Iraq has only 190,000 tons of rice left for food program: Trade Ministry

An Iraqi farmer plants amber rice in the Mishkhab region, central Iraq. (AFP/File)
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Updated 01 June 2020

Iraq has only 190,000 tons of rice left for food program: Trade Ministry

  • The country needs around 1-1.25 million tons of rice a year to support the food rationing initiative

BAGHDAD: Iraq has only 190,000 tons of rice available in its coffers for its food rationing program, the Trade Ministry said in a statement late on Saturday.

The country needs around 1-1.25 million tons of rice a year to support the program.

In March, the ministry pleaded for money from the state’s budget to build three months’ supply of strategic wheat and rice stockpiles as Iraq grappled with the spread of the new coronavirus.

The ministry renewed its call for more funds, saying the allocations were crucial, despite “difficulties” with the budget, because many Iraqis are “struggling to provide their daily food due to tough economic conditions amid the coronavirus crisis.”

Iraq, a major Middle East wheat and rice buyer, was politically gridlocked after former Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was ousted by nationwide anti-corruption protests, hampering efforts to get a state budget approved before the start of the calendar year.

Iraq’s grain board, which falls under the Trade Ministry, holds regular international tenders to import wheat and rice for the rationing program, which also covers cooking oil, flour and sugar.


Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

Updated 03 August 2020

Chinese artificial intelligence company files $1.4 billion lawsuit against Apple

  • Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004

SHANGHAI: Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology Co., also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
The company is calling for $1.43 billion in damages and demands that Apple cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” products that infringe on the patent, it said in a social media post.
Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment. Reuters was not immediately available to find a copy of the court filing.
The lawsuit marks the continuation of a row that has been ongoing for nearly a decade.
Shanghai Zhizhen first sued Apple for patent infringement in 2012 regarding its voice recognition technology. In July, China’s Supreme People’s court ruled that the patent was valid.