After nearly a week of dredging, dredging and towing – and with the help of the moon – rescue crews yesterday freed the giant container ship stuck in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. important parts of the world.
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 while the ship is free, the disruption 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 a role.
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 few extra inches of tidal flow and gave 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’s a vital channel connecting factories in Asia to affluent customers in Europe, as well as a major oil channel,” writes Peter.
And the Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. “From a distance it’s 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 number of large containers in the world, and many of them are stranded at sea, creating a backlog of 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 getting where they are needed, when they are needed, with little room for money. error.”
The story: It took 10 years of hard work – in 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 charged with the murder of George Floyd, began yesterday.
The prosecution argued that Chauvin acted with excessive force and released a video showing 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 look at the evidence beyond the video.
This two-minute video shows key moments from 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 future violence, write Mary McCord and Jason Blazakis in Lawfare.
No: “The problem is not the lack of laws. It’s a lack of will ”to prosecute extremists using existing law, argues Hina Shamsi of the ACLU. And some progressives fear that the government could exploit the law to limit the rights of Americans or target minority communities, says Nicole Narea de Vox.
Makeover: The beauty industry has entered a phase of total domination of pop culture. Celebrities, social media stars, and lifestyle influencers are changing how selling works.
Lives lived: A staunch advocate for people with disabilities in New York, Edith Prentiss fought to make the city she loved more navigable for everyone. She died at age 69.
Chinatowns are in trouble
Chinese restaurants 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, stolen, attacked online in racist Yelp reviews,” as the Washington Post reported. Xi’an Famous Foods in New York City began closing early after two employees were punched in the face as they walked 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 draw attention to the problem. “When you walk into these restaurants, you step back in time, and that’s a privilege,” Young said in 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,” suggested, “If you can, order yourself some Chinese take-out. Get more. Leftovers are your friend. In The Times, Bonnie Tsui has more tips for supporting restaurants. – David Leonhardt
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
The umami-rich seaweed takes creamy asparagus pasta to the next level.
What to watch
Watch an opera short starring drag queen Sasha Velor, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and lip-syncing legend.
Meanwhile, on TikTok
Young artists bypass art schools and student loans, quit their daily jobs, and pursue full-time artistic careers on TikTok. But what happens when the audience crumbles and imitators arrive?