Biden blasts OPEC for ‘short-sighted’ big oil cut
The OPEC+ alliance of oil-exporting countries on Wednesday decided to sharply cut production to support sagging oil prices – a move that could deal the struggling global economy another blow and raise politically-sensitive pump prices for US drivers just ahead of key national elections. At their first face-to-face meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, energy ministers meeting at the Vienna headquarters of the OPEC oil cartel cut production by two million barrels per day starting November. The price of Brent crude went up 1.5% to $93 after the news.
The decision sparked immediate rebuke from US President Joe Biden’s administration which has blasted OPEC+ for effectively siding with Russia. The Biden administration said it was “short-sighted” and a “mistake” and showed that the trading bloc was backing Russia against the US and the West.
US to ease Venezuela sanctions over oil
The United States is preparing to ease sanctions against Venezuela to allow Chevron to resume oil extraction in the country, reports the ‘Wall Street Journal’. According to the newspaper, in exchange for the easing, the government of President Nicolas Maduro should resume negotiations with the opposition to discuss the necessary conditions for free and fair presidential elections in 2024. The indiscretion arrives after the OPEC + slap on Joe Biden by cutting oil production by two million barrels a day.
‘EU ready to price cap on gas for electricity’ – Von der Leyen
In a letter to EU leaders in view of the informal summit in Prague, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said, “We are ready to discuss the introduction of a cap on the price of gas used for the production of electricity.” She also proposed “to work together with member-states to develop an intervention to limit gas prices in the LNG market”, adding that the TtF Neutral Gas Price Index (the volume-weighted average price of all trades executed in all the spot contracts) was no longer representative. She then urged member countries and importing companies to “step up negotiations with reputable suppliers to reduce the prices of imported gas of all kinds, and confirmed that “the Commission will look into complementary funding sources to increase RePowerEu’s firepower”
More N. Korea missiles after UN Security Council meeting
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles toward its east coast on Thursday in the direction of Japan, following joint South Korean-US missile drills and the return of a US aircraft carrier to the region in response to the North’s recent missile tests. The missile launch was the sixth in 12 days and the first since North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan on Tuesday. The launch came about an hour after North Korea condemned the United States for talking to the UN Security Council about Pyongyang’s “just counteraction measures on south Korea-US joint drills”. The United States accused China and Russia on Wednesday of blocking attempts to strengthen UN Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes. Tokyo lodged a “vehement protest” with North Korea through delegations in Beijing, Japanese Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said.
‘Kiev government behind Dugina murder’ – US intelligence
According to American intelligence, the Ukrainian government was behind the murder of Darya Dugina, the daughter of the Russian ultra-nationalist philosopher Alexander Dugin killed in an attack in August. However, President Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied the claim, saying, “it was not a tactical or strategic objective”. The United States, US Intelligence specified, “did not take part in the attack, nor did they provide information or other forms of assistance”, says a source to the ‘New York Times’. Furthermore, the US services would not even have been aware of the operation. Some argue that the real target of the attack was Dugin himself.
Ukrainian offensive continues to make gains
Another day of territorial gains as Ukrainian forces continued to recapture territory from Russia. Wednesday saw key territories to the northeast of Kherson city captured, namely Novovoskresenske, Novohryhorivka and Petropavlivka. The Ukrainian offensive since early September has captured thousands of square miles of territory, with Russian forces seemingly on a permanent retreat. Russian President Putin signed a law on Wednesday to incorporate four regions into Russia.
Lula gets third-place candidate’s support
The third presidential candidate in Brazil’s elections has put her support behind Lula. Centrist Brazilian Senator Simone Tebet announced her support for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva against far right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. At five million votes under her belt from Sunday’s first-round vote, Tebet’s support is far from insignificant.
Truss vows to get Britain ‘through the tempest’
British Prime Minister Liz Truss addressed the Conservative Party conference for the first time as its leader on Wednesday, pledging to get Britain “through the tempest”. She was briefly heckled by Greenpeace protestors with a banner reading: “Who voted for this?” After asking for their removal, Truss continued with her speech that was light on policy but heavy on her vision for the country, namely higher economic growth. “ I’m determined to get Britain moving, to get us through the tempest and put us on a stronger footing as a nation. For too long, our economy hasn’t grown as strongly as it should have done,” she added.
Danish PM calls November general election
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has called a general election for November 1, seven months ahead of the end of her term in office. Frederiksen, who has headed the Social Democratic minority government since June 2019, has seen her popularity dwindle in recent weeks due to her decision to cull millions of healthy mink at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to protect humans from a mutation of the virus.
Actors cut their hair for Iran protesters
Oscar-winning actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French screen and music stars, filmed themselves chopping off locks of their hair in a video posted Wednesday in support of protesters in Iran. The video, hashtagged ‘HairForFreedom’, comes with Iran engulfed by anti-government protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after her arrest for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Images of women elsewhere cutting their hair to show solidarity have gone viral.
Baldwin reaches settlement with Hutchin’s family
Actor Alec Baldwin and the producers for the ‘Rust’ movie have reached a settlement with the family of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins in their “wrongful death” lawsuit. Baldwin shot Hutchins dead with a live round from a prop gun during filming last year and could still face criminal charges.Filming of the movie will resume in January.
Americans, Dane win Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless, and Dane Mortem Meldal for the development of techniques to engineer biological molecules. Theyequally divide the prize for having pioneered the so-called ‘snap chemistry’, which consists in the possibility of joining molecules more efficiently and at the same time simpler. There are many applications, including those related to high-precision cancer therapies. The literature prize will be announced today.
Ukraine bids to host the 2030 World Cup
Portugal, Spain and Ukraine have submitted a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup. The Spanish Football Federation officially announced this, explaining that the joint proposal of the three states has the unconditional support of UEFA. The Ukrainian arrival does not alter the established schedule: Spain maintains its 11 venues and Portugal will have three.”