Caution

Ten members of extended family lost: Cousins Cordarrly Jones and Demetria Jones have a hard time counting all the relatives they lost to a monster tornado that wiped out a rural community in Alabama. Stunned by the loss of 10 relatives and worried about still more hospitalized with serious injuries, the cousins stood Tuesday amid the wreckage of a row of family homes in tiny Beauregard, near the Georgia state line. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Dairies forced to dump milk: Some Minnesota dairy farmers are being forced to dump their milk after heavy snowfall obstructed roads and damaged farms last month. The Twin Cities saw the snowiest February on record with 39 inches of snow, preventing many tanker trucks from getting down rural roads to pick up milk. READ MORE

Fighting African swine fever: USDA today announced additional steps to keep African swine fever (ASF) from entering the U.S., even as the devastating disease spreads internationally. READ MORE

Historic cold in Colorado: Some parts of eastern Colorado are seeing the coldest temperatures for early March in nearly 60 years, according to the National Weather Service. Many places on the northeast plains fell below zero Sunday morning, including Denver International Airport with a low of -6 degrees. READ MORE

And on the northern plains: After much anticipation, some of the most frigid air this winter – and this late in the year on record – descended on the Lower 48 states this weekend. Widespread temperatures in the minus-20s to minus-30s or colder invaded the northern tier of states on Sunday morning, sending wind chills below minus-50 in spots. READ MORE

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Report details potential effects of USMCA: A new report from Purdue University agricultural economists on the potential effects on U.S. agricultural exports as Congress prepares to vote on the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade pact paints a grim picture if certain conditions occur. READ MORE

Trade gap soars: The U.S. posted its widest monthly trade gap since 2008 in December and a record annual deficit in goods as sturdy economic growth underpinned higher spending by American consumers and businesses. Read more HERE and HERE

TERRORISM

No, ISIS isn’t gone: ISIS-linked media groups are calling on supporters to escalate “media jihad” on a variety of popular platforms. A report to the U.N. Security Council warns the group’s financial assets (estimated at between $50 million and $300 million) have largely been concealed, with a strategic view to funding larger-scale attacks once the opportunity arises again.” READ MORE

EMPLOYEES

Wage increase leads to schedule cuts: Amazon enacted a $15 minimum wage for all its employees on Nov. 1, including workers at Whole Foods. Since the wage increase, Whole Food employees have told UK’s Guardian newspaper that they have experienced widespread cuts to schedules, often negating wage gains. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

The future of rural internet: When you’re running a business all you want is good cell coverage and a strong internet signal. If you’re in rural America, both of those can be hard to come by. That could change in the future.  READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Segway inventor teams with FedEx: The inventor of the two-wheeled Segway personal vehicle is teaming up with FedEx to launch a same-day delivery robot. It’s battery-powered and can travel 10 miles an hour, carrying up to 100 pounds. READ MORE

BORDER SECURITY

A record-breaking surge at the border: The number of migrant families crossing the southwest border has once again broken records, nearly doubling from a year ago and suggesting that the Trump administration’s aggressive policies have not discouraged new migration to the U.S. Read more HERE and HERE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

Hyperinflation destroys Venezuelan manufacturing: In Venezuela, a two-million-percent inflation rate is ravaging savings and salaries, devastating the manufacturing sector by suppressing demand. Makers of products from cars to cosmetics to beer now operate at less than 20 percent of capacity, and owners are running out of capital to pay salaries and stock raw materials. READ MORE