Oil futures prices briefly rose to a record $80 a barrel Wednesday afternoon after the government reported a surprisingly large drop in crude oil inventories and declines in gasoline supplies and refinery activity. Other energy futures prices also rose. The report from the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration suggested oil supplies are tightening as demand remains strong.
Be it fettuccine, linguine or spaghetti, Italians will soon be paying up to 20 percent more for their pasta. Consumer groups are calling for a one-day pasta strike for today — not against eating it, but against buying it — to protest the increase. But producers say the strike targeting Italy’s national dish is wrongheaded because the price is linked to a global rise in the cost of grain.