Wednesday, April 25th


It looks like 2018 will be another challenging year for corn and soybean farmers.

“It’s going to be a tough year, I think, because of low (commodity) prices,” said Kevin Semke, who with his wife Ellen and son and daughter-in-law, Kyle and Tamar Semke, raises about 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans at Semke Farms near Coon Valley. They also do custom farm work such as tillage, planting, harvesting, spraying and fertilizer application, for other farmers.

Farmers have had to cope with low corn and soybean prices for the past few years, Semke said.

U.S. corn prices are expected to average about $3.40 per bushel in 2018, up 3 percent from $3.30 in 2017, U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Robert Johansson said at the agency’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum in late February. U.S. soybean prices are expected to average about $9.25 per bushel in 2018, down 0.5 percent from $9.30 in 2017, he said.

NIPAWIN, Saskatchewan — A crash between a tractor-trailer and a bus carrying a junior league hockey team left 14 people dead in western Canada's Saskatchewan province, police said Friday.

Members of the Humboldt Broncos were headed to the town of Nipawin for a Saskatchewan Junior League playoff game when the crash happened north of Tisdale.

Fourteen others were injured and taken to a hospital. Three were in critical condition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CNN partner CTV.

Twenty-eight people -- including the driver -- were on the bus at the time of the accident, police said.

Authorities have not identified the victims and would not confirm whether they were players or coaches. Junior league hockey teams are for athletes ages 16 to 20.

"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy," Kevin Garinger, the team's president, said in a statement.

Facebook's acknowledgement that most of its 2.2 billion members have probably had their personal data scraped by "malicious actors" is the latest example of the social network's failure to protect its users' data.

+2 At a Glance: Zuckerberg to testify, other probes pending

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress next week. His appearance comes as authorities around the world investigate allegations that the political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica inappropriately accessed data on as many as 87 million Facebook users to influence elections.

Not to mention its seeming inability to even identify the problem until the company was already embroiled in scandal.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters Wednesday that Facebook is shutting down a feature that let people search for Facebook users by phone number or email address. Although that was useful for people who wanted to find others on Facebook, it turns out that unscrupulous types also figured out years ago that they could use it to identify individuals and collect data off their profiles.

President Donald Trump instructed the U.S. trade representative to consider slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods Thursday in a dramatic escalation of the trade dispute between the two countries.

Trump's surprise move came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move earlier this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

And it intensified what was already shaping up to be the biggest trade battle since World War II. Global financial markets had fallen sharply as the world's two biggest economies squared off over Beijing's aggressive trade tactics. But they had calmed down Wednesday and Thursday on hopes the U.S. and China would find a diplomatic solution.

Instead, the White House announced after the markets closed Thursday that Trump had instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate and, if so, to identify which products they should apply to.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook revealed Wednesday that tens of millions more people might have been exposed in the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal than previously thought and said it will restrict the data it allows outsiders to access on its users.

Those developments came as congressional officials said CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify next week, while Facebook unveiled a new privacy policy that aims to explain the data it gathers on users more clearly — but doesn't actually change what it collects and shares.

Facebook is facing its worst privacy scandal in years following allegations that a Trump-affiliated data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica, used ill-gotten data from millions of users to try to influence elections. The company said Wednesday that as many as 87 million people might have had their data accessed — an increase from the 50 million disclosed in published reports.

This Monday, all Facebook users will receive a notice on their Facebook feeds with a link to see what apps they use and what information they have shared with those apps.