rare that a maritime disturbance makes international news. But it wasn’t your average accident. On the one hand, the Suez Canal is not like other waterways. “It is a vital channel connecting factories in Asia to affluent customers in Europe, as well as a major channel for oil,” Peter writes.
And the Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. “From a distance it is difficult to understand its size,” Vivian told us. “From dry land, all the containers on top look like Legos – and then you realize each of those Legos is 20 or 40 feet long.”
A global ripple effect
In addition to shipping delays, traffic jams also affected manufacturing. There are a limited amount of large containers in the world, and many of them have been stranded at sea – creating a backlog goods in factories waiting to be boxed, Vivian says.
The crisis highlights a vulnerability of our interconnected world, Peter told us: “We have built a global distribution network that relies on goods arriving where they are needed, when they are needed, with little room for improvement. ‘mistake.
The story: It took 10 years of hard work – during which tens of thousands of Egyptian workers died – to build the canal in the 19th century.
For more: This is how giant container ships are built.
THE LAST NEWS
The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the murder of George Floyd, started yesterday.
The prosecution argued that Chauvin acted with excessive force and released a video that showed him kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. “You can believe your eyes that this is homicide,” a prosecutor told the jury.
The defense argued that Floyd’s death was caused by underlying medical conditions and a drug overdose, and urged jurors to examine the evidence beyond the video.
This two minute video shows the key moments of the first day of the trial.
Other great stories
After the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill, does the United States need a national terrorism law?
Yes: Making domestic terrorism a federal crime would help law enforcement punish violent extremists, says Elizabeth neumann, a former Trump administration official. It would also discourage further violence, Mary McCord and Jason Blazakis write in Lawfare.
No: “The problem is not the lack of laws. It is a lack of will ”to prosecute extremists using existing law, the ACLU Hina Shamsi valorize. And some progressives fear the government could exploit the law to limit Americans’ rights or target minority communities, Vox’s Nicole narea Explain.
Makeover: The beauty industry has entered a phase of total domination of pop culture. Celebrities, social media stars and lifestyle influencers are change the way the sale works.
Lives lived: A staunch advocate for the disabled in New York City, Edith Prentiss fought to make the city she loved more navigable for everyone. She died at 69.
Chinatowns are in trouble
Chinese restaurants have suffered more during the pandemic than most other American restaurants.
Their activity began to decline earlier – in January of last year, when news broke that a new virus was circulating in Wuhan, China. Restaurants have also had to deal with a rise in anti-Asian racism – “vandalized, robbed, attacked online in racist reviews on Yelp,” like The Washington Post reported. Xi’an Famous Foods in New York has started early closing after two employees were punched in the face on their way to and from work.
Grace Young, a decorated cookbook author, fears traditional Chinatowns, like New York City and San Francisco, will never recover from the pandemic, and she has spent months trying to attract attention to the problem. “When you walk into these restaurants, you step back in time, and that’s a privilege,” Young said. on a recent episode of “The Splendid Table”, a food podcast.
For anyone who wants to help out Chinese restaurants, Francis Lam, host of “The Splendid Table,” offered a suggestion, “If you can, order yourself some Chinese take-out. Get more. Leftovers are your friend. In The Times, Bonnie Tsui has more tips to support restaurants. – David Leonhardt
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
Catch of algae rich in umami creamy asparagus pasta to the next level.
What to watch
See a opera short film featuring drag queen Sasha Velor, a “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner and lip-syncing legend.