Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

1. Cold-pressed

Extreme drought last year cut Germany’s potato crop, Europe’s largest, by 30%. Now Italy’s olive harvest has been mashed 57% as result of climate change, and the country might have to import olive oil by April. The worst olive crop in 25 years sparked protests by thousands of Italian farmers wearing gilet arancioni — orange vests — in Rome. Reports say olive trees across the Mediterranean have been hit by freak events that mirror climate change predictions — erratic rainfall, early spring frosts, strong winds and summer droughts. Italy’s Coldiretti farmers’ union estimates that the cost of the olive oil collapse this year has already reached €1bn.

2. Is no one clean?

Three high-profile politicians have resigned from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government after accusations that he and top aides tried to shield SNC-Lavalin, one of the world’s largest engineering companies, from a corruption trial involving $36m in bribes paid to Libyan officials when Muammar Gaddafi was in power. Former attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould says she was pressured to cut a deal with the firm, which is based in Quebec, to save jobs in a province whose votes are important to Trudeau’s Liberal Party. Polls show the clean-cut PM’s popularity is slipping ahead of October’s elections.

3. Great white hope

The first map of the DNA of great white sharks has revealed mutations that protect the animals against cancer and other illnesses. Scientists hope further research will help treatment for cancer and age-related illnesses in humans. The research was carried out by a team of scientists at the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.