Biden to talk oil at Arab summit
US President Joe Biden is set to discuss volatile oil prices during a summit with Arab leaders on Saturday in Saudi Arabia, the final stop of his Middle East tour. The meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second city on the Red Sea coast, will bring together leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council as well as Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. Biden landed Friday in Saudi Arabia, a longtime US ally he once vowed to make a “pariah” over its human rights record, and met with King Salman, de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other top Saudi officials. Tensions had been high between Biden and Prince Mohammed, especially after Biden’s administration released US intelligence findings that Prince Mohammed “approved” an operation targeting journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose gruesome killing in Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate in 2018 spurred global outrage. Washington wants the world’s largest exporter of crude to open the floodgates to bring down soaring gasoline prices, which threaten Democratic chances in November mid-term elections. Biden said Friday he raised the 2018 killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi “at the top of the meeting” with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Italy secures 4 billion cubic metres gas from Algeria
Algeria has decided to increase its gas supplies to Italy by another fou billion cubic meters, starting next week. The additional quota will be delivered by the national company Sonatrach to Eni and other Italian customers. Algeria, writes APS news agency has already supplied Italy since the beginning of the year with 13.9 billion cubic meters of methane, exceeding the forecast volumes by 113%, and expects to deliver six billion cubic metres between now and the end of 2022. Aps recalls that supplies to Italy of Algerian gas were the focus of talks held by the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella, and with the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi.
Tory leaders clash over tax
Tory leadership frontrunners have clashed over how best to fund public services and control inflation in the contest’s first TV debate. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss attacked tax rises introduced under ex-chancellor Rishi Sunak as “wrong” and pledged to reverse them. But Mr Sunak said they were needed to fund the NHS, and accused her of believing in economic “fairy tales”. Rivals also sparred over Boris Johnson, trans rights and trust in politics. All five remaining candidates in the Tory leadership race took part in the Channel 4 TV debate, the first of two this weekend. They come ahead of the next round of MPs’ voting on Monday. Tory MPs will whittle the field down to two final contenders next week, before around 160,000 Tory members decide the party’s next leader in a postal vote.
Ukraine: over 1000 children killed or injured
More than 1,000 children have died or been injured in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, the country’s attorney general’s office has announced, according to Ukrinform. Overall, at least 352 children have been killed to date, while at least 657 are injured, for a total of 1,009. Meanwhile, First Deputy Minister of the Interior, Yevhen Yenin said that since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has launched over 17,300 attacks against civilian targets while just over 300 have hit military targets.
Ivana Trump died of accidental ‘blunt impact’ to torso
Ivana Trump, the first wife of the former US president, died of “blunt impact injuries” to the torso in an accident, New York’s chief medical examiner said on Friday. The statement did not specify the circumstances, but US media reported that police had been investigating whether the 73-year-old died falling down the stairs at her Manhattan home. A spokesperson for the New York Police Department told AFP officers responded to a call at Ivana Trump’s address on the Upper East Side, and found her “unconscious and unresponsive.” She was pronounced dead at the scene, and the statement added that “there does not appear to be any criminality.” Donald Trump announced her death on Thursday, calling her a “wonderful, beautiful, and amazing woman, who led a great and inspirational life.”
Australia to re-instate quarantine pay
Australia will reinstate support payments for casual workers who have to quarantine due to Covid-19, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Saturday, as a fresh wave of Omicron-driven infections sweeps the country. Australia is battling a major virus outbreak driven by the highly transmissible new Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, with authorities warning it could lead to more people ending up in hospitals and further straining the health system. Reuters quotes Albanese saying, “I want to make sure that people aren’t left behind, that vulnerable people are looked after.” Albanese said the leave payments, that ended on June 30 and entitled workers to get up to A$750 for each seven-day quarantine period, will be restored and extended until September 30. Authorities urged people to wear masks indoors and get their booster shots soon as they brace for “millions” of new cases over the coming weeks with Australia confronting a tough winter amid the co-circulation of both Covid-19 and the flu virus. Since the pandemic began, Australia has reported about 8.7 million Covid-19 cases and 10,549 deaths, far lower than many countries.
Women’s Euro 2022: England finish in style
England wrapped up an impressive group stage at Euro 2022 as they comfortably beat Northern Ireland 5-1 having already qualified for the quarter-finals. The Lionesses, who finish top of Group A, will go into the last eight having not conceded a single goal and with three wins from three games. And two-time winners Norway failed to reach the European Championship knockout stage for the second straight tournament after defeat by Austria, who booked their place in the quarter-finals as Group A runners-up. Today’s matches: Denmark v Spain and Finland v Germany, both starting at 9pm.